Introduction Course

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NAS Introduction to Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology

What does the course involve?


The first stage of the NAS Training Programme, the Introduction Course, is an introduction to the discipline of nautical archaeology taking you from the basic question ‘What is Archaeology’ through to the range of sites we might study, dating techniques and 2D survey methods to get you started recording sites.

The Introduction course is a prerequisite for attending the Part I Certificate in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology course.

Who can get involved?

The NAS Introduction course is open to anyone who is interested, no prior learning or qualifications are required. There is no age limit on the course, however we ask that those under 16 are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The course is open to both divers and non-divers and there will be no difference in the qualification awarded. Many nautical or maritime sites are located on the foreshore or completely on dry land so there is plenty to get involved with wherever your interests may lie.

How can I complete the NAS Introduction Course?

There are three options to complete your NAS Introduction Course:

  1. Through the NAS ELearning programme you can learn the theory elements of the course in your own time and from the comfort of your sofa. Then you can join us for a fieldschool to put the skills you have learnt into practice. Click here for more information on ELearning and to learn about our special discount offers for 2015.
  2. If you are a member of a club or group, why not invite the NAS to come to you. We can offer bespoke courses to meet your club’s needs on a day of the week to suit you. We will usually need a minimum of 6 -8 participants for a course and a maximum of 16, however this is flexible depending on the group and facilities available. For more information or if you would like to discuss a bespoke course further, please contact the NAS Office.
  3. If ELearning is not for you, why not book on to one of our scheduled courses? These courses are held over one day and will cover both the theory and practical sessions.

Whatever route you choose to complete your Introduction course, the skills and information you learn will be the same and the skills can be applied to sites both underwater and on the foreshore.

For an example Introduction Course timetable, please click here.

Does the course involve diving?

Depending on the venue, your Introduction course or fieldschool may include an optional underwater practical session. Underwater sessions may be held in a swimming pool, inland dive site (such as Stoney Cove) or in open water.

Diving is entirely optional and will only take place at the discretion of a NAS Diving Supervisor. The minimum diving qualification for those taking part in the diving exercises if they are to be held in a swimming Pool is CMAS 1-Star/BSAC Ocean Diver/SAA Open Water Diver/PADI Open Water. If the practical session is in open water then the minimum diving qualification is CMAS 2-Star, BSAC Sport Diver, SAA Club Diver, or PADI Advanced Open Water Diver.

It does not matter if you are not a diver, as any diving element of the course will be entirely optional and further dry land practicals and examples will be provided. These will give those who do not wish to dive an opportunity to undertake a more detailed survey exercise to hone skills and techniques. Some venues will not offer a diving option and all of the practical exercises will be conducted on dry land so please check at the time of booking.

How much does the course cost?

The NAS are pleased to be able to offer a special discounted rate for the ELearning Introduction Course Theory for 2015 of just £45 (was £53) which includes a copy of the NAS Guide to Principles and Practice (a great handbook for all those interested in nautical archaeology).

The cost of fieldschools, scheduled and bespoke courses will vary depending on the course venue and other costs. Please visit the course diary for more information on current courses and fees.

Please note that the course fee does not include any entrance or membership fees required by venues where courses may be held, such as Stoney Cove.

All Introduction courses will now include a one year ‘Online Newsletter’ membership to the NAS. For more information on membership of the NAS please click here.

What participants thought...

"I have been to a range of courses and this ranks up there with the best. Most professional, informative and enjoyable."

"Thoroughly enjoyable but the day went too fast! Thank you very much"

"I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a course so much....and I've been on a few in the last 5 years! It was a brilliant day and I've been left wanting to know more about every aspect of what NAS offers and how I can also be more involved. "

"The course was well laid out for an intro and has left me ready to do more!"

"The whole course was superb and a good learning curve"