The Archives and Records Management MA provides the skills and knowledge that are needed by new entrants to the profession in the United Kingdom and abroad. Students learn to manage and preserve records created in the present and those inherited from the past for use in the present and future.
The programme focuses on the management of records and archives in a variety of digital and hard copy formats. Students learn to manage, organise, interpret and provide access to a wide range of records and archives, focusing on both the management of records for ongoing purposes, and their selection, preservation and accessibility for future uses including historical research.
MA students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study up to five years, is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate, four optional modules (60 credits), full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years, is offered.
Optional modules include
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, computer laboratory sessions and class-based practical exercises, with a strong emphasis on group and peer learning and the acquisition of practical skills underpinned by archival theory and knowledge. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, and practical assignments.
The work placement gives students taking the MA/Dip experience of how the techniques they have learned may be applied in practice. Placements last for two weeks, and are undertaken as part of the INSTG060 Curation and Capturecore module just after the beginning of the third term (May). We arrange placements individually for each student and do our best to match the placement with their interests and experience.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Archives and Records Management MA
Past graduates have taken up professional roles at prestigious organisations and institutions including national societies, university libraries and the House of Commons.
Recent career destinations for this degree
This programme prepares students to work in a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional archives and information management roles in both the private and public sectors, in the UK and internationally.
Students benefit from the department's excellent links with employers in the information professions which provide them with 'real life' experience through guest lectures, visits and a placement. Students also receive specific careers advice, including how to construct CVs. In the longer term the programme equips students with the skills and knowledge to have long and successful careers in their chosen field and become leaders in their profession.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL boasts one of the longest-established archive education programmes in the UK. It is taught by leading experts in the field, drawing on their innovative research as well as extensive practical experience of archives and records work.
Students benefit from UCL's location close to many records management services, and the broadest grouping of historical archives in any city in the English-speaking world.
The programme hosts an impressive range of visiting speakers, organises frequent field visits to a wide variety of working environments and a two-week placement, all of which provide unique occasions to network and create professional links with key players in the sector.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Information Studies
68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Our MRes programme provide a personalised and focused introduction to postgraduate research allowing you to develop as an independent researcher with the support of an expert in Archives.
It provides a rigorous overview of the current state of scholarship in your selected field, guides you, through a programme of directed, individualised reading, to the selection of a feasible research project, and allows you to complete a substantial piece of research.
The interests of our staff and PhD students are extremely diverse and span the medieval, early modern and modern periods.
Their work encompasses political, social, cultural, economic, military and diplomatic history, across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas.
Active seminar programmes, linked to our research centres and MA programmes, enable staff and postgraduates to present their work and listen to eminent visiting speakers.
These are our on-going seminar series:
Recent conferences and workshops have addressed ‘Religion in the Spanish Baroque’, ‘Text and Place in Medieval and Early Modern Europe’, ‘Re-thinking Post- Slavery’ and ‘British Nuclear Culture’.
By pursuing our programmes you’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need to carry out further research towards a PhD.
Our MA programmes are taught by research-active experts who bring their knowledge of, and passion for, their subjects into the seminar room.
Teaching takes place in small-group seminars or workshops and through one-to-one tutorials, as we believe this leads to the best collaboration between students and staff.
We offer programmes in:
You can also pursue an MRes in History or a vocational Masters in Archives and Records Management.
As a postgraduate research student you’ll receive comprehensive skills from the Graduate School, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and History Department.
This will equip you with the research skills you need to successfully complete your PhD.
Our PhD programmes place a strong emphasis on independent research and study, culminating in a 100,000-word dissertation. Two supervisors (normally experts in your chosen field) who will advise and support you through the process.
We welcome enquiries from all postgraduate students interested in studying here and will give you all the academic, practical and pastoral support we can.
Students have a voice here and are represented on the School Postgraduate Committee. There’s also a dedicated staff – student liaison committee to oversee our MA and PhD programmes.
Postgraduate studentships and bursaries are often available.
