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The MPhil in Heritage Studies is an exciting and intensive programme that investigates the many ways heritage is involved in the key contemporary challenges facing society. 

The programme will challenge you to think about thow the past is used in the present, what we choose to take from the past with us into the future, how places and things develop heritage value, and how heritage is used and managed. What is the difference between tangible and intangible heritage? Should we reconstruct heritage that was destroyed in war? Is authenticity important? 

Throughout the programme we explore how heritage intersects with such important contemporary themes as:

  • 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 


This eleven-month MPhil programme is built around two cross-cutting year-long modules: 

  • Socio-politics of the past
  • Heritage management

As your third module you can choose ‘Special Topics in Heritage’. This module changes annually to reflect the latest research and developments in this dynamic discipline. It incorporates themes such as ‘dark heritage’, ‘heritage and climate change’, ‘heritage and migration’ and ‘intangible heritage’. 

You can also choose choose any other year-long module or two term-long modules from our other MPhil programmes. This allows you to tailor your syllabus to include advanced study of a particular period or geographic region in archaeology. You also take the Research Skills module and write a dissertation. 


The MPhil in Heritage Studies is taught through lectures, seminars, field trips, and students’ written work. Field trips and site visits that are included as part of the syllabus will either be free or heavily subsidised by the Department. Modules are assessed through coursework, such as book reviews, grant proposals or reports, and written examinations throughout the year. 


All MPhil students enrolled on the MPhil in Heritage Studies can apply for postgraduate 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 specialists and heritage professionals from across the University and beyond.

What are we looking for?

We accept applicants from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds including: Archaeology, Anthropology, Law, Politics, History, Classics, International Relations and many others.

After the MPhil

On completing the MPhil in Heritage Studies you will be well prepared to either undertake further postgraduate study in Heritage or to enter the workplace in the heritage industry, museums and related fields. 


Dr Lila Janik  and Ben Davenport 



Heritage Studies

For further information about this MPhil, please contact Dr Dacia Viejo-Rose and Ben Davenport 

Postgraduate Study at Cambridge