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Archives and Records Management - MA

Course Description

The Archives and Records Management MA provides the skills and knowledge that are needed by new entrants to the profession in the United Kingdom and abroad. Students learn to manage and preserve records created in the present and those inherited from the past for use in the present and future.

Degree information

The programme focuses on the management of records and archives in a variety of digital and hard copy formats. Students learn to manage, organise, interpret and provide access to a wide range of records and archives, focussing on both the management of records for ongoing purposes, and their selection, preservation and accessibility for future uses including historical research.

MA students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study up to five years, is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate, four optional modules (60 credits), full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years, is offered.

Core modules:
-Concepts and Contexts (30 credits, taught across two terms)
-Creation and Capture
-Curation and Stewardship
-The Record-keeping Professional
-Access and Use of Archives and Records

Optional modules include:
-Advanced Preservation
-Digital Resources in the Humanities
-Introduction to Digital Curation
-Information Governance
-Manuscript Studies
-Oral History: from Creation to Curation
-Reading and Interpretation of Archives from 1500
-Standards for Digital Recordkeeping
-Extended Practicum

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, computer laboratory sessions and class-based practical exercises, with a strong emphasis on group and peer learning and the acquisition of practical skills underpinned by archival theory and knowledge. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, presentations and practical assignments.

The work placement gives students taking the MA/Dip iexperience of how the techniques they have learned may be applied in practice. Placements last for two weeks, and are undertaken as part of the INSTG060 Curation and Capture core module just after the beginning of the third term (May). We arrange placements individually for each student and do our best to match the placement with their interests and experience.


Past graduates have taken up professional roles at prestigious organisations and institutions including national societies, university libraries and the House of Commons.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Assistant Record Manager, House of Lords
-Archives Manager, Historic Royal Palaces
-Project Archivist, Cambridgeshire County Council
-Archivist, National Motor Museum.
-Archivist, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)

This programme prepares students to work in a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional archives and information management roles in both the private and public sectors, in the UK and internationally.

Students benefit from the department's excellent links with employers in the information professions which provide them with 'real life' experience through guest lectures, visits and a placement. Students also receive specific careers advice, including how to construct CVs. In the longer term the programme equips students with the skills and knowledge to have long and successful careers in their chosen field and become leaders in their profession.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL boasts one of the longest-established archive education programmes in the UK. It is taught by leading experts in the field, drawing on their innovative research as well as extensive practical experience of archives and records work.

Students benefit from UCL's location close to many records management services, and the broadest grouping of historical archives in any city in the English-speaking world.

The programme hosts an impressive range of visiting speakers, organises frequent field visits to a wide variety of working environments and a two-week placement, all of which provide unique occasions to network and create professional links with key players in the sector.

Visit the Archives and Records Management - MA page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Virginia Dawe-Woodings

"The programme content is amazing, the lecturers are some of the best in their field, and it is based in the centre of the capital. Practical skills combined with critical theory is a great way of engaging with the archival profession."

(Student Profile)

Helen Sumping

"The degree more than prepared me for a job in my sector, and enabled me to secure employment almost as soon as I finished the Master's programme. It also gave me the opportunity to work with the International Records Management Trust, a UK registered charity which promotes the importance of record-keeping in support of good governance. Although challenging, the course enabled me to learn a huge amount and I really enjoyed learning from the great lecturers within the department."


Entry Requirements

Normal requirements for admission are a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or equivalent, and also a substantial period of paid or voluntary employment (usually equivalent to about a year) in an established archive or records service, or experience in a post where management of archives or records is a substantial part of the postholder's responsibility.

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