Combine placements and projects with robust conceptual thinking through this dynamic MA course.
Developed and taught by leading heritage practitioners.
A chance to build expertise in areas that most interest you.
Opportunities to work in partnership with major heritage organisations, specialists and researchers.
The physical remains of our past – buildings, landscapes, city streets, archives, artefacts and archaeological sites – and the intangible associations of tradition, language and memory continue to shape our lives. However, the ways we understand and manage ‘heritage’ are changing rapidly.
We’ll challenge you to think about what heritage means, help you to set heritage management in its social, political and economic context, and give you the chance to apply your understanding through a range of research and practice-based projects with our regional, national and international partners.
You’ll explore how heritage sites are managed, presented and explained. We’ll teach you to consider their value beyond something to see or a place to visit.
What challenges are heritage bodies currently facing? What choices do they make in dealing with them? How will pressures on public funding for heritage in the UK – and further afield – shape our experience of visiting and working in museums and heritage sites in the future? And how will our wider understanding of heritage change as a result?
Trying to answer such questions provides a framework for practical work in the sector, underpinned by hands-on, supportive teaching. We want you to become involved in a range of projects, working with our extensive range of partners, and to gain experience on the ground.
Provides the foundation for your subsequent study. We will explore changing and contested ideas about the nature of heritage, examine the social, political, and economic context in which heritage is defined and managed, and consider the best of current practice through a series of workshops. These are led by some of the best professionals in the sector, many of whom will continue to offer you support and advice.
Tests how far your thinking has developed. You will plan and undertake an independent research project, which allows you to ask key questions about an aspect of current practice which most inspires or concerns you. In parallel with this, you will complete a 25 day placement with one of our many partners in the sector.
Marks the culmination of your studies, the chance to complete an extended piece of research through a dissertation or to design and deliver a new project in collaboration with a heritage site, museum, archive or community group, or to work with artists and teachers, health professionals and developers.
Part time students follow the same sequence of modules, but do so over two years, working from theory to practice and assessing both in relation to one another.
We deliver much of the course through intensive workshops, often run by leaders in their own field in the heritage sector. These are complemented by guest lectures, offering you the chance to become involved in thinking about major heritage issues as they develop, and by the sessions which you run for the group, as you develop your own expertise.
We pose challenging questions about our thinking and practice, and offer students the opportunity to explore this through a series of practical projects, working in partnership with a wide range of heritage organisations across Bath, the region, and beyond.
We offer an optional exchange visit with Claremont Graduate University, comprising a week’s study here and in California, usually in June and July. The visit is an opportunity to test all your ideas about how heritage works, in a very different setting, and to explore some important areas of difference and perhaps surprising similarity.
We make extensive use of the extraordinary heritage of the city and the surrounding area. There are two World Heritage Sites on our doorstep – the iconic landscape of Stonehenge and Avebury and Bath itself - and some of the most innovative organisations in the field.
Work placements, industry links and internships
We work closely with organisations such as the Bath Preservation Trust, the Holburne Museum, and Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, and we have links and partnerships with bodies throughout the region, nationally and internationally.
Our students have completed projects with, among others: English Heritage; the National Trust; the World Heritage Sites at Avebury and the City of Bath; Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum; M Shed in Bristol; HMS Victory; ss Great Britain; the Roman Baths Museum; and the Churches Conservation Trust. They have also worked with smaller, more informal organisations, where much of the most exciting contemporary practice develops.
Careers in the heritage sector include:
- collections management;
- education and learning;
- exhibition planning and implementation;
- community engagement and outreach;
- marketing and fundraising;
- operational management;
- events planning;
- retail and visitor services.
The course includes a range of generic skills and opportunities aimed at those looking interested in the voluntary sector, social enterprises, fundraising, and a wide range of administrative and management roles.
Some of our graduates go on to complete postgraduate research, and we have a growing cohort of PhD students working in the field of heritage studies.
We normally accept people who have a good first degree (2:1 or above) in any academic subject. You may be considered without a first degree, if you can demonstrate considerable relevant experience; you may be asked to attend an interview.
If English is not your first language then you will need to provide evidence of proficiency in written and spoken English. A minimum language level of IELTS 6.5, or equivalent, is required.
Interview and portfolio guidance
Tell us about an amazing visit to a museum or heritage site, and why it so moved you.
Show us that you understand that heritage doesn’t happen in a bubble, but that it reflects the pressures and priorities of the wider world.
Think about what you can offer us and your fellow students: what ideas, inspiration and experience can you bring to the course?
Think about joining the Museums Association – there is a student rate – for online access to current ideas and information and details of events.
The Guardian’s Cultural Professionals Network is another great place to go for updates and links – and pieces on what people actually do.
This school offers programs in:
Cost & Fees
Year 1 tuition
- UK/EU students full-time: £7,200 / part-time: £3,600
- International students full-time: £13,500
Last updated April 1, 2017