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MSc Digital Heritage

Curate heritage for a digital future

Year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

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This course provides professional training in the growing fields of digital archiving, visualisation, museums and heritage sector curation, interpretation and education.

Digital practices are becoming increasingly important in the heritage sector. This course draws together the Department of Archaeology's strengths in archaeological information sciences and cultural heritage to provide a combination of theoretical and applied study of heritage management with practical training in new technologies. 

You will be working with a team of technology pioneers and computing scholars who lead the field in researching and developing interpretative content and digital applications for the heritage sector worldwide. You'll have the opportunity for practical placement experience within the heritage sector, develop essential IT knowledge and skills, have access to a full suite of research computing hardware and software and receive tailored careers advice from staff with significant experience of recruiting within the sector.

This course is ideal for graduates of Archaeology, History, Art History, Museum Studies, Education, Anthropology, Cultural Studies and related fields, and for candidates with proven IT experience.

The Digital Heritage course allowed me to make connections with real innovators and forward thinkers in the industry, as well as gain essential IT skills that speak to employers.
Flo, MSc Digital Heritage

Project Administrator at L-P Archaeology

Feel at home

Informality is one of our distinctive qualities - the atmosphere in our department is friendly, supportive and enthusiastic. We want you to develop your potential and thrive at York.

A treasure trove of archaeology

With historic buildings and significant remains from the Roman, Viking and Medieval periods, York has an impressive concentration of archaeology.

Royal recognition

We were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011 in recognition of our dynamic research community and teaching excellence.

Course content

You'll engage with critical analysis of digital technology as employed in the archaeology and heritage sectors combined with practical training, research and work placements that will prepare you use these technologies effectively in your career.

You'll explore how digital technologies are used to present and curate heritage information; gain experience of using the digital and internet technologies in disseminating, publishing and archiving heritage information; and develop your practical skills in 3D modelling, GIS, CAD and other heritage analysis and visualisation technologies. 

You will take a total of 180 credits over the course, including four core modules, worth 20 credits each, four 5-credit skills modules and an 80-credit Independent Study Module which includes your dissertation and assessed lecture.

Modules

Core modules

Option modules

You'll choose four skills modules from a range including:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

You'll complete a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation (80 credits), which will allow you to demonstrate your skills in research as well as applying insights from the taught modules. You'll then give an assessed lecture on your research. Under the guidance of one or more members of our academic staff you'll be able to develop independent research on a topic of your own choosing.

Examples of previous dissertation topics include:

  • End of visualisation? Virtual and augmented reality headset technologies in archaeology and heritage
  • Chatbot experience for Çatalhöyük
  • A Study of the Wilberforce Memorial School for the Blind using Soundscapes
  • Community memories and virtual reality: the 3D reconstruction of St Mary Bishophill Senior
  • Digital engagement with paintings in the National Palace Museum
  • Visualising the Great Kyz Kala: an exploration of digital 3D recording at a complex archaeological site

Placements

At the end of your second term you'll have the opportunity to gain first hand practical experience through a student placement at a professional heritage organisation. Placements are offered by organisations including museums, heritage centres and local planning authorities. Although optional, most of our students take up a work placement, as it provides invaluable experience highly sought after in the sector.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an applied, systematic, in-depth understanding of essential disciplinary knowledge of digital heritage, and awareness of its breadth and its relevant academic, professional and socio-economic contexts
  • Engage critically with current debates and advanced scholarship in local and international research and practice within digital heritage in order to evaluate the field of practice
  • Inform decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations by assessing and applying advanced, professional-level digital heritage theories and methodologies to diverse problems or forms of data
  • Confidently synthesise research findings and key scholarly debates, and communicate (through a variety of forms and media) to peers, public or professional audiences in such a way that demonstrates an ability to consider and adapt to their respective needs
  • Demonstrate originality in rigorous and imaginative independent inquiry, using advanced research skills, and a clear contribution to the work of a team
  • Engage in critically self-aware and ethically-informed decision-making in order to develop impactful projects in the field of digital heritage which respond to the needs of various affected audiences
  • Demonstrate professional-level competence with a variety of technologies used to publish, archive, analyse, visualise and interpret archaeological and heritage information
  • Apply leading edge theoretical and methodological developments in digital heritage to the constraints of a workplace in the heritage sector or in relation to specific local communities and real-world stakeholders

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £8,040£18,240
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,020£9,120
Part-time (3 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£2,680£6,080

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

We don't anticipate there being any additional fees associated with this course. All books and resources you need will be available in the library or online and it isn't mandatory that you buy your own copies. You may wish to set aside a small budget for photocopying, depending on how you like to work.

Field trips are funded by the Department.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

We have a variety of funding options available within the department.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, practicals, seminars and tutorials. In the Summer Term you will develop your research and presentation skills by producing a dissertation and giving an assessed lecture. You will also have the opportunity to gain valuable experience through a student placement in the professional heritage sector.

Facilities

There are two dedicated computer labs at King’s Manor with a range of imaging software, including 3D Studio Max, AgiSoft Photoscan, ArcGIS, AutoCAD and the full Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.

The Department has equipment available for student use including total stations, handheld and differential GPS, drones, GoPro cameras, magnetometers, ground penetrating radar, resistivity meters, video-ready DSLR cameras, microphones, an RTI dome and other photography kit.

Teaching location

The Department of Archaeology is based in King's Manor, in York city centre. The majority of your teaching will take place there within the Department, with a small amount taking place in Vanbrugh College on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed through both essays and practical work including 3D models, websites, films and other forms of digital imaging. Some option modules assess oral presentations, museum exhibition strategies or other multimedia output. You will also complete a dissertation and assessed lecture based on your dissertation.

Postgraduate students working in the Library.
A man looking at an archaeological find while working on a laptop.
I have developed a variety of computer skills and learned the terminology and theory behind decisions made in cultural heritage management. I was able to use these new skills as they were immediately applied during my heritage placements at York City Council and the British Council for Archaeology.
Jitka, MSc Digital Heritage

Careers and skills

This course offers practical, careers-focused training for many essential roles in heritage-related organisations and other sectors. The digital knowledge you'll develop will leave you well prepared for a wide range of technology-focused careers in archaeology, the heritage sector and beyond.

Career opportunities

  • Archive management
  • Museum curation
  • Social media management
  • Local government and development
  • Computing and IT services
  • Business and administration
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Education

Transferable skills

  • High levels of digital literacy, including digital archiving and imaging
  • Data collection and management
  • Critical thinking through and with digital technologies
  • High level of written and oral skills
  • Project management
  • Time management

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in all other components
PTE Academic 61, minimum 61 in Writing and 55 in all other components
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 176 in Writing and 169 in all other components
TOEFL 87, minimum 23 in Writing and 21 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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