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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

MA International Cultural Heritage Management

If you are passionate about the ways in which cultural heritage shapes and reflects people's lives, hopes, and memories around the world, then our new MA in International Cultural Heritage Management (MA ICHM) is the perfect choice for you. With this programme we will support you as part of the next generation of leaders in the field, equipping you with the skills to contribute to the complex challenges of developing cultural heritage in an increasingly globalised and changeable world. We have designed this degree to build upon our unique situation, living and working within a World Heritage Site - you will explore the concepts underlying the idea of cultural heritage and investigate the social, political, and economic impact of a variety of local, national, and international heritage organisations.

MA ICMH 2014/2015 Student Group

V4K107 International Cultural Heritage Management MA Postgraduate Taught  2020



Degree MA
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)
Location Durham City
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Course Summary

Course Summary


There are two routes through the MA:

  • The Cultural Heritage Research route which concludes with a dissertation.
  • The Professional Practice Route which concludes with an analytical case study report.

Course modules

  • Cultural Heritage, Communities and Identities: This module will explore the conceptual, intellectual and philosophical frameworks for tangible and intangible cultural heritages. You will explore the social roles of cultural heritage in relation to community, identity and memory and examine the political, legal and economic context in which heritage institutions exist. Heritage will be debated in the context of conservation, tourism and sustainability.
  • Managing Cultural Heritage in Context (double unit running through two terms): This module will draw on case studies and seminars from international heritage organisations including World Heritage Sites. You will participate in student-led seminars in which each student will develop a case study including consideration of education and outreach in cultural heritage. It includes management of cultural heritage including strategic planning, financial management, people, collection and site management and disaster preparedness. A project-based placement (or equivalent) provides a professional practice element.
  • Dissertation or Analytical Case Study Report: The programme concludes with a choice of modules. Students wanting to work in the profession may choose to prepare detailed and fully justified analytical case study report in a country or site of their choice. Students wishing to continue to explore theoretical issues in this complex subject or plan to pursue a career in other contexts, including taking a higher level degree, may choose the Dissertation module.

Learning and Teaching

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and webinars, tutorials and workshops with visits to relevant heritage sites.

Lectures underpin the core knowledge requirements of the programme by introducing students to key concepts, methodologies and analytical approaches. They also serve as examples of research-led critical analysis and applied expertise, thus demonstrating to students both subject-specific knowledge and the key skills necessary to acquire and communicate this. As well as more traditional podium-based approach, lectures are combined with interactive seminar-style discussions. These are delivered by specialists from within the Department and elsewhere in the University as well as from national and international heritage institutions and sites, including World Heritage Sites.

Webinars are used to introduce students to specific heritage sites and issues around the world in real-time debate with international professionals by video link. These case study presentations are followed by seminar discussions mediated by the module convenor. 

A variety of seminars take place in different modules with different formats and distinct learning goals.  This learning methodology encourages students to explore discussions in depth, learn to marshal their arguments in a group setting and respond appropriately to a diverse range of informed opinions. Students are exposed to, and expected to produce, a variety of different presentations in seminars and to contribute effectively and appropriately to the subsequent debate to encourage critical thinking. Formative assessment is given as relevant.

Reading seminars encourage independent learning and critical reflection. Students are required to read and consider specified texts or cultural heritage exemplars before the seminar discussions.

Student-led seminars require students to prepare either an individual presentation or construct and contribute to group presentations. Presentations in these test students’ abilities to identify key topics, reflect on, and analyse, these using appropriate methods. Some of these seminars focus on work-in-progress, allowing students to demonstrate subject-specific analytical skills and their ability to apply self-reflectively subject-related knowledge and theoretical models to a particular case study or issue. Skills at constructing and synthesising complex arguments clearly are tested both in producing the presentation and defending their argument appropriately while demonstrating an independent approach to learning, thinking self-critically and creatively as well as problem-solving. Self-expression, the ability to make coherent arguments and the capacity to contribute effectively and appropriately to debates are also tested in these seminars.

The Poster Debate requires students to prepare a poster using appropriate IT and prepare an accompanying hand-out for their peers, communicating their analysis of the case study they identified and researched prior to starting the course. This debate has multiple functions: it encourages the students to interact as a cohort early on in the MA programme, provides an opportunity for exchanging ideas and issues and starts to develop supporting research resources using the required citation format. During the debate itself, students give a five minute summary of the poster and answer questions from their peers. Posters require the succinct presentation of information and analysis and so test students’ ability to condense findings to the most important elements without losing valuable focus and to crease a visually appealing written presentation using charts and figures as appropriate. This learning activity replicates a common professional mode of communication in the sector. It offers students the opportunity to reflect on issues of design and the use of text and images to communicate complex information and ideas in a specific format and to engage in active debate. Written formative feedback will be provided to students on their presentations, handouts and contributions to debate supported by discussion in one-to-one tutorials with the aiming of enhancing the development of their summative assignment.

