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Archives and Records Management MA

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

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,290 (FT) N/A (PT)
£20,005 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 12 January 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Accreditation: Archives and Records Association (ARA)
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normal requirements for admission are a minimum of an upper 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.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

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, focussing on both the management of records for ongoing purposes, and their selection, preservation and accessibility for future uses including historical research.

MA students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study up to five years, is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, four optional modules (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

Optional modules include

  • Advanced Preservation
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Introduction to Digital Curation
  • Information Governance
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Oral History: from Creation to Curation
  • Reading and Interpretation of Archives from 1500
  • Standards for Digital Recordkeeping
  • Extended Practicum


All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, computer laboratory sessions and class-based practical exercises, with a strong emphasis on group and peer learning and the acquisition of practical skills underpinned by archival theory and knowledge. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, presentations and practical assignments.


The work placement gives students taking the MA/Dip iexperience of how the techniques they have learned may be applied in practice. Placements last for two weeks, and are undertaken as part of the INSTG060 Curation and Capture core module just after the beginning of the third term (May). We arrange placements individually for each student and do our best to match the placement with their interests and experience.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Archives and Records Management MA


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

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Past graduates have taken up professional roles at prestigious organisations and institutions including national societies, university libraries and the House of Commons.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Assistant Record Manager, House of Lords
  • Archives Manager, Historic Royal Palaces
  • Project Archivist, Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Archivist, National Motor Museum.
  • Archivist, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)


This programme prepares students to work in a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional archives and information management roles in both the private and public sectors, in the UK and internationally.

Students benefit from the department's excellent links with employers in the information professions which provide them with 'real life' experience through guest lectures, visits and a placement. 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.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL boasts one of the longest-established archive education programmes in the UK. It is taught by leading experts in the field, drawing on their innovative research as well as extensive practical experience of archives and records work.

Students benefit from UCL's location close to many records management services, and the broadest grouping of historical archives in any city in the English-speaking world.

The programme hosts an impressive range of visiting speakers, organises frequent field visits to a wide variety of working environments and a two-week placement, all of which provide unique occasions to network and create professional links with key players in the sector.


The Archives and Records Management MA/PG Diploma have been accredited by the Archives and Records Association (ARA) as professional level qualifications for a period of five years from the 2013 student cohort intake.

Department: Information Studies

Student / staff numbers › 23 staff › 218 taught students › 26 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Information Studies
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"Given the huge concentration of archives and records management services and practitioners in the capital, it is very beneficial for any student to be here and have access to the wider networks and experience that it provides."

Jenny Bunn

Archives and Records Management MA
UCL Information Studies
Student view

"The programme content is amazing, the lecturers are some of the best in their field, and it is based in the centre of the capital. Practical skills combined with critical theory is a great way of engaging with the archival profession."

Virginia Dawe-Woodings

Archives and Records Management MA
Student view

"As an archivist you never know how your archival duty will impact future portrayals of history. Throughout the degree, there have been lectures, visits and talks from members of the industry on relevant topics from the modules, proving invaluable in applying theoretical knowledge to a practical environment. In addition, the course offered a number of visits to archives, including The National Archives, London Metropolitan Archives and Transport for London."

Emma Harrison

Archives and Records Management MA

Application and next steps


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.

Who can apply?

The MA/Postgraduate Diploma provides a foundation education for graduates seeking to enter the profession, and is accredited by the Archives and Records Association (ARA). The Postgraduate Certificate has certain professional elements, but is not recognised as a professional qualification.

Application deadlines

All applicants
12 January 2017

The initial deadline for applications is 12 January 2017. Applications received by 12 January 2017 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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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