Institute of Archaeology


Covid-19: Message from Sue Hamilton, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology

Prof Sue Hamilton, Director, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Welcome, or indeed welcome back, to the UCL Institute of Archaeology for the 2021-22 academic year.

The Institute building on Gordon Square, including the Library, is open and we are looking forward to seeing our new and returning students and being able to deliver the greater part of our world-class teaching and learning activities face-to-face. 

Over the past 12-18 months, we have developed new and innovative ways of working, reinvigorating our teaching and research, in response to the global pandemic. We are delivering hybrid teaching (face-to-face teaching with some online elements), allowing flexibility for both students and staff, and at all times putting people first. 

UCL’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and Keeping Safe on Campus webpages provide details about the safety measures in place on campus and what we can all do to help keep everyone safe.  A dedicated UCL website for new students is available while departmental induction information for Institute students is available in the Current Students section of our website to make your arrival (or return) run smoothly.

The Institute is an exceptional community of students, academic, research and professional services staff and our mission continues to be the provision of the highest quality education and pastoral support to all in the ‘IoA family’. 

Professor Sue Hamilton, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology (27 September 2021) 

We are finally emerging from our third national lockdown following the UK government’s roadmap for the easing of Covid-19 related restrictions.

The UCL campus is open and access to our Gordon Square building has been arranged on a limited basis for now for staff and students to undertake further face-to-face practical learning activities.

Our student fieldwork is also due to re-commence shortly, following national and UCL guidance and subject to approval of individual risk assessments. 

The Institute of Archaeology Library is still closed (though click and collect as well as scan and send services continue), and we cannot yet welcome visitors back to the department, but we hope that the end of this turbulent period may now be in sight. 

As the vaccination programme continues across the UK, Covid-19 testing facilities are still available at UCL for those coming back to work on campus. UCL has also organised a number of roadshows to support the entire UCL community in their return. Keep checking the UCL Coronavirus Hub for updated information.

Institute of Archaeology staff and students continue to dedicate all their efforts to keeping things going and carrying on regardless and I offer them all my sincerest thanks. Till we meet again, face-to-face.

Professor Sue Hamilton, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology (13 April 2021)

Happy New Year to all of the Institute of Archaeology (IoA) community.

We have now entered another period of national lockdown and while the UCL campus remains open, the Gordon Square building is closed, with limited opening for staff and research students only for specialist access as needed. The Institute of Archaeology Library is currently closed

While the start of 2021 is not perhaps what we had hoped for, and Coronavirus-related challenges are ongoing, please be assured that IoA staff continue to develop and deliver innovative forms of teaching and learning activities of the highest quality to our students.  The majority of staff continue to work remotely but are fully online (via email or MSTeams), providing pastoral and other support to our students as usual. Face-to-face teaching activities for this term have been postponed for now and we await further information from government and UCL Senior Management about when these may resume.

Archaeology South-East (ASE) activities in support of the construction sector continue, with fieldwork being undertaken following established UCL/ASE COVID Risk Assessments which remain under constant review. 

I continue to be extremely proud of all IoA staff and students for their consistent hard work, dedication and resilience in these difficult times. We look forward to when we can all meet again face-to-face.  

Professor Sue Hamilton, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology (January 2021)

We are in the process of slowly re-opening the Gordon Square building. This started over the summer to enable urgent laboratory work to be completed by students and staff as well as facilitating our Covid-19 preparations for the beginning of the new academic year later this month. Archaeology South-East (ASE) were also able to return to fieldwork and post-excavation specialist activities. UCL has indicated that the campus will be open and term will start on 28 September 2020 with safety being of paramount importance.

The Institute of Archaeology community have been working tirelessly to develop innovative forms of teaching and learning activities to provide our new and returning students with the highest quality education and pastoral support, for which the Institute is renowned - further details for current students are available here. While some aspects of the student experience will necessarily be different this year, we look forward to welcoming students, and staff, back to Bloomsbury to continue the Institute’s mission to provide archaeological opportunities of the highest quality.

Wishing you all a safe and inspiring 2020-21.

Professor Sue Hamilton, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology (September 2020)

It is clear that we are living through unprecedented and worrying times. Through all the upheaval of recent weeks, with the closure of the Institute of Archaeology building (and its Field Unit premises in Essex and Sussex), and our move to remote working, I have been impressed with how swiftly staff and students have taken to our ‘new normal’.

While it was particularly emotional to leave the Institute’s Bloomsbury building behind, one in which staff and students spend so much of our time, not knowing when we will be back or see each other face-to-face again, we have quickly adapted, working collectively and collegiately, developing and undertaking innovative forms of teaching and research.

We may be remote but we are definitely not distant! Staff, via ioa-student-support@ucl.ac.uk, together with programme/course coordinators, supervisors and professional services staff remain fully online to continue to help through these difficult times.

The Institute is a family. We have the greatest concern for our staff and students’ wellbeing. We are mindful of those who may be coping with a unique range of domestic circumstances. Some may have ill or vulnerable friends, others elderly relatives and/or multiple family commitments to juggle. Many may feel the isolation of being alone and far from loved ones during this period. As echoed throughout UCL, we must and will continue to be kind to each other.

I am incredibly proud of our Institute of Archaeology community – its staff and students flourish with impressive resilience. We will work through this extraordinary journey together, supporting one another and we all look forward to being face-to-face as soon as we can.

Professor Sue Hamilton, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology (April 2020)