Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage (Heritage Science) MSc

London, Bloomsbury and London, Hackney Wick (Here East)

To advance heritage management, conservation, and engagement there is a need for highly trained practitioners with the ability to apply rigorous scientific and technical knowledge to solve cultural heritage challenges. The Heritage Science route of the Sustainable Heritage MSc will introduce you to a unique assembly of scientific disciplines, drawing from physical sciences, engineering, imaging, computing and social sciences to address cultural heritage research questions. With access to world-leading laboratories, you will learn a range of analytical techniques and scientific methods and apply them to real-world heritage challenges.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£18,000
£9,000
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with degrees of a lower classification but with considerable senior-level professional experience may also be accepted. Please note that a special qualifying examination may be set. Details of this route can be obtained from the department at the email address at the bottom of this page.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Heritage Science is an expanding interdisciplinary field, requiring professionals that have both technical and scientific skills and an understanding of the heritage sector. The Heritage Science route of the Sustainable Heritage MSc will provide you with access to a wide range of state-of-the-art scientific facilities and labs, teach you new analytical methods and give you the opportunity to address fascinating research questions within heritage science.  
 
Crucially, this route will situate this scientific learning firmly in the context of the realities of the heritage sector. Students will have access to real heritage sites, opportunities to engage with experienced practitioners from the heritage sector and the ability to apply their learning to real heritage challenges. You will develop transferable skills of leadership and management with the guidance of informed heritage and business professionals, in a teaching environment designed to promote debate, individual thinking and mutual understanding. 

The Sustainable Heritage MSc offers 3 routes to choose from: Data Science, Heritage Science, or Heritage Management. You will learn alongside, and benefit from the experiences of students on the other routes whilst being taught by world-leading experts at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage. 

Who this course is for

Students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. The Heritage Science route is open to applicants with a physical sciences background such as physics or chemistry, as well as applicants from other disciplines (e.g. conservation, curation, history) that want to develop heritage science skills.

What this course will give you

You will benefit from:

  • a world leading, multidisciplinary learning environment
  • international teachers who are leading professionals or researchers in their fields
  • real-life heritage case studies as the basis for discussing complex and demanding issues
  • access to public stewards and/or private owners of heritage and leading heritage stakeholders
  • a field work visit in collaboration with a heritage organisation 
  • project placement opportunities with leading heritage organisations
  • extra-curricular seminars and events with key thinkers in the field
  • studying in London - a city full of culture and history
  • an inclusive environment that promotes global citizenship, and an ethos of equality and diversity

You will be taught by academics engaged in cutting-edge heritage science research at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage. The UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage is part of The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources - home to specialist institutes in energy, environment, resources and heritage. The Bartlett, UCL, is the UK's largest multidisciplinary Faculty of the Built Environment, bringing together the scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

The QS World University Rankings (2022) ranks The Bartlett as #1 for Architecture and the Built Environment studies in the UK for the eighth year running and #3 in the World.  According to the most recent Research Excellence Framework in 2021, the Bartlett is where the UK’s most ‘World Leading’ and ‘Internationally Excellent’ built environment research is undertaken, with 91% of our research deemed ‘World Leading’ and ‘Internationally Excellent’. 

The foundation of your career

Students taking Heritage Science route of the Sustainable Heritage MSc can expect to graduate with a broad understanding of the heritage sector and a sound knowledge of scientific methods that can be used to understand heritage buildings, collections and sites.

Previous students of Heritage Science at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage have gone on to work at prestigious heritage organisations such as the National Trust, the National Archives or the Getty Conservation Institute. Others have gone on to a PhD.

We’ve gathered experiences from graduates from our Masters programmes at the Institute for Sustainable Heritage. Find out more about their learning experiences, careers opportunities, and more on our Master’s Graduate’s Experiences page.

Employability

You will develop skills in the use of scientific methods in a cultural heritage context, including practical laboratory-based skills. You will also learn how to evaluate and communicate the results of scientific studies and to transform their findings into practical actions that can support decision-making and change in the heritage sector.

There is an opportunity to work closely with a heritage organisation or practice during the route which is facilitated through the professional networks of the academic staff, including our guest lecturers, many of whom come from prestigious heritage organisations.

All students will gain access to an extensive alumni network of professionals who have taken the course and are now leaders in the field.
 

Teaching and learning

The route is taught using a variety of media and strategies including problem-based and case-based learning, discussion groups, project work, exercises, coursework, and reports. Assessment is through written individual and group assignments and the 10,000-word dissertation. Other assessment methods depend on the optional modules chosen, and include diverse scientific outputs such as posters, presentations and technical notes.

The taught modules of the Heritage Science route are delivered through a combination of intensive 1-week block taught modules and, consisting of intensive 1-week blocks of teaching, and other modules which are taught via weekly classes.

For each module, you will need to complete pre-session reading and preparation using an online learning environment and traditional literature sources.

You should expect to complete approximately 150 learning hours in total (including preparatory reading, formal teaching, self-directed study and completion of coursework) for each 15-credit module.

Modules

You will take a series of taught modules and a research project leading to a dissertation.

