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Introduction to Heritage Studies 1


Admission requirements



This course is an introduction to the themes and methods of critical heritage studies as an interdisciplinary field of study. It introduces the idea of cultural heritage, how it is managed, and questions of who shapes and controls heritage and for what purpose.

The course provides an overview of fundamental concepts in heritage studies and heritage practices: social identity and heritage, community participation, preservation and conservation, value and authenticity, instruments of heritage recognition and inscription, nature, culture and intangible heritage, indigenous peoples, colonialism and nationalism, and collective memory and trauma.

The course explores these concepts and practices with reference to concrete examples of heritage issues in the contemporary world. It introduces methods and approaches in heritage research and heritage practice used to understand and investigate issues in the course, including research into heritage charters and legal instruments, archival research, discourse analysis of heritage, and community participation.

Course objectives

  • Understand the role of cultural heritage in social identity;

  • Identify the categories and instruments of heritage recognition and heritage as a practice and process;

  • Understand the course concepts in heritage studies and how to apply them in critical analysis;

  • Demonstrate the relationship between heritage and contemporary and global challenges through the topics, themes and issues in the course;

  • Reflect on the role of historical and social context in contemporary problems related to cultural heritage and describe how they are approached and managed;

  • Gain experience in academic writing, qualitative analysis, and presentation skills;

  • Gain experience in working on assignments within a team.


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

  • Lectures;

  • Tutorials;

  • Work groups;

  • Field trips.

You will take part in tutorial sessions, coordinated by Teaching Assistants (TAs). During these tutorials, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversations about various research topics. Alongside the TAs, the lecturers will also occasionally participate in the tutorials.

Course load

  • 7 x 2 hours of lectures (1 ec);

  • 7 x 3 hours of seminars (1 ec);

  • Assignments (2 ec);

  • 140 pages of literature (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • Assignments (50%);

  • Examination (50%).

A retake of the exam and 1 assignment is permitted. Compensation between exam and assignments is permitted, providing that the exam and all assignments are completed with a minimum grade of a 5.0.

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.

Reading list

To be announced.


The Administration Office will register all Archaeology BA1 students in uSis for their lectures and tutorials.
If you are not in Archaeology BA1, you can register for this course by e-mailing the Administration Office. Use your uMail, messages sent from private mail accounts cannot be verified and will not be processed.

Registration in uSis automatically leads to enrollment in the corresponding Brightspace module. Therefore you do not need to enroll in Brightspace.

The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, you are not required to do this in uSis.


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


Compulsory attendance.