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This MA covers practical and theoretical approaches to the key issues and working practices in the field of cultural heritage. Students benefit from the Institute of Archaeology's emphasis on the role of heritage in today's society, from the art and archaeology collections of UCL, and from the unrivalled resources of London's museums.

About this degree

Students are introduced to theoretical issues involved in cultural heritage and develop a critical understanding of the social and political context in which the processes for managing cultural heritage operate. The flexible programme structure allows students to design a theoretically based or practically based degree depending on each individual's needs and interests.

Compulsory modules

Students are required to take the following core modules: 

  • Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development

Optional modules

Students then choose further options to the value of 60 credits. At least 30 credits must be taken from the list below. The remaining 30 credits may also come from this list or can be chosen from a range of Master's option choices offered by the Institute of Archaeology. 

  • African Heritage
  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
  • Archaeologies of the Modern World
  • Comparative Archaeologies of the Americas I: First Peoples to Emerging Complexity
  • Cultural Memory
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Heritage Ethics & Archaeological Practice in the Middle East and Mediterranean
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
  • Managing Archaeological Sites
  • Managing Museums
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Nature, culture and the languages of art: theories and methodologies of art interpretation
  • Social and material contexts of art: comparative approaches to art explanation
  • Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage

Please note not all modules are available every year.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations, site visits and guest lectures, and includes a 20-day placement in a museum or other cultural heritage organisation. Assessment is through essays, projects reports, a heritage agency report following the placement, and the dissertation.

Placement

Students have the option to undertake a 20-day voluntary placement in a museum or other cultural heritage organisation. In recent years, these placements have included organisations such as English Heritage, the National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, ICOMOS (Paris), World Monuments Fund (Paris), UNESCO World Heritage Centre (Paris) and the Museum of London.

Tier 4 students are permitted to undertake a work placement during their programme however they must not exceed 20 hours per week (unless the placement is an integral and assessed part of the programme). This applies whether that work placement takes place at UCL or at an external institution. If you choose to undertake a placement at an external institution, you will be required to report to the department on a weekly basis so that you can continue to comply with your visa. 

Funding

UCL Institute of Archaeology (IoA) Master's Awards: a small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2019/20. All UK/EU and Overseas fee-paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email . The deadline for applications is 1 March 2019.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Recent graduates of this programme have gone on to work in policy areas and project areas for national and international organisations, such as English Heritage, the National Trust, ICOMOS and UNESCO. They have also worked in development control, consultancies (such as Atkins Global), and in museums, site interpretation and education. Many students have also gone on to further research in academic institutions around the world, such as Stanford, Athens and Leiden, or here at UCL.

Employability

Graduates have a critical understanding of both the theoretical and operational aspects of heritage and its use of the past to enrich the present for the public. The interdisciplinary nature of cultural heritage studies leads to creativity and initiative. Graduates are highly motivated and articulate. They have an acute awareness of the moral and ethical issues that are inherent in cultural heritage which contributes to skilful negotiation of contested matters. These abilities are valued by employers and heritage agencies and contribute to innovative exhibitions, educational activities, public programming and policy and strategy development.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study.

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Applications

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed both at those who wish to study cultural heritage as an academic subject, and those who might wish to obtain employment within this broad sector. The degree caters for students from a wide range of academic disciplines who wish to study this rapidly growing interdisciplinary field.

Application deadlines

1 March 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Cultural Heritage Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Cultural Heritage Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
  • what attracts you to this programme - which plays an emphasis on critical, theoretical perspectives on cultural heritage - at the intellectual, theoretical level.

Visit the Cultural Heritage Studies MA page on the University College London website for more details!

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