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MA Heritage Management
School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
One year full-time or two years part-time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.

Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information:

Combine placements and projects with robust conceptual thinking through this dynamic MA course.

  • Developed and taught by leading heritage practitioners.
  • A chance to build expertise in areas that most interest you.
  • Opportunities to work in partnership with major heritage organisations, specialists and researchers.

The physical remains of our past – buildings, landscapes, city streets, archives, artefacts and archaeological sites – and the intangible associations of tradition, language and memory continue to shape our lives. However, the ways we understand and manage "heritage" are changing rapidly.

We’ll challenge you to think about what heritage means, help you to set heritage management in its social, political and economic context, and give you the chance to apply your understanding through a range of research and practice-based projects with our regional, national and international partners.

“I think it is safe to say that I owed my job with English Heritage to the experiences I gained during my MA.”

Anneka Harris, MA Heritage Management

What you'll learn


You’ll explore how heritage sites are managed, presented and explained. We’ll teach you to consider their value beyond something to see or a place to visit.

What challenges are heritage bodies currently facing? What choices do they make in dealing with them? How will pressures on public funding for heritage in the UK – and further afield – shape our experience of visiting and working in museums and heritage sites in the future? And how will our wider understanding of heritage change as a result?

Trying to answer such questions provides a framework for practical work in the sector, underpinned by hands-on, supportive teaching. We want you to become involved in a range of projects, working with our extensive range of partners, and to gain experience on the ground.

Course structure

Trimester one provides the foundation for your subsequent study. We'll explore changing and contested ideas about the nature of heritage, examine the social, political, and economic context in which heritage is defined and managed, and consider the best of current practice through a series of workshops. These are led by some of the best professionals in the sector, many of whom will continue to offer you support and advice.

Trimester two tests how far your thinking has developed. You'll plan and undertake an independent research project, which allows you to ask key questions about an aspect of current practice that most inspires or concerns you. In parallel with this, you will complete a 25-day placement with one of our many partners in the sector.

Trimester three marks the culmination of your studies, the chance to complete an extended piece of research through a dissertation or to design and deliver a new project in collaboration with a heritage site, museum, archive or community group, or to work with artists and teachers, health professionals and developers.

Part-time students follow the same sequence of modules, but do so over two years, working from theory to practice and assessing both in relation to one another.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Contextualising Heritage
  • Heritage Management
  • Placement
  • Heritage in Practice
  • Heritage Project
  • Dissertation
  • The Country House in Context
  • Cultural Landscapes
How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed through a mix of project work, formal essays, reports and a final dissertation or project. For a final project you could produce a film, develop a website, or prepare learning materials. Alternatively, a more traditional dissertation might lead you to further research and a PhD.

How will I be taught?

We deliver much of the course through intensive workshops, often run by leaders in their own field in the heritage sector. These are complemented by guest lectures, offering you the chance to become involved in thinking about major heritage issues as they develop, and by the sessions which you run for the group, as you develop your own expertise.

We pose challenging questions about our thinking and practice, and offer students the opportunity to explore this through a series of practical projects, working in partnership with a wide range of heritage organisations across Bath, the region, and beyond.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.


Study abroad

We offer an optional exchange visit with Claremont Graduate University, comprising a week’s study here and in California, usually in June and July. The visit is an opportunity to test all your ideas about how heritage works, in a very different setting, and to explore some important areas of difference and perhaps surprising similarity.

Field trips

We make extensive use of the extraordinary heritage of the city of Bath and the surrounding area. There are two World Heritage Sites on our doorstep - the iconic landscape of Stonehenge and Avebury, and Bath itself - and some of the most innovative organisations in the field.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We work closely with organisations such as the Bath Preservation Trust, the Holburne Museum, and Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, and we have links and partnerships with bodies throughout the region, nationally and internationally.

Our students have completed projects with, among others, English Heritage, the National Trust, the World Heritage Sites at Avebury and the City of Bath, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, M Shed in Bristol, HMS Victory, SS Great Britain, the Roman Baths Museum and the Churches Conservation Trust. They have also worked with smaller, more informal organisations, where much of the most exciting contemporary practice develops.


Careers in the heritage sector include:

  • Collections management
  • Education and learning
  • Exhibition planning and implementation
  • Community engagement and outreach
  • Marketing and fundraising
  • Operational management
  • Events planning
  • Retail and visitor services.

The course includes a range of skills and opportunities aimed at those interested in the voluntary sector, social enterprises, fundraising, and a wide range of administrative and management roles.

Some of our graduates go on to complete postgraduate research, and we have a growing cohort of PhD students working in the field of heritage studies.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

MA Heritage Management students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment, from cameras to laptops.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £8,825
UK part time £4,413*
International full time £17,065

Fee notes

*Fees shown are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We normally accept people who have a good first degree (2:1 or above) in any academic subject. You may be considered without a first degree, if you can demonstrate considerable relevant experience. You may be asked to attend an interview. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) web page to learn more.

If English is not your first language, you'll need to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language. The Admissions Team assesses applications individually, but for postgraduate courses we're looking for an IELTS score of between 6.0-7.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (Writing, Listening, Reading and Speaking).

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Your personal statement

You'll need to submit a personal statement of about 500 words in support of your application. Please upload this with the online form.

Tell us about an amazing visit to a museum or heritage site, and why it moved you.

Show us that you understand that heritage doesn’t happen in a bubble, but that it reflects the pressures and priorities of the wider world.

Think about what you can offer us and your fellow students: what ideas, inspiration and experience can you bring to the course?

Get ahead

Think about joining the Museums Association (there's a student rate) for online access to current ideas and information, and details of events. Historic England's website is another great place to look for heritage information, including emerging ideas about about how our understanding of this is changing.

When to apply

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

Course leader: Sarah Morton

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