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Course content

The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university relating to the study of Africa. The African Studies with Heritage MA draws on UCL's expertise in archaeology, anthropology and heritage studies to provide an essential background to African pasts and provides a critical framework for assessing the management and protection of heritage resources in Africa.

Degree information

The degree pathways share a common core, comprising modules on the continent’s political and economic past and present, together with training in research methods. In addition, the Heritage pathway offers a range of optional modules drawn from the Departments of Anthropology, Archaeology and Geography, and includes research into museums and sites, intangible heritage, local community histories, archaeology, and the presentation and preservation of cultural materials.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation/report (90 credits).

Core modules:
-Africa: Dialogues of Past and Present
-Debating Africa's Future
-Research Methods in African Studies

Optional modules - students choose three from a range of options including the following:
-Anthropology of Cultural Heritage and Museum Anthropology
-Antiquities and the Law
-Archaeology and Education
-Beyond Chiefdoms: Archaeologies of African Political Complexity
-Critical Perspectives of Cultural Heritage
-Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development
-Historical Geographies of the African Diaspora in Britain
-Managing Archaeological Sites
-Managing Museums
-Museum and Site Interpretation

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars and guided independent research. Assessment is through essays, portfolio, research proposal and examination.


Graduates will be well placed to take up positions with national and international policy-making bodies, non-governmental development organisations, within national ministries and in the heritage/museums sector.

Students will develop skills in research and research ethics, thematic debate, archival work, ethnographic field techniques, presentation, and knowledge of key heritage issues (including resource management, African material culture and conservation issues).

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL offers a unique teaching and learning environment in which to study the continent of Africa. More than 35 permanent members of UCL academic staff focus their research primarily on Africa and their field activities span the continent.

African Studies marks the first time existing expertise on Africa at UCL has been combined to offer an interdisciplinary degree.

The programme interweaves the study of the pre-colonial past, the colonial era, and the post-colonial present, with an eye to the future. Modules are arranged thematically around ‘debates’, with lectures presenting a long-term view of issues to frame subsequent seminar discussions.

Visit the African Studies with Heritage - MA page on the University College London website for more details!






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