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MA-PGCert-PGDip Public History and Heritage Management

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  • Objectives
    History is all around us: in the newspapers, on the radio and television, in popular genealogy and in cinemas, exhibitions and tourist centres at home and on holiday. At NTU we want you to think about history as an academic pursuit and as part of our everyday culture. Students will consider the relationship between the heritage industry and history, museums and history, the media and history and people and history. The postgraduate course in public history and heritage management provides the conceptual framework necessary to develop the wide-ranging practical understanding required of modern public history and heritage professionals. The course is vocationally focused and offers chances to work with heritage organisations, gaining professional experience on real projects.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements The standard admission requirements are normally a first degree or equivalent, plus recent practical experience with a professionally run heritage site or organisation. Candidates for a Masters would normally be expected to hold at least a 2.1 degree qualification or equivalent. The course team encourages applications from candidates without the standard academic qualifications, if they can demonstrate substantial relevant professional experience. Overseas students are welcome and will be required to demonstrate that they fulfil the relevant entry criteria, including English language competency to a minimum of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent.
  • Academic Title
    MA/PGCert/PGDip Public History and Heritage Management
  • Course description
    Course content

    Theory modules

    Public History
    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

    Theoretical Debates
    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.

    MA Thesis
    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.

    Practice modules
    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.

    Study routes

    -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
    -English Heritage
    -Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
    -Museum database software providers Heritage Lottery Fund

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