Cultural Heritage Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 12.8 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 26 k / Year(s) Deadline: Mar 1, 2024
16 place StudyQA ranking:4682 Duration:1 year

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This MA covers practical and theoretical approaches to the key issues and working practices in the field of cultural heritage. Students benefit from the Institute of Archaeology's emphasis on the role of heritage in today's society, from the art and archaeology collections of UCL, and from the unrivalled resources of London's museums.

Students are introduced to theoretical issues involved in cultural heritage and develop a critical understanding of the social and political context in which the processes for managing cultural heritage operate. The flexible programme structure allows students to design a theoretically based or practically based degree depending on each individual's needs and interests.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core module (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits), an optional work placement and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

Students are required to take the following core modules: 

  • Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development

Optional modules

Students then choose to follow further option choices to the value of 60 credits. At least 30 credits must be taken from the list below. The remaining 30 credits may also come from this list or can be chosen from the outstanding range of Master's option choices offered by the UCL Institute of Archaeology. 

  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
  • Art: Interpretation and Explanation
  • Beyond Chiefdoms: Archaeologies of African Political Traditions
  • Cultural Memory
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
  • Managing Archaeological Sites
  • Managing Museums
  • Museum and Site Interpretation


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations, site visits and guest lectures, and includes a 20-day placement in a museum or other cultural heritage organisation. Assessment is through essays, projects reports, a heritage agency report following the placement, and the dissertation.


Students have the option to do a 20-day voluntary placement in a museum or other cultural heritage organisation. 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) and the Museum of London. The placement is not formally assessed. 



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.

Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: A small number of grants of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2017/18. 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 2017.

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