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COURSE TITLE Master of Arts in Documentary Heritage and Melitensia Studies








Second Cycle

Level 7

6 Semesters

Part-time Day


The Master of Arts in Documentary Heritage and Melitensia is geared towards providing a comprehensive corpus of knowledge, as well as skills, regarding various aspects pertaining to manuscript and printed heritage. The role of written heritage in understanding the evolution of contemporary society, while reflecting past realities is at the core of this course. While covering areas of international relevance, Maltese manuscript and printed sources feature prominently in the course.
LEARNING OUTCOMES - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of (i) the significance of documentary heritage in the form of manuscript and archival texts constituting national memory material and (ii) of Malta-related published output in various formats across time.

- Compare and analyse the different formats and of (i) and (ii) above.

- Gain knowledge of and about the major and minor collections of such materials both in Malta and overseas.

- Demonstrate an understanding of the past and present characteristics of such material through delving into its historical and present relevance.

- Report upon the research potential provided by non-print and print materials.

- Explain the issues related to on-site and remote accessibility and conservation.

Intellectual development:

Will be achieved through a demonstrated ability to compare and analyze the role that documentary material and print has played (and is still currently playing) in the formation/sustaining of shared perceptions, ideas and attitudes. To what
extent were documents and print the cause or the effect of shared national attitudes and values? This will be achieved through an in-depth study of specific genres of Melitensia (Maltese newspapers in a specific language/period; Maltese popular literature; Maltese 'political' and 'patriotic' publications).

Analyse the complex ways through which such written memory has served to reinforce - but also at times question - the social, political, religious and cultural establishments. This will be achieved through a series of case-studies.

The issue of language which has always featured so prominently in every aspect of Maltese life will be analysed through a study of the different language media used in Malta-related print and archival material, with a comparison to the situation in other countries having a similar language issue.

Key/transferable skills:

Major skills which are very much required in the local context:

- Exercise competence in conducting bibliographic tracing and descriptions at different levels of manuscript/archival, print and electronic material pertaining to Malta. This is particularly crucial for Melitensia material which is not readily available locally.

- Utilise acquired critical thinking skills in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of manuscript/archival, print and electronic Melitensia memory institutions, with a view of improving both their collections and their services to users.

- Through a number of case studies, students will use an analytic frame to identify and address issues relating to the on-site and off-site accessibility.

- Be able to address issues relating to conservation of such material, in its different manuscript, print and digital formats.

Other skills relevant to employability and personal development:

The recent legal enactments and attention being given to the print and archival memory is still to be reflected in having individuals possessing the required knowledge, skills and intellectual awareness to sustain such attention. A case in point in this regard is the Notarial Archives project, currently being undertaken and which seeks to save one of the major archival collections on the island.

Upon successful completion of this course, students would be able to:

(i) Work at a professional level in different memory institutions, including libraries, archives and photographic, audio and moving image collections and in different areas. The latter would include acquisition, retention, description and conservation aspects pertaining to such collections.

(ii) Professionally advice private collectors/custodians of such material, of which there exist a considerable number in Malta. Such professional services are at present generally lacking.

(iii) Embark upon significant projects of a bibliographic nature, including the updating of existing bibliographic tools, their transfer to electronic formats and the compilation of detailed bibliographies covering subject-areas not yet covered bibliographically. Major areas in this regard include newspapers and serials, electronic monographs and ephemera.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO FURTHER STUDY The course aims to provide the necessary expertise to individuals who wish to pursue careers in different types of memory institutions, or are already employed by such institutions. It is also intended for those coming from other professions but who undertake research, particularly on Maltese and Melitensia-related areas of study.
COURSE INTENDED FOR - Library and Archive Studies and communications graduates and graduates in other areas
of study who would like to specialise in Malta-related print and archival material.
- Collectors/researchers of Melitensia who would like to become more knowledgeable on the subject.
- Non-Maltese audience interested in Mediterranean written heritage.
The Course is open to applicants in possession of either:

(a) the degree of Bachelor of Library Information and Archive Studies from this University obtained with at least Second Class Honours or Category II, or

(b) a first cycle degree in any area of study deemed relevant by the Board obtained with at least Second Class Honours or Category II from this University, or an equivalent qualification obtained from any other recognised university, or

(c) the Diploma in Library and Information Studies, or the Diploma in Archives and Records Management, obtained from this University, or an equivalent qualification obtained from any other recognised university,
provided that such applicants submit a portfolio documenting and describing a minimum of four years of proven professional experience in the library, archive or information management sector, which experience was obtained following the completion of their Diploma in Library and Information Studies, or the Diploma in Archives and Records Management course.

Applicants in terms of paragraph (b) and (c) shall be interviewed by a board appointed for the purpose, to assess their suitability to follow the Course with profit. The Board shall announce the assessment criteria for admission into the Course at the time of the call for applications.

The interviewing board appointed by the Board shall be composed of at least three members.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2016.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.



Last Updated: 16 September 2016
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

For applicable fees please check the link on the Finance Office webpage.

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