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Taking heritage management into the 21st century

Why choose this course?

Introduced in 2010 in response to the growth in digital heritage practices, this course provides training for professionals who wish to work in digital archiving, visualisation, and museums and heritage sector interpretation, curation and education.

It draws on the Archaeology department’s strengths in both Archaeological Information Sciences and Cultural Heritage Management – offering a unique qualification that combines the theoretical and ground-level study of heritage management with practical training in new technologies, from database systems and virtual-reality modelling to social media platforms.

You will be working with a team of technology pioneers and computing scholars, who lead the field in researching and developing interpretative content and digital applications for the heritage sector worldwide.
• Gain practical experience in new and mobile technologies used to publish, archive, analyse, visualise and interpret archaeological information.
• Understand all aspects of heritage management theory and practice.
• Develop essential IT knowledge and skills required in heritage-sector careers.
• Gain practical work experience in the heritage sector.
• Access a full suite of research computing hardware and software
• Receive tailored careers advice from staff with significant experience of recruiting within the sector.

York is one of the best places to study Archaeology, Heritage or Conservation. The Department has an excellent reputation and is one of the largest Archaeology teaching centres in the UK. The historic City of York is rich in architectural and archaeological treasures and resources which you will have easy access to during your studies.

What does the course cover?

The course draws on the skills and expertise of leading scholars in heritage management, interpretation and digital media, alongside staff from the Archaeology Data Service, which has been the UK digital archive for heritage data since 1997. It also has strong links with museums and other cultural heritage institutions in York, and work placements are a key feature of the programme.

Through a combination of academic studies, practical training, research and work placements, you will:
• Explore how digital technologies are used to present and curate heritage information.
• Gain experience of using the digital and internet technologies in disseminating, publishing and archiving heritage information.
• Develop your practical skills in 3-D modelling, GIS, CAD and other heritage analysis and visualisation technologies.

Who is it for?

The MSc in Digital Heritage course is designed for people seeking professional training in digital archiving, visualisation, museums and heritage sector curation, interpretation, and education. It is ideally suited for graduates of Archaeology, History, Art History, Museum Studies, Education, Anthropology, Cultural Studies and related fields, and for candidates with proven IT experience.

What can it lead to?

The skills developed on this course lead graduates into careers in archaeological computing, archive management, education, marketing and IT services for commercial organisations, museums and the public sector. Equally, the course can be a stepping stone to further research at doctoral level.


Your work placement is a key feature of the course, offering you the chance to apply your digital skillset in a professional or academic setting.

-To provide experience of computer applications within a workplace in the heritage sector.
-To consolidate knowledge and understanding of computer applications from one or more of the taught modules.

Learning outcomes
Upon completing your placement you should have:
-Gained detailed knowledge of how information technology is applied in the workplace in the heritage sector, under the guidance of experienced professionals.
-Developed an understanding of the contexts in which IT is applied, and of real world limitations.
-Developed your IT skills in one or more of the core areas covered by the taught programme (i.e. database design, web technologies, digital archiving, electronic publication, CAD, GIS and virtual-reality modelling).

Placement opportunities
Although the organisations offering placements change from year to year, and you have the option of proposing other work providers that match your specific interests, the following list is a good indication of some of the choices available:
-Yorkshire Museums Trust
-Archaeology Data Service
-City of York Council
-Internet Archaeology
-York Archaeological Trust
-Centre for Christianity and Culture
-L-P: Archaeology
-On Site Archaeology
-Council for British Archaeology
-West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
-Historic England
-English Heritage
-National Trust


Graduates of the MSc in Digital Heritage will be well equipped to work in IT-related roles in heritage management or presentation, in museums and education, and with a range of other heritage organisations.

By the end of the course you will be able to:
-Plan, design and undertake a piece of independent research in the field of digital heritage;
-Critically evaluate claims made for different computer applications and select the correct application for a given problem;
-Locate and use relevant information on the internet and add materials to it;
-Create an electronic text;
-Design and implement a simple relational database;
-Create effective applications in CAD and VR;
-Evaluate the cultural significance of sites, places and artefacts;
-Recognise areas of potential conflict in heritage management and museum practice;
-Evaluate the implications of stakeholder values and interests for heritage management and heritage interpretation/education;
-Appraise the utility of interpretative and educational media both on site and in museums.

The course opens the door to a wide range of careers in heritage-related organisations and in many other sectors, including:
-Archive management
-Museum curation
-Social media management
-Local government and development
-Computing and IT services
-Business and administration
-Marketing and public relations

Visit the Digital Heritage - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of York website for more details!




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