UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Students present Fort Delimara field work to British High Commissioner in Malta and Heritage Malta

3 January 2023

Sustainable Heritage MSc students have returned from Malta after completing fieldwork at Fort Delimara, and presenting their findings to Heritage Malta experts and the British High Commissioner in Malta.

Students of Sustainable Heritage MSc with academic staff, the Births High Commissioner in Malta and staff from Heritage Malta

This year for Sustainable Heritage MSc’s annual fieldwork trip to Malta students examined a historic site of interest to Heritage Malta, a British Victorian fortification called Fort Delimara. A “unique Victorian war machine”, as called by Heritage Malta, Fort Delimara is one of a ring of forts and batteries that protected Marsaxlokk harbour. The site has great historical value, and still contains the last remaining examples in the world of original Victorian 38-ton guns that still stand on their original carriages and platforms.

For their fieldwork, the students divided in groups to study the internal environment of the fort and its effects on materials, the vulnerability of the site to climate change, the condition of the structure, and also explored its value to society. On the final day of the trip the students presented their results to the British High Commissioner in Malta, Katherine Ward LVO OBE, experts from Heritage Malta, including Deputy Chairman Anthony Scicluna, as well as scientists, curators and site managers.

The British High Commissioner commended the students for the high quality of their presentation, and later tweeted:

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On the value of partnerships to enrich the educational experience of student, Professor May Cassar CBE, Director of UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage said:

When embedded with a valued partner, such as Heritage Malta, UCL Institute for field trips enrich the academic experience by integrating students within practice. In true partnerships, there is just cross-disciplinary effort from which both sides gain.”

On the student’s interdisciplinary work, Dr Pakhee Kumar, Lecturer (Teaching) in Sustainable Heritage and Data Analysis, said:

It was a pleasure to lead this field trip and see the potential impact of our students' work. Most importantly, they learned to work in interdisciplinary teams and delivered results that would have been impossible to deliver without collaborating with other disciplines.”

On the educational experience, Dr Josep Grau Bove, Associate Professor at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage said:

Fieldtrips such as this one have an immense educational and social value: our students delivered results that will have a lasting impact. They learned how to respond to a brief, collected data, and transform it into evidence that is relevant to stakeholders.” 

Study Sustainable Heritage at UCL 

We have developed three routes for the Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage MSc, matching the needs of the heritage sector and training a new generation of heritage practitioners with specialist expertise. Find out more about our Master's degree opoortunities in: