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Course content

World Heritage, both tangible and intangible, increasingly affects a significant proportion of the world’s population.

It is now an essential concept for all engaged in the protection, development and management of heritage.

This unique one-year programme is aimed at those who wish to acquire both a deeper understanding of the concepts and processes surrounding World Heritage in its cultural forms (tangible and intangible), its natural forms and as cultural landscapes. This course will provide you with necessary skills that will allow you to critically appraise and effectively manage World Heritage and its impacts in a sustainable manner. It is linked to the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage site, providing you with a unique academic experience and offering you access to unrivalled resources and over 30 years of management expertise.

As well as providing you with an excellent grounding for working in the heritage sector, the course offers ideal preparation for PhD study.

This programme is also available to study part-time by distance learning. For more information, see World Heritage Studies MA (distance learning).

Course details

The MA World Heritage Studies draws upon international cases and practical experience and will provide you with an insight into the processes of World Heritage inscription and management.

In addition it will allow you to take an informed position in policy debates regarding the implications of designation for local and national identities, community well-being and tourism and associated development.

You will study five core modules:

  • Critical Approaches to Heritage
  • Issues in World Heritage Management
  • Tourism Management at World Heritage Sites
  • World Heritage Case Study
  • Research Skills and Methods

You will also choose one optional module from a selection. The list of available modules in any one year can vary, depending on staff specialisms and availability. Modules available typically include:

  • Heritage Interpretation
  • Heritage Conservation Management
  • Heritage Management Practices

The programme also features an overseas visit. This is likely to be to the World Heritage Centre at UNESCO, Paris, to learn directly of the challenges of linking the protection and conservation of Sites with present and future environmental, social and economic needs.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by written assignments. You will complete the MA with a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice, relevant to World Heritage.

Learning and teaching

Teaching within modules takes many forms, including lectures, debates, seminars and presentations.

You will also work closely with a personal tutor throughout the course.

As a postgraduate on the World Heritage Studies MA programme, you will become part of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, based at the University of Birmingham. With over 30 years of experience in the field of heritage it seeks to equip all of its students with appropriate management skills and a critical approach to heritage studies. You will benefit from our research, our international networks and partnerships and our dedication and enthusiasm to better understand and manage cultural heritage around the world. 

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Cultural Heritage

Graduates from the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied to a number of careers, including museums work, conservation and regeneration, the management of historic buildings and landscapes, and cultural tourism.

Over the past three years, over 96% of our postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: Birmingham Museums Trust; National Trust; Canal and River Trust; English Heritage; Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust; and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.


Visit the World Heritage Studies - MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

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