The Managing Archaeological Sites MA examines why certain archaeological and heritage sites, including World Heritage Sites, are selected for preservation, and how power relationships and different perceptions of contemporary values impact upon this. It explores modern approaches to how sites can be successfully managed, conserved and presented to preserve their significance.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
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.
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
Students will grasp theoretical issues surrounding heritage management, and how to apply a planning process to holistic and sustainable site management, based on the recognition of a site's values to its interest groups. They will also learn practical methods for participatory processes, physical conservation, digital documentation, visitor management, site interpretation, World Heritage nomination, and heritage tourism.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of a core module (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits), an optional work placement and a research dissertation (90 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Managing Archaeological Sites.
Students are required to take the following:
- Managing Archaeological Sites
Students choose to follow further optional modules up to the value of 60 credits, at least one from the list below. The other 45 credits may also from from this list or can be chosen from an outstanding range of Master's modules available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.
- African Heritage
- Antiquities and the Law
- Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
- Archaeologies of the Modern World
- Archaeology and Education
- Comparative Archaeologies of the Americas I: First Peoples to Emerging Complexity
- Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage
- Cultural Memory
- Digital Heritage: Applications in Heritage Management (although not a compulsory course, it is likely that most Managing Archaeological Sites students will take this option)
- GIS in Archaeology and History
- GIS Approaches to Past Landscapes
- Heritage, Globalisation and Development
- Managing Museums
- Museum and Site Interpretation
- Public Archaeology
- Sources and Social Research Methods for Heritage and Archaeology
- Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
- Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Issues
Detailed descriptions of the core courses and modules can be found here. Please note not all modules are available every year.
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 are asked to write a 15,000 word (90 credits) dissertation which will be on any approved topic relevant to the degree and taught components. It is produced as an individual research project undertaken during the course.
Examples of projects include:
- the preservation of archaeological sites in Egypt and the role of local communities
- the conservatiuon and site management of ring-forts in the Republic of Ireland
- post-inscription support for World Heritage Sites
Students will have the option to undertake a voluntary placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project for a period of three weeks in total. In recent years, these placements have included organisations such as English Heritage, the National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, ICOMOS (Paris), World Monuments Fund (Paris), UNESCO World Heritage Centre (Paris), the Museum of London, Atkins Global, the Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa (Portugal), MIRAS (Iran), City Museum (Palermo), Ancient Merv State Archaeological Park (Turkmenistan), and the National Institute of Informatics (Tokyo, Japan). This is not assessed.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations and site visits. It includes an optional three-week placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project. Assessment is through essays, project reports, projects and practicals (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.
UCL Institute of Archaeology (IoA) Master's Awards: a small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2020/21. All UK/EU and Overseas fee-paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email Lisa Daniel. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2020.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Recent graduates of this programme have gone on to work in policy areas and project areas for national and international organisations, such as English Heritage, the National Trust, ICOMOS and UNESCO. They have also worked in development control, heritage consultancies (such as Atkins Global), museums, site interpretation and education. Many students have also gone on to further research in academic institutions around the world, such as Stanford, Athens and Leiden, or here at UCL.
Students on this programme gain understanding of a wide range of practical methods for the conservation, management and interpretation of cultural heritage, which provides a sound basis for a wide range of employment opportunities of the heritage sector. Students also master a technical vocabulary to communicate with heritage professional and agencies, and develop strong transferable skills in written and oral communication, teamworking, digital documentation and dealing with complex stakeholders.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The theory and practice of archaeological heritage management is undertaken within the context of the Institute of Archaeology's international outlook and membership, with student and staff involvement in field research projects around the globe. This provides a unique range of perspectives and circumstances, reflected in critical discourse.
UCL is located in central London, close to the British Museum and British Library. The institute's outstanding library is complemented by UCL's main and specialist libraries.
Students undertake placements with London-based agencies, such as Historic England and the Museum of London, or international bodies, such as UNESCO, ICOMOS and Global Heritage Fund.
Department: Institute of Archaeology
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.
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 programme has an international perspective and will appeal to students from a range of academic backgrounds (e.g. archaeology, conservation, planning, architecture, museum studies). In balancing theory and practice, it will suit those wishing to continue to academic research and those seeking employment in heritage administration or international organisations.
- All applicants
- 24 July 2020
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 Managing Archaeological Sites at graduate level
- what do you consider to be the major challenges in this field today
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
- why you want to study Managing Archaeological Sites at UCL
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment at UCL
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