The taught modules are delivered in Term 1 and Term 2. Three of the core taught modules are shared with all Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage MSc routes, giving you the opportunity to work with students studying sustainable heritage from different perspectives. These are: 

  • Sustainable Heritage: Management, Science and Foresight
  • Sustainable Heritage in Practice
  • Policy Advice and Evidence for Heritage

In addition, each route has three modules that are specific to the route which students must complete, with a focus on technical skills. For the Heritage Science route, these are:  

  • Introduction to Heritage Science
  • Preventive Conservation of Heritage Materials and Assemblies
  • Analytical Methods in Heritage Science

There are several optional modules available, all in Term 2. Students should choose two optional modules, including at least one of those provided by the Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage MSc. Students can choose a second also, or take another module from elsewhere at UCL, pending approval from the Programme Leader.

You will complete a research project leading to a dissertation throughout Term 3 and the summer.

You will take a series of taught modules and a research project leading to a dissertation over two years.

The taught modules are delivered in Term 1 and Term 2 of both years.  Three of the core taught modules and shared with all Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage MSc routes, giving you the opportunity to work with students studying sustainable heritage from different perspectives.
  
For the shared taught modules, part-time students will start Year 1 with the module: 

  • Sustainable Heritage: Management, Science and Foresight.

In Year 2 you will take:

  • Sustainable Heritage in Practice
  • Policy Advice and Evidence for Heritage

In addition, each route has three modules that are specific to the route, with a focus on technical skills.  
For part-time students, in Year 1, the following modules are compulsory for the Heritage Science route:

  • Introduction to Heritage Science
  • Analytical Methods in Heritage Science

There are several optional modules available, all in Term 2.  Students should choose two optional modules, including at least one of those provided by the Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage MSc.  Students can choose a second also, or take another module from elsewhere at UCL, pending approval from the Programme Leader.  Students should take one optional module in Year 1 and one in Year 2.

In Year 2, part-time students should complete the following module:

  • Preventive Conservation of Heritage Materials and Assemblies

You will complete a research project leading to a dissertation in Year 2 throughout Term 3 and the summer.

You will take a series of taught modules and a research project leading to a dissertation over the course of five consecutive academic years.

The taught modules are delivered in Term 1 and Term 2 of each year.  Three of the taught modules are core and shared among the three routes. These are: 

  • Sustainable Heritage: Management, Science and Foresight
  • Sustainable Heritage in Practice
  • Policy Advice and Evidence for Heritage

In addition, each route has three modules that are specific to the route which students must complete, with a focus on technical skills.  For the Heritage Science route, these are:  

  • Introduction to Heritage Science
  • Preventive Conservation of Heritage Materials and Assemblies
  • Analytical Methods in Heritage Science

There are several optional modules available, all in Term 2.  Students should also choose two optional modules, including at least one of those provided by the Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage MSc.  Students can choose a second also, or take another module from elsewhere at UCL, pending approval from the Programme Leader.

Students should also take the dissertation module either in the year in which they complete the final taught modules or the year after they have completed all taught modules, as long as this is not more than five consecutive years after they first enrolled.

In addition, flexible students will be recommended to consider the following:

  • Take the module Sustainable Heritage: Management, Science and Foresight before completing any of the other taught modules.
  • Take at least one module in each academic year they are enrolled on the MSc.

Flexible students will be encouraged to discuss their plan for completing the Masters with the Programme Leader. It is anticipated that this plan will be reviewed at the beginning of each academic year.

Compulsory modules





Policy Advice and Evidence for Heritage

Sustainable Heritage in Practice

Analytical Methods in Heritage Science


Optional modules




Foresight for Heritage 1

Design Futures for Heritage

Heritage Policy Labs

Climate Change and Heritage

Inclusive Urban Heritage


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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage (Heritage Science).

Fieldwork

The teaching of one of the core modules, Sustainable Heritage in Practice, shared among all routes, takes place over a week-long piece of fieldwork.  
   
Several fieldwork options are offered and students can choose which one to attend. One option will be abroad, in Malta, if government guidance on international travel allows it. Another option is a residential trip within the UK, at a historic property.  Finally, an equivalent learning experience is offered as non-residential fieldwork in London, designed to provide accessibility to the fieldwork to students who prefer not to travel.   
  
Enrolment on the fieldwork is on a first come, first served basis. You will need to cover subsistence costs such as meals.  

Accessibility

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

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Sustainable Heritage MSc

Will you be a heritage scientist, heritage manager or data scientist? Watch our presentation and Q&A with Dr Josep Grau Bove to find out more about the three new specialist routes for UCL’s Sustainable Heritage MSc, matching the needs of the heritage sector and training a new generation of heritage practitioners in Heritage Science, Heritage Management and Data Science.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £18,000 £9,000
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

Students are expected to cover the costs of site visits within London.  For the compulsory fieldwork, students are expected to cover subsistence costs such as meals.

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

Funding your studies

The Lamport Hall Preservation Trust and Ecclesiastical Insurance Scholarships are available for study on the Sustainable Heritage MSc (Data Science). Additional funding available from our Institute and Faculty are advertised on the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage scholarships page and The Bartlett's scholarships page. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

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

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2023
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 31 March 2023
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Rising Leader in Sustainable Business Scholarship

Deadline: 14 July 2023
Value: £6,000 towards fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

Next steps

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 Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Heritage Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Sustainable Heritage at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen route
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

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