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ArchaeologyPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Tony Burgess MA Maritime Archaeology

Tony Burgess's Photo

Hi, I'm Tony Burgess and I studied MA Maritime Archaeology within Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

I saw the Mary Rose as a schoolboy not long after it was raised and to go back and see so many of the 19,000 or so artefacts was wonderful.

Tony is a part-time student in the Maritime Archaeology Masters course, beginning in 2011. He has had a diverse career, including working as a crime analyst for the Home Office for nearly ten years before returning to University to study Maritime Archaeology at the postgraduate level. Tony's previous degree is a BScEcon in American Studies and Social History.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in London.

What was your first degree in? Where did you study it?
My first degree was a joint Hons in American Studies and Social History, a four year degree completed at the University of Wales, Swansea.

What made you decide to study archaeology at postgraduate level?
Well <looks embarrassed> it was actually due to watching TV! I had been saving for a year with the intention of travelling around South America, but then I saw Secret Seas, which on that particular week looked at the Swash Channel Wreck in Poole Harbour and I thought ‘Diving, history and the sea - perfect!'. And as I'd been saving for a year, I could actually pay the fees without going into debt, so it was feasible.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?
I looked at four programmes - Southampton, Bristol, Bournemouth and the University of Southern Denmark. I decided on Southampton due to it's high RAE 2008 score for archaeology, it's close links (both geographical and institutional) to the National Oceanography Centre and the Mary Rose Trust amongst others, and the flexibility offered in the choice of modules.

Tell us more about which parts of maritime archaeology interest you.
Being new to archaeology, I'm enjoying getting to grips with the practical side, especially when it comes to using those skills underwater.

Are you enjoying your studies? What do you like most about your degree programme?
I am, and to eke it out a bit more I'm also doing it part time, which means I'm better able to make the most of the opportunities offered here. I like the flexibility here when it comes to how you want to do your degree and the choices on offer for that.

Do you get on well with the academic staff?
I think very well, but you'd probably have to ask them!

What's the best thing about living and studying in Southampton?
Access to so many top class facilities and staff.

What has been your favourite moment so far?
That would have to be when we went around the conservation labs at the Mary Rose Trust, with the highlight for me being when they showed us some of the 140-odd yew longbows raised from the ship - 450 years old yet they looked as good as new. I saw the Mary Rose as a schoolboy not long after it was raised and to go back and see so many of the 19,000 or so artefacts was wonderful, and judging by the huge grins and shining eyes of some of my fellow students, I don't think I was alone in this either!

What are you planning to do after graduating?
To be honest, I'm still thinking that one through, but then I still have another year - another advantage to doing this part time, at least for me.

Do you have any advice for people considering studying archaeology at postgraduate level at Southampton?
Have a good look at all the courses on offer and speak to the staff and students. I was able to do this for Southampton and in many ways that was the clincher for me, getting the thumbs up from people doing the course.

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