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The Managing Archaeological Sites MA examines why certain archaeological sites, including World Heritage Sites, are selected for preservation, and how power relationships and different perceptions of contemporary values impact upon this. It explores approaches to how sites can be successfully managed, conserved and presented to preserve their significance.

About this degree

Students will grasp theoretical issues surrounding heritage management, and how to apply a planning process to holistic and sustainable site management, based on the recognition of a site's values to its interest groups. They will also learn practical methods for participatory processes, physical conservation, visitor management, site interpretation, World Heritage nomination, and heritage tourism.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a core module (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits), an optional work placement and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Compulsory modules

Students are required to take the following: 

  • Managing Archaeological Sites

Optional modules

  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Applied Heritage Management
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
  • Archaeologies of the Modern World
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Comparative Archaeologies of the Americas I: First Peoples to Emerging Complexity
  • Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development
  • Cultural Memory
  • GIS in Archaeology and History
  • GIS Approaches to Past Landscapes
  • Managing Museums
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Public Archaeology
  • Social and Material Contexts of Art: Comparative Approaches to Art Explanation
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Issues

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 and site visits. It includes an optional three-week placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project. Assessment is through essays, project reports, projects and practicals (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.

Placement

Students will have the option to undertake a voluntary placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project for a period of three weeks in total. 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), the Museum of London, Atkins Global, the Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa (Portugal), MIRAS (Iran), City Museum (Palermo), Ancient Merv State Archaeological Park (Turkmenistan), and the National Institute of Informatics (Tokyo, Japan). This is not assessed.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

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, heritage consultancies (such as Atkins Global), 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

Students on this programme gain understanding of a wide range of practical methods for the conservation, management and interpretation of cultural heritage, which provides a sound basis for a wide range of employment opportunities of the heritage sector. Students also master a technical vocabulary to communicate with heritage professional and agencies, and develop strong transferable skills in written and oral communication, teamworking and dealing with complex stakeholders.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The theory and practice of archaeological heritage management is undertaken within the context of the Institute of Archaeology's international outlook and membership, with student and staff involvement in field research projects around the globe. This provides a unique range of perspectives and circumstances, reflected in critical discourse.

UCL is located in central London, close to the British Museum and British Library. The institute's outstanding library is complemented by UCL's main and specialist libraries.

Students undertake placements with London-based agencies, such as Historic England and the Museum of London, or international bodies, such as UNESCO, ICOMOS and Global Heritage Fund.

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

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 has an international perspective and will appeal to students from a range of academic backgrounds (e.g. archaeology, conservation, planning, architecture, museum studies). In balancing theory and practice, it will suit those wishing to continue to academic research and those seeking employment in heritage administration or international organisations.

Application deadlines

26 July 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 Managing Archaeological Sites at graduate level
  • what do you consider to be the major challenges in this field today
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
  • why you want to study Managing Archaeological Sites at UCL
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment at UCL

Visit the Managing Archaeological Sites MA page on the University College London website for more details!

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