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MA Cultural Heritage Management

Essential preparation for successful heritage careers

Year of entry: 2019
Show year of entry: 2020


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time,
3 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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Equip yourself to work in the cultural heritage sector which offers a wide range of exciting opportunities in museums, local authorities, heritage agencies, organisations and consultancies.

This course offers essential training for professional roles throughout the sector. You'll learn to understand all aspects of heritage management theory and practice, gain practical experience with heritage sector professionals, and develop knowledge and skills essential for today’s heritage sector careers.

Through a combination of academic studies, practical training and research projects, you'll receive a thorough grounding in all aspects of heritage management theory and practice. You will address key issues such as:

  • Why does the past matter and to whom?
  • Who decides what constitutes heritage and what should be done with it?
  • How should we present the past to the public?

The course focuses on providing you with highly valued and transferable practical skills, knowledge and experience.

This is a general course, exploring the multi-disciplinary nature of the heritage environment. It is therefore suitable not just for students of Archaeology or History, but for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in the heritage sector. Recent students have included those with backgrounds in History, English, History of Art, Politics and Environmental Sciences.

Find out how this course has helped our alumni in their careers.

Course content

You'll study 180 credits over the course. This will be made up of two core modules (a total of 40 credits) and six option modules, including four shorter skills modules (60 credits in total). You will also hone your research skills by producing a dissertation worth 80 credits.


Core modules

Option modules

You'll study a further two 20-credit option modules and four 5-credit skills modules. You'll be able to select these from an extensive range available in the department.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


You will undertake a dissertation as part of this course, of around 20,000 words and worth a total of 80 credits. You will also give an assessed lecture on your research topic. Throughout this time you will have a supervisor to help and guide you through the process.

Recent dissertation topics have included:

  • Living in the Past? The Uses of Historical Re-enactment and Effects upon its Participants 
  • “We want our country back” The role of the Authorised Heritage Discourse in the 2016 EU Referendum 
  • Sustainable Collections Management: a Comparison Between UK and Danish Museum Storage
  • Walking Through the Past: An Analysis of the Reasons Why Hikers Choose to Walk Paths with Heritage Significance.  
  • A Study in Representation and Suffrage: What are the Challenges of Representing Women From the Past and How Can Museums Present Suffrage Successfully During the 2018 Centenary?
  • In the Round: Country Music's Transatlantic Conversation
  • To be Reborn: Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust in post-World War II Displaced Person (DP) Camps - Materiality and Heritage Significance  
  • A Heritage of Resistance: Exploring the Representation of African American Civil Disobedience and Activism in American Museums  
  • Museums and Change: Investigating the Impact of the New Key Stage 2 History National Curriculum on Education Practice for Yorkshire Museums  
  • Examining the Case that Communal Heritage can be Created at Music Festivals Through the Investigation of Boomtown Fair  
  • Place Attachment and the Millennial Generation: What the Heritage Sector can Learn from ‘Big Data’  
  • Digitally Preserving Chinese Traditional Music: Recording, Disseminating and Archiving the Working Song of Chuan Jiang 


At the end of your second term you will have the option of gaining experience in a student placement with a professional heritage organisation.

Organisations offering placements range from museums and heritage centres to local planning authorities. This gives you the opportunity to put the knowledge and skills you have learned into practice and to further develop your heritage management understanding and expertise.

Although optional, most students opt to take voluntary placements as they not only provide excellent experience, but are an invaluable addition to your CV.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • demonstrate enhanced skills and knowledge, improving their chances of employment as a heritage practitioner
  • show that they have developed intellectually and personally through direct contact with heritage professionals
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the policies and practices underpinning heritage management
  • show an understanding of the nature of heritage and its relevance to society 

Beautiful surroundings

Study in King's Manor, a beautiful Medieval building in the centre of historic York.

Feel at home

Informality is one of our distinctive qualities - the atmosphere in our department is friendly, supportive and enthusiastic. We want you to develop your potential and thrive at York.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £7,810£17,370
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
Part-time (3 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

We don't anticipate there being any additional fees associated with this course. All books and resources you need will be available in the library or online and it isn't mandatory that you buy your own copies. You may wish to set aside a small budget for photocopying, depending on how you like to work.

There are some field trips as part of some modules, the cost of which is covered by the Department.

Placements are unpaid and there may be travel costs associated with attending a placement, however, if this is an issue other placements can be considered which do not have travel costs associated. 

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, with an emphasis on student led-discussion and presentations.

Teaching location

The majority of your teaching will take place at King's Manor in the city centre. Additional teaching may take place at locations on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed by a variety of methods. Depending on which modules you opt to take, these could include: 

  • Essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Report writing
  • Dissertation
  • Or alternative assessment methods such as film-making, blogging or posters

Careers and skills

The MA in Cultural Heritage Management has a clear focus on employability to ensure that you leave equipped with the best skills to help you get a job.

Find out what our alumni say about the course.

Course postgraduates have gone on to careers in archaeology and heritage-related organisations across the UK and abroad, including:

  • English Heritage
  • The National Trust
  • York Archaeological Trust
  • The Council for British Archaeology
  • Highland Council
  • Yorkshire Museums Trust
  • Heritage consultancies
  • The Science Museum Group
  • The Royal Mint Museum
  • Heritage Malta
  • New South Wales Government

Others have gone on to take PhDs at York, Stanford (USA) and other universities.

Career opportunities

Students have used the skills gained to pursue careers in other sectors, including:

  • Local government and development
  • Chartered surveying
  • Computing and IT services
  • Business and administration
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Education
  • Civil service, law and police authorities
  • Accountancy and financial services

Transferable skills

  • The ability to independently gather, organise, and present information and arguments in a critical manner
  • The ability to communicate complex ideas to a high standard in both written and verbal formats
  • The ability to work effectively with others as a team
  • The ability to produce logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
  • The ability to plan, design, and execute a programme of independent research
The Cultural Heritage Management course was a huge contributor to getting me where I am today. It provided me with a strong basis for my current role where I work with a diverse range of heritage and landscape sites. I couldn't recommend the course and the staff highly enough.
Inez, MA Cultural Heritage Management, 2016

Read what our graduates say about this course.

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
  • A good honours degree (2:1 or first class) in a relevant subject, or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution. ‘Relevant subject’ is broadly defined for this course and, as well as Archaeology, includes subjects such as History, History of Art, English, Geography, Anthropology, Politics and Environmental Sciences. If you are uncertain whether your first degree is appropriate, please contact the Course Director for more information. 
Other qualifications
  • Entry requirements for your country.
  • Mature students or those with less conventional qualifications but with relevant professional experience in this field will be considered.
  • An interview may be required.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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