Masters degrees in Heritage Studies equip postgraduates with the skills to critically examine and observe tangible and intangible heritage across the world. These include, but are not limited to: objects, practices, traditions, and social and cultural movements.
Related subjects include Social History, World History and Modern History. Entry requirements usually include a relevant undergraduate degree such as History, English Literature, Archaeology or Cultural Studies.
Heritage studies is a term which covers a broad range of scholarly activities, from oral history research to archiving, curating to public speaking.
Courses in this field are generally vocational in kind, with work placements or research projects in conjunction with institutions such as museums or archives being a typical component.
There are many areas for you to specialise in within this field, whether that be the local history of the area in which you study, or a broader analysis of the traditions of a given culture or race.
Careers in this field are extremely varied, with traditional roles including archiving and curating, academia or independent research, and publishing. Other roles may include marketing, roles in the media such as journalism and broadcasting, and public relations.
Arts management and heritage studies are emerging disciplines that examine how societies preserve, understand and pass on history and culture. This exciting programme combines theory and practice to give you an insight into the changing nature of the heritage sector.
Core modules explore the nature of ‘heritage’, how meanings of objects, artworks and buildings change in different contexts. You’ll examine the challenges faced by arts managers and cultural leaders, and the changes that have led some museums to move towards the role of the ‘manager’ rather than the ‘curator’.
You’ll even choose from optional modules to tailor your degree to your interests or career plans – including the chance to undertake a work placement and apply theory to a professional context.
Supported by our Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, you’ll benefit from our partnerships with major arts and cultural organisations to find out what it means to work in this challenging sector.
You’ll study in the heart of a cultural hub for this diverse and vibrant region. Leeds is home to a national museum, nine council-run museums, galleries and heritage sites and many private and charitable museums and galleries.
We’re also a short bus or train journey away from everything the rest of Yorkshire has to offer, from The Hepworth Wakefield to the National Media Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. We have close links with many of these cultural institutions to support your practical learning.
This exciting, new programme has been developed in close collaboration with the School of Performance and Cultural Industries and allows students to undertake core and optional courses in both Schools. Students become members of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and enjoy the opportunities that membership offers, from networking events and links to alumni, to conferences, seminars and reading groups.
Like all our masters programmes, this programme comprises of core and optional elements. At its core are two modules which develop your understanding of arts management, cultural leadership and heritage studies – you’ll explore the concepts of ‘heritage’ and ‘history’, different methodological and theoretical approaches to heritage and the institutions involved in presenting ‘heritage’ to a wider audience.
You’ll also examine theoretical concepts in the emerging field of arts management and the challenges faced by arts managers and cultural leaders. Privileged access to our arts and cultural partners will give you an insight into the challenges of bringing theory and practice together.
All MA students in the School take two core modules which develop the research skills to complete research projects such as your essays and dissertation. This will build to a symposium in Semester 2 where you present some of your own research, and a dissertation which enables you to undertake research in a topic of interest to you.
In addition, you’ll choose from a range of optional modules from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies and the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. These will include the opportunity to complete a placement in either arts management or heritage.
As a part of the degree students are encouraged to build a portfolio of project work to support future job applications.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of our staff. These include weekly seminars, group learning sessions, tutorials and lectures. You’ll also benefit from the expertise of visiting speakers, visits off campus and practical experience. Independent study is also vital to this programme, allowing you to develop your individual skills and prepare for taught sessions.
Depending on the modules you choose, you may experience a range of different assessment methods. These usually include essays of around 7,000 words, individual and group presentations, in-course assessment and project work. You may also be asked to complete a reflective log for your projects, allowing you to look back and critically assess your own practice.
All students have a choice of two optional modules. A number of these modules have a work or enterprise component to gain first-hand experience of contemporary museum and gallery practice. If you have a particular ambition in mind for a work placement, we try to find a role that suits you.