Heritage

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From the local to the global, this intellectually challenging course grounded in practical experience.

  • Placement opportunities in the heritage sector with our industry links.
  • Immerse yourself in heritage – Bath is the only World Heritage city in the UK.
  • Taught by experienced professionals.

HeritageBSU Logo

Heritage at Bath Spa University – where the past shapes the future.

Why study Heritage?

We offer you the unique opportunity to study heritage in collaboration with museums and heritage sites across Bath and the local region. You’ll be taught by professionals and academics who research and write about heritage and public history.

We live surrounded by historic buildings, landscapes, and material objects of our past. But heritage is about more than just physical remains – it’s about people’s memories, how they make sense of their past and how they understand their culture. Heritage is crucial to building our sense of identity – as an individual, as part of a community, as a nation, and as a part of the wider world.

You’ll take Heritage with another subject as part of a Combined Award. Heritage is available in combination with:

Course structure

We’ll challenge you to put the past into a range of perspectives in order to discover how it shapes the future. You’ll graduate from this course with a thorough understanding of heritage as a subject, and with practical knowledge and experience of how heritage works in the real world.

On the course, you’ll work on individual and collaborative projects with heritage partners and organisations, that you’ll plan manage it and deliver.

You’ll develop a range of subject-based practical skills and skills for life and work. You’ll:

  • gain practical experience in a range of heritage contexts;
  • develop a series of professional contacts in the local and regional heritage sector;
  • be intellectually flexible and demonstrate an ability to approach problems from a variety of perspectives;
  • develop leadership skills and demonstrate your own initiative; and
  • be confident in your own abilities.

Modules

  • Year 1
    We’ll introduce you to the relationships between history and heritage and question what we mean by ‘public history’. You’ll explore topics including: the origins of collecting and the creation of the museum; the creation of heritage preservation organisations like the National Trust; and heritage in a global context including UNESCO World Heritage. You’ll also be encouraged to see heritage as a business, connected to a wide range of influences and pressures.
    Alongside this you’ll study modules from the subject you’ve combined with Heritage.
  • Year 2
    In your second year we’ll place more emphasis on projects and work-based learning with heritage partners. Using the knowledge you gained in your first year, we’ll ask you to consider how heritage works in practice.
  • Year 3
    Your final year focuses on deep engagement with the heritage sector through placement opportunities. The course culminates with an exciting live-project, which you’ll deliver in collaboration with a key heritage organisation.

Course assessment

We use a range of different assessments to help you understand heritage as an academic discipline, and to develop a range of practical and professional skills.
Assessment types include: formal examinations; written essays; industry reports; market research assignments; mock project applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund; group projects and presentations; the creation of public heritage material ranging from websites, apps, learning resources, to exhibitions and events.

We believe strongly in making sure your hard work is reward, and that credit is given for the full range of work you’ll do on the course. Work-based learning, work experience, placement opportunities, and real word projects all form part of your formal assessment in Heritage.

Our location and heritage

You’ll be studying heritage while being surrounded by it. We have historic campuses that include a Grade Two Listed building, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a Capability Brown landscaped garden and [corsham court].

In addition the City of Bath is on your doorstep – one of only two World Heritage cities in the world. Bath has 17 museums, including the Roman Baths; the Holburne Museum; and National Trust properties.

Field trips and site based learning

We teach beyond the classroom. Through all three years of your course some sessions are delivered on site at local and regional heritage sites.

You’ll visit places and landscapes such as: No.1 Royal Crescent Georgian House Museum, Museum of Bath Architecture, SS Great Britain, Lacock Abbey and Village, Stonehenge, and Ashmolean Museum. Please note that you’ll have to make a financial contribution towards some of these study visits.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Volunteer experience is vital, no matter what you want to do after university. You’ll gain hands-on work experience throughout your degree, and making important contacts for your future beyond graduation.

Students taking Heritage at Bath Spa University have volunteered with, held placements with, and been involved in public projects with just some of the following:

  • Roman Baths
  • Holburne Museum
  • No 1 Royal Crescent
  • Bath Abbey
  • American Museum
  • National Railway Museum (York)
  • RAF Museum (Hendon)
  • Bletchley Park (Milton Keynes)
  • Fishbourne Roman Palace (Sussex)
  • Churches Conservation Trust
  • National Trust
  • English Heritage

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world, through the Erasmus+ and Exchange opportunities with our Global Academy of the Liberal Arts (GALA) partners like Claremont Graduate University in Los Angeles and the University of Parma, Italy.

Competitions/awards

Each year we award a prize to a final year student. This is the Bath Spa University prize for creativity in heritage.

