These are two year-long modules, taught for a day per week each, which provide a practical, skills-based framework for obtaining employment in the heritage field. They are supported in turn by a practice module, combining a placement and placement report with the use of a portfolio to record evidence of personal development throughout the course.
In this module students will gain an introduction to the process of professional development and the skills required to gain employment in the museums and heritage profession. The module introduces the concepts of planning, evaluating and reviewing professional development through the use of an individual development plan (IDP).
Students will gain skills in setting personal goals and identifying strategies to achieve these targets. They will identify and develop key transferable skills. Students will also demonstrate their abilities through the collection and recording of evidence and the process of planning, review and evaluation of their IDP. Students will also complete a work placement in order to apply and further develop the skills they gained during the taught course.
The module is divided into two elements: the portfolio and the placement. The two elements are interlinked and are supported by the portfolio handbook.
Heritage resource management
In this module students gain an introduction to the main issues and the skills required to effectively manage the heritage resources. The module provides a historical framework for the heritage resource and examines the main national, international and regional strategies and policies affecting the heritage industry. Students gain academic underpinning and should develop the practical skills and knowledge required to manage the heritage resource, organisations and collections.
This module examines all aspects of presenting heritage to the public. There is a detailed exploration of the nature, needs and expectations of the heritage audiences. This links to issues associated with audience development, from the establishment of marketing strategies to the positive role of heritage within social inclusion policies.
The importance of quality in front-of-house management is stressed. At the heart of the module is an emphasis on interpretation and education - ways of engaging audiences fully and supporting lifelong learning.
This module involves students directly in current debates about heritage, and the theoretical positions underpinning the study of heritage. It provides a framework within which students will develop their own basis for the subject in an inter-disciplinary context. It will help establish critical parameters for the definition of heritage studies and provides an appropriate underpinning for professional practice.
The heritage of the country house
The country house is one of England's major contributions to international culture. The course will look at the development of the country house, both in terms of its architecture and decorative arts. It will locate the development of these houses within political, social and economic contexts. It will also analyse the role, management and presentation of country houses today. The module gives students the historical, theoretical and practical background to be able to assess, analyse and criticise country house heritage values, sites and interpretations.
Cultural tourism in the UK
This module considers the use and abuse of heritage in the production and consumption of tourism in the UK and examines the development of the industry to the major activity we see today. This will involve an analysis of the process of production, the audience and the significance of consumption for the future of heritage conservation. Consideration will be given to how heritage tourism influences the conservation of historic towns, the way heritage is used within development projects and the manipulation of resources within the local, regional and national economy.
Space, identity and power
The module aims to equip students with appropriate techniques, methods and theoretical frameworks to assess, evaluate and criticise heritage sites and presentations that relate directly or indirectly to power and identity, for example, nationalisms, war and remembrance, social inequalities, slavery and cultural property. It will use regional, national and international examples as case studies.
The thesis provides an opportunity to achieve academic independence and pursue an aspect of the course in depth. In line with the overall aims of the course, a thesis will offer a synthesis of theoretical and practical elements drawn from the course as a whole. Students will be expected to produce a detailed research proposal, an annotated bibliography and a final text of 12-15,000 words.
Graduates from this course are employed in varied activities such as curating, exhibition design, marketing and management, education, administration and retail, throughout the heritage sector.
Continuous assessment will include essays, individual and group projects, reports, presentations, an exhibition and portfolio, and a thesis reflecting the professional expertise in the field. There are no written examinations.
Resources and facilities
Dedicated seminar room; additional computing facilities; online support.
-MA full-time: 12 months
-MA part-time: 24 months
-Pg Dip full-time: 12 months
-Pg Dip part-time: 24 months
-Pg Cert part-time: 9 months
You will receive vocational training from active practitioners and specialist outside speakers. Students also attend study visits to relevant sites and are involved in the professional activities of the Centre for Museum and Heritage Management. You will reap the benefits of a small class size, which will enable you to gain individual support. The School also has close links with the Galleries of Justice.
The MA offers the opportunity to undertake a thesis.
Creative and Cultural Industries Sector Skills Council
Development of a professional portfolio; voluntary work and work placement.