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Course content

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.

About this degree

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.

Core modules

  • Concepts and Contexts (30 credits, taught across two terms)
  • Creation and Capture
  • Curation and Stewardship
  • The Record-keeping Professional
  • Access and Use of Archives and Records

Optional modules include

  • Collections Care
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Information Governance
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Reading and Interpretation of Archives from 1500
  • Database Systems and Design
  • Oral History

Dissertation/report

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.

Placement

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

Careers

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

  • Archivist, Beaulieu
  • Senior Digital Archivist, The National Archives
  • Archivist, Royal Asiatic Society
  • Archivist, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)
  • Archives Manager, Historic Royal Palaces

Employability

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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.


Visit the Archives and Records Management (MA) page on the University College London website for more details!

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