A PETITION is in motion to save the archaeology degree at a Worcester university, after the decision to scrap the course has frustrated members of the community.

Cat Lodge, senior Archaeologist for North Somerset Council, said she started the petition because she was "shocked" and "outraged" after hearing the University of Worcester's decision on Tuesday (August 17).

She called the decision an "absolute abomination."

The 34-year-old studied at the university in 2012 as the focus of British archaeology attracted her to the course. She said: "I was absolutely overjoyed at the prospect of studying in a department with such a great reputation. I achieved a First Class Honours (BSc) and even though I was quite unwell during my final year I received amazing support from staff to assist me in reaching the end of my degree."

She said she "couldn't imagine" studying elsewhere and wanted to take advantage of the range of equipment resources provided to students, as well as the experience of the staff.

She said: "I wanted to do something to ensure that their voices were heard and to make the University aware that whilst it may be a small department, it created a family which spans two decades of students and staff, who all feel so incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to study there.

"None of this would be possible without the skills and knowledge bestowed upon me by staff at Worcester and through the opportunities that were presented to me during my degree."

The archaeologist said the petition will be presented to the university's leaders to "force them to reconsider" the decision.

The target for the Change.org petition is 7500 signatures and is currently at 5344.

Miss Lodge said: "Staff and students at Sheffield University had also recently been informed of the closure of their archaeology department, but this is still open to consultation at present, and they created a petition to help raise awareness of this. That’s not the case at Worcester.

"The University Executive Board made the decision without consulting staff and students and will be making all 5 staff members redundant by July 2022.

"The department at Worcester may be small, but it’s perfectly formed, and the range of opportunities available to students are second to none."

The University took the decision despite 100% student satisfaction figures for the last 2 years and the highest graduate employment rates in the country.

Staff have also been told there is no option to appeal.

She added: "Archaeology isn’t just about digging holes, it offers opportunities to critically analyse the world around us and helps us to better understand our collective heritage, and for communities to feel like they have a sense of place."