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    Cultural Heritage Management

    Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

    Learn key management techniques and how to apply them in the distinctive field of historical preservation.
    Archaeology site

    Course description

    Our strong links with the heritage industry mean you can apply what you learn in real-world situations – during the course. Students work with organisations such as Historic England, the National Trust and regional museums – experience that can be a deciding factor when you compete for jobs in the sector.

    You can come to the course from either an archaeology or a business/management background. Taught in partnership with colleagues from the Sheffield University Management School, it provides training in heritage interpretation and conservation, as well as marketing and site management.


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Core modules:

    Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation

    This module provides students with the advanced understanding they need to design an effective research project that addresses a question relevant to current debate in archaeology, and in particular to plan a successful MA/MSc dissertation. It comprises six group seminar sessions and three seminars in which students from different courses are streamed to be taught and guided on subject-specific material by experts in the field. The module culminates in a research day during which students present their dissertation plans to their peers and staff assessors. Assessment is in two parts: a succinct Powerpoint presentation of the dissertation proposal and outline and a written dissertation outline and proposal.

    Students wishing to undertake a work placement will also find this module useful for planning their placement aims and objectives.

    15 credits
    Dissertation (Cultural Heritage Management)

    This module requires students to plan, execute and write-up an original research project. Dissertation topics must be chosen with, and approved by, the Course Director; they must be based on original research; they must be academically worthwhile, affordable, manageable within the time limits, capable of supervision within the contributing Departments, and related to the subject-matter of the MSc in Cultural Heritage Management. Learning is supported by original research guided by ongoing individual tutorials.This module requires students to plan, execute and write up an original research project. This dissertation project is chosen with, and approved by, the Course Director. Dissertation topics must be based on original research and on the students' own ideas: they must be worthwhile, affordable, manageable within time limits, capable of supervision within the contributing Departments and related to the subject matter of the MA Cultural Heritage Management.

    45 credits
    Heritage, History and Identity

    This module highlights the diversity of cultural heritage, ranging from cultural and 'natural' landscapes, through monuments to music, dress, cuisine, 'traditional' crafts, and language and dialect. It explores the role of these various forms of heritage in shaping local, regional and national identity; the extent to which they reflect or misrepresent local, regional and national history; the legal and ethical issues surrounding conservation and preservation of heritage; and how study of 'traditional' lifeways may contribute to understanding of history.

    15 credits
    Heritage, Place and Community

    The aim of this module is to introduce the theory and practice of heritage, conservation and public archaeology. The module will encourage debate on issues that affect how we define and apply the term 'heritage'. It also offers an opportunity to focus on the historic 'value' of a site or landscape, with an evaluation of how it is currently managed, and strategies for its future conservation and presentation.

    15 credits
    Introduction to Critical Theories and Concepts in the Creative and Cultural Industries

    This is a core module that introduces and defines what we mean by the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI), not least exploring their role in society. From theatres, to museums, to the music industry, to film, this module explores ideas around the purposes of, and changes and challenges to the CCI sector. The module provides an overview of critical theories and concepts within CCI, and seeks to equip students with the necessary knowledge and tools to assess critically the advantages and disadvantages of existing frameworks, and apply these to understand and research the Creative and Cultural Industries today.

    15 credits
    Managing Museums and Cultural Heritage Sites

    The module defines and critically appraises the concepts and dimensions of museums and heritage spaces and examines the politics and uses of such sites. It considers local museums, World Heritage Sites and 'Starchitecture' new builds such as the Guggenheim, Bilbao and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It examines policy, funding and the day to day management of individual museums and heritage spaces against the background of national government agendas and inter-governmental agreements that underpin large scale developments. It looks at provision of such cultural spaces from both the operator and visitor management perspectives and includes site visits within the locality.

    15 credits

    Optional modules:

    Accounting and Financial Management

    This module is designed to provide knowledge and understanding of the roles of accounting and financial management in modern business organisations. The module will introduce students to the objectives, techniques and limitations of accounting for the purposes of external accountability and internal decision-making and control. The module will also introduce students to the objectives, techniques and limitations of financial investment appraisal and provision of financial resources.

    15 credits

    This unit engages students with different theoretical perspectives on the nature of brands, their management, and the relationship between brands and their socio-cultural context. The learning process exposes the students to a wide range of brand examples. Students draw on the theoretical perspectives to write an analytical critique of a specific leisure brand.

    15 credits
    Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship

    Entrepreneurship is vital to a flourishing cultural and creative sector. This module bridges the gap between creativity, culture, and business by enabling learners to develop techniques that move their creative and critical thinking to entrepreneurial thinking. The module equips those who have previously studied or engaged with an area of creative or cultural practice, such as music, media, theatre and performance, heritage, craft, design, or digital games, to start a new business arising from existing or new creative and cultural practices, to manage a portfolio of loosely connected projects in the cultural and creative industries, and to develop intrapreneurial skills for innovation in existing organisations in the cultural and creative industries. It enhances learners' skills as creative leaders who can respond to emerging trends and opportunities to realise value in the creative economy.

