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Heritage Research: Methods and Approaches


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master Archaeology programme Heritage and Museum Studies.


This course provides an introduction to methods and approaches in heritage research and museum research. You gain an understanding of debates in methodology, research design and its relationship to research methods, the use of methods, and ethical principles in research practice.

The focus is on qualitative methods in the social sciences and anthropology, and as applied by research staff in the Department of Archaeological Heritage and Society.

The course employs active learning of methods and methodological problems through short assignments and active involvement in research projects directed by teaching and research staff. You will also learn about research design and the elements it entails necessary for a thesis and research in critical heritage studies and museum studies broadly speaking.

Course set-up

  • Lecture presentation;

  • Tutorial;

  • Individual work.

Course objectives

  • Gain understanding of methodological debates, including assumptions, bias and problems inherent in different approaches and methods;

  • Develop skills to identify a research problem and set up an appropriate research design;

  • Enable students to design research for their thesis within a framework of active research projects and professional work directed by course lecturers;

  • Gain knowledge in research methods in heritage and museum studies;

  • Understand ethical principles in research practice.


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Assignments (100%).

There will be one final course grade. The final course grade is the weighted grade of all assessment parts. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial grades can be carried over into following years.

All assignments have to be submitted through Brightspace and submitted by the deadlines. Late submissions result in grade deductions as follows:
1-24 hrs late, -1.0;
24-48 hrs late, -1.5;
48-72 hrs late, -2.0;
72-96 hrs late, -2.5 (all stated hours include weekends and holidays). Submissions more than four days late (including weekends and holidays) will not be accepted.

All assignments must fulfill the requirements specified for them on Brightspace. All assignments have to be passed to complete the course, and the passing grade for each assignment is 5.0 minimum. Grades for assignments can be compensated with each other in the final course grade, providing they were completed by the deadlines.

Attendance and active participation in every session is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a class due to personal circumstances, you have to inform in advance your study adviser and course examiner, and provide documentation that supports your case. The examiner will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment.

Only one assignment can be retaken, and only if all assignments were submitted by the deadlines and submitted as clearly legitimate attempts to pass an assignment, and only if other course requirements were fulfilled, such as attendance and participation.
This retake is only possible if the final course grade is insufficient (below 5.5). In the case of a retake, the examiner may assign a new topic and new deadline.

Assessment deadlines

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button. To view the assessment deadline(s), make sure to select the course with a code ending in T and/or R.

The assignments have individual deadlines during the course, to be announced at the start of the course.

Reading list

To be announced.


For lectures, tutorials, and exams, enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.
You are also required to confirm your exam in MyStudymap. No confirmation = no participation!

General information about registration can be found on the Course and Exam Enrolment page.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. I.R. (Ian) Simpson.


Compulsory attendance.