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Archives and Records Management MA

The Archives and Records Management MA provides the skills and knowledge that are needed by new entrants to the profession in the United Kingdom and abroad. Students learn to manage and preserve records created in the present and those inherited from the past for use in the present and future.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Part-time students (2 years) attend on average two days per week, depending on which modules are selected per year/term.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 26 June 2020

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£10,160 (FT)
£5,080 (PT)
Overseas:
£21,860 (FT)
£11,040 (PT)


Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Accreditation:

The ARA accreditation is valid for 5 years starting from 2018.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normal requirements for admission are a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or equivalent, and also a substantial period of paid or voluntary employment (usually equivalent to about a year) in an established archive or records service, or experience in a post where management of archives or records is a substantial part of the postholder's responsibility.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

The programme focuses on the management of records and archives in a variety of digital and hard copy formats. Students learn to manage, organise, interpret and provide access to a wide range of records and archives, focusing on both the management of records for ongoing purposes, and their selection, preservation and accessibility for future uses including historical research.

MA students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study up to five years, is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, four optional modules (60 credits), full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years, is offered.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Archives and Records Management. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Archives and Records Management. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Archives and Records Management.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Concepts and Contexts (30 credits, taught across two terms)
  • Creation and Capture
  • Curation and Stewardship
  • The Record-keeping Professional
  • Access and Use of Archives and Records

Optional modules include

  • Collections Care
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Information Governance
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Reading and Interpretation of Archives from 1500
  • Database Systems Analysis and Design
  • Oral History: Creation to Curation
  • Digital Curation
  • Organising Knowledge
Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Placement

The work placement gives students taking the MA/Dip experience of how the techniques they have learned may be applied in practice. Placements last for two weeks, and are undertaken as part of the Curation and Capture core module just after the beginning of the third term (May). We arrange placements individually for each student and do our best to match the placement with their interests and experience.


Covid-19 placement updates
Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned placements for this programme. This will depend on social distancing measures, the availability of the relevant placements, and the relative risk of completing the placement. Your department will keep you updated if placements are able to occur and/or any alternative options available.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, computer laboratory sessions and class-based practical exercises, with a strong emphasis on group and peer learning and the acquisition of practical skills underpinned by archival theory and knowledge. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, and practical assignments.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

Scottish applicants may be eligible for an award from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Past graduates have taken up professional roles at prestigious organisations and institutions including national societies, university libraries and the House of Commons.

Employability

This programme prepares students to work in a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional archives and information management roles in both the private and public sectors, in the UK and internationally.

Students benefit from the department's excellent links with employers in the information professions which provide them with 'real life' experience through guest lectures, visits and a placement. Students also receive specific careers advice, including how to construct CVs. In the longer term the programme equips students with the skills and knowledge to have long and successful careers in their chosen field and become leaders in their profession.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL boasts one of the longest-established archive education programmes in the UK. It is taught by leading experts in the field, drawing on their innovative research as well as extensive practical experience of archives and records work.

Students benefit from UCL's location close to many records management services, and the broadest grouping of historical archives in any city in the English-speaking world.

The programme hosts an impressive range of visiting speakers, organises frequent field visits to a wide variety of working environments and a two-week placement, all of which provide unique occasions to network and create professional links with key players in the sector.

Accreditation:

The ARA accreditation is valid for 5 years starting from 2018.

Department: Information Studies

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"Given the huge concentration of archives and records management services and practitioners in the capital, it is very beneficial for any student to be here and have access to the wider networks and experience that it provides."

Jenny Bunn

Archives and Records Management MA
UCL Information Studies

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The MA/Postgraduate Diploma provides a foundation education for graduates seeking to enter the profession, and is accredited by the Archives and Records Association (ARA). The Postgraduate Certificate has certain professional elements, but is not recognised as a professional qualification.

Application deadlines

All applicants
26 June 2020

Applications received by 10 January 2020 will be considered for interview in the spring and the majority of the places on the programme will be filled following these interviews. Later applications (especially from overseas applicants) may be considered until 12 June 2020 in the year for which entry is sought, but at this stage fewer places are likely to be available.


For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Archives and Records Management at graduate level
  • why you want to study Archives and Records Management at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally and/or academically with your degree

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020