Public History is practically applied with a variety of contexts and teaching methods. This year-long module explores the different forms that public history takes, including:
-The historical images and messages that people come into contact with daily
-The work of the professional public history movement
-Professional public historians are also protectors and providers of primary and secondary source materials, and they often present and / or make available information and original sources of evidence to individuals, groups and communities
-‘Peoples history’ or ‘history from below’, history that belongs to the public and is recorded, studied and presented by communities themselves
Current debates about public history and heritage help to establish critical parameters for the subject’s definition, and provide an interdisciplinary framework for the development of students’ understanding of the subject and its relevance to professional practice.
The in-depth study of a particular aspect of public history, requiring the synthesis of theoretical and practical elements. Students produce a detailed research proposal, annotated bibliography and 12,000 to 15,000 words of text. Individual supervision is provided.
Each taught over one year, providing practical training for employment in the field and involving students in live projects.
Heritage Resource Management
Introduction to key issues and the development of academic understanding. Students develop the practical skills and knowledge required for effective management of the heritage resources and organisations. Emphasis is placed on the management of collections.
The Management of Heritage Presentation
Examination of the presentation of history and heritage to the public, emphasising interpretation and education, full audience engagement and supporting both structured and lifelong learning.
-MA in Public History and Heritage Management - full-time for 12 months; part-time for 24 months.
-Postgraduate Diploma in Public History and Heritage Management - full-time for 9 months; part-time for 21 months.
Candidates with a relevant postgraduate diploma may apply for entry to complete the MA by the submission of a thesis.
Teaching and assessment
The course is taught by academic staff and leading practitioners in the field. Students are each assigned a personal tutor to oversee progress throughout the period of registration. Each module has a leader and tutors are appointed to work directly with students where appropriate.
Learning is skills-based and emphasises management, collections care, interpretation, education, IT, teamwork and communication within an academic framework.
Masters and Postgraduate Diploma students are taught together. Class sizes are relatively small, ensuring that practical training is effective, and study visits are incorporated into every module. Students work closely with museums, the National Trust, other sector agencies and relevant heritage centres; and undertake a placement at an appropriate organisation or site.
Employability and careers: life after university
Placements and voluntary work undertaken by Public History and Heritage Management courses cultivate experience and skills that are valued highly by heritage industry employers and academic institutions. Students are given many opportunities to develop their skills within real projects undertaken by the staff, such as visitor survey work and interpretive analysis.
Students have gone on to get many jobs in the history and heritage sector. Recent graduates have gone on to work for:
-Local authority and independent museums
-The National Trust
-Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
-Museum database software providers Heritage Lottery Fund