This course is for anyone with an existing interest and some experience in genealogy and related subjects. It's been developed by academics and genealogy professionals to provide a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of genealogical research, family history, records, archives and heraldry. You may wish to study the field in more detail or use it in your career. It’s of particular interest for:
It's also suitable for those who are interested in:
The course is delivered online and so it'll require computer access from home. You should be familiar with the use of computers in genealogy and the course is standardised on Microsoft Windows. You'll also need to subscribe or pay for certain online databases and services.
You’ll focus on the sources available to genealogists and family historians. You’ll also gain the knowledge, skills and techniques to operate as a professional genealogist in a variety of settings.
The Postgraduate Certificate course deals mainly with Scottish, English/Welsh and Irish records. The Postgraduate Diploma adds American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, British Empire, Jewish, European and other sources. The MSc dissertation gives students the opportunity to choose an individual topic of interest.
We work together with:
When you complete the Certificate and Diploma degrees, you'll have a suitable portfolio to submit to various certification boards and other bodies for professional accreditation.
There are three degree levels within this course.
Most of our students begin with the PG Certificate before moving to the PG Diploma and then onto the MSc.
There's also a full-time MSc option. This combines all three levels into one academic year.
There are a few external equivalents to the PG Certificate which would allow direct entry onto the PG Diploma. If you're interested in learning more about these contact our Course Administrator.
Course timetables and further information are available from the Centre for Lifelong Learning.
You’ll need to commit time each week to cover:
We offer two options with the PG Cert:
If you'd like to study over a year, and can commit 20 hours a week to the course, this is the option for you. It'll run from October until June with assessments throughout the course.
Two year (modular)
If you'd like to study over two years, you can do this by studying the six classes individually over this time period. This option gives you the opportunity to begin studying in October, January or April - whichever suits you best. The classes must be taken in order, and are all compulsory to complete the PG Cert. This option will require roughly 14 hours a week of study.
Once you successfully complete the certificate, you can progress to the Diploma.
The PG Dip allows you to develop a greater understanding of social and historical contexts and provides an in depth study of the professional and academic aspects of genealogical work.
We offer two options with the PG Diploma:
If you’d like to study over a year and can commit 20 to 25 hours a week to the course, this is the option for you. It'll run from October until mid-July with assessments throughout the course.
Beginning in March 2018, we'll start a modular version of the PG Diploma.
If you'd like to study over two years, you can do this by studying the three classes individually over this time period. This option gives you the opportunity to begin studying in October or March- whichever suits you best. The classes must be taken in order, and are all compulsory to complete the PG Diploma. This option will require roughly 14 hours a week of study.
The Masters is the third year in the part-time course.
The MSc requires the student to plan, implement and evaluate a piece of research and development work, which involves carrying out a research project of genealogical relevance, which will be assessed on a report of 12,000-16,000 words.
The part-time MSc runs from October with the dissertation submitted the following June.
Full-time MSc option
If you have an undergraduate degree along with experience in genealogical research, this could be an option for you.
You'll have to commit around 40 hours a week and there will be compulsory online tutorials for you to attend every week.
This option will begin in the middle of September and will run through to late July.
ASGRA (Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives) will admit PG Certificate graduates as Probationer Members and PG Diploma graduates as Full Members (additional evidence of client work is also required).
The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) recognises the PG Certificate as satisfying the requirement for Associate Members to hold a qualification in genealogy.
RQG (Register of Qualified Genealogists) recognises the PG Diploma or MSc qualifications as acceptable for inclusion on the Register.
The programme provides you with an understanding of contemporary information and records management issues. It pays special attention to the management of digital records and electronic resources, and how to manage these alongside analogue resources.
You will develop skills in the core competencies of archives, records, and information management, creating and managing digital records, digital curation and preservation issues, archival theory, user needs, and description,
cataloguing, and navigation.
The programme consists of six courses spread over two semesters. You will take courses in:
Optional courses include:
To graduate with the MSc you will also need to complete a course in research methods and professional studies, and produce a dissertation.
As a graduate, you will be well placed for a career as an archivist, records manager or digital curator within a variety of public and private organisations.