Projects

  • Capable Creations: Noticing Newton Park
  • Miniature Mania: small world, BIG DISCOVERIES
  • Saltford Brass Mill Exhibition
  • Curious Corners: Number 1 Royal Crescent App

Teaching methods

You’ll be taught through a wide variety of activities that reflect our experiential learning, student-centred approach. These activities include lectures, seminars, workshops, technical training, field trips and visits, group work and tutorials, work placements and practical project work.

On this course you are taught by academics who are experts in heritage and public history, but you are also taught by – and work closely with – professionals who work in heritage and in a range of creative and cultural industries regionally and nationally.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

You will need to study another subject to study with Heritage.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For further information please contact Dr. Kristin G Doern (Heritage Subject Leader) at:

k.doern@bathspa.ac.uk.

Telephone: 01225 876248.

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC- CCC accepted
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Career opportunities

Heritage at Bath Spa University prepares you for a variety of future careers both within the heritage sector and creative and cultural industries, and beyond.

In addition to acquiring knowledge and understanding of heritage and public history, and gaining practical experience in a range of heritage contexts, on this course you will develop skills that are highly valued in a diverse range of careers.

  • You will have developed strong research skills, as well as skills in analysis and interpretation.
  • You will have had opportunities to work as a team as well as develop leadership skills.
  • You will be intellectually flexible and know how to problem solve.
  • You will have good time management and project management skills.

And you will have had invaluable experience communicating with and working in collaboration with public organisations and professionals in heritage and in a range of creative and cultural industries regionally and nationally.

The emphasis throughout the course on experiential learning, student-led ‘real world’ projects, placements and volunteering enables you to demonstrate to potential employers that you have the necessary skills, experience and perhaps most crucially, determination to persevere in your chosen career no matter what the circumstances. 

% going on to work and/or study for courses in this subject area: 80%

What students say...

"There were so many avenues that I could have gone down after finishing university, but the vocational element of the Heritage course helped me work out what I really wanted to do. As a direct result of studying Heritage and History at Bath Spa University I have decided to go on to an MSc in Architectural Conservation. The course let me explore the different ways my degree could be applied in industry and a great benefit from studying Heritage at BSU has been the invaluable volunteering experience I now have on my CV."

Tristan Faith (Heritage/History Combined BA Graduate 2012)

"Studying Heritage and History at BSU gave me opportunities to work and volunteer in the heritage sector in a range of roles. This has given me the relevant skills to further my education and career in heritage and I am so excited to be going on to postgraduate study in Cultural Heritage Management. The heritage side of my degree helped put the theoretical side of history research into practice. The skills I gained in my placement at the Holborne Museum helped me get the internship I now have at the National Portrait Gallery, an opportunity I wouldn't have dreamed about until I took heritage at BSU."

Abigail Fisher (Heritage/History Combined BA Graduate 2012)

"At six o’clock the launch party for our ‘Legacy of Icons’ exhibition at the American Museum began, and the room was filled with family, friends, dignitaries and invited guests. We were able to really appreciate what we have achieved. Seen as a whole, the exhibition becomes something else, and much more than the sum of its parts. I’m impressed with what we’ve done. After a very successful week-long exhibition that saw over 900 people go through the doors, we present our final post-project evaluation. Everyone spoke with confidence, armed with the knowledge that we had built something special together which had been carried through with success. The whole experience has built my confidence and shown me new possibilities for the future. I used all my previously acquired skills and knowledge gained, and know now that this kind of practical, hands on project is something that I can embrace fully."

Kate James (History BA Graduate 2011 – currently taking the new BSU Masters in Heritage Management)

"Taking the heritage modules at BSU helped me gain a four month education internship at Brooklands Museum right after graduation. This is because the heritage project demonstrated that I could work with a team, work within a deadline and communicate with others. The internship let me build on this experience and enabled me to gain further valuable experience with in the heritage industry. Both contributed enormously towards getting my new job as a Visitor Services Assistant at The Roman Baths."

Karen Lockyear (History BA Graduate 2010 – now employed at the Roman Baths)

"The heritage module I took as part of my History degree proved to be incredibly important and its practicalities far reaching. I am currently pursuing a career in Archives and Records Management, and although awareness of heritage is not essential, my experience at BSU helped me get my current job as Archives and Records Management Assistant at Unilever. The module complimented my paid work as a tour guide and my voluntary placements in archives while I was at university. I have also been able to use my knowledge of outreach programmes as an effective talking point during interviews and my experience of writing for a non-academic audience and building a website have become valuable skills."

Rachael Thompson (History BA Graduate 2010 – employed by Unilever Archives immediately after graduation, then accepted onto the UCL Archives and Record Managements MA)