Degree structure



This degree is designed to give students a considerable degree of flexibility over the topics that they study, allowing them to design a degree which is either more theoretically based or more practically based, depending on each individual's needs. All students take two compulsory core courses and a related project leading to a dissertation. They also choose to study 60 credits of option courses from the list provided below. Teaching for this degree is primarily by lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations and site visits.

Core Courses

Students all take the following core courses:

  • Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage (ARCLG234, 15 credits, 22 weeks)
  • Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development (ARCLG209, 15 credits, 22 weeks)

Option Courses

You are then able to choose further option courses to the value of 60 credits. At least 30 credits must be made up from the list below of option courses 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 Masters courses offered at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (subject to availability and resources, please note not all courses are available every year.). Please note that some core courses are normally only available to those enroled for the degree in question and so if you wish to take a core course from another degree as an option certain restrictions may apply. Please consult the relevant course co-ordinator before making your options choice.

  • Antiquities and the Law (ARCLG185, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Archaeology and Education (ARCLG186, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict (ARCLG217, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Archaeologies of the Modern World (ARCLG355, 15 credits, 11 weeks) 
  • Cultural Memory (ARCLG175, 15 credits, 11 weeks) 
  • Funerary Archaeology (ARCLG281, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Heritage Ethics & Archaeological Practice in the Middle East and Mediterranean (ARCLG357,  15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt (ARCLG342, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Key Topics in the Archaeology of the Americas (ARCLG350, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Managing Archaeological Sites (ARCLG127, 30 credits, 22 weeks)
  • Managing Museums (ARCLG065, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Museum and Site Interpretation (ARCLG034, 30 credits, 22 weeks)
  • Nature, culture and the languages of art: theories and methodologies of art interpretation  (ARCLG352, 15 credits, 11 weeks) - subject to availability and resources. Relevant background required
  • Social and material contexts of art: comparative approaches to art explanation  (ARCLG353, 15 credits, 11 weeks) - subject to availability and resources. Relevant background required
  • Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage (ARCLG354, 15 credits, 11 weeks)


(90 credits) - Students are also asked to write a dissertation (15,000 words) which will be on any approved topic relevant to the degree and the taught components. It is produced as a result of an individual research project undertaken during the course. Students are assigned a supervisor to guide the main stages of the work.

Examples of past dissertation projects include ones that have considered:

  • Ecotourism in theory and practice
  • Widening participating in UK historic properties
  • Democracy, dialogue and reconciliation through cultural heritage in Kosovo
  • Japanese approaches to UNESCO cultural heritage policies
  • A semantic web for digital museums
  • Heritage management projects and ethnic minorities in Yunnan, China
  • Genocide memorial heritage sites in Rwanda


Students have the option to do 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. The placement is not formally assessed.

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 in to the department on a weekly basis so that you can continue to comply with your visa conditions.

Tier 4 students may also be permitted to study away from UCL on academic grounds which are not part of the standard delivery of a programme or module e.g. collecting data or conducting research. Such a period of study away from UCL must not be taken until it is authorised by the Departmental Tutor/Programme Leader. Students must inform their Departmental Tutor/Programme Leader before they intend to study away from UCL, and provide the location of study and the reason for doing so. The period of this form of study away from UCL must not exceed three months.

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