Short Course in Luminescence Dating: Theory, Methods and Application



30th November-4th December 2020, Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory, Aberystwyth University, UK


Please note that due to COVID-19 we are unable to run the course this year. We plan to run the course in 2021, with details of dates available soon.


Rationale: Luminescence dating is a rapidly evolving field, and increasingly encompasses a range of techniques and signals used to derive a numerical chronology. The choice of luminescence technique depends upon the materials available for dating, the timescale being considered, the precision required, and the depositional setting from which the sample is taken. 

Audience: This course provides practical training for participants wishing to design and undertake their own luminescence dating projects applied to archaeological and geological sedimentary deposits, and those who wish to have a better understanding of the method in order to be able to assess published data.

Course Outline: The course will cover the evolution of luminescence dating; the selection of the most appropriate luminescence technique, the choice of mineral, aliquot- and grain-size for dating; analysis of complex equivalent dose –distributions; and some of the latest developments in this family of techniques. The limitations and benefits of luminescence techniques will be discussed, as will research design/sampling strategy, and practical considerations whilst taking samples in the field.

Course structure:

  • The principles of luminescence dating of sediments
  • Laboratory preparation of samples for luminescence measurement
  • Determining the environmental dose rate
  • Measurement and determination of equivalent dose
  • Determining a luminescence age
  • Field sampling
  • Case studies and latest advances

Cost: £600 (including all printed materials and laboratory costs, but excluding accommodation and meals)

Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory (ALRL) has been at the forefront of research into luminescence dating for 30 years, and is one of the best equipped laboratories in the world. ALRL has trained many of the leading scientists in the field today, and has played a key role in the most important innovations in the field during this time.

For further information about the course and exact dates please contact:

Prof Helen Roberts ( or Prof Geoff Duller (

Website: Telephone: +44-1970-622606


Download poster about 2019 course ALRL Luminescence Course 2019