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Course content

The Public Archaeology MA at UCL is a unique programme in a rapidly growing sector. It provides students with an understanding of the different means of communicating archaeology to the public, and of the real-world political, educational, social, economic and moral/ethical dimensions of public archaeology from a global perspective.

Degree information

Students are introduced to the range of areas in which archaeology has relevance to the wider world, and develop an understanding of how archaeology is communicated, used (and misused) in the public arena. The flexible programme structure allows students to design a theoretically based or practically based degree depending on each individual's interests and needs.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

Core module - students are required to take the following module:
-Public Archaeology

Optional modules - you are then able to choose further optional modules to the value of 60 credits. At least one of these must be made up from the list below of modules recommended for this degree programme. The other 30 credits may also come from this list or can be chosen from amongst an outstanding range of other Master's programmes offered at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.
-Antiquities and the Law
-Applied Heritage Management
-Archaeology of Modern Conflict
-Archaeology and Education
-Art: Interpretation and Explanation
-British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
-Cultural Heritage and Development
-Experimental Archaeology
-Managing Archaeological Sites
-Managing Museums
-Museum and Site Interpretation
-Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
-Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Issues

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 a combination of lectures, seminars discussions, practical demonstrations, and field trips to museums and archaeological sites and monuments around the UK. It features a series of distinguished guest lecturers with extensive first-hand experience in the archaeology, museum, cultural and heritage sectors. Assessment is through essays, project reports and the dissertation.

Careers

Some graduates of the programme go on to PhD studies while others pursue careers in professional organisations associated with the archaeology, museum, cultural and heritage sectors. Students benefit from the practical real-world insights and contacts within these sectors that the programme offers. Career paths in these sectors include the growing fields of education and interpretation in museums and heritage sites; policy and research jobs in key national organisations such as English Heritage and Arts Council England; and the growing interest in public archaeology by commercial archaeological units. The growth of Lottery-funded heritage projects also offers extensive opportunities for public archaeologists.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Curatorial and Collections Assistant, Ben Uri Gallery
-Executive Assistant, Watts Gallery
-Senior Archaeologist, Museum of London Archaeology
-Strategic Development Intern, National Museum Of the Royal Navy
-Archaeologist, Ministry of Culture and Sport

Employability
Graduates of the Public Archaeology MA have a distinct set of skills and knowledge that equips them for work across the archaeology, heritage and museum sector. This includes an in-depth understanding of the structure of the sector and its socio-economic, political and cultural contexts, but also a very practical appreciation of public understanding and engagement with the past. These strengths are reflected in the diversity of career paths amongst graduates of the Public Archaeology MA programme, in archaeology, museums, the heritage industry and academia.

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.

Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by University College London's main library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum and the British Library. Students benefit from London's many museums, galleries and other archaeological spaces, but in particular have easy access to UCL's own museums and collections, which form a resource of international importance for academic research.

Visit the Public Archaeology - MA page on the University College London website for more details!

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