Teaching approach

Our teaching at the Ironbridge Institute is continually informed by our involvement in contemporary conservation issues.

We are frequently asked for advice - on the designation of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, on problems concerning the legislative protection of buildings, or the appropriateness of proposed museum developments.

Through our direct involvement with the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and its  archaeological unit, we are accustomed to working alongside professionals from recording and conservation agencies, from museums, and from the other professions in which our students make their careers. In recent years we have been involved with projects in France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Spain and Colombia. Such projects are frequently used as case studies in teaching and the issues involved become familiar to our students.

Modular structure

The full-time Heritage Management course taught at Ironbridge is organised in six modules, each lasting two weeks. Three take place in the autumn term and the remainder in the spring term. We take great pride in the quality of our teaching which entails:

  • comprehensive manuals detailing learning objectives are provided for each module
  • teaching within modules takes many forms: lectures, field work, debates, presentations, role-play
  • visiting lecturers provide valuable contacts with professional networks
  • field trips are included in every module
  • each student works closely with a personal tutor
  • written feedback is provided on assignments and oral feedback on presentations
  • students and tutors work to agreed objectives which are regularly monitored

Practical training is given in report-writing, public speaking, using spreadsheet packages, audio-visual and graphic display.


Each module of each full-time course is assessed by one 4000-word assignment, making a total of 24,000 words over the six modules. An assignment may be a case-study, a survey or a report. All are word-processed and develop into portfolios of work for presentation at interviews.

After completion of assignments, MA students proceed to researching and writing a 15,000-word dissertation, for submission in the September of their last year of registration.


Institute for Archaeologists

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA), one of our partner departments at the University of Birmingham is a Registered Organisation with the Institute for Archaeologists for Training in the Historic Environment.