Although 2019-20 was by no means a normal year, with two nationwide university strikes and the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic severely affecting teaching and access to resources, the last 12 months at the University of Oxford, studying the MSc in Archaeological Science, has benefited me greatly. I have developed a greater understanding of the principles, methods, developments and applications of a range of radiogenic and radiometric chronometric dating methods used on organic and inorganic materials; I have greatly expanded my understanding and ability to apply the widely used radiocarbon dating method to organic remains in commercial, research and community project settings; I have had an insight into the wide range of applicable molecular methods for analysing organic remains recovered from archaeological sites and increased my ability to make decisive decisions in the field over which materials to sample and how. It has been an opportunity to explore my interest for studying past environments (paleo environmental archaeology) and human-environment interactions both in prehistoric and historic periods and I have obtained confidence in the ability to propose and implement sample selection methods for specific post-excavation analytical methods for future field archaeologist career roles.
Completing this course has enabled me to gain access to new opportunities in experienced field archaeologist career roles, and to open the door to a PhD and post-doctoral research career path in the future. Understanding how heritage is changing and responding to the new world we live in has allowed me to rethink and adapt to have a flexible career plan. My immediate next step is to undertake an experienced archaeologist role with AOC Archaeology Group, working on HS2 and EWR sites in S.W. England. I intend to seek further training to become a site supervisor and potentially a project officer in the next 5 years. In the long term, I would like to become a lecturer and lead my own summer field schools for new undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology. I also wish to become more involved in community and educational outreach programmes, focusing on north Wales, and including outdoor field activities and talks to encourage younger generations to become interested, passionate and caring towards their heritage.