top of page


We are currently preparing our next set of courses, and below are details of some of the online ones that we have run before, covering life, death, work and leisure in Victorian England, Scientific Archaeology, Maritime Archaeology, and Sussex Industrial History.

We also ran a live event at the Rottingdean Whiteway Centre, with Jane Russell, a two day course on Drawing Archaeological Artefacts.

The Victorian World:
Life, death, work and leisure in nineteenth century England 



5 week online course, Wednesdays 7-9pm

Starts 27th April 2022



We study the worlds of the wealthy, middle and working classes - from large country estates and town houses to humble cottages and London rookeries of the residuum; their social and cultural life, living and working conditions. We see the strict hierarchy which existed “below stairs” and domestic life of servants and their duties in large houses. Course themes include the poor and their lack of amenities, deficient nutrition and medical attention and the effects on their appalling lives. One session will be on the fascinating rituals of death and mourning (not morbid).    

Sarah Tobias was an Associate Tutor for CCE at the University of Sussex until the department closed. She is an experienced and sympathetic adult education tutor, social, cultural and local historian and an established, experienced university lecturer, college tutor, public speaker (over 30 topics) and tour guide. 


She has a Diploma in European Humanities, BA Hons in History and European Humanities, Master's Degree in Histories and Cultures and Certificates in Further Education Teaching.

Her particular interest and research is in the role of female servants and domestic service, especially in 19c-early 20c great country houses. Sarah also writes and is an occasional dramatic narrator, costumed role player, playwright and filmmaker.

Dr Judie English, FSA, MCIfA

Judie's early involvement in archaeology was in excavation and that continued for many years but eventually she became more concerned with what went on beyond the trench and undertook training in analytical survey and landscape archaeology. That has meant working on wildly differing sites, including hillforts and 19th century military earthworks. But her main interest lies with land use and management in the Bronze Age and that has been underpinned by a doctoral study of field systems under the supervision of the late Peter Drewett. She has also undertaken research into Wealden settlement, particularly during the Late Saxon and Early medieval periods, using both place-names and regressive map analysis to identify early holdings. Much of this work has been published in various peer-reviewed journals.

Judie  taught ‘A’ level archaeology at Collyer’s College, Horsham and various modules for CCE at Sussex University, the WEA and other bodies.

Scientific Archaeology


5 week online course, Tuesdays 7-9pm

Starts 28th April 2022



Archaeology embraced the use of scientific techniques with radio-carbon dating in the 1950’s and others from Harold Wilson’s ‘white heat of technology’. The fashion then changed with Processual Archaeology adding human agency to our understanding of the past. The last few decades have seen something of a reversion with a new ability to look at individual lives.

DNA analysis enables familial relationships and folk movements to be recognised, isotopic studies reveal an individual’s travels and diet, Bayesian modelling of radiocarbon dates allows them to be placed within a single generation and LiDAR ‘sees’ through vegetation to bring woodland under the gaze of aerial photography. This course will include basic description of techniques and highlight the great advances which have been made. No scientific knowledge will be assumed!

Maritime Archaeology and Ancient Seafaring


5 week online course, Thursdays 7-9pm

Starts 17th March 2022



This course will examine the evidence for ships, ports, cargos, and seafaring in the archaeological record, from prehistory to medieval times. We will look at the evidence for harbours and shipwrecks, vessels and patterns of trade, navigation, and maritime landscapes and how these changed over time, with a particular emphasis in the Mediterranean and beyond. These themes will be examined through case studies and examples, and maritime artefacts and images will also be considered.


The course will start with an introduction to the history and methodologies of maritime archaeology and a look at public access through various maritime museums. We will then consider conservation techniques and look at the history of boat construction through to the late medieval period. There will be a consideration of reconstruction and experimental voyages that have been attempted, alongside a review of sailing techniques in the past. Finally, we will look at the evidence for ports and harbours and conclude with a number of case studies to pull all the evidence together.

