Attainment through Archaeology

Attainment through Archaeology

Archaeology Scotland’s Attainment through Archaeology© is an exciting educational initiative which seeks to use archaeology for social good. Currently at pilot stage, we are keen to deliver a suite of workshops for young people based throughout Scotland. Focusing on 11-26 year olds, we propose to work with them to develop new skills and knowledge of their local area, all within a fun, creative and inclusive learning environment. This document gives an example of what a young person could achieve by taking part in our five-week course; just one of the options we are able to offer.


Archaeology Scotland has been helping people to understand, protect, share and celebrate Scotland’s unique archaeological heritage since 1944. In more recent years, we have been leading the way in using archaeology to reach out to a number of diverse groups, including young people living in or leaving care; young carers; vulnerable women and those facing homelessness to name but a few of the groups we work with. Our ethos at Archaeology Scotland is that archaeology should be a benefit to society and inclusive and available to all and strongly believe that taking part in heritage activities can engage and connect people with their heritage, raising aspirations for work and further learning, improving skills, well-being and mental health. From this, we have developed Attainment through Archaeology (AtA) – a programme of activity leading to successful learning outcomes for young people. Through the provision of training and unique heritage experiences we can signpost this audience to different options for careers, further study and personal development. Attainment through Archaeology will enable young people to recognise and celebrate their unique abilities and talents whilst supporting them to hone these skills in future employment, training and day-to-day life.

What will Attainment through Archaeology do?

Using heritage and archaeology we will provide training opportunities utilising a variety of techniques and skills required by an archaeologist today. With our past projects, we have successfully used a range of learning environments such as site survey, archival research, photography, videography and guided walks to support participants to develop new transferable skills including improved confidence, better communication and ability to work both independently and within a team.


We can offer three different types of course for you to take part in;

One-day ‘taster’ sessions – designed to help young people get a flavour of a profession they may never come across and the many and varied skills and jobs within archaeology such as photography and digital skills; communication and social media skills; survey and recording; investigation and sharing. They will get to try a few different techniques that may help them to decide if they would like to try a longer course. Completing this one-day course will lead to the Heritage Hero Explorer Award.

Five-week courses (approximately 2 days per week) – designed to give a short insight into all the different techniques employed by archaeologists to investigate a site, learners will follow a programme of tasks with specific outputs and will encouraged to attain a Heritage Hero Bronze or Silver Award, as well as take part in archaeological fieldwork. They will develop new skills including public speaking, presentation, interview techniques and CV/application writing. Participants will be signposted to their next destination such as further education, employment or a continued skills development programme. Additionally, they will be assessed for levels of confidence before and after the training.

Ten week course (approximately 2 days per week) – This course will support learners to further explore their place in the past, in the present and in the future. Participants will be encouraged to attain a Heritage Hero Silver or Gold Award and will also be supported to take part in archaeological fieldwork, communication and sharing their heritage stories with different audiences (including inter-generational work) and presenting the results of their project at the end of the 10 week programme. Participants will also learn or further develop public speaking presentation, interviews and CV/Application writing skills, administration, management and leadership skills.

Our learning opportunities are deliberately flexible so that we can develop a project that is right for the audience. We would welcome contributions from staff and prospective young people on what they would like to do and achieve while completing Attainment through Archaeology. Archaeology Scotland is able to deliver a taster session before the five-week course to enable prospective participants to meet the team and find out more about the project.

Health and Safety

All fieldwork elements will be covered Archaeology Scotland public liability insurance (details available on request) and Archaeology Scotland will complete risk assessments for all aspects of the work.


We would be delighted to discuss further details of how we might take this programme forward. To find out more about this opportunity, please contact Jane Miller, Learning Officer or phone 0300 012 9878 (standard rate calls). Office not manned during Covid-19 pandemic.

Attainment through Archaeology is partially funded by The Robertson Trust and Historic Environment Scotland.