Institute of Archaeology


Programme Structure for MA Archaeology and Heritage of Asia

The MA Archaeology and Heritage of Asia is unique in the UK in providing such a comprehensive overview of Asian archaeology and cultural heritage.

Degree Co-ordinator: Yijie Zhuang

Other major contributors: Dorian Fuller  and  Julia Shaw

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 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.

Degree Handbook


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.

Core Modules

All students must take the following:

Option Modules

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:


(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 Lanka
  • An investigation of the archaeology of early Thai Buddhist Kingdom Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai