You will study five core modules [full descriptions available below]:
- Critical Approaches to Heritage
- Heritage Conservation Management
- Heritage Management Practice
- Heritage Interpretation
- Research Skills and Methods
You will take your module over the course of two semesters and also attend a one-week residential study school. You complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation.
Our heritage management programmes are taught in the ERI building on the Birmingham Campus, where dedicated research space is available to students. The study week is based at the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site in Shropshire, and is run jointly by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and the University.
You will study five core modules:
Critical Approaches to Heritage
This module seeks to introduce the core values of heritage and looks at the evolving national and international charters and systems that underpin the delivery of heritage protection. It looks at heritage in all its forms: tangible and intangible, official and unofficial and critically examines how heritage works and happens.
Heritage Conservation Management
Everyone responsible for a part of the heritage is working with a finite resource which must be managed appropriately to ensure its long term survival. Key concepts such as stewardship and sustainability are considered in this module. The premise that creative conservation can only be achieved through economic viability and accountability runs through the sessions. Core training is provided in conservation and planning legislation, visitor management, integrated management of historic properties, collections management and carrying capacity.
Heritage Management Practice
This module aims to outline the range of practical and professional skills that are required in running a heritage site. It looks at the issues surrounding financial management and fundraising, the management of people, including staff and volunteers as well the wider national and international context of museum charging, arts sponsorship, and external funding. The module also covers the marketing of heritage sites, including the increasing importance of digital media and social networking. Assessment is through the creation of a feasibility study for a new heritage attraction.
Research Skills and Methods
This module provides the core research skills to consider different aspects of heritage by understanding and applying a range of techniques of data collection in practical settings, including investigating the environment (using archaeological sources and paper and digital cartographic resources, observing the landscape and the built environment); investigating archives (researching paper and digital manuscript and printed and visual sources); exploring objects and artefacts (using materials in museums and museum websites and private and public cultural settings); and researching intangible materials (exploring oral history and traditions and public and private memories).
The module also considers ‘heritage’ as a contemporary lived phenomenon, one that is global in extent and yet local in its experience, essentially a ‘public’ resource that is inevitably contested and both uniting and divisive in its effects. Accordingly, students will be introduced to the techniques whereby these aspects of ‘heritage’ are studied, including approaches to its management and recording, the communities that make associations with particular heritages, and the attributes of heritage sites and landscapes.
This module explores good practice in interpretation, the art of revealing to visitors the meaning and significance of objects and places. The philosophy of interpretation is considered and issues such as selectivity and bias are debated. Interpretation is considered in the contexts of recreation management, tourism, education and museums. Key concepts include communication theory, interpretative planning and programming, exhibition design and layout, visitor behaviour, interpretative media, language for interpretation, monitoring and evaluation.
You will also attend a study week and have the opportunity to complete a work placement:
The study week, generally based in the World Heritage Site at Ironbridge, is an ideal opportunity to experience management at one of the leading independent museums in the UK. Visits are led by key museum staff or involve visits to other major heritage attractions within the region that demonstrate particular aspects of heritage management.
Our wide network of contacts with the industry in the UK mean that we can offer placements in a wide range of institutions, enhancing students’ career prospects and offering the opportunity to gather data for your dissertation.
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:
- Full-time: £7,290
- Part-time: £3,645
For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme
For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.