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MA/MSc in Digital Humanities

The Master's degree in Digital Humanities at UCL draws together teaching from a wide range of disciplines, to investigate the application of computational technologies to the arts, humanities, and cultural heritage.

The MA/MSc in Digital Humanities is a truly interdisciplinary programme and has strong teaching links with other Departments, Schools and Faculties in UCL:

The programme also draws on facilities offered by:

as well as liaising closely with a variety of world-class, London based libraries, archives, and museums within the vicinity of UCL.

The MA/MSc in Digital Humanities provides research-led teaching delivered by leading scholars in the field.

About

The Master's in Digital Humanities is an innovative, exciting and groundbreaking programme while at the same time being demanding and challenging with rigorous academic standards.

What we do

Digital Humanities is an important multidisciplinary field, undertaking research at the intersection of digital technologies and humanities. It aims to produce applications and models that make possible new kinds of research, both in the humanities disciplines and in computer science and its allied technologies. It also studies the impact of these techniques on cultural heritage, memory institutions, libraries, archives and digital culture.

Our students

We welcome students from a wide variety of backgrounds; some come to us straight from undergraduate degrees while others already have postgraduate qualifications or may have had many years of professional work experience. Most have a solid humanities background but many come to us from the social and computer sciences. All are welcome and the variety enriches the programme by its diversity. The important thing is a willingness to learn new things and to take on fresh challenges.

Through our programme, students develop an advanced understanding of digital resources and computational methods relevant to research and practice in the humanities and cultural heritage sectors; these include XML, databases, internet technologies and image capture. They are equipped with technical and design skills, such as text markup, web page design and database construction.

Transferable skills

As well as discipline specific skills we have a strong commitment to developing research skills and the ability to critically evaluate material from a wide variety of sources. In addition we encourage students to challenge their assumptions and be open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Communication skills are developed through class and seminar discussion with students taking an active role. Team working and networking are equally important and fostered by collaborative learning and the sharing of thoughts and ideas. 

Benefits of studying Digital Humanities at UCL

Students benefit from research-led teaching delivered by leading scholars in these fields and the excellent range of facilities we have available, including the UCL Library Special Collections, UCL Museums and Collections and the UCLDH Multi-Modal Digitisation Suite.

London is an international hub for the study of Digital Humanities with a wide range of research seminars and events at UCL and beyond.

Our students have an ideal base at UCL to take advantage of our collaboration with London's many internationally important cultural heritage institutions, including the British Museum and the British Library as well as a wide range of research institutes and the University of London's Schools of Advanced Study.

Structure

The programme

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years
  • Modular 2-5 years

Master's students take modules to the value of 180 credits: five core modules and three optional modules (15 credits each), a research dissertation (60 credits) and a work placement.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered where students undertake 5 core modules and 3 optional modules (15 credits each).

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is also offered where students undertake 4 modules by agreement with the Programme Director.

Core modules (Terms 1 and 2)

  • Internet Technologies: Exploring the basic concepts of markup, website structuring and design, and issues involved in generating and delivering online content.
  • Introduction to Programming and Scripting: Providing an introduction to the key concepts and principles of standard procedural computer programming and a brief introduction to relational database querying and manipulation.
  • XML: Providing an overview of Extensible Markup language; giving students the opportunity to practice XML markup techniques, processing with XSLT, and demonstrating the use of XML in publishing.

Note that the technical core modules are all at entry level; for students that already have demonstrable competencies in these areas, it may be possible, subject to the agreement of the Programme Director, to substitute modules from other UCL departments.

Optional modules (Terms 1 and 2)

There are a wide range of taught optional modules to chose form; these are all subject to availability and timetabling.

Term Three

This is for coursework assignments, exams and the Workplacement Module which is a mandatory requirement for all full-time students.

Dissertation

All MA/MSc students undertake an independent research project with the support of a supervisor which culminates in a dissertation (60 credits) of 10,000-12,000 words.

Features

The work placement and dissertation are important features of the MA/MSc Digital Humanities programme.

Work Placement

One of the most exciting aspects of the MA/MSc in Digital Humanities is the student's work placement with a museum, library, gallery, archive, new media company, publishing house or other similar organisation.

All full-time students must complete a placement, usually in Term 3 or during the early summer.The object of the placement is to introduce students to working practices and situations in digital humanities projects and contexts. The placement is the culmination of theoretical study and practical instruction.

Following their placements, all students are required to write a short reflective piece focusing on the time that they spent with the host organisation, what they learned from being there and what they were able to bring to the placement. 

Previous Hosts

Placements on our programme have been hosted by various companies and institutions as well as with UCLDH projects and the many UCL Museums and Collections; The British Museum, The Science Museum, The British Library, The Petrie Museum, School of Oriental and African Studies, UCL Web Development Office, UCL Art Museum, The Wellcome Trust, UCL Communications, Eastman Dental Hospital, UCL Library, Jisc, LanguageLab, The National Theatre, Ubiquity Press, British Film Institute, Museum of London, Islington Museum, Quip, Digital Artist, Centre for eResearch.

