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Practical: Archaeology & Heritage - ARC00003I

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Gareth Dean
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

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.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

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.

Module 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


Task Length % of module mark
Critique of Heritage Site
N/A 50
Class Test
N/A 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Critique of Heritage Site
N/A 50
Class Test
N/A 50

Module feedback

Written and verbal feedback will be available within six weeks of formative and summative deadlines.

Indicative reading

  1. English Heritage ‘Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance’ 2008 Read the summary, introduction and definitions (pdf on the VLE)
  2. Council of Europe 'Heritage and Beyond' 2009 (pdf on the VLE). Please read Fojut ' Philosophical, political and pragmatic roots of the convention', pages 13-21 and Fairclough 'New heritage frontiers' 29-41
  3. Smith, L. 2006 'Uses of Heritage' Please read pages 11 -34
  4. Bennett, Tony 1995 The birth of the museum : history, theory, politics
  5. Harvey,D. 2008 History of heritage in 'Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity' 2008 eds Graham and Howard ebook via the library catalogue
  6. Carman, J. 2002 'Archaeology and Heritage' Please read Chapter 1 (Heritage all around)
  7. Smith,L. 2004 Archaeological Theory and the Politics of Cultural Heritage, see Chapter 6 please (Significance concepts and the embedding of processual discourse in cultural resource management)
  8. Schofield, J. 2007 Heritage Management, theory and practice in ‘The Heritage Reader’ eds Fairclough, G., Harrison, R., Jameson, J. Jnr. and Schofield, J.
  9. Harrison,R. 2010 'What is Heritage?' in R.Harrison (ed) Understanding the Politics of Heritage

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students