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Archives & Records Management

MA (NFQ Level 9)

This course is available through the following application route(s)

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The MA Archives & Records Management programme in the School of History trains students to select, curate and ensure access to the historic and future memory contained in records. It is aimed at graduates who wish to acquire the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to enable them to ethically manage records and archives in all formats, from medieval manuscripts to born digital records.

The programme is based on the conception of the record-keeper as a reflective professional, who is informed in terms of adherence to international best practice, creative in the delivery of services, sensitive to cultural difference, and dynamic in relation to technological change.

The programme’s learning environment comprises lectures, seminars, field trips, practitioner visits and work placements. Onsite facilities allow students to gain practical experience of archival preservation, processing and digitization, often working in collaboration with internal or external archival repositories. UCD is also very conveniently located for the use of Dublin city centre research and cultural institutions, including the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives where an extensive range of Irish manuscripts and Irish state papers are housed.

  • This MA is the entry-level professional qualification for archivists and records managers in Ireland and globally.
  • UCD’s programme has an international reputation and has long-standing accreditation by the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland).
  • The MA curriculum provides students with practical knowledge based on a strong theoretical foundation.



About This Course

The programme provides education in the management of records and archives in all formats from ancient manuscripts to email. It covers a range of areas including scheduling and retention, accountability, legislation, appraisal and acquisition, preservation, arrangement and description, management, ethics, access and advocacy. It also provides students with the tools to conduct theoretical research in archives and records management.


  • Students should be able to demonstrate a thorough grounding in and knowledge of the principles underlying the theory and practice of the care and management of archives and records in all formats.
  • Actively embrace the ethical and cultural responsibilities of the professional record keeper.
  • Apply the skills of the archivist and records manager in a variety of working environments.
  • Engage critically with current research trends and methodologies in archives and records management and appreciate their relevance to the workplace.
  • Identify with the national and international community of archivists and records managers.

Teaching, learning and assessment is based on enabling students to complete assignments, both individually and in groups, which practically simulate the work of the professional record-keeper.  An engagement with the theory behind contemporary practice is encouraged through presentations, essays and a minor research dissertation.

More generally, you will learn the skills to enable you:

  • to work as a professional archivist and records manager in archives services and in other organisations which require professional expertise in corporate record services;
  • to contribute to government and corporate accountability regimes;
  • to contribute to the expansion of the profession in Ireland and elsewhere by establishing and managing new archives services and new corporate record services;
  • to contribute to a sustainable environment for research and exploration in archivistics;
  • to meet the challenges posed by technology, to work with records and archives in a variety of media and to address the demands of their capture, use and retention;
  • to recognise gaps in collective memory, to develop inclusive collecting policies and to implement ways of reconstructing or supplementing archival sources;
  • to encourage and provide access services to a range of stakeholders in the knowledge economy.




The MA programme is the first step for those seeking to pursue an academic career in archives and records management education. Since programmes were first established in UCD for the education of professional archivists, successful graduates have found work in a wide range of archives, library and corporate positions in Ireland, the UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. A few have embarked on academic careers in the education of archivists and records managers.
In recent years there has been 100% success rate in finding suitable professional careers. However the recent downturn in the economy has had an inevitable effect and its medium term impact is difficult to ascertain.
In Ireland graduates are working in, for example,

•  The National Archives of Ireland
•  The National Library of Ireland
•  Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
•  Chester Beatty Library
•  Irish Architectural Archive
•  Irish Film Archives
•  Guinness Archives
•  UCD Archives and other university archives services
•  Local government archives services
•  Church archives
•  Arthur Cox and Associates
•  The National Treasury Management Agency
•  Records management consultancy services

Below is a list of all modules offered for this degree in the current academic year. Click on the module to discover what you will learn in the module, how you will learn and assessment feedback profile amongst other information.

Incoming Stage 1 undergraduates can usually select an Elective in the Spring Trimester. Most continuing undergraduate students can select up to two Elective modules (10 Credits) per stage. There is also the possibility to take up to 10 extra Elective credits.

