To quote the program’s website: “The Digital Humanities MA/MSc at UCL draws together teaching from a wide range of disciplines, to investigate the application of computational technologies to the arts, humanities and cultural heritage. The programme studies the impact of these techniques on cultural heritage, memory institutions, libraries, archives and digital culture.”
Located in the heart of London, students at UCL have the opportunity to regularly visit some of the most renowned cultural heritage institutions in the world. Lecturers in the digital humanities program often take students on excursions to some of the libraries, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions in London.
As a one year masters degree, the digital humanities program at UCL is quite accelerated and requires students to remain focused and stay on task with their courses, theses, and an internships. The program is divided into three terms. In terms one and two students take taught courses, in the first part of term three students complete work placements or internships, and in the second part of term three students finish their theses. (Note: At UK institutions a student writes a “dissertation” at the master’s level and a “thesis” at the PhD level. Since it is the opposite in the US, I have been and will be referring to this piece of writing as a master’s “thesis” rather than a “dissertation” to avoid any confusion.)
A combination of five required courses and three optional courses are completed over the first two terms. These include courses in programming, multimedia, digitization, markup languages, and many other areas. Students can shape their own degree focus based on the three optional courses they choose to complete. There is an option for an Master of Arts (MA) or an Master of Science (MSc), and the type of degree granted is determined by the courses taken and the focus of the thesis. Already holding an MA in literature, I chose to focus on computer science courses and receive an MSc. This flexibility allows for students to shape their degree based on what they want to pursue as a future career.
In the third term students are required to complete work placements, or internships, which are organized by one of the lecturers in the program. Past placement hosts have included Jisc, British Museum, National Theatre, British Library, Ubiquity Press, and Islington Museum. My internship was at Jisc, a registered charity that provides funding for digital initiatives in universities and other institutions across the UK. This internship provided me with the opportunity to see how a large organization functions, and it also taught me how to work as part of a project team. The work I did during my internship at Jisc also became the focus of my thesis.
Though planning for the thesis usually begins during the second term, the end of the third term is designated for its completion. Each student has an adviser who sets deadlines and reads over drafts of his/her thesis. My thesis was titled “Supporting the Preservation and Sustainability of Software in Higher and Further Education Using Version Control Systems: A Case Study on Jisc’s Software Hub Project.” The abstract for my thesis can be found at: http://www.kellimassa.org/dissertation_abstract/
Upon completion of the program, students should be prepared to work in digital humanities at cultural institutions, universities, and other organizations.
The Digital Humanities program at UCL is within the UCL Centre for Digitial Humanities (UCLDH). The Centre has been involved in a wide range of digital humanities projects, including Transcribe Bentham, Textal, and QRator.
More information on the UCL Digital Huamnities MA/MSc program can be found at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/dh/courses/mamsc
More information on the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities can be found at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/dh/