You will study five core modules:
Critical Approaches to Heritage
This module explores the core concepts of heritage: how they are generated, identified, valued and protected. It seeks to identify how heritage values are ascribed, and how these have implications for the recognition and protection of heritage. This process can be unofficial and informal and well as the more widely recognised controlling hierarchical framework of national and international systems of protection through law and international charters. You will be encouraged in to critically explore the variety and diversity of cultural heritage across the globe and the role of heritage in the formation of identities within communities and nations.
Issues in World Heritage Management
World Heritage is a fiercely contested area. The sheer diversity of site types, the cultural and political obstacles that are placed in the way of managers and the difficulties of reconciling local, national and international perspectives make these sites among the most challenging to work on. This module seeks to explore the common themes and issues that crop up in World Heritage management, and will use case studies and discussion groups to explore how these difficulties can be tackled. Among the more challenging areas to be tackled will be how intangible heritage can be managed and how to approach the issues of conserving natural heritage.
Tourism Management at World Heritage Sites
The paradox at the heart of World Heritage is that it is a brand that makes heritage sites more attractive to visit, yet in increasing numbers of visitors, the very heritage itself can be threatened. This module seeks to explore and explain key concepts in tourism management, such as carrying capacity, de-marketing, local community involvement, stakeholder participation and other key elements.Content will focus on World Heritage Sites endorsed through the UNESCO UNITWIN Network for Tourism, Culture and Development.
World Heritage Case Study
You will be supported in acquiring the practical knowledge and skills that are necessary to effectively plan and manage a live work-based case study project and to establish useful contacts within World Heritage organisations in the UK or abroad.
Research Skills and Methods
This module provides students with the core research skills to consider different aspects of heritage by understanding and applying a range of techniques of data collection in practical settings. 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. Students will be encouraged in this module to think critically of heritage not as a ‘given’ in any cultural context, but as something that is constantly being created and lived.
You will also choose one optional module. The list of available modules in any one year can vary, depending on staff specialisms and availability. Modules include:
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.
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 Practices
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.