MA International Heritage Management

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. 

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. 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.

We also offer a full-time International Heritage Management MA (UK-US) delivered at the University of Birmingham in the autumn and at the University of Illinois in the spring, or an International Heritage Management MA by distance learning over one or two years - see our full range of courses

 

History and Cultures scholarships available

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

Find out more and apply now

Elliot Goodger

MA alumnus

“This degree gave me the knowledge, practical experience and theoretical grounding to start my career in heritage. Study visits to museums and world heritage sites proved to be a fascinating and invaluable experience. More than that though, the course and the staff helped me to develop my networks, and through workshops and other events, allowed me to connect with professionals already in the sector. This course gave me the platform I needed to start working internationally.”

This programme equips you with the key concepts and skills to become an effective and reflective heritage manager working in a rapidly changing environment. 

Course content

You will study six core modules:

  • Critical Approaches to Heritage
  • Heritage Conservation Management
  • Heritage Management Practices
  • Heritage Interpretation
  • Research Skills and Methods
  • Assessed Study Week

Further module information is available below.

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. 

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed by written assignment, with the exception of the Study Week which also includes a presentation. You complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation.

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.  

Modules

Core modules

You will study six 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. 
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.
Assessment: 4,000-word assignment

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.
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 and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:

  • UK / EU: £9,250 full-time
  • International: £17,595 full-time

Fee status

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

We can also confirm that EU students who are already studying at the University of Birmingham or who have an offer to start their studies in the 2019-20 academic year will continue to be charged the UK fee rate applicable at the time, provided this continues to be permitted by UK law. The UK Government has also confirmed that students from the EU applying to courses starting in the 2019-20 academic year will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status. This guarantee will apply for the full duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

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.

Entry 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, but we would expect to see evidence of engagement with or enthusiasm about heritage in your personal statement.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Application deadlines

International students requiring visas

Monday 1 July 2019 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2019 made after this date - a new application should be made for September 2020. Applications will reopen for 2020 entry in early October 2019.

UK/EU students

Please apply by Friday 30 August 2019. 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

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 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 tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to 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 five years, 97% of our postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. 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.

Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Get involved

The Guild of Students hosts over 250 student groups and societies to suit a wide range of interests. These include the Postgraduate and Mature Students Association which runs a regular and varied programme of events specifically tailored to postgraduate students.

In addition, you will find that each Department runs its own social activities, research fora and student groups.

Accommodation

We offer accommodation for postgraduates on or near to campus, although many of our students also choose to live privately in student accommodation, shared houses or flats. If you do choose to live in private accommodation, the University has dedicated support services to help you to find properties from accredited landlords.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.