MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy

University of Stirling

Program Description

MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy

University of Stirling

The MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy has been developed to provide interdisciplinary training at an advanced level for existing practitioners in the heritage sector or those seeking a career in that sector.

The course offers an ideal balance between the practical and intellectual elements of heritage and heritage policy. Students both explore cultural, natural, tangible and intangible heritage through the lens of environmental history, whilst also developing a strong practical skills-base.

The course provides

  • a foundation in the concepts, ideas, theory, practice and application of heritage and heritage policy
  • skills in the principal subject areas contributing to the study of cultural and natural heritage
  • advanced study in the main subject areas of candidates’ primary disciplines
  • training in appropriate quantitative and qualitative research, interpretative and presentational methodologies.

Students 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. The course of study prepares students in the concepts and ideas of the field and in one year enables them to investigate issues such as:

  • Protected Spaces/Legislative Framework
  • Designation; Heritage, Identity and Place
  • ‘The Highlands and the Roots of Green Consciousness’
  • World Heritage and National Parks
  • Public Relations and Marketing and Interpretation Media

and apply their skills in an individual research project.

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

Top Reasons To Study With Us

  1. The course has a strong emphasis on both the conceptual and the intellectual study of heritage, which provides a fascinating and unique approach to studying the subject.
  2. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme means you can straddle more than one discipline and gain wider, more diverse skills.
  3. Field trips will allow you to take your learning outside of the classroom, while providing the opportunity to experience the Scottish environment first hand.
  4. You will be taught by a strong team, with excellent industry links, from a number of different disciplines.
  5. You will benefit from the opportunity to work with staff on a one-to-one basis but will be encourage to conduct independent work and bring ideas back to the classroom

What makes us different?

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

Scholarships & funding

Scottish Funding Council Masters Scholarships

The Scottish Funding Council is funding Home/EU tuition fees for a number of places on this course. Funded places are open to applicants domiciled in Scotland and the EU.

The University of Stirling is offering any students from the UK or European Union with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study.

Delivery and assessment

Depending on module content, delivery is by weekly, three-hour seminar or workshop and/or field visit/class. Assessment for both 30-credit core modules and 15-credit options is 100% coursework including assessed oral presentations, plus a 15,000-word traditional dissertation (100% of final grade) or work-based project portfolio (70% of the final grade) and a 5,000-word critical essay (30% of final grade)


The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has an established tradition of interdisciplinary teaching up to and beyond Master’s level and of close teaching and research collaborations with the Faculty of Natural Sciences, embodied in the Centre for Environmental History and Policy.

The course is delivered by an interdisciplinary team who possess strong connections with a range of historical and archaeological sector employers, and heritage and tourism industries, including members who have recent experience working within or for the heritage sector nationally and internationally. 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. Others have close professional links with the communications and media sector, including specialists in travel writing and travel journalism, PR and marketing. Contacts are also strong with natural heritage agencies including National Parks authorities, Scottish Natural Heritage/Natural England, and leading conservation charities nationally and internationally.

Academic strengths

The academic subjects contributing to this course have a range of academic expertise in the area of cultural and natural heritage, and the interpretation and communication of heritage significance to broad audiences. Innovative course development within the departments is nurtured by a strong research ethos sustained by the staff. The host department, History, has a strong focus on historic built environment, environmental impacts on cultural landscapes, computer applications for management of historical data, scripting of historical content for heritage interpretation and, in association with colleagues in Natural Sciences, remote sensing technologies and GIS applications for historical/archaeological and natural environment data.

This course offers a unique interdisciplinary training at Master’s level that draws on the expertise of a range of subject specialists and professional practitioners with experience across the broad heritage sector. Unlike at other institutions, this course is not delivered from within a Heritage and Tourism Management context, drawing instead on applied and academic skills from within the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences, thereby encouraging the development of interdisciplinary skills, application of interdisciplinary methods, and broader awareness of the distinct contribution of different disciplines and skill-sets to management, curation and public interpretation of heritage. It is designed to provide advanced-level academic skills in both theoretical frameworks and the contextual application of those theories to enhance candidates’ existing qualifications and provide them with a range of graduate attributes desirable for careers within an expanding economic sector. Targeted also at those already working within the broadly-defined heritage professions, this course has been constructed to expand their professional experience beyond the area of the sector within which they have specialised, enabling them to advance into upper-level management positions within the heritage sector more widely.


This course is designed to produce graduates with advanced skills for careers in the Cultural and Natural Heritage sectors, particularly in cultural heritage resource management and curation, interpretation and presentation of heritage, promotion and marketing of heritage, and sustainable tourism. Typical careers would include management roles within NGOs working in the cultural and natural heritage sectors, National Parks authorities, local and national government agencies, and heritage-focused charities (especially historic and built environment), senior education, interpretation and marketing roles in similar bodies. It is also designed to provide an advanced-level academic qualification for those already employed within the sector seeking professional development opportunities for the step into middle and upper management roles.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Cost & Fees


  • Overseas £14,600
  • Home/EU £6,200

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies.

Last updated January 16, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
12 - 24 months
Part time
Full time
6,200 GBP
United Kingdom - Stirling, Scotland
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
United Kingdom - Stirling, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Home/EU: £6,200 - Overseas: £14,600