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

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.

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

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
International students

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

Recruitment and Admissions