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.
Modes and duration
Part-time students (2 years) attend on average two days per week, depending on which modules are selected per year/term.
Tuition fees (2021/22)
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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
The ARA accreditation is valid for 5 years starting from 2018.
Normal requirements for admission are a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or equivalent. A period of paid or voluntary experience (usually 4-12months) in archive, records or information governance work. Applicants that do not meet these requirements but demonstrate a strong understanding of the programme and the recordkeeping field will be given due consideration.
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
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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.
- 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 Theory and Practice
- Oral History: Creation to Curation
- Knowledge Organisation
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
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 Stewardship 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.
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.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
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.
Past graduates have taken up professional roles at prestigious organisations and institutions including national societies, university libraries and the House of Commons.
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.
The ARA accreditation is valid for 5 years starting from 2018.
Department: Information Studies
What our students and staff say
"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 BunnArchives and Records Management MA
UCL Information Studies
Application and next steps
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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: 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.
- All applicants
- 19 April 2021
Applications received by 8 January 2021 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 11 June 2021 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
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