Archives and Records Management MA

Options: PG Diploma, PG Certificate

The Archives and Records Management MA provides the skills and knowledge that are needed by new entrants to the profession in the United Kingdom. Students learn to manage and preserve records created in the present and those inherited from the past for use in the present and future.

Mode of study

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

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,750

Application date

  • All applicants: 20 December 2013

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The programme focuses on the management of records and archives in a variety of digital and hard copy formats. Students learn to manage, organise, interpret and provide access to a wide range of records and archives, with equal emphasis given to the management of records for business purposes, and to their preservation and use for future uses including historical research.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

Archives and records management at UCL is one of the longest-established archive education programmes in the English-speaking world. Taught by leading experts in the field, the programme draws on staff's involvement in innovative research as well as their extensive practical experience of archives and records work.

Students benefit from UCL's central London location. The programme boasts an impressive range of visiting speakers and frequent opportunities for structured field visits to study archives and records management in a wide variety of working environments. London hosts not only a large number of records management services, but also the broadest and finest grouping of historical archives in any city in the English-speaking world.

MA students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), two optional module (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months or flexible study 2-5 years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years) is offered.

Core modules

  • Concepts and Contexts (30 credits, taught across two terms)
  • Creation and Capture
  • Curation and Stewardship
  • The Record-keeping Professional
  • Access and Use of Archives and Records

Options include:

  • Advanced Preservation
  • Database Systems Analysis
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Introduction to Digital Curation
  • English Historical Frameworks
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Oral History: from Creation to Curation
  • Reading and Interpretation of Archives from 1500
  • Standards for Digital Recordkeeping
  • Web Publishing


All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, computer laboratory practicals and classroom practicals, with a strong emphasis on group and peer learning and the acquisition of practical skills as well as the theory and knowledge to underpin these skills. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, presentations and practical assignments such as website design and the creation of indexing tools.

Further details available on subject website:


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

Scholarships available for this department

David Tebbutt Scholarship

Funded by the David Tebbutt Trust, the principal aim of the Trust is to further the education of those wishing to pursue a career in the publishing, writing and information industries, and related fields of activity.

Information Studies Scholarships

These scholarships are open to part-time students who are employees of University of London libraries or of other libraries which provide placement opportunities for UCL Information Studies.

Sir Hilary Jenkinson Scholarship in Archive Studies

This is awarded to the most distinguished of the candidates for the MA in Archives and Records Management.

Wiley Scholarship

The Wiley Scholarship was founded in 2008 by the publishing company John Wiley & Sons. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic excellence and potential.

Vickery Bursaries

The Vickery bursaries are named in honour of Professor Brian Vickery, who was the Director of the School of Library, Archive & Information Studies from 1973 to 1983. They are awarded at the discretion of the Department of Information Studies.

Childcare Support Grant

Selection based solely on financial need.

Graduate Support Bursary

For a prospective UK Master's student from under-represented background enrolling on a participating programme. Selection based solely on financial need.

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

Entry requirements

Normal requirements for admission are a minimum of a second class UK Bachelor's degree or equivalent, and also a substantial period of paid or voluntary employment (usually equivalent to about a year) in an established archive or records service, or experience in a post where management of archives or records is a substantial part of the postholder's responsibility.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

The initial deadline for applications is 20 December 2013. Applications received by 20 December 2013 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.

Who can apply?

The programme is open to all candicates who meet the entry requirements and are interested in a career in archives and records management. The MA/Postgraduate Diploma provides a foundation education for graduates who are seeking to enter the profession of archivist/records manager, and is accredited by the Archives and Records Association. The Postgraduate Certificate is a programme with some professional elements, but is not wide-ranging enough for recognition as a professional qualification.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Archives and Records Management at graduate level
  • why you want to study Archives and Records Management at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally and/or academically with your degree


The MA and Diploma are accredited by the Archives and Records Association and are widely recognised by employers throughout the UK as entry-level professional qualifications.

Places of employment of recent students include: British Library - Department of Manuscripts, Diageo, Exeter University Library, Guildhall Library, HSBC Group Archives, Institute of Actuaries, Institute of Education, International Records Management Trust, King's College London, London Metropolitan Archives, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London South Bank University, National Archives, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal Society of Arts, the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • The History of Advertising Trust, Collection Records Officer, 2011
  • News International, Archivist Assistant, 2011
  • Royal Opera House, Cataloguer, 2011
  • Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, Archivist, 2011
  • Royal Holloway, University of London, Special Collections Archivist, 2011


The programme delivered by internationally recognised and research active staff prepares students to work in a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional archives and informational management roles in organisations in both the private and public sectors, in the UK and internationally.

Students benefit from the Department of Information Studies' excellent links with employers in the information professions which provide them with 'real life' experience through guest lectures, visits and a two-week work placement. As part of the programme students also receive specific careers advice, including how to construct CVs. In the longer term the programme equips students with the skills and knowledge to have long and successful careers in their chosen field and become leaders in their profession.

Next steps


Miss Laura Keshav

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7204


Information Studies

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