This module can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.

Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

Electives may not run if there is limited student uptake. However, alternatives will be offered.


The Practical Archaeological Short Course aims to provide practical experience of a conventional archaeological excavation.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 19 - 30 May 2025
  • Duration10 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£4,450 - Short Course for Credit fee 

    £4,200 - Standalone Short Course fee  Concessions available

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course you will be able to:
  • Explain how an excavation is planned and run
  • Transfer theoretical knowledge of excavation techniques into practical use
  • Recover safely and record rigorously material uncovered in the excavation
  • Critically assess the most important features of an excavation and determine appropriate techniques
  • Communicate results to other persons both archaeological experts and lay member of the public.

Core content

  • Planning an excavation
  • Logistical practical and health and safety issues
  • Practical excavation skills
  • Man management and organisation skills
  • Drawing, planning and recording an excavation
  • Small finds
  • The care of human remains
  • Press, the public and other partners.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

This short course will be taught at Masters standard as it is one of the modules that comprise the postgraduate Forensic Modular Masters Programme. Registering for this Short Course for Credit and successfully passing the associated assessment will gain you 10 Cranfield credits. These could then be used to apply for a transfer towards a PgCert/PgDip or MSc in the Forensic Programme should you wish to complete one of these courses within 5 years.

Who should attend

There are no prerequisites for this course but a basic standard of physical fitness is required.


The short courses are modules of the Forensic Modular Masters Programme, which is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.


Concessions are available for Cranfield alumni and multiple bookings from the same organisation, please contact us to discuss.

Accommodation options and prices

Please contact us for information regarding accommodation.

Location and travel

Situated close to Milton Keynes and Bedford, the Cranfield campus is situated in Wharley End, very close to Cranfield village, and is about 10 minutes from the M1 motorway.  There is rail and road access to most major airports as well as coach and train stations. Cranfield campus also has its own airport for private executive business travel.

Download a visitor guide including map, directions and health and safety information.

Campus address

College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.