Managing Archaeological Sites MA

The Managing Archaeological Sites MA examines why certain archaeological sites are selected for preservation, and how they can be successfully managed and conserved to preserve their significance. Students benefit from the Institute's emphasis on the role of heritage in today's society and from the art and archaeology collections of UCL.

Mode of study

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

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,750
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,400
  • Overseas Full-time: £17,000
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

By the end of the programme, students will be able to understand and apply a planning process based on the recognition of a site's values and of its interest groups, or stakeholders. They will also learn practical methods for the physical conservation of different categories of archaeological sites.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK.

We are international in outlook and membership, with students and staff from over 40 countries, and involvement in field research projects around the globe.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance to the British Museum and the British Library. The Institute's outstanding archaeological library is complemented by UCL's main library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of a core module (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits), an optional work placement and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Managing Archaeological Sites


  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Applied Archaeology in the UK
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Archaeological Approaches to the Human Use of Space
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
  • Conservation in Practice: Conservation Management
  • Conservation in Practice: Preventative Conservation
  • Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural Heritage and Development
  • Cultural Memory
  • Geographic Information Systems in Archaeology I
  • Geographic Information Systems in Archaeology II
  • Issues in Conservation: Context of Conservation
  • Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects
  • Managing Museums
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Public Archaeology
  • Rock Art Studies: Theories, Methods and Management
  • The Archaeology of Complex Urban Sites: Analytical and Interpretative Techniques
  • Themes in Urban Archaeology


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations and site visits. It includes an optional three week placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project. Assessment is through essays, project reports, projects and practicals (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:


UK and EU students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council funding.

A small number of IoA Masters Award bursaries, normally in the region of £1,000, are available each year.

Scholarships available for this department

Kathleen Kenyon Awards

Gordon Childe Studentship

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme has an international perspective and will appeal to students from a range of academic backgrounds (e.g. archaeology, conservation, planning, architecture, museum studies). In balancing theory and practice, it will suit those wishing to continue on to academic research and those seeking employment in heritage administration or international organisations.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Managing Archaeological Sites at graduate level
  • what do you consider to be the major challenges in this field today
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
  • why you want to study Managing Archaeological Sites at UCL
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment at UCL


Students who have taken this degree in the last few years have gone on to work in policy areas and project areas for national and international organisations, such as English Heritage, the NAtional Trust, ICOMOS and UNESCO. They have also worked in development control, heritage consultancies (such as Atkins Global), museums, site interpretation and education. Many students have also gone on to further research in academic institutions around the world, such as Stanford, Athens and Leiden, or here at UCL.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • TEAM Tourism Consulting, Cultural Heritage and Tourism Associate, 2012
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Thailand, Intern, 2012
  • Royal Museum Greenwich, Visitor Experience Manager, 2012
  • Hawaiian Islands Government Administration, Cultural Resources GIS Specialist, 2011
  • Hellenic Ministry of Culture Department of Education Programs and Communication, Archaeologist, 2009


The course enables students to understand a wide range of practical methods for the conservation, management and interpretation of cultural heritage, which provide a sound basis for employment in many parts of the heritage sector. It also enables students to master a technical vocabulary to communicate with heritage professional and agencies. The course develops strong transferable skills in written and oral communication, team-working and dealing with complex stakeholders. In balancing theory and practice, it will suit those wishing to continue on to academic research and those seeking employment in heritage management or international organisations.

Next steps


Professor Andrew Reynolds

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7495


Institute of Archaeology

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Prospectus subject


Faculty overview

Social and Historical Sciences


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Staff View

"UCL Archaeology has a great atmosphere for both staff and students; it's a great place to work, and with so many experts passing through from different countries to give lectures and seminars it is very much the centre of the archaeological world."

Professor Mike Parker Pearson

Professor of British Later Prehistory

Student View

"The Institute of Archaeology's library has been an invaluable tool due to the huge amount of material available that is related to our field, and is one of my favourite things about the institute."

Alexandra Salamunovich

Degree: Archaeology MA