The Scenario Analysis Work-in-Progress Seminar requires students to give presentations on the site or organization which they have selected for the Scenario Analysis. They present the first phase of the study including a justification of their choice of site/organization, a review of the nature of this site/organization and one of the future plan scenarios. This presentation provides a moment of critical self-reflection on progress for the individual student and also enables them to benefit from debate with their peers and formative feedback from the Module Convenor 

The Professional Practice Project and Dissertation Research Work-in-Progress Seminar  requires students to give presentations of their research and professional project work in progress. These presentations provide a moment of critical self-reflection on progress for the individual student by requiring them to outline research so far undertaken and justify their chosen theoretical framework and methodologies. It also offers an opportunity for students to provide critical feedback to their peers and exchange ideas, problems and solutions.  Formative feedback is provided by the Module Convenor. In this way, these seminars serve as the summation of the process of reflective practice begun at the start of the MA.

Professional Placements

These are designed to offer students the opportunity to develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired elsewhere in the taught MA programme and put their learning into practice by reflecting on and integrating their experience in the workplace in their course work. The placements are set up by the Course Director and are project-based. Students will undertake appropriate research, develop proposals and implement  the project to an agreed level, depending on the different host institutions and the project aims..  The aim is to ensure that the outcome of a placement is a completed project ‘product’ which should be of benefit to both the host institution and the student.  A Professional Practice Research Project is available for students for whom a Placement is not an appropriate choice. In this, students  identify and research a key issue in contemporary professional practice in cultural heritage and produce a comparable portfolio. 

Reflective Practice

Students are encouraged to maintain a Reflective Practice Log throughout the programme. They are introduced to the concept and practice of Reflective Practice at the start of the programme in order to ensure their effective engagement with this learning and self-development tool. Maintaining a Reflective Practice Log throughout the programme  enables them to record and reflect on their personal and professional development in a structured way and help them identify their strengths and weakness and identify areas for further learning. This approach will enable them to reflect on and deepen their learning, research and professional practice and provides a framework for independent learning as well as providing a link to professional practice.  This Log will also provide a bridge between the different modules as well as feeding into assignments including the Placement / Professional Practice portfolios. It will be used to inform one-to-one tutorials and help to frame the concluding Analytical Case Study Report or Dissertation . Students will be provided with an initial framework for the Log’s content although it may take different physical formats. However, students will be required to create a log in a format accessible to the module convenor and submit it prior to appropriate tutorials. For a programme which has ambitions to link theory and practice, academia and professional, this is the ideal model to enable students to manage and develop their own intellectual and professional expertise. 

Visits/Field Trips

These provide an enhanced learning experience of subject material uniquely available in a specific location. Learning and teaching on the Durham World Heritage site will be central to this programme.

Self-guided learning

Comprising personal study but supported by group discussions and feedback in seminars, this is an essential element of MA level learning. Students will undertake self-driven research, revision, problem-solving and critical evaluation on topics and concepts associated with lectures, workshops, seminars and assignments, In this process they will be assisted by using the Reflective Log (see above) and group and individual tutorials.

Analytical Case Study Report (Professional practice project) / Dissertation

These projects enable students on both routes to select, design, execute and communicate an extended piece of research in either M4 Professional Practice Project or M5 Dissertation. These modules provide students with the opportunity to extend and apply knowledge and learning achieved in preceding modules, enhance and apply their methodological skills and demonstrate their ability in identifying and analysing relevant theoretical models, literature and data in an extended professional piece of writing at appropriate scholarly and academic standards. Analytical Case Study Reports and Dissertations will be supported by a designated individual with relevant subject-specific knowledge and/or experience.  As noted above, the Reflective Practice Log will support the development of this research process.


These provide a forum for a student-centred discursive engagement, sometimes as a group but also a one-to-one basis. 

Group tutorials are intensive, small-group sessions that allow a more personalised interaction than may be possible in a seminar or lecture context. They serve to complement lectures and workshops. Tutorials enable an atmosphere in which student questions are encouraged and where they are provided with an opportunity to address subjects which are proving particularly difficult. They allow the Module Convenor to get to know students and address potential problems at an early stage.  One-to-one tutorials provide the opportunity to address individual student’s learning progress and goals in a relatively informal learning environment, Tutorials enable learners to develop, discuss, question and receive feedback on the full range of their subject-specific knowledge and critical understanding and may be integrated into specific modules such as M4 Professional Practice Project and M5 Dissertation. They allow the Module Convenor to get to know students and address potential problems at an early stage. The Reflective Practice Log is used during placements as a framework for reflecting on progress. 


Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

Normally require an Honours Degree, usually at the 2:1 level or higher or an international equivalent, such as a GPA of 3.3 or above.

