MA/Diploma in Electronic Communication and Publishing

Please note that this programme has been discontinued and we are no longer accepting applications.  This page is for existing ECP part time students who are still completing their studies.

The programme is designed to produce students capable of performing the roles of editor, project manager or information specialist in electronic environments where they will have to oversee the construction of electronic systems for distributing and archiving vast quantities of information. It is especially appropriate for those who have a background in the humanities and who have work experience after their first degree. It is suitable for UK and international students interested in Web technologies and related developments, and those who wish to develop their computer-related skills with a view to seeking employment in publishing, electronic journalism, and the Internet and Web-based industries. The programme includes a significant amount of practical instruction but in their theoretical work students also reflect on the implications of electronic communication and publishing in different environments.

For the MA and Diploma, students study the following compulsory modules:

Students then choose three modules from the following list:

MA students also do a dissertation, which provides them with an opportunity to apply what they have learnt to an individual research project

For those who do not wish to undertake the full MA or diploma, we also offer a Certificate programme, and short courses.

Frequently asked questions

What are the admission requirements?

Normal requirements for admission are a first or second class honours degree. We also take into account work experience in a relevant area, although this is not compulsory.

How much time commitment is required?

Full-time study for the Diploma takes nine months, from late September to early June.

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

  • The full-time programme begins with an induction week in late September, when students attend a range of events to introduce them to UCL.
  • In term time (October-December and January-March), classes, lectures, seminars and field visits occupy four days each week.
  • There is a practical placement for a minimum of four weeks, which usually takes place in May or June.
  • Full-time students often undertake casual paid employment at evenings or weekends, but full-time study should not be combined with a part-time job.

Distance learning courses are not offered at UCL, but part-time study (attending one or two days per week) is available for students who do not wish to attend on a full-time basis. Part time students attend for one full, or two half days a week and complete the course in two years, and modular students attend for half a day a week and must complete within five years.

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

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. There is also an additional bench fee of £500 which make it possible for us to provide and maintain the specialist software and server space necessary for the programme.

Are grants, scholarships or loans available?

English, Welsh and Northern Irish applicants may be eligible for an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under its Professional Preparation Master's Scheme. These awards can only be applied for when the applicant has first received an offer of a university place. UCL will recommend to the AHRC those candidates whom it wishes to be considered for funding. Recommendations are limited to students intending to take the MA on a full-time basis; an award is not guaranteed and in any case is unlikely to cover the total cost of full-time study. All applicants are advised to bear in mind that they will almost certainly need alternative sources of funding such as personal resources or career development loans.

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

Information about sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on the UCL Scholarships 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.

Where can I get more information?

Information about all the postgraduate programme's at DIS, methods of learning and assessment, and about places of employment of former students, can be found in the DIS postgraduate prospectus.

If you have any further questions, please e-mail

How do I apply?

Please download an application pack and return the application form to the College Admissions Office, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, together with two references and other supporting documents as requested in the application pack.

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. 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.

Is there a deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications is July 1st, but we allocate places until the programme has been filled. To be sure of being considered for a place, it is therefore advisable to apply as early as possible. If you wish to be considered to an AHRC award, however, you must apply by 1 January, so that we can comply with the AHRC deadlines for applications.

Some Questions Answered

Why should I choose to study at UCL?

  • The MA in Electronic Communication and Publishing is the only MA course of its kind in the UK, and one of a very few Graduate programmes in electronic publishing. UCL:DIS is also unique in the combination of programmes it offers, this allows our students to benefit from important developments being made in the library and information and the archives sectors, for example in the areas of knowledge organisation, open archives, and digital records management and preservation.
  • Our geographical position in central London means that the department is close to not only commercial electronic publishers, but also research projects undertaken by libraries, museums and academic research centres in areas such as digitisation and humanities computing. We are therefore able to invite a large range of visiting speakers to DIS to discuss how electronic publication techniques are used in practice. Our students are also able to profit from these when they undertake work placements.
  • UCL's teaching and research staff are regular participants in innovative projects in the field of electronic communication and publishing. For example, the UCIS project, which studies the user of digital libraries, and the LAIRAH project which is researching the types of use made of digital resources in the humanities. This project is being carried out in collaboration with CIBER, a research centre based at UCL:DIS which has an international reputation in the analysis of the use of digital resources in various commercial, public and academic sectors. Staff also serve as consultants and on advisory panels for a variety of other digital projects outside UCL, such as The ARIA project and the Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700 (CELM). They also assess funding applications for bodies such as The Heritage Lottery Fund and the AHRC. All of these research activities ensure that staff are well informed about the latest developments in their field, and can apply this knowledge in their teaching.

Should I consider the Certificate in Electronic Communication and Publishing?

Those who seek a shorter programme of study may wish to apply for admission to UCL's Certificate programme in Electronic Communication and Publishing. The Certificate programme comprises four taught modules and can be completed in a half year of full-time study, or more gradually over one or two years. The Certificate is not recognised as a full professional qualification, but is suitable for those who wish to gain some basic knowledge of the area.

How much technical knowledge do I need?

The amount of technical knowledge that our students have when they begin the programme varies widely. Some may have been working in the area and have taught themselves the basics of web page design or the use of graphics software or databases. Others may have been used to using email, the web and office software such as word processing or spreadsheets. For those who have never done any HTML or web page design, we offer a short introductory course, in Induction Week. However, we are used to teaching students with a variety of levels of prior knowledge, and it is not necessary to be technically advanced. You should, however feel confortable with using a computer, and be an interested, enthusiastic user of the internet, even if you do not consider yourself very experienced.

Page last modified on 01 oct 14 13:14