Institute of Archaeology


Programme Structure for MA Cultural Heritage Studies

The MA Cultural Heritage Studies covers practical and theoretical approaches to the key issues and working practices in the field of cultural heritage.

Degree co-ordinator: Beverley Butler 

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. 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.

Degree Handbook


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.


(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