    15 credits
    Cultural Marketing

    Cultural Marketing aims to develop students' understanding, knowledge and analytical skills in relation to marketing and consumption practices within the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs), and specifically in relation to the CCI business context, types of CCI organisations and marketing management practices. The module content includes theoretical approaches to marketing and consumption practices in a range of CCI sectors, for example, film, fine art, music, literature, and heritage.

    15 credits
    Digital Cultural and Creative Industries

    This module aims to develop students' understanding of the relationship between digital technologies and cultural and creative industries, looking at production, distribution, audience measurement and future trends. Students will synthesise knowledge from CCI theory, up-to-date industry examples and guest speakers who work at the forefront of these digital transformations. Students will be equipped with the skills to critically evaluate the use of technologies in CCIs, to address their opportunities, risks and potential harms.  

    Firstly, we will explore how cultural and creative production is facilitated by different technological innovations and developments. We will look at how CCIs such as game design, museum curation and music have been shaped by numerous technological innovations. We will also examine how digital production influences work and consumption within contemporary CCIs.  

    Secondly, we will look at the ways in which CCI distribution is facilitated by digital intermediaries. We will look at social media platforms, streaming services and livestreaming platforms, and examine industries related to social media content creation, influencer culture and the promises of 'DIY' production. We will particularly focus on how the algorithmic distribution of cultural products has shaped cultural and creative industries. We will also examine how digital intermediaries shaped the funding models of CCIs, and what impact this has on the sector. 

    Lastly, we will look at how digital media has shaped the sustainability and futures of cultural and creative industries. We will look at how technologies such as VR and AI could end up transforming how we access, and work in CCIs - both now and in the future.

    15 credits
    Digital Cultural Heritage: Theory and Practice

    This module examines the theoretical and methodological advances in Digital Cultural Heritage and their
    broader implications in fields concerned with the interpretation and presentation of the past. We will draw on
    theoretical readings as well as analyse the potential benefits and drawbacks of certain digital and online
    approaches. Topics include: principles and theories underlying Digital Cultural Heritage, understanding
    processes of creating digital surrogates, establishing principles for user experience, and exploring digital
    narratives for public dissemination. A major component of this module will be a semester-long project that will
    require the development of a proposal for a digital cultural heritage project.

    15 credits
    Digital Mapping for the Humanities
    15 credits
    Heritage, Museum and Field: Archaeology in Practice

    This module introduces graduate students to the field-based research skills necessary for the completion of their MA dissertation in archaeology. Students will undertake a two week placement (2 x 6 working days) in a museum, archive, laboratory, or excavation, the choice of which must be approved by the course director. The placement must link directly to the dissertation, and will involve the acquisition of research skills necessary to complete the dissertation, and may also involve the collection of research materials for the dissertation.

    15 credits
    Landscapes in archaeology: methods & perspectives

    This unit introduces the ways in which researchers have thought about landscape in archaeology and situates these perspectives within the methods that are commonplace in landscape research. Through a mix of lectures, seminars and practicals we will explore a variety of themes that together reflect the broad range of contemporary issues in landscape studies. These approaches will be applied through an analysis of a specific landscape using skills in observational survey, cartographic analysis, archival research and aerial photography gained during the practical classes. The emphasis is upon grasping both the methods and their application to specific archaeological questions.

    15 credits
    Managing Festivals, Events and Creative Performances

    This module explores the growth development, characteristics, issues and influences relevant to international art fairs, festivals, artistic performances and events and their impact on localities in terms of income generation, providing added value to tourist spaces, and their role in showcasing cultures and cultural products and places. It is primarily concerned with management of those art fairs, exhibitions and events that either showcase cultures or are located within the broad field of Creative and Cultural Industries, providing access to cultural products and cultural capital.

    15 credits

    You can also select 30 credits of modules from across the Department.

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


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


    You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. You’ll have access to specialist labs and world-class reference collections. Many of our masters courses include a fieldwork or project-based component.

    We integrate humanities and science-based approaches to nurture a deeper understanding. You’ll have the opportunity to explore different viewpoints and make up your own mind about their strengths and weaknesses.

    We’ll help you to develop your critical thinking as well as your practical skills. What we ask of you, as a member of our lively academic community, is that you challenge, question, and explore.


    All our masters students have the option to get involved in research projects – in the UK, Europe and elsewhere – even if fieldwork isn’t part of your course.


    Your assessments will include essays, portfolio work, practical work, exams and a dissertation.

    Student profiles

    This course is split between the archaeology and management schools and is a mix of lectures and seminars. The mix of archaeology and management means that I am learning about archaeology and heritage, as well as the wider heritage industry. There are also a number of field trips for some of the modules, which have allowed me to see different approaches to heritage management and discover new places!

    Rosalind MacDonald
    MA Cultural Heritage Management

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in an arts, humanities or science subject.

    Your interest in and understanding of archaeology is more important than what you studied at undergraduate level: we may consider degrees in other subjects if you display an interest in archaeology in your application.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Fees and funding


    If you accept a place on a course, you may be eligible to apply for White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) and University of Sheffield studentships. We also offer a number of department and course-specific scholarships.

    See the department's fees and funding page for more information.


    You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 2900

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.