MA International Heritage Management by distance learning

Start date
September
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Distance learning
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2020/21:
Full-time: £9,250
Part-time: £4,625
More detail.

Are you looking to develop your career as a heritage manager? Are you already working in the heritage industry and looking to further develop your knowledge, understanding and skills? 

The MA in International Heritage Management is a well-established and respected programme based on a unique partnership between a leading research University and one of the largest independent museums in the UK, the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust. For more than 25 years, the programme has provided an advanced qualification in heritage and its management.

Grounded in a deep understanding of the theoretical approaches to heritage and their application, this established programme equips you with the skills needed for both future research into heritage and museums work, conservation and regeneration, the management of historic buildings and landscapes, and cultural tourism. Included within the degree is a study week that directly engages you with issues in the sector through study visits to leading museums and heritage attractions, and offers an opportunity to engage directly with your fellow students and staff.

It offers you the opportunity to engage with a rich and diverse international research community based at the University and researching many aspects of heritage and its management across the world, and the practical experience of the Museum Trust in running heritage attractions.

This programme equips you with the key concepts and skills necessary to a career in the heritage field. We also offer the full-time campus based MA International Heritage Management.

If you are unsure whether to study MA International Heritage Management or MA World Heritage studies, please view our handy course comparison guide.

 

International Heritage Management is a degree that offers a holistic approach in the heritage sector, including conservations and law issues internationally. The programme made me think critically and gave me a proper base to start a career in the heritage sector

Katerina

Why Study this Course?

 
  • A unique partnership –  Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH) is a partnership formed over 30 years ago between the University of Birmingham and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. You will have the opportunity to work with museum professionals and world-leading academics to enhance your learning experience.
  • Optional placement – we can support you to undertake a work placement to enhance your career prospects.
  • Be a part of an active online community – studying by distance learning is not a lonely experience here at the Ironbridge Institute. You will get to meet people from all over world - virtually – which will impact on your experience through learning about a variety of different contexts within which heritage is being operated globally.
  • Career changing – a qualification from the University of Birmingham can be the springboard to promotion with your current employer, the platform from which to launch a new career or simply a way to become more effective in your current role.
  • Access to materials – our study materials are produced by academic staff in the specialist areas and are available online through the University's 'virtual learning environment'. They contain aims and objectives, reading lists, summaries of readings, activities and commentaries, discussion and reflection tasks, indexes and details of assignments required. On joining you are provided with a course handbook that introduces you to the team, provides details of their roles and expertise and gives all the contact information you will need including email addresses so that if you have any difficulties or questions you will know who to contact for help and guidance.
  • Ongoing support – you will be assigned a personal tutor who will guide you through the programme.

Modules

Through a combination of lectures provided by experts in their field and a programme of study visits, you engage with diverse aspects of heritage management and research approaches that will enable you to progress in the sector.

You will take your modules over the course of two terms. The study week takes place in the second term, based in accommodation provided by the University. 

Our wide network of contacts with the industry in the UK means that we can also offer support for you to organise a placement during your course if you wish. 

Core modules

You will study six core modules:

Critical Approaches to Heritage

This module seeks to introduce the core issues relating to understanding heritage. It looks critically at heritage in all its forms: tangible and intangible, official and unofficial, and examines how heritage ‘works’ and happens. Throughout heritage is treated as a complex modern phenomenon that plays an important part in modern life across the world. (Read more about this module)
Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

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.
Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

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. (Read more about this module)
Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

Heritage Interpretation

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.
Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

Research Skills and Methods

The module 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.

Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

Study Week

The study week is an ideal opportunity to experience a diverse range of heritage sites, and engage with the staff who run them so that you gain an insight into real-life projects and keys aspects of management practice.
Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

Placement

You will also have the opportunity to complete an optional work placement. Our wide network of contacts with the industry in the UK mean that we can offer placements in a wide range of institutions, enhancing your career prospects and offering the opportunity to gather data for your dissertation.

