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The University of Southampton
ArchaeologyPart of Humanities

Petra Jones BA Archaeology

BA Archaeology

Petra Jones's Photo

Hi I am Petra Jones and in my second year studying BA Archaeology

As soon as I came for my interview day, I decided I wanted to come and study at the Archaeology department at the University of Southampton. The whole atmosphere gave me confidence and put me at ease.

What made you choose to come to Southampton?

As soon as I came for my interview day, I decided I wanted to come and study at the Archaeology department at the University of Southampton. The whole atmosphere gave me confidence and put me at ease. The lecturers and everybody I met that day reassured me and finalised my decision to come to Southampton.

What were you anxious about before coming to Southampton?

I think I was worried about what everyone worries about, making friends in halls and my course, will the lectures and course be difficult, what will the lecturers be like? Everybody in halls and your course is super nice because everybody is in the same position as you, so everybody was extremely kind and chatty. When assigned my Personal Academic Tutor (PAT), she really helped me settle in and make sure everything was alright and that everything was going okay. But is it also nice to know that there is a full network of support around you from the Union to your PATs, to the academic representation of course reps but also mentors and nightline and the halls support as well.

What is it like studying here?

Studying here is great. I have a good balance between going out, studying and doing work but also activities such as the societies that are available. The lecturers are extremely supportive no matter what, they help with assignments and materials and just generally in the course, I don’t know what I would do without their support and help throughout university so far. For archaeology, there are resources in the main library on campus which is 24 hours but also on the Avenue Campus, there is also library resources for archaeology which come in useful, plus the general help of lecturers when I start to panic and not know where to look or go to.

How do you rate study facilities at the University, such as the Library?

The facilities such as the library are great with a range of books, if I was being fussy I would like a wider range of archaeology books. The study spaces are very handy when you need somewhere quiet and focussed to do assignments or revise for exams, this is both in the Avenue library and the Hartley library where some of the study spaces have just been redone- my personal favourite being the sofas in the Hartley library.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ so far?

As a second year, I am still expecting lots of experiences to come my way. But some of my best experiences include: going to Austria and Hungary in the summer as part of field work, meeting some of my friends on my course because I honestly think we will keep in contact for a long time, this is the same with my house mates because even though we are on different courses, we still have weekly traditions of going to karaoke together and are really close as friends. Being in the archaeology department has given me the opportunity to do the practical skills that I have wanted to do and further explore my interests in archaeology through the department through various activities such as flotations, flint knapping (not that I have improved much!) and other various skills and learning opportunities.

What other activities have you taken advantage of while at University?

So while I have been at University so far, I have been a part of various societies such as: Contemporary dance, Ballet, and Jazz dance all of which perform in Pure Dance, the dance show at the beginning of March every year, Southampton University Symphony Orchestra who perform concerts each semester, the archaeology society, the first aid society last year as well as the caving society, I also took a semester of Russian as the free language opportunity that they offer. As part of archaeology, I had the opportunity to travel to Austria and Hungary to do an excavation as part of my course. And this year I am the Academic President for Archaeology, which is part of the student representation for the subject.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

I always wanted to study archaeology no matter what but I have too many interests. The archaeology department has a wide range of subjects available to me within archaeology, as it varies from the early Palaeolithic to the Romans and Medieval period but also across the world from the Americas to Europe and Africa and to the Middle East and Australia, which was perfect for me to explore my interests. I also love the variety of learning between science to human origins to bones to maritime, I believe you can find a lecturer in the department with your interest in mind.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area, and how do you think they are adding to your experience / will affect your future plans?

There are lots of opportunities to study outside your subject area, for instance there are language opportunities that you can take and you are allowed to have as a module. But you can take other modules sometimes, for instance you can take HUMA modules which anybody in humanities can do that can sometimes be out of your area of expertise.

What networking, employment and work experience opportunities have you undertaken and how have they enhanced your undergraduate experience?

This year and last year, I have had the opportunity to volunteer at some conferences that were being held at Southampton and that also gave me the opportunity to talk to people and listen to some of the talks within the conference and has also convinced to attend some more conferences as a delegate instead of volunteering, which has allowed me to meet a wide range of people and academics and just generally talk to people within the discipline.

Do you have any idea of what you would like to do in the future?

For me, I would like to go on to a Masters but ultimately end up in Commercial archaeology and eventually do a PhD. My main interests are in excavation and the university so far has helped me do that in the summer but also have directed me to where to go to also look at excavations to get the experience needed to be in commercial. But I know that I can go to any lecturer or my tutor for advice or skill and the best places to go in the future of the best opportunities available to me.

Did you stay in University accommodation?

I stayed at Highfield Halls in my first year of University. I thought halls were great, if slightly odd, I remember walking to my room and finding people chilling in there already, that was how good of friends I made within halls. I made loads of friends while living in halls who I still see around and go out with this year and a couple of my friends from halls I am living in a house with this year and next year.

Do you like living in Southampton? What are the benefits of Southampton as a city? Do you feel safe in the city?

I feel Southampton has something for everyone, even within the campus. The campus has the union with the diner and places to eat, the union cinema and the lettings agent plus the shop on campus and the student bar. But the city has plenty of clubs for people who like to go out, theres also the main shopping centre and lots of supermarkets, the cinema and a bowling place now, plus lots of green area spaces and the museums and galleries around the city centre as well.















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