Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage MSc

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

Designed for a new generation of heritage leaders, this MSc provides the interdisciplinary skills needed to deliver the heritage programmes and projects of the future. You will learn the latest in heritage management policies, projects, methodologies and practices in the context of historic buildings, sites, landscapes, museums and collections.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications closed


Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

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, and for applicants without a first degree or full professional membership, but with relevant and substantial work experience in the field, a special qualifying examination may be set; details can be obtained from the Bartlett's Graduate Faculty Office.

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: Standard

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

Students are encouraged to take a long view of conservation and heritage management and are challenged to define problems, set objectives and explore a range of sustainability issues and strategies. Concepts of value, sustainability, life expectancy, stewardship, ownership, vulnerability and risk are interwoven with the scientific study of historic materials, assemblies, technologies and systems.

Who this course is for

Students typically have backgrounds in architecture, engineering, geography, surveying, conservation, economics, science, archaeology, or museum and heritage studies, but students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. The programme offers the opportunity to study with a range of disciplines and to develop values, knowledge, and skills that mesh subjects as diverse as ethics, science and management.

What this course will give you

You will benefit from:

  • A world leading, multidisciplinary learning environment
  • International teachers who are leading professionals in their fields
  • Real-life heritage case studies as the basis for discussing complex and demanding issues
  • Access to public stewards and private owners of heritage to learn from their practice and leading heritage stakeholders
  • A fully funded field study visit
  • 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

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 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 (2021) ranks The Bartlett, our faculty, as #1 for Architecture/Built Environment studies in the UK and #2 in the World. The Bartlett's research received the most world-leading ratings for research on the Built Environment in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

The MSc Sustainable Heritage will introduce you to a wide range of heritage experts, as much of the teaching is led by practitioners from prestigious heritage organisations. The student cohort will include students from a wide range of academic backgrounds, providing great opportunities for peer-learning during classroom and group activities.

The foundation of your career

The programme is an internationally recognised qualification that equips students with the skills and expertise needed to contribute to heritage projects at an advanced level. 

94% of graduates from this programme are in work and/or further study six months after graduating (The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17).

There is an opportunity to undertake a placement at a leading heritage organisation or practice which is facilitated through the professional networks of the academic staff, including guest lecturers, many of whom come from prestigious heritage organisations.

Students gain access to an extensive alumni network of professionals who have studied on the programme and are now leaders in the field.


Graduates may find themselves assuming responsibility for directing major projects within museums, libraries, archives, or organisations responsible for historic buildings and archaeological sites; or as a part of interdisciplinary architectural, engineering or project management practices. Our alumni have gone on to work in a variety of renowned institutions, including The National Trust, English Heritage, the Office of Public Works in Ireland, and Historic England. Others have pursued a PhD in a related topic, going on to an academic career.


Taking a RICS accredited course is a step towards becoming a Chartered Surveyor which would give you international recognition of professional status.  It also provides access to a global network of built environment professionals.

Our IHBC accreditation allows students to accelerate their progress towards becoming a Full Member of the IHBC, its highest level of accreditation, reducing the length of the process from 5 to 2 years.

Teaching and learning

The programme 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 assignments and the 10,000-word dissertation.

During the teaching blocks, students will engage directly with staff from approximately 9.00 - 17.00 each day. During the self-study weeks, staff will be available for tutorials and guidance. A dissertation supervisor will be assigned to each student to support their research in Term 3.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.


You will take six taught modules and a research project leading to a dissertation to the total value of 180 credits.

The taught modules are delivered in Term 1 and Term 2. Three of the modules are compulsory (total of 60 credits). There are two optional 30 credit modules and students must taken one of these. There are two optional 15 credit modules. Students must take one of these, and can choose to take the second also, or to take another 15 credit module from elsewhere at UCL, pending approval from the Programme Leader. The taught modules are delivered in a block teaching model (similar to an MBA structure):

  • Prior to each module, you will need to complete approximately two weeks’ worth of advanced reading and preparation using an online learning environment and traditional literature sources.
  • Teaching for each module takes place in an intensive 1-week (for 15 credit modules) or 2-week (for 30 credit modules) block. This includes classroom teaching, study visits and case-study work.
  • This is followed by several weeks for self-directed study, research and the completion of coursework assignments. In some situations, students may be able to undertake this work in their home location
  • You should expect to complete approximately 300 learning hours in total (including preparatory reading, formal teaching, self-directed  study and completion of coursework) for each 30 credit module and a proportionate amount of time for a 15 credit module.

The block teaching for one of the modules takes place in Malta, if government guidance on international travel allows. This module takes place in late November / December. It is optional and students can choose to attend this module or to attend a UK-based field trip module. Module enrolment is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Travel from the UK and accommodation will be arranged by UCL and these expenses are covered as part of the programme You will need to cover subsistence costs.

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

Part-time students can take the modules in any order. A recommended structure is to take the two 15-credit introductory modules and the two 15 credit optional modules in the first year and to take the two 30 credit modules and the dissertation in the second year. Options for module selection can be discussed with the Programme Leader.

Modular/flexible students can take the modules in any order, although it is recommended to take the two 15-credit introductory modules first. Options for module selection can be discussed with the Programme Leader.

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage.


A two-week study visit forms an integral part of the degree. Students will attend one of two field trips, either in the UK or in Malta. The Malta field trip is hosted by Heritage Malta, the national agency responsible for the management of national museums, heritage sites and their collections in Malta and Gozo.

A video of the 2016 Malta field trip can be seen here.


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 - The Bartlett Graduate Open Week

Discover the postgraduate programmes you can study at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, meet the teaching staff and have your questions answered. Join our Faculty-wide 'In Conversation with Bartlett Alumni' session and Q&As for The Bartlett Promise Scholarship.

Online - Open day

Applying to The Bartlett Promise UK Master's Scholarship

Presentation and Q&A about the Bartlett Promise UK Master’s Scholarship.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500 £8,250
Tuition fees (2022/23) £29,400 £14,700

Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.

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

Additional costs

Travel and accommodation expenses for the field trip are covered by the programme.

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

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Additional funding is available from our Institute and Faculty and advertised on the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage's 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.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Applications Open: 1 March 2022. Deadline: 31 May 2022
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: 18 April 2022
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Ecclesiastical Insurance Bursary

Deadline: 13 May 2022
Value: Up to £24,150 (to cover the cost of fees and a stipend) (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

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.

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 Sustainable Heritage at graduate level
  • why you want to study Sustainable Heritage at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • 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 in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.