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Humanities & Creative Industries

UK Quality Assured
Our MA courses in Heritage Studies and Writing: Imaginative Practice (Distance Learning) are united by the exciting, innovative approach they bring to postgraduate study, and the sheer quality of the teaching.
School of Arts and Digital Industries
  • producing high flyers

    Study on our MA Heritage Studies course and you’ll be taking a uniquely wide and inclusive approach to heritage, embracing the street and the internet as well as the museum and exhibition gallery.
  • good career move

    On our MA Writing: Imaginative Practice course, you’ll be taught online by internationally acclaimed writers: poet Tim Atkins and novelist Tessa McWatt. Tim’s latest collection was a Times Literary Supplement book of the year in 2014.

    The MA Writing: Imaginative Practice degree is delivered by distance learning, providing live virtual interaction with tutors and other students around the world and offering a flexible and innovative approach to study.

Why us?

Our postgraduate courses have been the springboard to exciting, creative and rewarding careers for so many of our alumni.

If you want to work in the flourishing heritage industry or if you are already working in the sector and are seeking to advance your career, an MA qualification will help you achieve your goals.

And if you are an aspiring professional writer, our internationally renowned academic team will help you discover your creative voice. They certainly did for Jonny O’Neil, who has written episodes for EastEnders and whose stage play, The Royal Duchess Superstore, was performed to acclaim at London’s Half Moon Theatre. And they did, too, for Danielle Jawando, who’s recently started work as a storyline writer for Coronation Street.

UEL Docklands Campus

Our Heritage Studies course is also about communication, giving you the skills to research, interpret and convey history through a variety of media.

Our unique approach to public history and heritage has earned us plenty of admirers – not least Dr Andrew Perchard, an independent external examiner, who is effusive in his praise.

“Suffice to say it is a world-class course which offers students a highly stimulating learning experience,” he says.

Learning By Doing


Everyone’s eager to do well and improve their work, style and voice. It makes for an exciting and engaging environment to learn in, and one in which I have been able to mature and gain confidence, not just as a writer but as a student.
Grace Varley , MA Writing: Imaginative Practice
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What we’re researching

UEL’s research in areas of heritage studies and creative writing is considered to be of ground-breaking significance.

Much of our historical research is channeled through our association with the internationally renowned Raphael Samuel History Centre.

For instance, Dr Toby Butler, the leader of our Heritage Studies MA course, worked with the Centre to direct a major heritage project on the 1943 Bethnal Green tube shelter tragedy, which claimed 173 lives. Some of his students were closely involved with the work, interviewing and recording the memories of the survivors of Britain’s worst single civilian disaster.

This year MA students are working with staff to develop an exhibition and audio installation at the Hopper’s Hospital in Kent. This was established a century ago by an east London clergyman to treat Londoners who picked hops at harvest time and could not afford medical care. Students will be working on digitising medical records and collecting images and oral history recordings for a permanent exhibition at the heritage site.

We have been pioneering methods to improve the ways in which people with learning disabilities can explore and engage with museums and artefacts. Our research project has been so successful it was shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

The novelist Tessa McWatt, who teaches on the MA Writing: Imaginative Practice degree, is leading the ambitious ’Eastlife’ project. Currently in its early stages of development, it’s envisioned as an open archive and anthology of creative writing by UEL students.

Students are paired with older citizens in the community to develop creative autobiographical and biographical stories that represent the voices of previously unheard members of our local community.