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Course content

Top archaeological researchers and heritage professionals use a raft of computational methods including GIS, data mining, web science, ABM, point-process modelling and network analysis. To impress employers you need the flexibility to learn on the job, leverage open data and program open source software. This MSc draws on UCL's unparalleled concentration of expertise to equip you for future research or significantly enhance your employability.

Degree information

Students learn about a wide range of concepts that underpin computational approaches to archaeology and human history. Students become proficient in the archaeological application of both commercial and open source GIS software and learn other practical skills such as programming, data-mining, advanced spatial analysis with R, and agent-based simulation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules
-Archaeological Data Science
-Complexity, Space and Human History

Optional modules
-Agent-based Modelling of Human History
-Exploratory Data Analysis in Archaeology
-GIS Approaches to Past Landscapes
-GIS in Archaeology and History
-Remote Sensing
-Spatial Statistics, Network Analysis and Human History
-The Archaeology of Complex Urban Sites: Analytical and Interpretative Technology
-Web and Mobile GIS (by arrangement with the UCL Department of Civil and Geomatic Engineering
-Other options available within the UCL Institute of Archaeology

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

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Careful provision is made to facilitate remote access to software, tutorials, datasets and readings through a combination of dedicated websites and virtual learning environments. Assessment is through essays, practical components, project reports and portfolio, and the research dissertation.

Careers

Approximately one third of graduates of the programme have gone on to do PhDs at universities such as Cambridge, Leiden, McGill, Thessaloniki and Washington State. Of these, some continue to pursue GIS and/or spatial analysis techniques as a core research interest, while others use the skills and inferential rigour they acquired during their Master's as a platform for more wide-ranging doctoral research. Other graduates have gone to work in a range of archaeological and non-archaeological organisations worldwide. These include specialist careers in national governmental or heritage organisations, commercial archaeological units, planning departments, utility companies and consultancies.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Database Administrator, Deloitte
-Data Science Analyst, M2M
-Graphical Information Systems (GIS) Technician, BSG Ecology

Employability
This degree offers a considerable range of transferable practical skills as well as instilling a more general inferential rigour which is attractive to almost any potential employer. Graduates will be comfortable with a wide range of web-based, database-led, statistical and cartographic tasks. They will be able to operate both commercial and oper source software, will be able to think clearly about both scientific and humanities-led issues, and will have a demonstrable track record of both individual research and group-based collaboration.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The teaching staff bring together a range and depth of expertise that enables students to develop specialisms including industry-standard and open-source GIS, advanced spatial and temporal statistics, computer simulation, geophysical prospection techniques and digital topographic survey.

Most practical classes are held in the institute's Archaeological Computing and GIS laboratory. This laboratory contains two Linux servers, ten powerful workstations running Microsoft Windows 7, a digitising table and map scanner.

Students benefit from the collaborations we have established with other institutions and GIS specialists in Canada, Germany, Italy and Greece together with several commercial archaeological units in the UK.

Visit the Computational Archaeology: GIS, Data Science and Complexity - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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