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Archaeology Field School

Dates: May 10 2021 - June 17 2021
Based: Herstmonceux, UK
Apply by: April 1 2021

The Archaeology Field School at the Bader International Study Centre is an amazing opportunity for Archaeology students, or any student of level 2 standing or above, to experience hands-on archaeology! Spend six weeks at Herstmonceux Castle in the UK and take CLST 408/6.0 Archaeology Fieldwork Practicum, plus one other 3.0 credit course towards your Major from our summer offering. 

Currently, we plan for an on-campus experience for the 2021 Summer term. Should this not be possible, this programming will be offered online with modified programming, but whether on campus or online, the Castle’s Archaeology cluster offers you the opportunity to engage with the history of the Herstmonceux Castle estate. Train and work on a dig, and analyze and process your finds, all under the guidance of professional Archaeologists.

The Gamekeeper's Lodge

In Summer 2021, under the expert instruction of professional Archaeologists, students will begin a brand new excavation at the site of the Castle's Gamekeeper's Lodge, constructed circa 1440.

Take a tour of the dig site here:

Experience Archaeology First Hand

Continue to learn beyond the traditional classroom environment as you take a midterm trip to London, where you will examine sites such as the Temple of Mithras, the British Museum and visit the site of an ongoing commercial dig.

Course Highlights:

  • Immersive: Where better to study archaeological techniques than within the grounds of a medieval castle?
  • Accelerated: Gain 9.0 course credits in just six weeks
  • Experiential: Get your hands dirty! History will literally be at your fingertips as you unearth and process your own finds
  • Fun: Students will form friendships quickly. Work, live and explore medieval history together
  • Personal: Get the BISC advantages of small class sizes and personalized learning both online and on campus

Questions APPLY NOW!

Funding Opportunities - On Campus

  • 5 x $5,000 DRAGEN Lab Scholarships available for registered Queen’s students
  • 5 x $5,000 DRAGEN Lab Scholarships available for registered University of Waterloo studies

Funding Opportunities - Online

  • 5 x $900 DRAGEN Lab Scholarships available for registered Queen’s students
  • 5 x $900 DRAGEN Lab Scholarships available for registered University of Waterloo students

CLST 408/6.0 is an intensive six-week introduction to archaeological methods and interpretation. Over the course of the summer, you will study both Roman and Medieval Britain, and receive training in basic archaeological theory and techniques - all while taking part in over 60 hours of hands-on excavation. Students enrolled in the BISC's Archaeology Field School must also choose an additional 3.0 course from our robust summer offering. With a variety of courses available, applicable to a number of Majors, this is an outstanding opportunity to gain 9.0 credits in just six weeks and free up your Fall semester.

Check out our additional Castle Summer+ Courses

There is also the opportunity for 3rd and 4th year students to take an Archaeology 594 research course, in which they undertake personal research projects under a supervisor (subject to Classics departmental approval). Any students interested in taking Archaeology 594 are advised to contact the Classics Department at Queen's as soon as possible. 

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Delve into an untouched primary source of medieval history and culture under expert guidance. CLST 408/6.0 is in itself one extended, intensive experiential learning opportunity! Students will learn by doing as they methodically dig for evidence of a 15th-century Gamekeeper's Lodge on the Herstmonceux Castle estate. Our Archaeology students will take their weekend midterm trip slightly earlier in the term compared to other Summer+ students so they can focus their efforts on these exciting excavations.

There will an opportunity to visit London for the weekend to see sites such as the Temple of Mithras, one of the world's most important Roman-era finds, and witness modern archaeology practices first-hand with a trip to a commercial dig site. See how archaeologists work around mega construction projects, often while up against tight deadlines, to unearth the hidden histories beneath our feet. 

Mithras The London Mithraeum, Walbrook Street, City of London

Virtual Experiential Learning Opportunities (VELOs)

Should programming move to an online format, you will have the opportunity to analyze a site near you to put your archaeological training into action! Plus, expand your knowledge on guided virtual excursions to places like the Museum of London and British Museum, allowing you to broaden your perspective through your experiences. There will also be an opportunity to take part in a livestream of a smaller dig from the Gamekeeper’s Lodge site at Herstmonceux Castle.

Dr. Amelia Fairman

Our Field School Director – pictured here on an excavation in Luxor, Egypt – is archaeologist Amelia Fairman, MA who joins the BISC with a wealth of experience in both research and commercial archaeology. Under her direction, Field School students will:

♦ Receive training in basic archaeological theory and techniques

♦ Stay overnight in London to visit a commercial dig

♦ Be introduced to experts and receive insights into archaeology as a profession

♦ Visit an archaeologists' office to understand how finds are processed and preserved

♦ Visit the British Museum to see to see world famous archaeological finds

♦ Present your work at an End of Term conference and share your findings with the local community as you curate a cabinet in the BISC's Visitor Centre

♦ Learn key intercultural skills as well as research skills

♦ Add vital experience to your resume to give you the edge in applying for graduate school, or future employment

♦ Your fees cover 9.0 tuition credits, room and board in our on-campus halls of residence, midterm trip travel, experiential learning opportunities and accommodation PLUS all campus services and transfers from/to London Heathrow airport

♦ A generous Financial Aid package is available. Contact us for more information on how to apply. (The Castle's Summer +  term fits OSAP loan criteria for most students)

Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet these basic prerequisites:
  • ♦ Minimum 1.6 GPA ♦ Good academic standing ♦ Level 2 standing (by time program starts)
  • Request to change campus
  • Receive campus confirmation from Undergraduate Admission
  • Register in class on SOLUS(pre-reqs may apply to some courses)
Apply Now

Non-Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet the basic prerequisites for studying abroad at your home institution.
  • Apply online
  • Register online for your chosen program
  • Submit Letter of Permission
  • Accept your offer
Apply Now

What is a Letter of Permission?


A Letter of Permission (LOP) is an official document issued by your home institution. The LOP allows you to take courses for credit at the BISC for a specified semester/program, transferring the credits back to your home institution for the purpose of completing your university degree.

Your academic advisor or the person issuing the LOP will typically look at the course content and your current transcript to assess whether you will be academically prepared for the course/program. Pre-requisite courses listed on the BISC website are therefore not necessarily mandatory for non-Queen's students, but may be used as part of the assessment process by your home institution when granting an LOP.

We will also make admission decisions based on current transcripts, but please note that without an LOP you may not be able to transfer credits back to your home institution.

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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