Sarah Green initially studied Ancient History and Archaeology at Manchester University.  After a gap of some years, she returned to study on a part-time basis and completed a Certificate in Practical Archaeology through the adult education department at Sussex University.  Postgraduate studies resulting in an MA in Classical Civilisation with the Open University and then an MA in Osteoarchaeology at the University of Southampton furthered enthusiasm.  These studies then led on to the teaching of a number of adult education courses and day schools, notably in the areas of animal bones, human skeletal remains, Maritime archaeology and the Aegean Bronze Age.


Alongside the ‘day job’ of Educational Administration, Sarah is the 'Keeper of the Keys' of Bramber Castle, a co-founder of the University of Sussex Archaeology Society and a Practitioner of the Chartered Institute for Archaeology.  She has travelled extensively around Crete investigating many of the Minoan sites on the island. She has also visited the Bronze Age Mycenaean sites in the Peloponnese on mainland Greece and ancient Troy in Turkey.  She divides her time between Bramber in Sussex and Mochlos in Crete.


coming soon

Dr. Geoffrey Mead was born raised and educated in Brighton where his family has long been settled. After an undistinguished secondary school education, he eventually took a Geography BA at Sussex followed by an MA in Local & Regional History and in 2012 he achieved a PhD in Geography looking at Brighton's interwar suburbia. Geoffrey taught in adult education at Sussex from 1984-2012 on the Landscape Studies degree and for 12 years taught with the Geography team on a part-time basis organising the local field work courses.


Geoffrey does a range of talks and guided walks for WEA, U3A the WI and many local interest groups, as well as an annual series for Brighton Festival Fringe where this year he took 30 walks over 5 weekends. Geoffrey and his wife have a cottage in NW Wales where they escape to, albeit infrequently.

Sussex Industrial History


1 day online course, 10am-4pm

Saturday 30th April 2022



Sussex Industrial History will look at aspects of the county's work patterns; how they change across the geology and geography, from High Weald to coastal creeks, but also how the industries change over time, as single industries such as brickmaking; hand-made at Plumpton and highly mechanised at Chailey. But also the change within the industrial economy from iron, glass and leather, now all gone, to the 21st century of Gatwick, Science Parks and Rolls Royce! The social landscape of industry means that some areas are historically industry hot spots and others industry this raw material, power supply or human agency dictated?

The relationship of a variety of trades will be studied to note their links within the industrial landscape both historic and contemporary but also within their geographical context.

Drawing Archaeological Artefacts


2 day in-person course, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm

26th and 27th March

Rottingdean Whiteway Centre Special Event


Tutor: Jane Russell MA (former Senior Illustrator, UCL Institute of Archaeology)



This weekend course is suitable for beginners, and those who wish to refresh their drawing skills. Each session will begin with a power-point introduction on how to draw the artefact type/s being drawn in that session, using modern drawing conventions, and demonstrating good and bad illustration practices. The Ceramics session (Saturday morning) will start with students drawing various pieces of pottery including whole pots and sherds, decorated and plain pottery, whilst the tutor circulates advising them on their drawing techniques.  The Lithics session (Saturday afternoon) will be spent drawing various flint tools, and later in the day cover other types of stone artefacts.  The final sessions on the Sunday will cover metalwork and bone and other organic artefacts.


Jane Russell photo.jpg

Jane Russell had always been interested in history and archaeology, and having various technical jobs in education through the early years allowed her to volunteer on local archaeological excavations during the summer holidays.  Having this background of experience she then found employment with Archaeology South-East on the Brighton Bypass Excavations.  Around this time Jane began studying for a Diploma in Archaeology at Birbeck

College in London, followed by an Arts BA with the Open University, and finally an MA at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, where she also taught Archaeological Illustration to undergraduates.  Whilst working with ASE as a Planner and Illustrator, she began teaching

adult education evening classes and day schools through CCE at the University of Sussex.  The subjects ranged from archaeological illustration, practical and local archaeology, and specific periods, with the Neolithic being her particular interest. 


The Neolithic interest led to arranging Study Tours for like-minded adults, originally through CCE, taking at least eight groups to Orkney over the years, along with trips to Ireland, Shetland and Brittany.  Other more general tours visited Libya, Albania and most of the Balkan countries, as well as cave art in the Dordogne and Northern Spain.  Since retirement Jane has taken up an interest in textile art and painting.

bottom of page