The course is taught assuming no prior knowledge, but an ability to demonstrate previous interest or experience of cultural heritage would be an advantage. Students should be willing to prepare a cultural heritage case study to bring with them.

Reference Requirements

Two satisfactory references are required

Application Deadlines

There is no specific deadline for applications although applications for any given academic year must be received before the start of that academic year (i.e. applications for the 2020-21 academic year must be received before October 2020).

Tuition fee deposit

All self-financing overseas students are required to pay a £1000 tuition fee deposit if an offer from the Department of Archaeology is accepted. The tuition fee deposit is paid before the University issues a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number, which is required in order to apply for a visa. 

£500 deposit is also payable by Home/EU applicants if an offer of a place from the Department of Archaeology is accepted. 



English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,500.00 per year
Home Student £9,500.00 per year
Island Student £9,500.00 per year
International non-EU Student £19,500.00 per year

Part Time Fees

EU Student £5,200.00 per year
Home Student £5,200.00 per year
Island Student £5,200.00 per year
International non-EU Student £10,700.00 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

Open Days and Visits

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


Arwa Badran on an educational project was initiated, managed and funded by UNESCO-Amman.
Amed Sham, post-doctoral student, Department of Archaeology, University of Durham on his United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ‘UNESCO’. 2008. The Saint Catherine Area (Egypt) No. 954. Paris.
3. OSAKA, Japan
Yumiko Nakanishi, Durham graduate; working for Osaka Prefectural Government. For more details check this link.
Mihir Vatsa, Founder, Tales of Hazaribagh which can be found here.
5. LUMBINI, Nepal
This link presents Professor Robin Coningham on reinvestigations of the birthplace and childhood home of the Buddha at Lumbini in Nepal. The final report "Strengthening conservation and management of Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, World Heritage property" can be found here.
Ajay Reddy talks about GoUNESCO, a UNESCO supported initiative which he set up in India which makes discovering heritage fun. Follow this link for further details.

Members of the MA Student group presenting the results from their placements:

Placements and teaching offer our students a wide range of opportunities that allow them to pursue careers in many areas of the labour market. For example, Jamie Davies has completed an AHRC CDA Heritage Studentship at University of Birmingham, Alison Tweddle is Community Outreach Officer at Auckland Castle, Lauren Cripps is now Visitor Services Assistant, National Trust, Gibside, Anne Richards is Risk Management Associate at the Minnesota Historical Society and Adam Cook is now Visitor Services Assistant at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. Jamie Tynan is a Social Media Assistant at Landmark Trust. Erika Brown is an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. Kenna Hogan is working as Site Educator & Assistant Site Manager and Curator Buffalo Gap Historic Village, Texas. Feichi Gao is now assistant editor for the Chinese edition of Orientation - an Asian art history magazine. A small group of MA students won two awards (Best Understanding of Significance and Best Overall Conservation Management Plan) in the final Heritage Skills Awards.

“ I am most impressed by the various learning strategies and their direct connection to the field-based work and the cultural heritage sites. This curriculum builds knowledge in well-targeted subject areas while also ensuring that students develop necessary skills in management, teamwork, advocacy, new technologies, and written/oral communication. ”

Prof. D. Hess Norris - Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, Chair of the Art Conservation Department at the University of Delaware, and Professor of Photograph Conservation. Professor Hess Norris serves on the UNESCO National Commission to the United States Executive Committee and on the UNESCO National Committee as a Representative of Heritage.

MA ICHM blog

written by current students for prospective students and other interested parties

Paul Sams
"I feel that this course has quickly taught me to think of Cultural Heritage in a more rounded way, which I feel is preparing me for a career managing whatever cultural heritage asset I am lucky enough to get a job protecting and sharing. Also the contact with some of the best people from their respective fields of expertise has been invaluable and taught me more than possibly books alone could. I feel this MA will set me off on a career I can be proud of. 
Paul Sams, UK (p/t) MA ICHM student 2013-15

Jamie Davies
"Based at Durham WHS, the ICHM Masters has exceeded expectations. Through and intimate and friendly learning environment within an inspiring setting, the course has provided a firm grounding in World Heritage management. 
Through an innovative educational approach comprising of guest lecturers, Skype presentations and group learning the course has succeeded in its aim of developing international awareness and network development. 
The flexible nature of the course placement provided a unique opportunity for active engagement, personal development and a direct contribution within the cultural heritage sector. 
The knowledge, network and confidence provided by the course will hopefully provide the foundations needed for a career within the sector." 
Jamie Davis, Wales MA ICHM student 2013-14

Jessica van Millingen
"I really enjoyed the way this program not only introduced a wide range of concepts in cultural heritage but, through guest lectures, webinars and work placements, provided the unique opportunity to combine this conceptual knowledge with its real-world applications at heritage sites around the world"
Jessica van Millingen, Canada, MA ICHM student 2013-14.