Dissertation

The dissertation is a major piece of work (usually between 10,000 and 12,000 words in length) undertaken by the individual student under the guidance of a supervisor.

The Stephen Robertson Prize

UCLDH are pleased to announce the Stephen Robertson prize for the best dissertation in the UCL MA/MSc in Digital Humanities, sponsored by Microsoft.

The first recipient of the £500 prize will be named from the finishing cohort of UCL Digital Humanities MA/MSc students in November 2014, and the prize will continue for 5 years in the first instance. We thank Microsoft, and Stephen Robertson, for their generosity. More details are on the UCLDH blog.

Dissertation topics

The topic needs to be one that can be covered adequately within the time and space allowed, and for which the Department can provide adequate supervision. Our staff have many and diverse research interests which can be used to support dissertation supervision. 

CPD

Continuing Professional Development and Short Courses

In addition to the full Master's programme, the following short courses in Digital Humanities are also offered by the department.

Certificate in Digital Humanities

This is a very flexible programme for anyone looking to extend their skill set, particularly for CPD. Students registered for the Certificate must complete four modules from our DH core and options list as agreed with the Programme Director. The length of time taken depends on the student's circumstances (they may be working full-time or using this programme to complement other studies) and can range from a single term to a maximum of two years.    

The course unit value is 60 credits or 24 ECTS which are transferable in the UK and EU.

Application is through the UCL portal and the fees are pro-rata (by credits) depending on those for the full Master's programme. 

Diploma in Digital Humanities

Again this is a very flexible programme with students taking all five core modules from the full Master's programme and a further three from the optional modules list. Diploma students do not take the workplacement or dissertation modules. This can be completed full-time over nine months or by flexible study over two to five years.

The course unit value is 120 credits or 48 ECTS which are transferable in the UK and EU.

Under the current UCL regulations for the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) credit transfer, a student who has already completed a PG Diploma and then applies for the Master’s programme will receive APL of 120 credits; this means that students holding a Diploma in DH would only need to complete the Dissertation to receive the full Master's degree.

Application is through the UCL portal and the fees are pro-rata (by credits) depending on those for the full Master's programme.

Graduate Affiliate Studies

If you are currently enrolled at another institution it may be possible for you to study at our department to complement your work. Students usually come for one term and with this scheme, although it is not possible to receive a UCL qualification, it is usually possible to count credit taken here towards the degree in the home institution. This would need to be confirmed with the home institution first.  

Individual Short Course modules

Many of the modules that are offered by the Department of Information Studies as part of the MA/MSc in Digital Humanities programme work as stand-alone short courses for those wishing to update their professional skills in a particular area.

The modules are taught over one term, usually for one morning or one afternoon per week with 30 taught hours of lectures and practicals, followed by a coursework assessment or exam (which is optional for short course students). If the assessment is completed successfully, the module credit can count towards a future Master's degree.

Many of these modules are CILIP accredited and so suitable for CPD for Library and Information professionals.

DH modules currently offered as Short Courses include:

Digital Resources in the Humanities
Electronic Publishing
Internet Technologies
Introduction to Programming
Legal and Social Aspects of Electronic Publishing
Sever Programming and Structured Data
XML

Acceptance onto the module is by agreement by the tutor. Many other modules from taught programmes offered by UCL Department of Information Studies (DIS) are available as short courses. Details about fees and how to apply are also available on that page. 

Timetable

Modules are usually taught over one term. Any exceptions will be clearly shown on final timetables.

Classes are held in the morning (10:00-13:00) or afternoon (14:00-17:00); generally for 10 weeks. These may also include field trips to outside institutions or resources. In addition, sufficient time must be set aside for preparing for classes,  private study and for the completion of coursework assignments.

Term Dates: 2017-2018

Timetable:

Sample core module timetable.

Students will also be able to see all their own modules on the UCL online teaching timetable, once they have completed module registration.

Listings for the times and availability of optional modules are distributed to all students at Induction. 

Entry

Entry requirements

Academic: applicants need to have a First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree in a relevant Humanities or Computing discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard

English language proficiency: the English Language Proficiency Requirement for all non-native English speakers is a minimum of an IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each sub-set.

UCL Pre-sessional English courses: these courses are recommended to introduce non-native students to the UK academic and social culture as well as to improve written and spoken English. However, attendance on these courses does NOT guarantee that you will be accepted onto the programme; applicants should ensure that they meet the required academic and language requirements before coming to UCL for a pre-sessional course. 

