Degree Co-ordinator: Julia Shaw
This MA is unique in the UK in providing such a comprehensive overview of Asian archaeology and cultural heritage. The UCL Institute of Archaeology is one of the few places in the world with the expertise to deliver such a programme, encompassing not only India and China, but also, East, South–East, and Central Asia.
The aim of the programme is to develop a comparative appreciation of the cultural histories and heritage of Asia, moving chronologically from early human history, through movements towards the Neolithic, and the rise of cities and states, to the present day. It looks at current debates around conservation ethics, reconstruction and authenticity of archaeological remains.
The degree is available either full-time over one calendar year or part-time over two calendar years (commencing September). It comprises three core courses, three further option courses chosen by the student and a dissertation. More detail on each of these components is offered below.
All students must take the following:
- Themes, Thought and Theory in Archaeology: Foundations (ARCL0133, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Archaeologies of Asia (ARCL0152, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Archaeological Heritage Management in Asia (ARCL0153, 11 weeks)
Students take three further option modules to the value of 45 credits. These can be selected from the outstanding range of Masters course options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (please note not all modules are available every year), but for this degree, the normal choices include:
- Archaeology and Education (ARCL0127, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Archaeology of Buddhism (ARCL0154, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East: a Comparative Approach (ARCL0157, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage (ARCL0149, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Cultural Memory (ARCL0121, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Managing Museums (ARCL0093, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Managing Archaeological Sites (ARCL0108, 30 credits, 22 weeks)
- Public Archaeology (ARCL0091, 30 credits, 22 weeks)
- Social Complexity in Early China: from the Neolithic to the Early Empire (ARCL0155, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Sources and social research methods for heritage and archaeology (ARCL0189, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- The Archaeology of the Silk Roads (ARCL210, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage (ARCL0178, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
(90 credits) - All students are asked to write a dissertation of 15,000 words on a suitable research topic, with guidance from an assigned supervisor.
Examples of past projects include:
- A study of prehistoric nomads in Central Asia’s mountains
- A comparison of the relationships between donor and Buddhism in India and China
- An analysis of the destroyed heritages and museumification in the Three Gorges area of China
- A study of visitor management at a world heritage site, Sigiriya, Sri LankaAn investigation of the archaeology of early Thai Buddhist Kingdom Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai