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ArchaeologyPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Tom Brughmans MSc Archaeological Computing, PhD in Archaeology

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Hi, I'm Tom Brughmans and I studied MSc Archaeological Computing, PhD in Archaeology within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

The research atmosphere I experienced during my MSc made me believe Southampton was the right place for me to do a PhD. A number of ongoing archaeological projects really appealed to me, and some lecturers allowed me to develop my own methods to contribute to them.

Tom is from Antwerp, Belgium and came to Southampton to study an MSc and now a PhD in Archaeology.

What was your first degree in? Where did you study it?

I did a BA and MA in Archaeology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium).

What made you decide to study archaeology at postgraduate level?

My BA and first MA were very general. I felt like I needed to stand out from other students in archaeology in some way if I was to make this my profession. That is why I decided to specialise in Computer Applications to Archaeology. I made this choice at least partly because the skills I would learn would also be useful in jobs outside archaeology.

After my MSc I just wanted more of the same, which I why I applied to start a PhD in Archaeology.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

Before coming to the UK for postgraduate study I looked around for universities offering postgraduate courses in archaeological computing. Out of the three options I found Southampton appealed to me the most. It offered quite a bit of variety in the field I wanted to specialise in, which allowed me to explore the full scope of my specialisation. The staff in Archaeology also have a great reputation. Many of my previous lecturers ensured me that I would get a very high standard postgraduate education at Southampton.

The research atmosphere I experienced during my MSc made me believe Southampton was the right place for me to do a PhD. A number of ongoing archaeological projects really appealed to me, and some lecturers allowed me to develop my own methods to contribute to them.

Tell us more about the areas of archaeology that you are now specialising in.

I am specialising in computer applications for archaeology. More specifically, I am developing network-based techniques for exploring large archaeological datasets as well as understanding past complex systems.

Are you enjoying your studies? What do you like most about your degree programme?

I am very much enjoying my degree. The best thing for me is that the PhD programme is completely free. I can choose how I spend my time and efforts and am guided in this decision by my supervisors and advisors. I also really like the fact that the PhD forces you to think creatively in order to make an original contribution to science.

Do you get on well with the academic staff?

Yes. Most of them are very supportive and find the time to discuss my work.

What’s the best thing about living and studying in Southampton?

The University is really big with a lot of different specialised fields. This allows me to explore diverse research avenues with world-leading researchers in a stimulating environment.

What are you planning to do after graduating?

I just want more of the same, so any research job in archaeology will do.

Do you have any advice for people considering studying archaeology at postgraduate level at Southampton?

Compare courses between different universities, try to be clear about the skills you want to gain, and if Southampton is the place to get them then just go for it.

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