The MA in Heritage Practice offers students an in-depth opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of the heritage sector from the perspective of different disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology and history. It also enables students to gain critical acumen in exploring the meanings of heritage as a concept and how such concepts are applied in the UK and on a worldwide basis, thus providing valuable insights and an understanding of a sector that is gaining increased significance in today’s world.
The programme of study offers students a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of heritage issues. It combines broadly based compulsory modules with two distinct and specialised optional pathways in Cultural Heritage and Museums and Archives.
The Cultural Heritage pathway consists of two modules, focusing upon the notion of heritage as cultural practice. It enables students to explore important questions, for example where does heritage come from, how is it constructed, what does it do, how does it relate to the past and present, and what are its potential uses for the future? This pathway also encourages students to investigate relationships between heritage and the construction of identity, as well as the role of landscape, architecture and monuments in determining and embedding heritage.
The second pathway, on Museums and Archives, is also composed of two modules, which explore many of the issues surrounding the management, conservation, practice and legislation surrounding the operation of museums and archives.
In both pathways, students are encouraged to undertake a work placement at a museum or heritage site of their choice, while those on the Lampeter campus can undertake their placement in the Roderic Bowen Research Centre.
Students therefore gain understanding and appreciation in a broadly defined field of heritage in addition to a more concentrated and specialist knowledge based on a particular strand. Running through all these modules is a focus upon the practice based, employability side of heritage. The work placement module permits students to enter the work place, taking with them the knowledge and understanding from the course which they apply in a practical, hands-on setting.
-Research Methodologies (20 credits)
-Heritage: Representation and Interpretation (20 credits)
-Heritage Tourism Contexts (20 credits)
-Exhibiting the Past Museums, Collections and Heritage (20 credits)
-Documenting the Past Archives: Libraries and Heritage (20 credits)
-Heritage and Architecture: Heritage and the Built Environment (20 credits)
-Heritage Project Management in the Modern World (20 credits)
-Work placement (20 credits)
-Independent project (20 credits)
Teaching staff who deliver this programme rely upon their established research and expertise in heritage and heritage related concerns. The range of projects they have undertaken over a number of years, sometimes with partners in other institutions, includes:
-The excavation and conservation of the Newport Ship, Wales
-The excavation of a medieval bishop’s palace at Fetternear, Scotland, as well as the post-excavation research on and exhibition of the finds
-The development of a collaborative museum exhibition of Egyptian scarabs
-The excavation of the medieval abbey site at Strata Florida, with community and schools engagement
-Landscape heritage and interpretation
-The construction of social memory through war remembrance and memorials
-The Tregaron Elephant project, with its community engagement
-Research into ancient Andean textiles in association with the British Museum
This considerable bank of knowledge and skills underpins the programme, contributing to a high quality educational experience. As part of their research and project management, staff have worked with bodies including CADW, Historic England/English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, RCAHMW, UNESCO, Qatari Museums Authority, the British Museum, Blairs Museum (Aberdeenshire) and St Fagans National History Museum.
This experience feeds into teaching that offers unique insights into the heritage sector, its organisations and structures, its operational procedures and regulation, as well as its ethical and conservation considerations. It provides students with strong opportunities for entering heritage-related employment.
For residential students, most of the teaching takes place on the Lampeter campus, where the university is built round an archaeological site. Old Building is a listed building which backs onto a medieval motte.
A range of assessment methods are used from essays and short written evaluation, to the creation of publicity flyers, feasibility reports on a heritage site, project designs, an exhibition, oral presentations and reflective pieces.