Dissertation

In addition to your taught modules, you will conduct a piece of independent research with the support of a supervisor, culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation.

Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • Full-time, all students: £9,250
  • Part-time, all students: £4,625

Please note: The part-time programme can be completed over up to three years, but fees are payable over two years; in each of years one and two, the fee payable will be half the full-time rate.

Paying your fees

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.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

Please apply by Thursday 10 September 2020. However, we would encourage you to apply at the earliest opportunity, to allow adequate time to prepare for starting your studies once receiving a decision on your application.

Late applicants are encouraged to contact the Admissions Tutor for advice.

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

You will need an Honours degree in a relevant subject, normally of an upper second-class standard, or equivalent. You do not have to have prior experience of the subject or of this mode of learning, but we would expect to see evidence of engagement with or enthusiasm about heritage in your personal statement.

International/EU students

Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band.. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements


Online resources

This is a web-based programme which covers all of the components of the Ironbridge Institute’s conventional MA programme. It is delivered using Canvas, a virtual learning environment which provides teaching and support materials. It is recommended that you have regular access to a computer with internet access (preferably broadband) so that you can get involved in online discussions. Contributing to discussions and reflecting on other students’ postings is considered a requirement of the course. For those students who can only access a computer occasionally, and who do require supporting materials on CD, it may be possible for you to only use the Canvas site for online discussions. This might require internet access for about one hour a week.

Offline resources

You will need access to a university library close to where you live. As a student registered with us, you will have access to University of Birmingham libraries, but you will probably need to obtain books and journals more locally. In certain circumstances, subject to copyright legislation, we may be able to provide some additional printed materials. Home students can usually access other Universities’ libraries through the SCONUL system once registered with the IIICH.  

You are also expected to improve your learning by visiting heritage sites during two years you are on this course. 

Support

Throughout the course, you will be supported by a personal tutor who will provide guidance on your assessed assignments. You will normally remain with the same tutor throughout the programme. They will be available by email and during UK office hours (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) by phone. We aim to reply to your email or, if we cannot speak on the phone when you ring, to return your call within 48 hours. You will also meet your tutor for a personal tutorial on the introductory day of the programme and at study periods in Ironbridge or Birmingham.

Course delivery

The programme begins in late September or early October with an Induction Day in Birmingham on the first Saturday of term which allows you to meet your tutors and fellow students and to familiarise yourself with the way the programme works, particularly the online materials which are used for all the taught modules. Term dates can be found on our website.

Each module is taught online via Canvas and involves regular online tasks or discussions to facilitate your learning. 

Full-time delivery 

The programme follows this pattern over one year (dates are approximate): 

  • Induction Day (late September/early October) 
  • Critical Approaches to Heritage (November) 
  • Heritage Conservation Management; Research Skills and Methods (February) 
  • Heritage Management Practice; Heritage Interpretation; Five-day Study School (May) 
  • Dissertation (August) 

Part-time delivery 

The programme follows this pattern over the two years (dates are approximate): 

First year

  • Induction Day (late September/early October)
  • Critical Approaches to Heritage  (October)
  • Heritage Conservation Management (November – December)
  • Research Skills and Methods (January – April)
  • Five-day Study School (June) 

Second year

  • Heritage Management Practice (October – December)
  • Heritage Interpretation (February – April)
  • Dissertation (May – September)

Each module represents a total of 200 hours of study time, including preparatory reading, homework and assignment preparation.

Further information on distance learning

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver local support.

In addition to a range of campus-based events and workshops, Careers Network provides extensive online resources, and comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Cultural Heritage

Graduates from the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied to a number of careers, including museums work, conservation and regeneration, the management of historic buildings and landscapes, and cultural tourism.

Over the past 5 years, 85% of our postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2012 - 2017). Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include Birmingham Museums Trust, National Trust, Canal and River Trust, English Heritage, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.