MA International Heritage Management

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

Annual tuition fee for 2020/21:
UK / EU: £9,250 full-time
International: £19,150 full-time
More detail.

Are you looking to develop your career in the field of heritage? 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 MA International Heritage Management by distance learning over one or two years.

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

 

History and Cultures scholarships available

The College of Arts and Law is offering a number of scholarships for Masters students in History and Cultures. Open to students pursuing any of our Masters programmes in History, Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, or African Studies, the awards cover tuition fees and applications are now open.

Find out more and apply now

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.

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.
  • Global outlook – you will get to meet people from all over the world which will impact on your experience through learning 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.

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

Research Skills and Methods

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.
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

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: A group project combining a 2,500-word reflexive personal statement about the project and a 20-minute group presentation 

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:

  • UK / EU: £9,250 full-time
  • International: £19,150 full-time

Fee status

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


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

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.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students to apply is Wednesday 1 July 2020. The deadline for UK/EU students is Thursday 10 September 2020.

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

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, 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


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 become part of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, based at the University of Birmingham. With over 30 years of experience in the field of heritage it seeks to equip all of its students 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 teaching terms per year, the autumn term and spring term. Term dates can be found on our website.

You will take your modules over the course the autumn and spring terms, followed by your dissertation. The one-week residential study school takes place in the spring term, based in accommodation provided by the University. 

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

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 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.