Frequently asked questions

What are the admission requirements?

Normal requirements for admission are a first or second class honours degree and also a substantial period of paid or voluntary employment in an archive or records service, or experience in a post where management of archives or records is a substantial part of the postholder's responsibility. In addition, overseas applicants without a first degree may be accepted for the Diploma or Certificate if they have substantial professional experience and seniority.

The programme is taught in English, and most students are from English-speaking countries; however, applications from any country in the world are welcomed, provided the applicant has an acceptable command of the English language. Details of the English Language requirements are available here.

How can I obtain the work experience that I need? 

Some applicants take paid work at pre-professional level; others obtain some or all of their experience on a voluntary basis. The Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research (FARMER), of which UCL is a member, has published guidance for applicants seeking work experience in archives and records management.

Suitable posts are often advertised on the archives-nra listserv which anyone can join free of charge. The Archives and Records Association may also be able to put applicants in touch with employers offering suitable short-term vacancies. 

A Positive Action Archival Internship was previously available annually in partnership with The National Archives in London. This was designed to help address the lack of diversity within the archives and records management profession and was open to applicants of African, African-Caribbean, Asian and Chinese descent. Although this scheme is no longer in place, in 2012 and 2013 TNA is offering 2 nationally-available bursaries (comprising money for tuition fees plus some living costs). These bursaries are designed to address the socio-economic barriers that exist for some who are considering entering into the archives sector.

How much does it cost?

Details of fees can be found on the UCL Registry website. The fee for the Diploma is two-thirds of the fee for the Masters degree and the fee for the Certificate is one-third of the fee for the Masters degree. You should note that these fees do not include accommodation and living costs.

Are grants, scholarships or loans available?

Scottish applicants may be eligible for an award from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.

As noted above, in 2012 and 2013 The National Archives is offering 2 nationally-available bursaries (comprising money for tuition fees plus some living costs). These bursaries are designed to address the socio-economic barriers that exist for some who are considering entering into the archives sector.

UCL does not offer any scholarships to international students on taught Masters programmes. Many of our international students are successful in obtaining a grant from their home government or from funders such as the British Council.

Further information about sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on the UCL Department of Educational Liaison website. UCL does not offer any further grants, scholarships or loans to meet living or studying costs, although students who have begun a programme of study may be eligible to apply for UCL hardship funds if they meet unexpected financial difficulties during the year. 

How do I apply?

Please follow the link to: Graduate study

All applicants must supply two references. 

Is there a deadline for applications? 

Applications received by 12 January 2015 will be considered for interview in February/March and the majority of the places on the programme will be filled following these interviews. Later applications (especially from overseas applicants) may be considered until 30 June in the year for which entry is sought, but at this stage fewer places are likely to be available.

What happens after I have applied?

All applications are acknowledged by the College Admissions Office. Provided that your application is complete, it will then be considered by the Programme Director.

Selected candidates will be invited to an interview either face to face or if overseas by phone, skype, etc. For those candidates applying before December 15th interviews are usually held in February or March. Offers of admission are made after interview.

If I am offered a place, can I change from full-time to part-time study if my funding application is unsuccessful?

Yes. You can change to part-time study at any time before the start of the programme.

How much time commitment is required?

Full-time study for the MA requires a calendar year (September-September), with the summer months being occupied by work on the MA dissertation.

Depending on the modules chosen, the Certificate may be completed in approximately a half year of full-time study (late September-late January or early January-early June), or may be taken more gradually over nine months (late September-early June).

In term time, classes are held in the morning (10:00-1:00) or afternoon (2:00-5:00). In addition, time should be allowed for private study and for completion of coursework. Classes are normally held on UCL's main site in Gower Street, London WC1; field visits and practical sessions may involve travel to other central London locations.

There is a two-week practical placement in late April or early May.

Distance learning courses are not offered at this time at UCL, but part-time study (attending one or two days per week) is available for the MA/Diploma/Certificate in Archives and Records Management. For the MA or Diploma, attending one day per week ideally requires four years of study. It may be possible to complete in three years on this basis, but (depending on timetabling, options chosen, and so on) most students who complete in three years find that they have to attend for two days a week in one or two terms, and for one day a week in the others. Completing the MA or Diploma in two years normally requires two days' term-time attendance per week.

Where would I live?

UCL offers different types of accommodation to suit different students' requirements: there are halls of residence, student houses and intercollegiate halls. Information about applying for accommodation is available on the website of the UCL student residence office. Students are also free to make their own accommodation arrangements, but are recommended to live within easy travelling distance of UCL. If you are offered a place at DIS, it will be important to arrange accommodation before you arrive in London.

Can I take paid work while I am studying?

Under UK government regulations, international students are allowed to undertake a limited amount of paid employment to help meet the costs of their studies, and students often take casual jobs at evenings or weekends to provide a small supplement to their income. Full-time students often undertake casual paid employment at evenings or weekends, but full-time study cannot be combined with a part-time job.

Is there anything I should read before I start the course?

A preliminary reading list is available here

Where can I get more information?

If you have any further questions, please e-mail:

Page last modified on 30 jun 14 15:28