This course takes a deliberately broad view of the idea of ´heritage´ and of the directions in which it might lead you. The ways in which we understand and manage ‘heritage’ are changing rapidly, while the physical remains of our past – buildings, landscapes, city streets, archives, artefacts and archaeological sites – and the intangible associations of tradition, language and memory continue to shape the ways in which we live our lives.
Applicants will normally have a good first degree (2.1 or above) in any academic subject. Applicants without a first degree may be considered if they can demonstrate considerable relevant experience; they may be asked to attend an interview.
If English is not your first language then you will need to provide evidence of proficiency in written and spoken English. The English language requirements can be found here.
The course consists of the following modules:
Developing heritage thinking
This module introduces the key concepts we will use throughout the course, and provides the basis for asking how far heritage practice has kept pace with changes in heritage thinking and in society, politics and the economy. It draws on the extensive body of literature on heritage issues but, most importantly, encourages you to develop your own heritage thinking.
Policy, strategy and structures
What is the impact of heritage policy and strategy on current practice? How has this evolved over time? How might heritage policy develop in future?
Heritage management: practice and planning
This module focuses on major areas of current practice, taught by leading practitioners in the field.
Understanding current practice
This research module involves the application of current thinking and policy to heritage practice. It is intended to take you beneath the surface of a new gallery, a restored garden, or a period interior, and ask you to consider: why this? It will enable you to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the ways in which the heritage sector really works, and the constraints it must work within.
This might involve work on a specific project, or a broader introduction to the work of a particular organisation. We see this as the focal point of the course, and potentially of enormous value to you and to the organisations with whom you’ll be working.
Final project or dissertation
Your final project may represent an extension of your placement work, the opportunity to complete a new project, or a more traditional, research-based dissertation.
Careers in the heritage sector include roles in collections management, education and learning, exhibition planning and implementation, community engagement and outreach, and marketing and fundraising. You might also become involved in operational management, events planning, retail and visitor services. BSU graduates have gone onto work for the National Trust and English Heritage, in small voluntary-sector organisations and in larger museums and galleries. A number of them have already been promoted to more senior management roles, or have moved into managerial roles in other organisations.
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