Heritage, Sustainability and Society BA

London, Stratford (UCL East)
Heritage, Sustainability and Society BA (2023)

How should the objects, stories, traditions and landscapes inherited from the past be managed today to build a better future? Our Heritage, Sustainability and Society BA tackles urgent global challenges including inequality, climate change and sustainability. Combining social science and humanities subjects with practical skills development and work placement, the degree will prepare you for careers in heritage and beyond. 

UK students International students
Study mode
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Fees to be confirmed
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Fees to be confirmed
Programme starts
September 2024
Application deadline
31 Jan 2024
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer information

CCC more about contextual offers
No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.

Contextual offer

30 more about contextual offers
A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction, 12 credits at Merit and 3 credits at Pass, all from Level 3 units.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades ABB.

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher)

D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

Whether it’s statues, buildings, plant species, oral traditions, values or nuclear waste - our world and the way we live within it are fundamentally shaped by what has come before and the decisions made about how to manage it. Heritage is both the physical remains and the intangible practices that are inherited from past generations. Heritage helps us understand histories and decide how to act today to manage the past and determine how we live in the future.  

Our new BA Heritage, Sustainability and Society brings together archaeology, anthropology, geography, history, and history of art to explore the way the past shapes the present. You will learn how to apply these disciplines critically, intellectually and practically to tackle pressing issues of our time such as global conflict, the climate crisis, and social inequality and injustice.  

The degree explores heritage in its broadest sense, including landscapes and biodiversity, cultural practices and traditions, digital media, cityscapes, museums, collections, community, and your own sense of identity and belonging. You will gain insights into the different ways pasts are imagined, created, marginalised and politicised by individuals, communities, organisations and states. You will learn to critically evaluate the ways the past has been managed for future generations, and to develop new perspectives on how this can be done sustainably to address specific social needs.  

Skills training and career preparation are key features of the degree. You will gain hands-on professional experience through a placement with a heritage organisation or collection; partner organisations include the National Trust and V&A. Students will follow one of three skills pathways: 

  • natural and cultural heritage management, including different ways of caring for the diverse aspects of our environment  
  • museums and collections, including designing exhibitions and curating a variety of artworks and objects  
  • digital methods and media, including learning cutting-edge skills for presenting the past to the public

You will have access to bespoke facilities at the new UCL East campus in Stratford. This includes the Culture Lab; a professional-standard exhibition and object handling space where students will work with UCL’s world class collections to tell their own stories about what matters to them.  

The degree will equip you with the critical theory, hands-on heritage training and transferable skills that will enable you to pursue successful employment paths within and outside of the heritage sector.   

What this course will give you

Heritage, Sustainability and Society BA is based at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology and co-taught with Geography and Anthropology, all of which are ranked in the global top 10 by subject in the QS World Rankings 2022. 

The programme is designed to meet and deepen the interests of individual students through tailored pathways in natural and cultural heritage management, museums and collections, and digital heritage.  You will also be able to select from a wide range of modules from Archaeology, Anthropology, Geography, History of Art and UCL’s Institute of the Americas. 

Based at UCL East, you will benefit from access to diverse cultural and natural resources, specialist facilities, and connections with East Bank partners. You will also have access to UCL’s Bloomsbury campus. 

You will complete a four-week work placement during the final term of second year, which will provide networking opportunities and help put classroom-based learnings into real-life context.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Heritage, Sustainability and Society.


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.

The first year is at the brand-new UCL East campus in Stratford’s Olympic Park. You will get an interdisciplinary introduction to heritage as a lens for understanding global challenges in their historical, cultural, and environmental contexts. You will make use of the Culture Lab, its collections and archives, and its opportunities for creative working.

The second year will deepen critical engagement with decolonial theory and community engagement. You will follow one of three distinct skills-based pathways through modules and the 4-week placement. These pathways are: 

  • natural and cultural heritage management
  • museums and collections
  • digital methods and media

The third year will be an opportunity to focus on your chosen specialism and understand how to apply it in building a better future. You will hone this critical and practical understanding through your dissertation; a focused piece of self-directed study supported by our talented course leaders who bring a wide range of practical and intellectual expertise.

Your learning

You will be taught using a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips and practical sessions. You will make full use of the state-of-the-art facilities at UCL East, our extensive teaching and reference collections, and partnerships with heritage organisations across London and beyond.

During the third term of the second year, students will undertake a compulsory placement (total of 90 hours’ work across four weeks). This placement will be with an approved organisation and will give students the opportunity to apply their learning to workplace contexts, as well as building networks beyond the university. 

Each student will engage in 1200 learning hours every year, made up of teaching time, independent study, assessment, and feedback. Taught experiences will include lectures, seminars, workshops, object handling sessions, exhibition design and installation, field trips, community based research, and project design and management.


In the first year, take-home examinations replicate the tasks and timeframes encountered in the workplace. Year 1 will also include written assessments to develop your academic writing skills.

Year 2 and 3 core modules feature multi-modal assessments, including reports, exhibitions, short films, podcasts, and project-based work, as well as essays. 


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

UCL Main Campus, Gower St, London WC1E 6AE, UK - Open day

UCL Undergraduate Open Days

Join us on Friday 30 June or Saturday 01 July and experience what it is like to study at UCL. The in-person Open Days are an opportunity to tour our campus, accommodation and facilities. You can learn more about the programmes of study and the wide range of support services available and meet academics and students to help you decide if UCL is the place for you.

The foundation of your career

Students taking this degree will be excellently placed to work in a variety of fields, including public communication; urban, environmental, and architectural planning; galleries, libraries, and museums; public policy; charity and third sector work; international development; creative industries; and environmental conservation.   


The degree offers a vital skillset through in-depth studies, excellent facilities and a work placement that puts learning into real-world context. This approach will teach students to work collaboratively within teams and work independently on diverse projects, and to think critically about the world around them. Students will gain experience of working with communities, curating exhibitions, and natural and cultural conservation techniques. Students will develop strong analytical skills, data literacy, writing abilities, and technical capacity in cutting-edge digital methods for design and research.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) Fees to be confirmed
Tuition fees (2023/24) Fees to be confirmed

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2023/24 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2023/24 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

There may be minor costs associated with travel around London to reach field trips and placements. 

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.


The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Next steps

Your application

This programme will suit students from a broad range of backgrounds including history, art, English literature, sociology, politics, languages, biology, and media. We are looking for students who can demonstrate an interest in the past and its relationship to contemporary challenges like climate change and social inequality.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.