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Unit information: The Cultural heritage of Historic Towns and Cities in Europe and Beyond in 2021/22

Unit name The Cultural heritage of Historic Towns and Cities in Europe and Beyond
Unit code MODL30027
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Marianne Ailes
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will use case studies of important towns and cities in countries where one of the main languages is taught in the School. The unit aims to examine the place of cultural heritage in developing a sense of local and national identity and in the heritage industry. The teaching will link the history of the case studies to aspects of the surviving physical environment and less tangible aspects of cultural heritage. It will address ethical questions relating to challenging aspects of cultural heritage (for example where major elements of the history involve oppression or violence), as well as issues of engagement with local heritage and identity. The unit will aim to give the students a deep understanding of the concept of cultural heritage and its role in local communities. It will encourage students to develop a different writing style, appropriate for communicating academic knowledge to the wider community, while demonstrating a high level of knowledge of the history behind the heritage. The unit will also aim to give the students opportunities to work in a team in a way similar to a professional environment. The students will work in editorial teams to create an online journal centred on the cultural heritage of a particular town; the best journal, as judged by someone from the publishing industry, will be published on the School’s web-site.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. a sophisticated understanding, appropriate to the level, of the importance of cultural heritage in developing local and national identities.
  2. an ability to articulate the ethical issues surrounding the interaction between tourism and the cultural heritage of a place.
  3. an ability to analyse the relationship between the specific history of a location and its wider context
  4. an ability to transfer knowledge derived from scholarly work on cultural heritage to non-academic audiences
  5. a sophisticated understanding, appropriate to the level, of how moments in history leave their mark on the physical environment
  6. an ability to work together in an editorial team

Teaching Information

1 x lecture per week

1 x seminar per week

1 visit to a local heritage site to consider aspects of curation and presentation to the public

Assessment Information

Assessment 1 (25%): each student will prepare an audio recording (podcast style) of 15 minutes discussing an issue raised by challenging aspects of cultural heritage and how this is dealt with in a town or city of their choice testing ILOs 1,2, and 4).

Assessment 2 (75%) The students will work in editorial boards of 4-6 students to produce an online journal focusing on one city and aimed at the educated public; each student will contribute one article (3,000 words) to the journal. The surrounding material (editorial, contents page, local events page) will be produced as a group. Students can base their journal round one of the places


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MODL30027).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.