Worldwide growth in the resources industry and greater awareness of archaeological heritage has driven the development of a new masters course in archaeology to be offered from next year at The University of Western Australia.
Professor Alistair Paterson, Discipline Chair of Archaeology, said the new Master in Professional Archaeology degree was expected to attract a high standard of Australian and overseas graduates to UWA as a world-leading centre of archaeological research and study.
"It has been designed in response to the demand for better-trained archaeologists, partly driven by global growth in industrial and mining sectors, as well as growing recognition of the value and sustainability of archaeological heritage," Professor Paterson said.
"Archaeological sites include the diverse ancient evidence of Aboriginal life in Australia - including rock art which is of particular significance in WA - as well as historical sites and maritime sites such as shipwrecks and coastal infrastructure.
"This course will deliver archaeologists with the skills and understanding to best work with resources that include national and world heritage values to help sustain communities and drive future business in tourism."
The master by coursework degree is supported by BHP Billiton and has been designed with the assistance of the Australian Association for Consulting Archaeologists.
It includes archaeological heritage assessment and management; understanding legislation, permits and approvals; working with stakeholders; cataloguing and database management; and advanced archaeological survey, excavation and conservation.
"Students will develop a broad archaeological knowledge with partners in professional cultural heritage consulting firms, resource companies, government and museums," Professor Paterson said.
"They will be expected to specialise in sub-fields, especially within their research projects in areas such as Indigenous, historical, rock art or maritime archaeology."