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Managing Archaeological Sites MA

The Managing Archaeological Sites MA examines why certain archaeological sites, including World Heritage Sites, are selected for preservation, and how power relationships and different perceptions of contemporary values impact upon this. It explores approaches to how sites can be successfully managed, conserved and presented to preserve their significance.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£10,110 (FT) £5,085 (PT)
£20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

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

Students will grasp theoretical issues surrounding heritage management, and how to apply a planning process to holistic and sustainable site management, based on the recognition of a site's values of its interest groups. They will also learn practical methods for participatory processes, physical conservation, visitor management, site interpretation, World Heritage nomination, and heritage tourism.

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

Students are required to take the following: 

  • Managing Archaeological Sites

Optional modules

  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Archaeological Approaches to the Human Use of Space
  • Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development
  • Cultural Memory
  • GIS in Archaeology and History
  • GIS Approaches to Past Landscapes
  • Managing Museums
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Public Archaeology
  • The Archaeology of Complex Urban Sites: Analytical and Interpretative Techniques
  • Themes in Urban Archaeology
  • World Rock Art: From Paleolithic to the Present


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.


Students will have the option to undertake a voluntary placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project for a period of three weeks in total. In recent years, these placements have included organisations such as English Heritage, The National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, ICOMOS (Paris), World Monuments Fund (Paris), UNESCO World Heritage Centre (Paris), The Museum of London, Atkins Global, the Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa (Portugal), MIRAS (Iran), City Museum (Palermo), Ancient Merv State Archaeological Park (Turkmenistan), and the National Institute of Informatics (Tokyo, Japan). This is not assessed.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Managing Archaeological Sites MA


Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: A small number of grants of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2017/18. All UK/EU and Overseas fee paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email Lisa Daniel. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2017.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - NOW CLOSED FOR 2016/17

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

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


Recent graduates of this programme 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 degree

  • Archaeologist, Museum of London Archaeology
  • Intern, UNESCO Bangkok
  • Archaeological Researcher, CGMS
  • Assistant Archaeological Researcher, CgMs Consulting


Students on this programme gain understanding of a wide range of practical methods for the conservation, management and interpretation of cultural heritage, which provides a sound basis for a wide range of employment opportunities of the heritage sector. Students also master a technical vocabulary to communicate with heritage professional and agencies, and develop strong transferable skills in written and oral communication, teamworking and dealing with complex stakeholders.

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?

The theory and practice of archaeological heritage management is undertaken within the context of the Institute of Archaeology's international outlook and membership, with student and staff involvement in field research projects around the globe. This provides a unique range of perspectives and circumstances, reflected in critical discourse.

UCL is located in central London, close to the British Museum and British Library. The institute's outstanding library is complemented by UCL's main and specialist libraries.

Students undertake placements with London-based agencies, such as Historic England and the Museum of London, or international bodies, such as UNESCO, ICOMOS and Global Heritage Fund.

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Student / staff numbers › 63 staff including 27 postdocs › 258 taught students › 115 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: Institute of Archaeology
75% 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.

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 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

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 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

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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