Heritage

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

From the local to the global, we offer you an intellectually challenging course grounded in practical experience.

Why study Heritage?

HeritageBSU Logo

"Heritage is not a luxury or a pleasant recreational past-time, but an integral part of our future"

(Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund)

Our collaboration with museums, galleries and heritage sites in Bath and the local region has created an exciting course that offers you the unique opportunity to be taught by heritage sector professionals and by academics who research and write about heritage and public history.

The City of Bath, a city of international historical and cultural significance, was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. It attracts over four million visitors a year and plays a major role in an industry that contributes billions to the UK economy. It is also a city that provides the perfect backdrop for exploring the meaning and uses of heritage in the past and now, and for considering the issues and debates that will shape our engagement with heritage in the future.

We live our lives in the midst of the historic buildings, landscapes, and material objects of our past. But heritage is about more than just physical remains – it is 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.

Studying Heritage at Bath Spa University challenges you to put the past into a range of perspectives in order to discover how it shapes the future. You will 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.

Course structure

You will take Heritage with another subject as part of a Combined Award. 

Heritage at Bath Spa University is designed to complement a select number of other subject so you graduate with a solid academic and research foundation combined with specific knowledge about, and practical experience in, the heritage sector and in other cultural and creative industries.

Heritage is available in combination with:

  • History
  • Media & Communications
  • English
  • Business & Management
  • Geography
  • Publishing

In each year you will take a core module and an option module in Heritage, and a range of modules from your other subject.

Modules

Year 1

  • Heritage and Public History (core module)
  • The Business of Heritage

Year 2

  • Heritage in Practice (core module)
  • Heritage in Context

Year 3

  • Heritage Placement and Project (core module)
  • Heritage at Work [summer work-placement module between second and third year]
  • Public History, Cultural Heritage and Global Politics

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 will do on the course. Work-based learning, work experience, placement opportunities, and real word projects all form part of your formal assessment in Heritage.

Heritage at Bath Spa University introduces you to the concepts and realities of heritage through lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips to heritage sites, as well as through real-life heritage projects and work placements. You will graduate from this course with a thorough understanding of the complex relationships between heritage, history, culture, education and learning, audience development and interpretation, conservation, and tourism.

The course uses the rich historic environment of the three Bath Spa University campuses, the City of Bath World Heritage Site, and Bath, Bristol and the South West's extensive collection of museums, galleries and heritage sites as places to learn in and to learn from.

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.

Teaching methods

In addition to project-based work experience and dedicated work placements within the context of specific modules, you will also have enhanced volunteering opportunities at the range of heritage sites and museums in the local area – volunteer experience is increasingly vital, no matter what you want to do after university.

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
  • Fashion Museum
  • Holburne Museum
  • Museum of Bath at Work
  • No 1 Royal Crescent
  • Victoria Art Gallery
  • Bath Abbey
  • American Museum
  • Radstock Museum
  • SS Great Britain
  • National Railway Museum (York)
  • RAF Museum (Hendon)
  • Bletchley Park (Milton Keynes)
  • Fishbourne Roman Palace (Sussex)
  • Bath & North East Somerset Council Heritage Services
  • Bath Preservation Trust
  • Bath Record Office
  • Churches Conservation TrustWiltshire & Swindon History 
  • Centre
  • National Trust
  • English Heritage

The opportunities offered to you studying Heritage at Bath Spa University provide you with invaluable hands-on work experience throughout your degree, and help you make important contacts for your future beyond graduation.

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

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

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 regionaly 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.essionals.

% 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)