University College London is one of the world’s leading multi-disciplinary universities, currently ranked fourth in the world (QS World University Rankings 2013-14). UCL was established in 1826 in order to open up education in England for the first time to students of any race, class or religion. Its founding principles of academic excellence and research aimed at addressing real-world problems inform the university’s ethos to this day.
UCL, in partnership with Qatar Foundation and Qatar Museums Authority, has created UCL Qatar, a leading centre of excellence for the study of cultural heritage. In doing so, UCL became the first British university to open a campus in Qatar. We welcomed our first intake of 32 students from 13 countries in August 2012. Drawing upon the renowned expertise of UCL Institute of Archaeology, London, leading academic scholars, teachers and scientists implement our unique curriculum and research.
UCL Qatar offers a rigorous and dynamic learning environment with three postgraduate degree programmes. These include an MSc in Conservation Studies, an MA in Museum and Gallery Practice, and an MA in the Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World. Our programmes have a significant focus on the Gulf and the wider Middle East region, and incorporate extended field placements. They are designed to give students the practical skills required to pursue a career as a leader in the cultural heritage sector.
In collaboration with Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), UCL Qatar launched two further programmes that admitted their first students in summer 2013: MA in Library and Information Studies and Diploma in Academic Research and Methods.
A key element to our objectives is to work to support the development of Qatar’s cultural heritage sector, as outlined in the National Vision 2030. UCL Qatar provides short training courses for mid-career professionals working within the cultural heritage sector, and staff and students work closely with the countries museums and heritage sector.
In establishing UCL Qatar, UCL seeks not only to create the leading centre of excellence in the Gulf region for the study of archaeology, conservation and museology, but to strive with the community to bring cultural heritage to the forefront. Our outreach programmes, school activities and public lectures are allowing the community to learn more about Qatar’s rich cultural past, as well as archaeological and historical issues within the wider region.