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Department of Archaeology


What is Heritage?

Where history is the study of the past, heritage is the many ways the past is used in the present. Heritage can be understood as an active, dynamic relationship between then and now, formed through an on-going process of renegotiation, reconstruction, and recreation of what we choose to take from the past with us into the future.  

Heritage is a rapidly growing field of fundamental contemporary significance. It is a key element in the way diverse institutions, political movements and communities recognise their identities, attribute value, contest rights claims and realise their political and economic strategies.


Cambridge Heritage Research Centre

The Cambridge Heritage Research Centre (CHRC) brings together Departments and Faculties from a variety of disciplines across the University of Cambridge to address a range of important themes within heritage research. These include:

• Heritage, identity, and migration
• The role of heritage in conflict and post-conflict situations
• Heritage ecologies – natural and cultural heritage
• Heritage education and museums
• Theorising and applying the tangible/intangible heritage distinction
• Heritage, methodologies and fieldwork



Heritage Research Group

The Heritage Research Group (HRG) was founded in the 1990s. Since then, the number of students, postdoctoral fellows, academic staff and other researchers involved with heritage research across the University of Cambridge has increased. HRG is now a substantial community that draws people in from a number of disciplines and housed within the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre.

The HRG runs weekly seminars during term time and produces a fortnightly bulletin containing information about heritage events, publications and work experience and employment opportunities.


Studying Heritage at Cambridge

The University of Cambridge offers postgraduate teaching and research in Heritage Studies through the faculty and department members of the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre.


MPhil Programmes

The MPhil in Heritage Studies is a taught Masters level programme offered within the Department of Archaeology. Applications will be accepted from September for students wishing to start in the following October. The new MPhil in Heritage Studies will be an exciting and specialised free-standing Masters programme, which will replace the Archaeological Heritage and Museums option previously offered within the MPhil in Archaeology.

Information about the course and how to apply can found on the Department of Archaeology website and the Graduate Admissions webpages.


PhD Programmes

PhD applicants wishing to conduct heritage research may apply to undertake a PhD in any of the partner's departments and faculties of the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre.

Recent doctoral projects focusing on heritage research have been conducted under PhD programmes in Archaeology, Classics, Criminology, Development Studies, Land Economy, Education, and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.