About this course
Discover the cultural heritage industry on this master’s degree at the University of Southampton. Gain the knowledge and skills to specialise in an area relevant to your interests. You’ll graduate from this MA with the expertise for a successful career in the sector, or for further study at PhD level.
This UK master’s degree in cultural heritage studies will give you key knowledge of both land-based and maritime heritage. It covers everything from art, film and literature to the built environment and archaeological remains.
You’ll gain essential experience through field trips, meeting industry practitioners, and the chance to apply for a work placement with one of our heritage partners.
When you apply we'll ask you to choose one of the following pathways:
- cultural heritage: study the main issues and debates around the subject, including legal and ethical issues, and how heritage is managed and presented
- heritage and museums: gain a behind-the-scenes insight into how museums communicate the past, drawing on our links with museum and heritage partners
- heritage and public history: gain a specialist insight into the ways history is presented to non-academic audiences
- heritage and the arts: develop specialist practical skills in communicating in different genres and platforms in publishing, broadcasting, heritage management, and arts curation
The course content will vary depending on the pathway you study, but modules covering essential aspects of the subject are common to all pathways.
There is plenty of flexibility within the pathways themselves, allowing you to build the skillset that best suits your chosen career path.
Your course leader is Alistair Pike, Professor of Archaeological Sciences. His research interests cover several areas archaeological science, from the development of dating methods for bone beyond the range of radiocarbon to the use of isotopes in the reconstruction of human lifeways. Read Professor Pike’s staff profile to find out more about his work.
This course is based at Avenue.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in a relevant subject.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need an overall score of 6.5 and the following scores for reading, writing, listening and speaking:
IELTS score requirements
We accept other English language tests, find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: email@example.com
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
On this full-time master’s course you'll study for a full 12 months.
For the first 9 months (semesters 1 and 2) you’ll study the taught part of the course.
This is made up of modules that everyone on your pathway takes and modules that we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options. Some of your compulsory modules will be common to all of the pathways, ensuring that you gain a general overview of the subject in addition to your specialist skills.
You’ll spend the last 3 months of the course working independently on your dissertation or professional project.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
Your module choice will depend on the pathway you choose to study. Download the programme specification in the 'About this course' section for full details.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules:
You must also choose from the following modules:
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include:
- field trips
- project work
- group work
- independent learning (studying on your own)
We’ll assess you through:
- laboratory and field activities
- a dissertation or professional project
You'll complete either a 20,000-word dissertation or a professional project, such as an exhibition, catalogue, professional report or a guidebook, with a commentary of 5,000 to 15,000 words.
This is a chance for you to develop your research skills and show in-depth knowledge of your chosen topic.
You’ll work closely with your supervisor to agree your subject, and will have regular support meetings throughout the process.
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
With this qualification you’ll be in a great position to start a career in the heritage and tourism sector.
Potential employers include:
- government heritage bodies
- private consultancy firms
- museums and galleries
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £18,812.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000