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Unit information: Working in Cultural Heritage in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Working in Cultural Heritage
Unit code ARCH30033
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Mark Horton
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will connect the students' learning experience in archaeology and anthropology to real world situations, and applies these methods and concepts into public policy and societal actions. The unit will focus on "cultural heritage", which will be broadly defined to include not only tangible heritage such as buildings, landscapes and museums but also intangible heritage such as languages, ethnographic performance, endangered cultures and societies and natural heritage, such as protected areas and national parks. Students will be expected to understand value and significance of cultural and heritage assets and how to assess them. The unit will engage with professionals working in the field of Cultural Heritage to share their experience and offer networking opportunities. Much of the unit's content will be taught in a practical manner, with fieldtrips within Bristol and beyond, to organisations that we have working relationships with, the use of media materials, and video/skype conferencing around the world. The unit aims to prepare our students for the world of work, to help inform them about possible career opportunities and provide portfolio material that can be used for future job applications.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate that they:

1. understand and define terms such as 'heritage' 'culture' 'intangible heritage' significance' 'value'.

2. understand the main areas of cultural heritage - historic and green environments, museums, material culture, intangible heritage, cultures and languages.

3. understand the work of the main conservation organisations, both nationally and internationally, which operate within the fields of cultural heritage.

4. appreciate the challenges of working with cultural heritage, in terms of practical measures, law, resources, education, media, conservation, interpretation and access.

5. understand the range of conflicts for the conservation of cultural heritage - such as sustainability, climate change, commercial pressures, religious zealotry, green versus brown debates.

and that they are able:

6. to produce a professional level report or portfolio, in accordance with national or international guidelines, models or briefs.

7. to present their work orally to a professional standard.

Teaching details

Lectures, seminars, demonstrations and fieldtrip

Assessment Details

The students will be required to complete a single portfolio/report on a particular example of cultural heritage of their choosing (4000 words, 80%, ILOs 1-6). They may choose to do this within the framework on Conservation Planning, Interpretation Planning, or Management Planning. The assessment will be expected to be of professional quality, and to have assembled material and provide rationale for its recommendations.

The students will also be required to present their professional portfolio as a 15 minute oral presentation (20%, ILOs 1-5 and 7)

Reading and References

Baker, David and Chitty, Gill, Managing Historic Sites and Buildings Routledge 1999

Blockley, Marion, Hems, Alison, Heritage Interpretation. English Hertiage 2005

George, Adrian The Curators Handbook. Thames and Hudson 2015.

Mc Manamon, F and Hatton, A. Cultural Resource Management in Contemporary Society. Routledge 2000

Worthing, D and Bond S, Managing Built Heritage, Blackwell Publishing 2008