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MA Cultural Heritage Management

Essential preparation for successful heritage careers

Year of entry: 2023 (September)


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

Start date

September 2023 (semester dates)

Online Open Day

Wednesday 7 June 2023
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QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023

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QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023

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 multidisciplinary 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.

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I chose the course because I felt that the varied module options and opportunity to carry out a placement would be of great benefit for me, and I wasn’t wrong! In fact, the variety of options in areas that I had never studied before was fantastic and opened my eyes to a number of studies and careers that I hadn’t previously been aware of.
Ruth, MA Cultural Heritage Management

Read what our graduates say about this course.

Beautiful surroundings

York is the UK's archaeological capital. You'll study in King's Manor, a beautiful Medieval building in the centre of the historic city.

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.

Course content

You will study 180 credits over the duration of your course. You'll study a variety of modules and undertake a curated placement, and then hone your research skills by producing a dissertation and presenting an assessed lecture on your dissertation topic. 


Core modules

Option modules

You will also study five option modules. Examples from previous years have included: 

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


You'll complete an 8,000-word dissertation on your research.

You will have regular meetings with your supervisor who is there to offer support, guidance and encouragement throughout the dissertation writing process.

Examples of previous dissertations include:

  • 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 

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 an applied, systematic, in-depth understanding of essential disciplinary knowledge of cultural heritage management, and awareness of its breadth and its relevant academic, professional and socio-economic contexts
  • Engage critically with current debates and advanced scholarship in local and international research and practice within cultural heritage management in order to evaluate the field of practice
  • Inform decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations by assessing and applying advanced cultural heritage management theories and methodologies to diverse problems or forms of data
  • Confidently synthesise research findings and key scholarly debates, and communicate (through a variety of forms and media) to peers, public or professional audiences in such a way that demonstrates an ability to consider and adapt to their respective needs
  • Demonstrate originality in rigorous and imaginative independent inquiry, using advanced research skills, and a clear contribution to the work of a team
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the legislative, policy and theoretical frameworks that have an impact on heritage management and how they are applied in practice in the UK and internationally
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of ethics as they relate to heritage practice and of expertise in mediating conflict over the management and meaning of heritage
  • Critically evaluate the diverse methods used to engage the public in heritage practice and decision-making in order to inform decision-making in cultural heritage management

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2023/24

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,990£22,250
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Part-time (3 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

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

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

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. 

Funding information

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

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2023/24 throughout the year.

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

Funding opportunities

We have a variety of funding options available within the department.

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.

The staff at York are passionate and are experts in their respective fields, and I have taken a great deal away from the course. The placements offered through the course have been a direct gateway in helping me to secure my first paid job in the museums sector while studying.
Chris, MA Cultural Heritage Management

Read what our graduates say about this course.

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 Department of Archaeology is based in King's Manor, in York city centre. The majority of your teaching will take place there within the Department, with occasional teaching 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
  • Alternative assessment methods such as film-making, blogging or posters

Careers and skills

The MA 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. Graduates have gone on to careers in archaeology and heritage-related organisations across the UK and abroad. Others have gone on to take PhDs at York, Stanford (USA) and other universities. You'll also develop transferable skills that are applicable to a multitude of careers beyond archaeology and heritage.

Find out what our alumni say about the course.

Career opportunities

  • Local government officer
  • Chartered surveyor
  • Heritage site management
  • Higher education research and teaching
  • Museum education manager
  • Social researcher

Transferable skills

  • Independently gather, organise, and present information and arguments in a critical manner
  • Communicate complex ideas to a high standard in both written and verbal formats
  • Work effectively with others as a team
  • Produce logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
  • 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

Read what our graduates say about this course.

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in a Archaeology or a related subject 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 and experience Mature students or those with less conventional qualifications but with relevant professional experience in this field will be considered. An interview may be required.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

You will need to submit examples of written work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting written work.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in all other components
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 176 in Writing and 169 in all other components
Duolingo 120, minimum 120 in production and 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator: Pass with 39/50 in writing and no less than 33/50 in all others
PTE Academic/PTE Academic Online 61, minimum 61 in Writing and 55 in all other components
TOEFL 87, minimum 23 in Writing and 21 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

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 English language test 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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Get in touch if you have any questions

Helen Chan, Student Services Administrator
Professor John Schofield, Course Director

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Department of Archaeology

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