Nautical Archaeology Society Launches New Online Educational Courses with Historic England Support


In 2020 the Nautical Archaeology Society was awarded a grant of nearly £46,000 from Historic England’s COVID-19 emergency fund. The grant was awarded to allow us to revise and extend the content on our eLearning platform.

The grant from Historic England, which has been matched by the NAS, has allowed a complete revision of our three existing courses on Maritime, Underwater and Coastal & Foreshore Archaeology.

It is now possible to complete these three courses online and they will provide divers, beach walkers and lovers of history an exciting introduction to the world of underwater and coastal archaeology.

By the end of 2021, two new courses will be added to NAS’ eLearning programme. ‘Monitoring Archaeological Sites through Photography and Photogrammetry’ and ‘Cannon Research and Recording’ will provide online training to people with specialist interest in those respective topics. While the courses are online in delivery, the participants will finish with practical skills in how to monitor sites and record cannon.

NAS Chief Executive, Mark Beattie Edwards, commented: “This has been the perfect time to be expanding the variety of online courses within our educational programme. Lockdown restrictions around the world have meant that face-to-face courses have become impossible to offer, so being able to learn new skills from home has become the new normal. We are very grateful to Historic England for recognising our vital educational work targeted at documenting and protecting our precious maritime cultural heritage”.

Hefin Meara, Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the relaunch of content on NAS’ eLearning platform. These state-of-the art courses provide an excellent introduction to the world of maritime archaeology.”

NAS Education Manager Peta Knott added: “It is fantastic to have support from Historic England to help us meet the demand for online learning.  By redeveloping our existing eLearning courses we’ll be able to attract a new audience which will create a greater team of citizen scientists to monitor and protect our threatened maritime heritage”.   Peta continued: “The NAS' eLearning programme first developed in 2013 had served us well but was a little dated. With the support of Historic England, we have been able to take a fresh look at the student learning experience and create an attractive and comprehensive modern eLearning portal”.

As well as revising content and creating new courses, we have worked closely with Historic England’s Disability Network to ensure that the courses are fully accessible.  Screen Reader versions of all the courses have been created to make them available to learners with a visual impairment and all aspects of the courses include text or subtitles to assist those with hearing issues.

As a result of this grant and the work it has supported, the Society now has the experience and capacity to create or facilitate even more eLearning courses based on the demand from members or other heritage organisations.

Find our more and sign up to one of the new courses here: