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Course content

This programme draws together teaching from a wide range of disciplines, investigating the application of computational technologies to the arts, humanities and cultural heritage. We study the impact of these techniques on cultural heritage, museums, libraries, archives and digital culture while developing skills that employers and students tell us are needed.

About this degree

Our students develop an advanced understanding of digital resources, techniques and computational methods relevant to research and practice in the humanities and cultural heritage sectors; these include programming, XML, databases, internet technologies, image capture and digitisation. They receive both practical and theoretical training to develop a unique and critical skill set suitable for many types of employment or advanced study.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), a research dissertation (60 credits) and a work placement.

A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study up to 5 years, is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, four from any of the available modules (60 credits), full-time fifteen weeks or flexible study up to two years, is offered.

Core modules

  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Internet Technologies
  • Introduction to Programming and Scripting
  • Server Programming and Structured Data
  • XML

Optional modules

Students choose three optional modules from a list which may include the following: 

  • Affective Interaction
  • Computer Music
  • Cultural Heritage and Development
  • Early Modern Handwriting and Manuscript Culture for Researchers
  • Electronic Publishing
  • Fundamentals of Information Science
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Historical Bibliography
  • Interaction Design
  • Systems Management
  • Introduction to Digital Curation
  • Introduction to Digitisation
  • Knowledge Representation and Semantic Technologies
  • Legal and Social Aspects of Electronic Publishing
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Research Software Engineering with Python
  • Research Skills for Spatial Analysis
  • Systems Management
  • The Anthropology of Social Media
  • User-centred Evaluation Methods

Optional modules are offered subject to availability, and students may be required to fulfil specific prerequisites.

Dissertation/report

All MA/MSc students undertake an independent research project in the form of a 12,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, seminars and practical sessions, and will include a work placement in a relevant organisation. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, practical projects, programming exercises, written technical examinations, and group work projects, depending on the options chosen.

Placement

Students undertake a 4-6 week work placement as part of their programme of study. Past placement hosts have included the British Museum; British Library; Marx Memorial Library; Islington Museum; the Postal Museum; Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation; Ubiquity Press; SOAS, University of London; UCL Grant Museum; and The Warburg Institute.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Digital Humanities MA/MSc

Careers

The cultural heritage sector is increasingly aware of the need to provide and manage digital material and projects with institutions and museums investing heavily in online content. Our graduates develop a unique skill set and are well placed for project management, further research, or a career in e-commerce and the fast growing digital field. Our alumni have found employment in the British Museum, Oxford University, UNESCO, International Red Cross, Knowledge 4 All Foundation, and the British Medical Journal, in roles as diverse as web editor, chief operating officer, and senior digital marketing executive. Several have also progressed to fully-funded research degrees; others have further developed their technical skills and have been recruited as programmers and developers for both academic and commercial projects.

Employability

The MA/MSc in Digital Humanities is a unique and groundbreaking programme that gives students the skills that they and employers tell us are needed. In this truly interdisciplinary programme, with optional modules offered across UCL, our students receive an exceptional blend of practical and theoretical skills that are in great demand. The work placement gives our students the opportunity to put theory into practice and gain invaluable experience of the workplace in this fast-moving environment. As well as the practical and technical skills of programming and other digital tools, they are equipped with a critical and analytical mindset and are well positioned to go on to pursue careers that focus on collaborative, innovative and creative thinking.

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?

This MA/MSc is a truly interdisciplinary programme, and students can capitalise on UCL's world-leading strengths in information studies, computer science, the arts and humanities, and social and historical studies.

Students benefit from research teaching delivered by leading scholars and the excellent range of facilities available, including the UCL Library Special Collections, UCL Museums & Collections, and the UCLDH Digitisation Suite. Teaching by academic staff is supplemented by guest lectures given by experienced practitioners and expert industry professionals.

Students take advantage of our collaboration with many internationally important cultural heritage institutions including the British Museum and the British Library. Students undertake a work placement, where they have the opportunity to make professional contacts and gain invaluable experience, putting what they have learnt into practice. Past placement hosts have included the British Museum; British Library; Marx Memorial Library; Islington Museum; the Postal Museum; Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation; Ubiquity Press; SOAS, University of London; UCL Grant Museum; and The Warburg Institute.

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 Digital Humanities (MA/MSc/PGDip/PGCert) page on the University College London website for more details!

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