Digital Humanities MSc
The MSc in Digital Humanities, along with its sibling MA programme, draws together teaching and expertise from a wide range of disciplines to investigate the application of computational technologies to the arts, humanities and cultural heritage. We study the impact of the computational techniques on cultural heritage, museums, libraries, archives, digital culture and the information sector while developing skills that are sought by employers.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant humanities or computing discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
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: Level 3
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. 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
The MSc in Digital Humanities is an innovative and exciting programme; it is also demanding and challenging with rigorous academic standards.
Digital Humanities is a multidisciplinary field that undertakes research at the intersection of computing, digital technologies and the humanities. Through our programme, you will develop an advanced understanding of the digital methodologies relevant to research and practice in the humanities, information and cultural sectors.
You will be taught by experts in the field with interests in the ways in which we engage with the digital world, who work in a diverse set of areas and collaborate with media institutions, cultural heritage organisations, government and policy agencies, and scholars around the world.
You will gain technical experience and skills in programming and in internet related technologies, and have the opportunity to learn critical and practical approaches to data visualisation and to social media and digital activism. You will also be introduced to the key debates that are at the core of digital humanities in regional and global contexts and analyse how arguments are expressed and deployed in the humanities. Through our programme you will learn crucial digital humanities skills, techniques and modes of analysis and discover the frameworks and knowledge you need to remain up-to-date with this fast-paced field, now and in the future.
As well as teaching discipline-specific skills, we have a strong commitment to fostering integrative learning and critical reflection. We emphasise the development of research skills and the critical evaluation of material and data from a wide variety of sources. We encourage you to challenge your assumptions and be open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Communication skills are developed through class and seminar discussions with you taking an active role. Team working and networking are equally important and fostered by collaborative learning and the sharing of thoughts and ideas
Who this course is for
The programme is suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in a wide variety of subjects. It allows students with a background in the humanities to acquire the necessary skills in digital technologies and enables those with a technical background to understand the implications of transforming humanities sources into data. It is as suitable for those seeking continuous professional development as for those who hope to gain a postgraduate degree and enter the job market or pursue further study.
What this course will give you
This MSc is a truly interdisciplinary programme that offers students opportunities to capitalise on UCL's world-leading strengths in information studies, computer science, the arts and humanities, and social and historical studies.
Students benefit from research-led teaching delivered by leading scholars and the excellent range of facilities available including UCL Library Special Collections, UCL Museums & Collections, and the UCLDH Digitisation Suite. Teaching by academic staff is supplemented by guest lectures given by experienced practitioners and expert industry professionals.
The foundation of your career
Our alumni have found employment in roles as diverse as web editor, chief operating officer, and senior digital marketing executive. Several have also progressed to fully-funded research degrees; others have further developed their technical skills and have been recruited as programmers and developers both within and outside the academy.
The cultural heritage and information sectors are increasingly aware of the need to provide, manage and analyse digital material and projects, with institutions and museums investing heavily in online content. As activities like digital content creation, dissemination and analysis are undertaken by an ever-broader range of actors, in media and communication, cultural heritage, the governmental and NGO sector and digital agencies and companies, the digital proposition is being widely taken up.
Our graduates develop a unique skill set and are well placed for a career not only in the fast-growing digital sector, but also in public and private-sector research, development, digital strategy and foresight. As well as discipline-specific skills, we have a strong commitment to integrative learning, the development of research skills and the necessity of critically evaluating material and techniques from a wide variety of sources. In addition, we encourage you to challenge your assumptions and be open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Communication skills are developed through class and seminar discussion with students taking an active role. Team working and networking are equally important and fostered by collaborative learning and the sharing of thoughts and ideas.
Teaching and learning
Assessment is through a mixture of essays, practical projects, programming exercises, written technical examinations, and group projects, depending on the options chosen.
In the taught (pre-dissertation) phase of the programme, students spend 20-25% of their time in the classroom/lab with the remainder of their time taken up with groupwork and independent study. For the dissertation, the mode of delivery is independent study punctuated by regular one-to-one meetings with their supervisor.
A Postgraduate Diploma, six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study up to 5 years is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate, four from any of the available modules (60 credits), full-time fifteen weeks or flexible study up to two years is offered.
Full time students will take five compulsory modules and three optional modules, a research dissertation and a work placement.
The compulsory modules will introduce a range of issues involved in the rationale, selection, creation, evaluation, critique and use of digital resources in the humanities; explore the fundamental concepts of markup, website delivery and design, and issues involved in generating and delivering online content effectively and accessibly; the use of appropriate programming languages to introduce the fundamental principles of programming and scripting; an overview of meta-markup languages, giving you the opportunity to practice XML markup techniques and transformations with XSLT; and give you the opportunity to understand and engage in current debates in the digital humanities related to data-centric research, such as, for example, the ways in which patterns of societal privilege and prejudice may be embedded in the ways in which data are collected, processed and presented.
The technical compulsory modules are all at entry-level; for students that already have demonstrable competencies in these areas, it may be possible, subject to the agreement of the Programme Director, to substitute modules from other UCL departments.
For the optional modules in Terms 1 and 2, there are usually a wide range of taught optional modules to choose from. These include modules from other postgraduate degree programmes with the Department of Information Studies including Archives and Records Management; Library and Information Studies; and Knowledge, Information and Data Science, as well as some from programmes in other departments including Psychology, Archaeology and Anthropology (subject to availability and timetabling).
This is for coursework assignments, exams and the work placement module which is a mandatory requirement for all full-time students. The work placement gives you the opportunity to put theory into practice and gain invaluable experience of the workplace in this fast-moving environment. Students carry out the bulk of the research for their dissertation in Term 3, but will have been working on their proposal throughout the year. We ask students to include in their proposal outline thoughts about a dissertation area in which they may be interested, although this will evolve as the year progresses and students develop new skills and focus on their own areas of interest
Part time students (two-year programme of study) will take five compulsory modules, three optional modules and a research dissertation. They will usually take four taught modules in each year, and the dissertation in the second and final year, and they must take all five compulsory modules and three optional modules by the end of their studies. There is no fixed order in which the taught modules should be taken and we are happy to allow as much flexibility as possible.
Modular/flexible students (two- to five-year programme of study) will take five compulsory modules, three optional modules and a research dissertation. They can take the eight taught modules (compulsory and optional) in any order they wish (apart from those modules with prerequisites) and must make sure they have completed all eight by the end of their studies. The dissertation should be submitted in the final year of study.
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. 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.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Digital Humanities. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Digital Humanities. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Digital Humanities.
Full-time students undertake work experience where they have the opportunity to make professional contacts and gain invaluable experience, putting what they have learnt into practice. Past placement hosts have included the British Museum; British Library; Marx Memorial Library; Islington Museum; the Postal Museum; Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation; Horniman Museum; Ubiquity Press; SOAS, University of London; UCL Grant Museum; and The Warburg Institute.
Fees and funding
Fees for this course
|Tuition fees (2023/24)||£14,100||£7,050|
|Tuition fees (2023/24)||£29,000||£14,500|
Programme also available 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.
Full-time students undertake placements and these may incur travel costs within London. There are also optional visits to other institutions, again incurring potential travel costs within London.
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
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 Digital Humanities at graduate level
- what you can bring to this programme
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic or professional background meets the demands of this programme
- what your plans are academically or professionally after this degree
- an initial outline of an area that you may want to focus on for your dissertation
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate your suitability for the programme.
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.
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