Taught course

International Cultural Heritage Management

Durham University · Department of Archaeology

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.

Reference Requirements

One satisfactory reference is required.

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.

Months of entry


Course content

This MA aims to introduce you to the issues involved in global cultural heritage management as a foundation for both professional and academic paths. It benefits from Durham University’s unique situation, living and studying within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and examines tangible and intangible heritage from international, national and local perspectives. Durham University established the first ever UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, held by Professor Robin Coningham. The degree has strong links with the Durham World Heritage Site and with other local, regional, national and international heritage sites and organisations, many of whom offer placement opportunities.

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

Debating Heritage and Museums

This joint module is taken by students on the MA programmes in International Cultural Heritage Management and in Museum and Artefact Studies. The emphasis is on student-led debates exploring key issues affecting heritage and museums globally. Topics addressed include defining ‘heritage’ and ‘museums’; contested histories; social, economic and cultural contexts; public engagement; ethical dilemmas; digital heritage. Students are able to develop and challenge shared conceptual frameworks using case-studies from around the world, gain relevant methodological skills to gather, analyse and critically evaluate data and concepts used in the discourse of cultural heritage and develop study and research skills appropriate to heritage studies, including working as reflective practitioners.

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 and people, collection and site management.

A project-based placement (or equivalent) provides a professional practice element.

Dissertation or Analytical Case Study Report:

The MA concludes with a choice of modules. Students wanting to work in the profession may choose to prepare detailed analytical case study report focusing on a site or heritage organisation 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.

Graduates from the degree have gone on to work in posts in heritage sites and related organisations ranging from management to funding raising and heritage education to outreach as well as developing careers in allied sectors or going on to PhD studies; see ‘where are they now

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
£11,300 per year
International students
£23,500 per year

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details