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MPhil in Heritage Studies

MPhil in Heritage Studies Label


MPhil in Heritage Studies 


Course Coordinator: Dr Dacia Viejo Rose

Other staff teaching on this course:

 Dr Lila Janik, Dr Gilly Carr


The course

The MPhil in Heritage Studies is an exciting and intensive 11-month course offering students a unique interdisciplinary Masters programme that provides outstanding education in the broad field of Heritage Studies. This course, taught within the Department of Archaeology, prepares graduates to either undertake further research in the field of heritage or enter a range of professions within the heritage industry and beyond.

The new MPhil in Heritage Studies is a specialised free-standing Masters programme, which replaces the Archaeological Heritage and Museums option previously offered within the MPhil in Archaeology.

All MPhil students enrolled on the MPhil in Heritage Studies can apply for graduate membership of the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, which hosts a range of heritage-related events and development opportunities, as well as providing MPhil students with a network of academic specialist and heritage professionals from across the University and beyond.

The structure

Students enrolled on the MPhil in Heritage Studies select three modules from a list of those available each year. At least two of these modules will be from a list of two-term long heritage modules and usually include ‘The Socio-politics of the Past’, ‘Heritage Management’ and ‘Special Topics in Heritage’. The latter incorporates themes such as ‘heritage and conflict’, ‘heritage and climate change’, ‘heritage and migration’ and ‘intangible heritage’ into papers that change annually to reflect the latest research and developments in this dynamic discipline. In addition to taking a research skills module and completing a dissertation, students are also able to select one or two modules from a list of two- and one-term long modules available within the Department of Archaeology. This allows students to tailor their course to include advanced study of a particular period or geographic region.

On completion of the MPhil in Heritage Studies students will be well prepared to enter the work place within the heritage sector and other fields, or to pursue doctoral research on the PhD in Archaeology or other programmes within the University of Cambridge or elsewhere.

Themes of the course

Some of the key themes covered in the course in most years typically include:

  • Heritage and Identity
  • The role of ‘politics’ in heritage
  • The role of ‘value’ in heritage studies
  • Cultural heritage and conflict
  • The relationship between natural and cultural heritage
  • Contemporary challenges in heritage management
  • The role of international bodies in heritage management
  • Heritage and public engagement
  • Cultural heritage and the law
  • Cultural heritage and development ethics 

Heritage modules may also include fieldtrips and site visits as part of the syllabus which will either be free or heavily subsidized by the Department.

Teaching and Assessment

Modules are assessed through coursework and written examinations throughout the year. Coursework elements may also include book reviews, grant proposals or reports, in addition to critical essays on topics covered in the modules. Examinations, if required for the modules selected, are held in late May/early June each year.

Further Information

For further information about academic and language requirements and fees and funding opportunities visit the Graduate Admissions website and search for Heritage Studies in the Course Directory