06/10/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Shetland archaeology student named as Postgraduate Student of the Year at University of the Highlands & Islands

ddcf3e01-d8d2-44d6-87b4-e6c211bc7e82

An archaeology student who combined her university studies with bringing up three young children has been named as the University of the Highlands and Islands’ 2017 Postgraduate Student of the Year.

Esther Renwick from Stromfirth, Shetland, recently achieved her PhD in archaeology by studying part time over a ten year period at Shetland College UHI.

Join the History Scotland community  
Follow us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Discover History Scotland magazine

Esther’s thesis explored the most effective ways to present archaeological monuments to the public. She analysed online reviews, interviewed visitors and observed how people move through archaeological sites.

Using philosophical and anthropological concepts of human behaviour and responses to the world around them, she created recommendations for a more engaging visitor experience.

Community engagement

Esther was nominated for the Postgraduate Student of the Year award by her PhD supervisor, Dr Simon Clarke. She was commended for her influential research, her community engagement and her dedication to her studies.

Dr Clarke said: “Esther started with us in 2007 and completed her thesis working around part time employment and three small children, two of whom were born during her studies. I nominated her not for what she has achieved in her final year, but for a decade of application.

“Esther has presented her findings at national and international conferences and one of her early papers appears to have influenced English Heritage’s recent reorganisation of visitor access at Housesteads Fort on Hadrian’s Wall. Her academic studies are very much having a practical application in the real world.

“Esther has also made valuable contributions to the local community. She is a founding member of Archaeology Shetland and has been an active participant in a self-support group for Shetland-based postgraduate research students.”

A passion for presenting archaeology

Speaking about her award, Esther said: “I am so pleased to be recognised by the university, it has been a long journey but very worthwhile - the rural campuses and virtual learning environment enabled me to pursue my passion for presenting archaeology whilst also living in my dream location, working and raising a young family. My long suffering family also deserve a mention here, without their wholehearted support none of this would have been possible.”

Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “I’m delighted that Esther has been selected as our Postgraduate Student of the Year. She has shown incredible commitment over a decade of study and has made important contributions to both her field of study and her community.

“Esther’s story is a shining example of how our university can provide students with opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research within their local communities in subjects inspired by the people, environment, economy, culture and heritage of the Highlands and Islands.”

Esther was presented with a certificate and a cheque for £100 at the Shetland College UHI graduation ceremony on Friday 22 September. She has now taken up a communications role with the Shetland Arts Development Agency.

For more on the University of the Highlands & Islands, visit their website.

Back to News

06/10/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

The TV drama Reign from Netflix is a dramatised version of the life of Mary Queen of Scots

Historical drama Reign starring Adelaide Cane, Megan Follows and Torrance Coombs follows the rise and fall of ...


Winners announced for the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards 2017

The winners of the 2017 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards have been announced at a special ceremony at the ...


War Poets' Corner unveiled in Juniper Green, Edinburgh

A historic literary meeting between three World War I poets has been marked by the unveiling of a plaque near ...


Greyfriars Bobby tops public poll for 101st Edinburgh attraction

A world-famous statue of Greyfriars Bobby has been voted as the public's best loved attraction in a poll to ...


Other News

Appeal to add first National Mod programme to National Library of Scotland Gaelic collection

An appeal has been launched by the National Library of Scotland to find a copy of the very first programme of ...


Surviving fragment of Bonnie Prince Charlie tartan to stay in Scotland

A section of the plaid worn by Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) is to stay in Scotland ...


Young Scot Heritage Blueprint group report their findings

A group of young people commissioned by National Trust for Scotland on how to encourage young people to ...


The Melksham Monster - newly identified prehistoric predator sheds light on origins of crocodile's distant relatives

An extinct group of aquatic reptiles evolved millions of years earlier than was originally thought, ...