Accessibility statement

Practical Skills: Heritage


Module leader: Cath Neal


The module will explore the ways in which archaeology and heritage are linked and the way that the past is presented to the public, particularly focusing on museums. The professional practice of heritage management and the influence of politics and policy in defining heritage agendas will be considered especially focussing on how this relates to the wider community and their participation. By considering a range of heritage/archaeological resources we will think about ways to broaden participation, access and understanding and the elucidate the way that presentation and interpretation practices affect engagement
We will also consider the ways that heritage is utilised by individuals and groups to promote a sense of identity.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Undertake a critical review of heritage resources through visits to museums, heritage attractions, education sites and web resources
  • Identify and discuss the range of heritage interest groups and the competing uses of heritage
  • Explore the use of heritage as an educational medium
  • Express the application of key theoretical and intellectual developments
  • Consider the relevance of heritage agendas to the wider discipline of archaeology
  • Identify the ethical issues involved in negotiation with diverse interest groups
  • Discuss models for audience development, and the design and use of heritage sites and media
  • Critically evaluate heritage resources, interpretations and displays in a written report

Further information

This module builds on the first year module History and Theory where students are introduced to the heritage resource and to the ethical dimensions of archaeological study.

Through the term, students will be expected to develop their skills in critiquing a heritage resource (students write their own specialist report in the co-requisite module the following term so it is important that they understand good practice). The formative assessment is designed to provide training and a similar summative assessment is handed in at the end of term. In week 10 they will be assessed further, and on their ability to “think on their feet”, in a class test.


This module not only provides practical skills in a certain area but also gives students the opportunity to develop the following skills:

  • Self management: it is of vital importance that you learn the practical skills this term so you can apply them next term to your team project so you will need to manage your time well and spend about 10 hours a week in independent study
  • Communication: you will be learning how to communicate the results of work and should be developing both your written and verbal communication skills
  • Team working: although the focus of team working comes next term it is a good idea to begin to work with others in the group and think about how to lead, and follow, effectively
  • Problem solving: this module will require a capacity for analysis, synthesis and the ability to evaluate information from a range of sources
  •  Social, cultural and global awareness: you may be considering case studies from an international context within this module. You should also appreciate the ethical issues involved.
  • Application of IT: you will be using the internet for a range of sources and you will be using word processing packages for presentation of your work
  • Application of numeracy: you will be thinking about how to interpret data