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Course length

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


Durham City

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Course details

The MA in International Cultural Heritage Management explores the key issues of cultural heritage management around the world and its influence on a grand scale on society and on people’s lives. You will come to understand how cultural heritage management offers a sense of identity, maintains social diversity and cohesion, and enables dialogue between cultures. 

You will learn how successful heritage management plays a vital role in education, cultural protection, conflict migration and sustainable development and the way cultural heritage is an essential tool in helping to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

However, heritage management is not without its challenges and this course will also introduce you to the issues it faces across the world from the increasingly faster pace of global change and development, the growing demand for larger infrastructure, mass tourism, encroachment, neglect, climate change, natural disasters and targeted destruction, for example in wars and conflicts.

The course benefits from the university’s location within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and examines cultural heritage management from a local, national and international perspective. It will provide the foundations for both academic and professional career choices, in either cultural heritage research or the professional practice route.

We believe cultural heritage forms part of our basic right to participate in cultural life and we aim to create the next generation of leaders in the field, equipping you with the skills to address its many and complex challenges as well as contributing to the successes of developing cultural heritage in an increasingly globalised and changeable world.

There are two routes through the MA: the Cultural Heritage Research route which concludes with a dissertation, and the Professional Practice Route which concludes with an analytical case study report.

Course Structure

Core modules

Debating Heritage and Museums enables you to identify and discuss the similarities and differences between heritage studies and museum studies and to develop your understanding of their key concepts, principles, theories and debates using case-studies from around the world. The module also delivers the necessary skills in research and analysis that you can take into your subsequent academic or professional working life.

Managing Cultural Heritage in Context is designed to develop your knowledge of cultural heritage sites and organisations using local, national and international case studies and provide you with an understanding and analysis of issues relating to their management, development and operations. The module also develops your understanding of how sites and organisations serve their audiences, taking into account the political, economic and social cultural factors. In addition, you  will learn about the relationship between cultural heritage theory and practice and identify the conditions that bring about development, change and conflict in the cultural heritage context.

You will also complete either a Professional Practice Project or a Dissertation depending on your route through the course. If you want to work in the profession, you may choose to prepare a detailed analytical case study report on a country or site of your choice. If you prefer to explore theoretical issues or plan to pursue a career in other contexts, including taking a higher-level degree, will find the Dissertation module more suitable.

The final module is chosen from options which have previously included:

  • Protecting World Heritage
  • Communicating Cultural Heritage
  • Heritage Landscapes of East Asia: Contemporary Practices and Challenges
  • Module offered by the Department of Archaeology OR in relevant departments as approved by the Programme Director
  • A credit-bearing language module 


The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, webinars, tutorials and workshops. You will also be able to take part in visits and field trips, including Durham’s own World Heritage Site, and be offered professional placements when you can apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the taught environment.

Lectures provide the core skills and knowledge by introducing you to key concepts, methodologies and analytical approaches, delivered in a mix of traditional podium-based events and a more interactive seminar-style discussion.

We use webinars to introduce you to specific heritage sites and issues around the world, including real-time debates with international professionals by video link followed by seminar discussions. 

Tutorials provide a forum for discussion either on a one-to-one basis or in small groups that support the work taking place in lectures and workshops.


While the majority of the course is assessed by essays, a number of modules include assessment by critical reflection, a poster debate, portfolio work and practice logs. If you choose the Communicating Cultural Heritage option module you will plan content for a 5-page website, a blog and presentation.

One-third of your final mark is gained through completion of either a 10,000-word professional practice project or dissertation depending on the route you choose through the course.

We will consider how you have applied learning and developed your skills and knowledge in working effectively with theoretical models, literature and data. Modules include a combination of formative assessment conducted during the learning process, as well as the final summative assessment.

Entry requirements

We 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.

IELTS 7.0 or above with no component below 6.5; TOEFL IBT (Internet Based Test) 102 or above (with no component below 25).

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 2023-24 academic year must be received before October 2023).

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

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £11,900 per year
EU students £25,500 per year
Island students £11,900 per year
International students £25,500 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £6,600 per year
EU students £14,100 per year
Island students £6,600 per year
International students £14,100 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 Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities


Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.

Department information


The Department of Archaeology is home to one of the largest postgraduate communities in Europe who benefit from world class academic teaching and leading-edge facilities to be able to pursue their passion for studying the past, interpreting the present and understanding the future.

The wide-ranging courses are research-led and delivered by staff who are recognised experts in specialisms that span world, European and British archaeology from the last ice age to the post-medieval period.

Our taught courses provide the ideal grounding for further academic research at a higher level but also offer essential preparation for entering a professional career.

They include MA Museum and Artefact Studies, MA International Cultural Heritage Management, and MA Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects, all of which have strong vocational themes. The MSc Bioarchaeology and MA Archaeology offer ideal preparation for research careers and specialisation and our unique MSc Human Bioarchaeology and Palaeopathology and MSc Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology are ideal for postgraduates nurturing both academic and professional aspirations.

We welcome applications from researchers seeking MRes and PhD qualifications tailored to specific interests, and we offer strong developmental support.

With our expertise in a wide range of archaeological disciplines and significant research activity across the globe, our aim is to create a top-class learning environment that is vibrant and supportive and enables you to make a difference in your chosen field.

For more information see our department pages.


  • 10th in the QS World University Subject Rankings for Archaeology 2023
  • 1st in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see our Archaeology pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 97% of our research outputs graded world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021)
  •  2nd in the UK top ten for the overall quality of research (REF 2021)


The Department of Archaeology has a reputation for excellence and connections across the world.

We are home to state-of-the-art laboratories, specialist technology and some of the best library resources in the UK. We have project rooms with interactive technology, teaching laboratories, a computer suite, a photographic studio and scientific research laboratories in DNA, conservation, isotopes, environmental archaeology, luminescence dating, palaeopathology and bone chemistry, many of which are used as learning resources for out postgraduate community.

Taught courses and researchers alike benefit from our status as co-owners of a UNESCO World Heritage site and the extensive range of library, museum and artefact collection resources on offer at Durham.

The Department of Archaeology can be found in the Dawson Building, which is ideally situated at the heart of the Durham city campus, next to the Bill Bryson Library and the Palatine Centre.

More information on our facilities and equipment.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Find out more

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