Underwater Archaeology for Divers

The Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia offers its own custom course called Underwater Archaeology for Divers (UAD).

The objective of the course is to give sport and technical divers the knowledge, skills, and ability to conduct research, search for and survey shipwrecks and other submerged cultural heritage sites and document the results. Underwater Archaeology for Divers course is a 16-hour, two-day course, with a 2-hour pool session and an open water survey dive. The course is designed to introduce students to the essential skills required to undertake basic underwater archaeological recording work. The course also covers principles of u/w archaeology, basic survey techniques, an overview of sites around the Pacific Northwest and the legal aspect of underwater heritage sites. The course includes 3 hands-on sessions where divers practice their skills in the pool, in the ocean and measure and draw an artefact. Upon completing the course divers receive an Underwater Archaeology, Certificate of Achievement.

Course Curriculum:

Module 1: Introduction to Underwater Archaeology.

Module 2: Wreck Site Formation

Module 3 Researching Shipwrecks in the PNW

Module 4: Visual Searches, Remote Sensing & Position Fixing

Module 5: Survey procedures and methodologies.

Module 6: Laws governing wreck protection salvage and underwater archaeology

Module 7: Dive Planning & Safely

Module 8: In Situ Preservation, Recovery and Treatment


Given the extent of the material to be covered several course modules will be done in advance through e-learning or via Zoom to ensure there is more time for the pool session, open water dive and conservation module.


Although the course is aimed at divers, it will be open to all interested persons whether a certified diver or not.