Making Archaeology Skills Dead Relevant

As a student studying Archaeology at the University of Chester, you’ll have many opportunities to put theory in to practice to prepare yourself for your future career. To give you an idea of what you can expect, we spoke to Professor of Archaeology, Howard Williams, who discussed the fantastic opportunities available for students at the University of Chester.

“Our Archaeology degrees are practical and applied as well as rigorously academic. As a student studying Archaeology with us, you’ll have the opportunity to learn through a wide range of strategies and methods in class and field, giving you the experience you need to stand out as a graduate.

Last year’s students studying our Archaeology and Contemporary Society module got the opportunity to organise their own public archaeology day conference hosted by the Grosvenor Museum in Chester as an integral part of their studies The students arranged and advertised the programme for the day and chaired the sessions. The students presented their research on the important archaeological themes relating to the digging, display, curation and public archaeology of mortuary remains: Dead Relevant? Mortuary Archaeology in Contemporary Society. The audience included university staff and students, but also professional and academic archaeologists from elsewhere and interested members of the public.

Topics included the ethics and strategies of displaying human remains in museums, the challenges of interpreting early medieval ‘deviant burial’ for the public, the mortuary archaeology of Tolkein’s Middle Earth, and the archaeological influences on the portrayal of cemeteries and mortuary remains in online gaming. The conference was rounded off by a special guest lecture by international expert in early medieval archaeology and gender archaeology and visiting research fellow: Dr Ing-Marie Back Danielsson (University of Uppsala, Sweden); a priceless opportunity for the students to learn from an expert in the field.

Dead Relevant afforded students a range of valuable experiences. They worked as a team to organise the event, presented their own independent research, and then reflected on the process in writing up their assessed assignments based on their talks. And that’s not all. The experience they gained on this module has also played a huge role in shaping the career path of many of the students - some are taking up the opportunity to join heritage professionals and archaeological researchers in writing up their research for publication in an academic book. Edited by me, together with Chester postgraduate student Ben Wills-Eve and former student, Jenny Osborne, this gives students an unprecedented and early experience in the full academic process of research dissemination - from conference presentation to print. The book is contracted with Equinox Press and out in 2018.

If you want to find out more, why not take a look at the conference on YouTube:

This is just one of many distinctive ways by which Chester Archaeology students learn about the past, but also learn to participate in debates about the importance of investigating the past in today’s world.”

Howard Williams

Want to know more?

For more information about studying Archaeology at the University of Chester take a look at our website, follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts, or contact Programme Leader Dr Amy Gray Jones by emailing

If you have already been offered a place, don’t forget to book on to one of our Applicant Days, where you’ll get the opportunity to find out more about the course and what it’s really like to live and study at the University of Chester.

Book now.

If you haven’t yet applied to study at the University of Chester, there are still plenty of ways to visit us.


Archaeology at Chester: Let the Past be your Future