Positions held by recent graduates include Assistant Archivist and Records Manager.
The History of Design and Material Culture MA focuses on both objects from everyday life and representations of them since the eighteenth century as a basis for research and analysis.
The course allies theory and practice in seminar-based discussions that embrace various methodological issues and perspectives, including Marxism, discourse theory, phenomenology, semiology, museology, gender, race, class, memory and oral testimony. Depending on the material you analyse in your essays and seminars, as well as the dissertation topic you choose, you can also emphasise your own intellectual and subject-specific interests.
Since its inception in the late 1990s, the MA has garnered a national and international reputation as one of the pioneering and most successful programmes of its kind. As a research-led course, it harnesses the academic expertise of staff with a recognised wealth of teaching and research excellence in subject areas such as fashion and dress history, the history and theory of advertising, photography and the mass-reproduced image, and heritage and museum studies.
Under guidance, you will be encouraged to explore the relationship between theory and practice and to develop your own skills as an independent researcher, thinker and writer.
The History of Design and Material Culture MA draws on the wide-ranging academic expertise of staff in the fields of the history of decorative arts and design, dress history, material culture, museology and social history.
It stimulates innovative and interdisciplinary study in the history of design and material culture in both their western and non-western contexts, considering the relationship between local, national and international patterns of production, circulation, consumption and use.
The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, study visits and tutorials. Considerable emphasis is placed on student involvement in the weekly seminar readings and discussions within the two thematic core modules, Exploring Objects and Mediating Objects.
Based at Pavilion Parade, a Regency building overlooking the famous Royal Pavilion, teaching takes place close to the seafront and city centre amenities.
The Exploring Objects module introduces you to a series of different research methods and historiographical approaches, as you interrogate and make sense of designed objects in terms of how they are designed, produced, circulated, consumed and used in everyday life. It covers the period from the late eighteenth century to the present time and typically involves discussion and debate on the following themes, theories and methods: Marxist and post-Marxist historiography; production and consumption; gender and taste; phenomenology; object-based analysis; the use of archives; and 'good writing/bad writing'. It also introduces you to the academic rigour of postgraduate dissertation research.
This module complements Exploring Objects by focusing on the mediation between 'this one' (the object itself) and 'that one' (the object as represented in word and image). On one level, it examines how objects are translated in various texts and contexts, from museum and private collections to photographs, advertisements, film and fiction. On another level, it examines how objects are transformed through the embodied processes of everyday rituals such as gift-giving and personal oral and collective memories. The module therefore deals with the idea of intertexualities and how the identities of things and people are phenomenologically bound up with each other. By extension, you examine objects in relation to ideas concerning sex, gender, class, generation, race and ethnicity.
The centrepiece of your MA studies, the dissertation is a piece of original writing between 18,000 and 20,000 words on a research topic of your own choosing. It allows you to pursue a specific research topic related to your own academic and intellectual interests in a given area of the history of design and material culture, for example fashion and dress, textiles, ceramics and glass, product design, interior design and architecture, graphic communications, advertising and photography, film, museums, collecting and curating, and design pedagogy. The dissertation is largely based on primary research, often using specialist archives and surviving historical material.
This course makes use of the University of Brighton Design Archives, which include the archives of the Design Council, Alison Settle, FHK Henrion and the South of England Film and Video Archive.
Close professional contact with national institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as with local collections and centres of historical interest (such as Brighton’s unique Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, with its internationally famous collection of decorative art from the 1890s onwards), present research opportunities for students registered on the course.
The course is closely linked to our arts and humanities research division through a joint research lecture series, and we have successfully encouraged high achievers to register for the MPhil/PhD programme.
The student environment also includes the thriving postgraduate Design History Society as well as opportunities for conference presentation, professional contact and career development in the field.
The course has an extremely healthy track record in helping students to take up careers in related areas of employment and further study. Many of our postgraduates have succeeded in finding work as lecturers, curators, journalists, designers and design consultants, while many others have pursued doctoral research, most often also securing prestigious funding from the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council).