Degree structure



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 the compulsory core course and a related project leading to a dissertation. They also choose to study 60 credits of option courses from the list provided below. Teaching for this degree is primarily by lectures, seminars, practical sessions and site visits.

Core Course

Students all follow one core course:

  • Managing archaeological sites (ARCLG127, 30 credits, 22 weeks)

Option Courses

You are then able to choose further option courses to the value of 60 credits. At least one of these must be made up from the list below of option courses recommended for this degree programme. The other 45 credits may also come from this list or can be chosen from amongst an outstanding range of other Masters courses offered at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (subject to availability and resources, please note not all courses are available every year.).

  • Applied Heritage Management (ARCLG233, 15 credits, 11 weeks). Although this is not a compulsory core course, it is likely that most Managing Archaeological Sites core course students will wish to take this option

Please note that some core courses are normally only available to those enroled for the degree in question and so if you wish to take a core course from another degree as an option certain restrictions may apply. Please consult the relevant course co-ordinator before making your options choice.

  • Antiquities and the law (ARCLG185, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict (ARCLG217, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Archaeologies of the Modern World (ARCLG355, 15 credits, 11 weeks) 
  • Archaeology and education (ARCLG186, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Critical Perspectives on Cultural heritage (ARCLG234, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Cultural heritage, globalisation and development (ARCLG209, 15 credits, 11 weeks) 
  • Cultural memory (ARCLG175, 15 credits, 11 weeks) - subject to space
  • GIS in Archaeology and History (ARCLG090, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • GIS Approaches to Past Landscapes (ARCLG091, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Heritage Ethics & Archaeological Practice in the Middle East and Mediterranean (ARCLG357,  15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Key Topics in the Archaeology of the Americas (ARCLG350, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Managing museums (ARCLG065, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Museum and site interpretation (ARCLG034, 30 credits, 22 weeks)
  • Nature, culture and the languages of art: theories and methodologies of art interpretation  (ARCLG352, 15 credits, 11 weeks) - subject to availability and resources
  • Public archaeology (ARCLG056, 30 credits, 22 weeks)
  • Social and material contexts of art: comparative approaches to art explanation  (ARCLG353, 15 credits, 11 weeks) - subject to availability and resources
  • Themes, thought and theory in world archaeology: Foundations (ARCLG193, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Themes, thought and theory in world archaeology: Current issues (ARCLG194, 15 credits, 11 weeks)


(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:

  • the preservation of archaeological sites in Egypt and the role of local communities
  • the conservation and site management of ring-forts in the Republic of Ireland
  • the management and interpretation of Spanish Civil War defenses
  • conservation planning and local participation at archaeological sites in Iran
  • the erosion and stabilisation of earth slopes on archaeological sites
  • urban expansion and the management of historic cities: A case-study from the Han city of Chang'an, China
  • post-inscription support for World Heritage Sites
  • the potential of serial transnational properties for the UNESCO World Heritage List


Students will have the option to undertake a voluntary  20-day placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project. 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. 

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.

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