We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

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.

All students offered places on this will be considered for bursaries from a fund dedicated to supporting this programme

MA ICMH 2014/2015 Student Group

Find out more about entry requirements, mode of study, duration of the course, and tuition fees here. (Note: this link will direct you to the University's central course tool. Use the link provided to return to the Department of Archaeology homepage.)

Find out more about funding your programme here 

On this programme you will be taught via a series of lectures, seminar, and webinars with international academics and professionals. You will be asked to identify a case study based on a heritage site near you to contribute to debate and inform the development of your research and professional skills. You will be assessed using a variety of methods including essays, scenario planning, and case study analyis. Also, you will keep a reflective practice log throughout the MA, which will enable you to deepen your learning and research and provide a link to professional practice, supported by the placement we shall arrange for you.

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP for City of Durham debating heritage issues with MA students

You have the choice of two routes: the Professional Practice Route and the Cultural Heritage Research Route. Both routes enable you to develop expertise in understanding both conceptual and management issues in the sector, but the choice gives you the opportunity to apply this knowledge in different ways in the two distinct final assignments.

Should you choose the Professional Practice Route you will undertake an extended analytical case study report on a cultural heritage site or organisation, including management and financial issues.

If you pick the Cultural Heritage Research Route you will undertake a dissertation, requiring in-depth research into a conceptual issue.

All of the module choices we can offer you are focused on the specialist subject in hand: the significance of international cultural heritage and how it can be managed in a changing and complex world. This is a distinct programme, rather than one strand of a general Heritage Studies degree, so the core modules are dedicated to this specific student cohort. However, as part of the international focus of the programme, you are offered the opportunity to learn a language as part of your degree or, alternatively, you have the option of an elective module from a number of others, including the newly developed Ethics of Cultural Heritage, to be taught by Dr Andreas Pantazatos in the Department of Philosophy.

MA students on the World Heritage site
Dr Mary Brooks is the director of this new programme. She has previously worked as a conservator and curator in the USA and Europe. Her research focuses on how society engages with 'material things' and how these are, or have been, collected, interpreted, and represented in museums. Mary is particularly interested in how conservation approaches operate as means for engaging with ideas of identity and belonging, as well as ideas about absence, presence, collective memory and cultural material. Recent publications include 'Seeing the sacred: conflicting priorities in defining, interpreting and conserving Western sacred artefacts', Material Religion, 8(1), 10-29 and 'Sharing conservation ethics, practice and decision-making with museum visitors.' in J. Marstine, ed. Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics: Redefining Ethics for the Twenty-First Century Museum. London: Routledge, 332-349.
Other tutors will include: Dr Robin Skeates and Dr Andreas Pantazatos, Department of Philosophy. 
Arwa Badran on an educational project was initiated, managed and funded by UNESCO-Amman. All the details here. For a report on the project published by the Jordan Times check out this link.
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. All the details can be found here
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, an UNESCO supported initiative which he set up in India which makes discovering heritage fun.  Follow this link and this link for further details.

We offer our students the opportunity to take part in a placement at one of a variety of relevant host organisations, as part of their study with us. For further information about the organisations currently hosting our students on their placements, please click on the links below.

Members of the MA 2013/14 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 an AHRC CDA Heritage Studentship at University of Birmingham (see blog), Alison Tweddle is taking up the post of Community Outreach Officer at Auckland Castle, Lauren Cripps is now Visitor Services Assistant, National Trust, Gibside, Anne Richards is working in Facilities and Risk Management 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. 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 (see video).

For further information about the MA in International Cultural Heritage Management, please visit How to Apply.

All Home/EU applicants offered a place on the MA in International Cultural Heritage Management course will be asked to pay a £500 deposit by 1 April 2015. For offers made by the Department after 1 April 2015, each applicant will have 4 weeks to pay the £500 deposit from the official offer letter. This £500 deposit will be deducted from the first instalment of fees after starting the course in September 2015. Please note, that this £500 deposit will only be refunded in the event of the applicant not meeting their conditions set out in the official offer letter.

All Overseas applicants offered a place on the MA in International Cultural Heritage Management course will be asked to pay a £1000 deposit no later than 6 weeks following any official offer emailed letter. Please note, that this £1000 deposit will only be refunded in the event of the applicant failing to meet their conditions set out in the official offer letter or refusal of a visa for entry to the UK. Please ensure that you read this information concerning the deposit.

This £1000 deposit will be deducted from the first instalment of fees after starting the course in September 2015.

“ 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.

V4K107 International Cultural Heritage Management MA

Degree MA
Year of Entry 2015
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 1127


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. Students 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. Students 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.

Subjects required, level and graded

Normally require an Honours Degree, usually at the 2:1 level or higher.

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.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study

Requirements and Admissions

The University accepts the following alternative English language tests and scores.

Information relevant to your country


Fees shown are for one year. Total fee will depend on the length of your programme. All fees are subject to annual increases. For more information please visit the Tuition Fees page

EU student fees


Home student fees


Islands student fees


International non-EU student fees


Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

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.