Accredited Prior Learning (APL):

APL may be considered for advanced entry to a UCL taught programme where a student has already completed certified learning of a UCL programme e.g. a student who has completed a UCL PG Diploma and wishes to enrol on a UCL Masters. Please view details about UCL's Accredited Prior Learning Scheme.

How to apply

Apply online via the UCL applications portal.

Before doing this you should check the UCL Applications guidelines for taught programmes.

Note that we DO NOT accept applications from agencies and we will not communicate with an agent regarding your application. We expect all applicants to complete their applications themselves

Deadlines: you may apply at any time and are encouraged to apply early; UCL Admissions will not accept applications after 1st August.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in a wide variety subjects. It allows students with a background in the humanities to acquire necessarily skills in digital technologies, and enables those with a technical background to become informed about scholarly methods in the humanities. The important thing is to be open to new challenges and willing to learn new ways of interpreting the world around us.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like you to tell us

  • why you want to study Digital Humanities at graduate level
  • what you can bring to this programme
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic or professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • what are your plans academically or professionally after this degree?

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the programme.

What happens after applying?

Your application will be processed and you will be informed of the outcome or contacted if any additional information is needed. Contact with applicants is by email, so be sure that your account details are current and correct.

Successful applicants

Successful applicants will be sent further information during the course of the summer, and you should also watch the Departmental website.

See also the UCL pages about Student Accommodation.

Fees

Fees: 2017-2018 session

Full time 

MA/MSc

UK/EU students: £9,290
Overseas students: £20,005

Part time: 2 years

pro-rata

Flexible (modular): up to 5 years

pro-rata depending on the number of credits taken per year.

Diploma and Certificate

details are on the UCL Fee Schedule: Postgraduate Taught 2017-2018

Funding

For details of funding opportunities, see UCL Scholarships and Funding.

New UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme – 2016/17

The UK government has confirmed its commitment to student loans for 2016/17. Full details will be made available on www.gov.uk from January 2016. Loan applications, eligibility, queries and decisions will be dealt with directly by the government, not by UCL.

However, currently the expectation is that the following key details to be included in the loan scheme:

  • All UK Masters degrees awarded by universities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are included in the scheme. Courses that are lower than a full master's level, for example postgraduate diplomas or certificates, are NOT covered by the loan.
  • Loans will be available up to a maximum value of £10,000.
  • Postgraduate loans will be available for all full-time and part-time Masters programmes. It is not yet clear whether modular study will be included.
  • UK Nationals or anyone having settled status in the UK, and having been resident in the UK for three years on the first day of the academic year of the course start date are eligible.
  • Students aged under 60 will be eligible for Masters loans.
  • Other EU nationals, and those with refugee status, may also be eligible.
  • Loans will be subject to an interest rate of RPI+3%. and repayments will not begin until 2019.
  • Repayments will be income-contingent and made concurrently with undergraduate loans. Rates will be set at 6% of annual income over 21,000.
  • Students who already have a master's level qualification, or equivalent level qualification, or a higher level qualification, such as a PhD, will not be eligible.

Career

The MA/MSc in Digital Humanities is a unique, innovative and groundbreaking programme which gives students the skills that they and employers tell us they need. Our students receive a unique blend of practical and theoretical skills that are in great demand. The work placement gives students the opportunity to put into practice what they have learnt together with gaining experience of the workplace in this fast moving environment.

The cultural heritage sector is increasingly aware of the need to provide and manage digital content. The British Library, The National Archives, and many museums are investing heavily in web delivered content. Graduates of this programme will be well placed for further research or a career in this fast growing field.

In addition, our graduates are also well placed to take up positions in project management roles and indeed any that focus on collaborative, innovative and creative thinking. Our graduates have found employment in organisations such as the British Museum, Oxford University, UNESCO; in roles as diverse as Web Editor, Chief Operating Officer, 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.

Recent career destinations include:

  • Web Editor, British Museum
  • Technical Operations Manager, Kaidor Product Development Group
  • Chief Operating Officer, Knowledge 4 All Foundation Ltd
  • UNESCO chair of Open Technologies
  • Senior Digital Marketing Executive, MVF
  • Web Content Writer/Editor, IT Services, University of Oxford
  • Production manager, Made by Many
  • User Experience Developer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Freelance Web Designer and Developer specialising in start-ups
  • Managing Editor, The Guide magazine
  • Senior Digital Marketing Executive at MVF
  • Sales Executive, Cloud Expo Europe
  • Digital Projects Manager (Local Authority)
  • Market Researcher
  • Graphic Designer
  • Social Media Manager
  • Academic research
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Publishing Assistant, Ubiquity Press
  • Red Cross and Red Crescent
  • Data Project Assistant
  • Social Media Analyst
  • Data Standard Editor V&A Museum
  • Solutions Consultant, Google Analytics
  • Game Designer
  • Typographer and Information Designer
  • Digital Marketing Analyst