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Institute of Archaeology

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Programme Structure for MA Cultural Heritage Studies

Degree Handbook

This MA covers practical and theoretical approaches to the key issues and working practices in the field of cultural heritage. Students benefit from the Institute of Archaeology's emphasis on the role of heritage in today's society, from the art and archaeology collections of UCL, and from the unrivalled resources of London's museums.

Students are introduced to theoretical issues involved in cultural heritage and develop a critical understanding of the social and political context in which the processes for managing cultural heritage operate. The flexible programme structure allows students to design a theoretically based or practically based degree depending on each individual's needs and interests.

Modules

This degree is designed to give students a considerable degree of flexibility over the topics that they study, allowing them to design a degree which is either more theoretically based or more practically based, depending on each individual's needs. All students take two compulsory core modules and a related project leading to a dissertation. They also choose to study 60 credits of option modules from the list provided below. Teaching for this degree is primarily by lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations and site visits.

Core Modules

Students all take the following core modules:

Option Modules

You are then able to choose further option modules to the value of 60 credits. At least 30 credits must be made up from the list below of option courses recommended for this degree programme. The other 30 credits may also come from this list or can be chosen from amongst an outstanding range of other Masters modules offered at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (subject to availability and resources, please note not all modules are available every year.). Please note that some core modules are normally only available to those enroled for the degree in question and so if you wish to take a core modules from another degree as an option certain restrictions may apply. Please consult the relevant course co-ordinator before making your options choice.

Dissertation

(90 credits) - Students are also asked to write a dissertation (15,000 words) which will be on any approved topic relevant to the degree and the taught components. It is produced as a result of an individual research project undertaken during the course. Students are assigned a supervisor to guide the main stages of the work.

Examples of past dissertation projects include ones that have considered:

  • Ecotourism in theory and practice
  • Widening participating in UK historic properties
  • Democracy, dialogue and reconciliation through cultural heritage in Kosovo
  • Japanese approaches to UNESCO cultural heritage policies
  • A semantic web for digital museums
  • Heritage management projects and ethnic minorities in Yunnan, China
  • Genocide memorial heritage sites in Rwanda

Placement

Students have the option to do a 20-day voluntary placement in a museum or other cultural heritage organisation. 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) and the Museum of London. The placement is not formally assessed.

Tier 4 students are permitted to undertake a work placement during their programme however they must not exceed 20 hours per week (unless the placement is an integral and assessed part of the programme). This applies whether that work placement takes place at UCL or at an external institution. If you choose to undertake a placement at an external institution, you will be required to report in to the department on a weekly basis so that you can continue to comply with your visa conditions.

Tier 4 students may also be permitted to study away from UCL on academic grounds which are not part of the standard delivery of a programme or module e.g. collecting data or conducting research. Such a period of study away from UCL must not be taken until it is authorised by the Departmental Tutor/Programme Leader. Students must inform their Departmental Tutor/Programme Leader before they intend to study away from UCL, and provide the location of study and the reason for doing so. The period of this form of study away from UCL must not exceed three months.