Our interdisciplinary Master's course is ideal if you’re already working in the heritage sector, or are looking for a career in this field. It offers the perfect balance between the practical and intellectual elements of heritage and policy.

The course explores cultural, natural, tangible and intangible heritage, with a particular focus on environmental history. You’ll develop strong practical skills throughout the course - both in the field and in the classroom - and you’ll carry out an individual research project.

We have strong links with industry, so you’ll benefit from guest speakers who are experts in their field – as well as external partners who offer opportunities for work-based projects.

You’ll also have the opportunity to work with members of staff on a one-to-one basis, and experience the Scottish cultural and natural environments first-hand on a number of field trips designed to enhance class-based teaching. You’ll delve into concepts and ideas of each area of study, and by the end of the course you’ll have explored a wide range of issues, including:

  • designation and protected spaces
  • heritage, identity and place
  • the roots of green consciousness
  • public relations and marketing
  • social outcomes and impacts

There are also opportunities to learn basic geoarchaeology approaches and field-based archaeological skills.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 There’s a strong focus on both the conceptual and the intellectual study of heritage, environment and policy

#2 Field trips take your learning outside of the classroom, while simultaneously providing you with the opportunity to experience the Scottish environment

#3 You’ll be taught by an enthusiastic teaching team that has a range of academic expertise in the area of cultural and natural heritage

Course objectives

This Masters course is delivered by an interdisciplinary team from the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy that has strong connections with a range of historical and archaeological sector employers – as well as heritage and tourism industries. Individual team members have significant connections with national agencies and charities within the historic and built environment fields of the heritage sector, and have served on NGOs and advisory councils in those areas. The team also connects with natural heritage agencies such as National Parks authorities, Scottish Natural Heritage and leading conservation charities both nationally and internationally.

Research-led teaching

Innovative course development at the University of Stirling is nurtured by a strong research ethos held by the staff. The Department of History has an intensive focus on:

  • historic built environments
  • environmental impacts on cultural landscapes
  • computer applications for management of historical data
  • scripting of historical content for heritage interpretation

Our History team also works with colleagues in the Faculty of Natural Sciences on research approaches such as:

  • Geo-archaeology
  • Remote sensing technologies
  • GIS applications for historical/archaeological and natural environment data

This course draws on applied and academic skills from within the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. By working across Faculties, you’ll develop interdisciplinary skills and be able to apply different methods to the management, curation and public interpretation of heritage.

By the end of the course, you’ll attain advanced-level academic skills in both theoretical frameworks and the contextual application of those theories. You’ll have fostered attributes desirable for careers in an expanding economic sector.

Work placements

Placement opportunities will be available in a range of venues across the sector. These include heritage attractions, museums, galleries, libraries, NGOs and private sector industry partners. Previous industry partners have included:

  • Inner Forth Landscape Initiative
  • Dunblane Museum
  • Innerpeffrey Library
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Lismore Heritage Trust

Course details

Depending upon module content, teaching is delivered through a weekly, four-hour seminar or workshop and/or one field visit/class per module.

Teaching will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Field trips, workshops and seminars may take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am–8pm. Field trips may also occasionally take place on a Wednesday afternoon.


Stirling’s History teaching provision has been assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and achieved the highest possible rating of 'commendable' across all fields.


You’ll experience the Scottish cultural and natural environments first-hand on a number of field trips that are designed to enhance class-based teaching.


Assessment for each module is based on your coursework. This includes academic essays, academic posters, interpretation materials, memo briefings, critical reviews and assessed oral presentations, plus a 15,000-word traditional dissertation (100% of final grade). Instead of a dissertation, you can also choose to be assessed through a work-based project portfolio (70% of the final grade), alongside a 5,000-word critical essay (30% of final grade).

Classroom hours

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

  • Tuesday – CEHP Seminars 12–1pm
  • Tuesday – Module Seminars 6–10pm or Field Class 8am–8pm (approx)
  • Wednesday – Field Class 1–5pm (approx)
  • Thursday – Module Seminars 6–10pm or Field Class 8am–8pm (approx)

Course director

Professor Catherine Mills

+44 (0) 1786 467583


Fees - 2018/2019

  • Overseas £15,250
  • Home/EU £6,300
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated November 14, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
12 - 24 months
6,300 GBP
Home/EU: £6,300 - Overseas: £15,250
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