Module Type Module   Trimester Credits
Stage 1 Core Modules
ARCV40040 Archives and their Users - Advocacy and the Archives Gateway Autumn  5
Stage 1 Core Modules
ARCV40070 Managing Records & Information in Public & Private Organisations Autumn  10
Stage 1 Core Modules
ARCV41340 Archival Representation - Arranging and Describing Archives Autumn  10
Stage 1 Core Modules
ARCV41470 The Recordkeeping Professional Spring  10
Stage 1 Core Modules
ARCV41500 Deciding What to Keep Spring  5
Stage 1 Core Modules
ARCV41510 Archives Preservation Spring  5
Stage 1 Core Modules
ARCV40200 Dissertation Year-long (12 months)  30
Stage 1 Options - A)15CR:
Select 15 credits of option modules
ARCV41330 Introduction to Palaeography: Medieval and Early Modern Scripts Autumn  5
Stage 1 Options - A)15CR:
Select 15 credits of option modules
LAT10090 Beginners' Latin I Autumn  10
Stage 1 Options - A)15CR:
Select 15 credits of option modules
ARCV41490 Placement Spring  5
Stage 1 Options - A)15CR:
Select 15 credits of option modules
ENG41950 Medival Manuscript Fragments Spring  5
Stage 1 Options - A)15CR:
Select 15 credits of option modules
IS40560 Digital Libraries Spring  5
Stage 1 Options - A)15CR:
Select 15 credits of option modules
IS40630 Digital Curation:Core Concepts Spring  10
Stage 1 Options - A)15CR:
Select 15 credits of option modules
IS40760 Research Data Management Spring  5

  • Accredited by the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland) and currently the only fully accredited course of its kind in Ireland

James Flood
MA 2017

The MA in Archives & Records management offers a wide range of modules, from archival theory to records management. The course leaves graduates with a wide range of career choices upon completion of the MA. The course work for the MA is extremely hands on and practical and this allows students to go into the workplace with the most up to date skills, an aspect which is appealing to employers. The staff in the department are experts in their respective areas and this is an important aspect in passing on the most up to date and relevant knowledge to students. Upon completion of the MA I began work straight away as an archivist and the broad range of skills which I acquired during my time on the course have allowed me to work across a wide range of industry’s from construction, to law, to IT and data protection.

Archives & Records Management (Z020) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 11500
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

Archives & Records Management (Z100) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5750
nonEU    fee per year - € 11300

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Applicants must possess the following minimum qualifications:

Ireland and the UK: 2nd class honours, grade I in the primary degree. In exceptional circumstances candidates with a high 2nd class honours, grade II degree will be considered.

Canada and the USA: a primary degree with a grade point average of 3.5

Other: an internationally recognised equivalent of the above

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element) or equivalent. Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD’s International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information: https://www.ucd.ie/alc/programmes/pathways/int%20pmp/

In applying for this course applicants will have a distinct advantage if they have a good academic record, relevant pre-course experience, good interpersonal skills, acceptable IT skills, evident commitment to work as an archivist or records manager. Pre-course experience does not have to be extensive but should allow applicants to have a good understanding of the work of a professional record keeper.

As the number of places on the course is limited, the allocation of places is on a competitive basis. Apply early to avoid disappointment. A waiting list will also be created.


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The MA Archives and Records Management class comprises an international cohort of students with a variety of academic backgrounds and life experiences.  The programme is ideal for both recent graduates and those seeking a career change. It is also ideal for individuals with advanced academic degrees seeking a professional qualification. Applications are generally sought from arts and humanities’ graduates although graduates of other faculties and disciplines such as law, life and human sciences will be welcomed

General application route(s) for Irish/UK/EU applicants* for International (non-EU) applicants* to Archives & Records Management:

ROWCLASS Apply to   Application Type  
showAudience-audienceEU showAudience-audienceInt Z020
Archives & Records Management
Master of Arts
Commencing 2024/2025 September
Graduate Taught Closed
showAudience-audienceEU showAudience-audienceInt Z100
Archives & Records Management
Master of Arts
Commencing 2024/2025 September
Graduate Taught Closed
* you can change options at the top of the page