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MA International Heritage Management

Start date
1 year full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught

Annual tuition fees for 2023 entry:
UK: £10,170 full-time
International: £21,150 full-time
More detail.

Are you looking to develop your career in the growing heritage management sector? Are you already working in the heritage industry and looking to further develop your knowledge, understanding and skills of its management? 

For more than 30 years, the MA in International Heritage Management has provided an advanced qualification in heritage and its management. This interdisciplinary programme draws on the experience of our Heritage experts, who are both leading the research in this field and have practical experience of working in the heritage industry. 

As a student on the programme, you will also benefit from our international partnerships with government, third sector, NGOs and charitable organisations including Biltmore Estate, Chatsworth House, Historic England, Historic Houses, Imperial War Museum, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, National Armouries Museums, National Trust and National Museum Institute India. Our partnerships provide you with the opportunity for placements, internships and to benefit from teaching and specialist lectures from leading industry experts.   

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. This international approach will furnish you with the ability to compare and contrast best practice from across the world, which is clearly critical in our global society.

The compulsory modules will provide you with a strong theoretical grounding in critical approaches to heritage in all its forms, in addition to skills and understanding of the management of heritage conservation and heritage management practice more broadly, across all areas of the sector. In addition, you will explore themes of heritage interpretation, or how we present heritage to different publics. Throughout the programme, you will learn research methods and will be engaging with professionals and institutions directly, as well as learning from your fellow students' experience in the sector.

This programme aims to prepare you for employment in the heritage sector and offers the potential to network with potential future employers. There will be the opportunity to complete placements with our partners and to take part in a study week.

Birmingham Masters Scholarships

We are offering over 400 awards of £2,000 to support the brightest and best applicants wishing to undertake Masters study at the University during 2023-24. The deadline for applications is 23:59 (UK Time) on Sunday 2 July 2023.

Find out more and apply now.


At Birmingham, Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research students also have the opportunity to learn graduate academic languages free of charge, to support your studies.

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


Why study this course?

  • Expertise – benefit from our academic and industry experience to gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the heritage management sector 
  • Partnerships – you will have the opportunity to work with museum professionals and world-leading academics to enhance your learning experience. Our formal partnerships include Chatsworth House (UK), Biltmore Estate (US), National Trust, Nemours Estate (US), Historic England, Historic Houses, National Museum Institute (India) and various other museums and heritage organisations around the world
  • Global outlook – you will get to meet people from all over the world and learn about a variety of different contexts within which heritage is being operated globally
  • Be a part of an exciting department – you will join a lively postgraduate community with opportunities to enhance your learning through external lectures, research seminars and conferences
  • Access to academic support services – as a postgraduate student you will have access to services such as the Academic Writing Advisory Service and the Bank of Assessed Work, which will aid your transition from undergraduate to postgraduate level, or back into academia after a time away

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience.


You will engage with diverse aspects of heritage management and research approaches that will enable you to progress in the sector.

Core modules

You will study four core modules:

Critical Approaches to Heritage

This module will explore the core concepts of heritage: how they are generated, identified, valued and protected. It will seek to identify how heritage values are ascribed, and how these values 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. Students will be encouraged in this module 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. (Read more about this module)
Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

Heritage Conservation Management

This module is designed to develop the essential skills and knowledge required to contribute effectively to the management of heritage resources and organisations. Heritage managers work with a finite resource which they must manage appropriately to ensure its long term survival. Within the module, key concepts such as stewardship, sustainability and visitor management are considered right across the heritage sector from museums to `natural’ and historic landscapes. Central to the sessions is the premise that creative conservation only comes through economic viability and accountability. The module is designed for people working in or planning to work in, museums, historic properties, tourism, planning, archaeological or conservation consultancy, and natural or cultural landscape management. 
Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

Heritage Management Practices

This module seeks to explore the management skills necessary to deliver successful heritage management to the sector. It includes issues relating to marketing, budgeting and costings, project management, human resource activities and visitor management services. The module also seeks to develop students’ awareness of the skills base necessary to curate museum collections, including the ability to draw together the required materials for an exhibition. The module is delivered by practitioners where possible to enable the relevant skills set from the profession to be passed onto the student cohort.(Read more about this module)
Assessment: 4,000-word report style assignment 

Heritage Interpretation

Interpretation is the art of revealing the meaning and significance of objects and places. This module considers the philosophy of interpretation and its good practice, and debates such issues as authenticity, selectivity and bias. Interpretation is considered in the contexts of recreation management, tourism education, archaeological site presentation, historic properties and museums.

The module provides an introduction to the core skills for environmental and heritage interpretation including:

  • Interpretive planning
  • Exhibition planning & evaluation
  • Using appropriate language and texts
  • Interpreting objects and collections
  • Interpretation of various heritage types of heritage
  • Interpretation and formal education
  • Creating visitor centres
  • Interpretation through multi-media

Assessment: 4,000-word essay


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. You will be supported to carry out an industry-linked dissertation, which has real-world impact to the sector.

Optional modules

Your remaining credits can be taken from the wide range of options across departments including History, Archaeology, Art History, Curating and Visual Studies, Department of African Studies and Anthropology in second semester. 


We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2023 are as follows:

  • UK: £10,170 full-time; £5,085 part-time
  • International: £21,150 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Fee status

Eligibility for UK or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

Paying your fees

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

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.

How To Apply

 Please review our Entry Requirements before making your application.

How to Apply for a Postgraduate Degree - Taught programmes

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students (requiring a VISA) to apply is 3 July 2023. The deadline for UK students is 31 August 2023.

Making your application

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

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

Students who do not hold a degree to the above standard but are able to demonstrate substantial relevant work experience are also invited to apply. Each application will be considered on a case by case basis.

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, 20 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 67 with no less than 64 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

Teaching within modules takes many forms, including lectures, field work, debates, presentations and role-play. You will also work closely with a personal tutor throughout the course.

As a postgraduate on the International Heritage Management MA programme, you will be equiped with appropriate management skills and a critical approach to heritage studies. You will benefit from our research, our international networks and partnerships and our dedication and enthusiasm to better understand and manage cultural heritage around the world. 

Course delivery

We have two 11-week teaching semesters per year, the autumn semester and spring semester. Semester dates can be found on our website. 

You will take your modules over the course the autumn and spring terms, followed by your dissertation.

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

Most of the assessments will require engagement with real-world heritage challenges, exploring both the theoretical contexts and practical applications of heritage practice. Through the taught module on research skills, and the subsequent dissertation research, you will develop into an independent researcher, providing both skills for future employment and/or for future study. 

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Cultural Heritage

Graduates from the International Heritage Management programme 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 five 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.

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