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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, what present and futures we construct by selecting and mobilising things as ‘heritage’, 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 and environmental issues, 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 set-up

Two hours of lectures weekly, followed by one to two hours of tutorial weekly. Activities for the graded assignment start in week 3 of the course.

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 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 critical thinking, qualitative analysis, writing and presentation skills;

  • Gain experience in working within a team on assignments.


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 engage with activities and exercises about the weekly topics, apply tools of critical thinking, and have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion.

Assessment method

  • Assignments (50%);

  • Examination (50%).

Attendance and active participation in every lecture and every tutorial is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a lecture or tutorial due to personal circumstances, you have to inform in advance your designated Teaching Assistant and Study Adviser, and provide documentation that supports your case. The examiner will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment.

The final course grade is the weighted grade of all assessment parts (assignments + exam). All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

All assignments must be submitted. All assignments have to be submitted through Brightspace, and submitted by the deadlines. Late submissions result in deducted grades 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 4 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 any assignment is 5.0 minimum.
Grades for assignments and the exam can be compensated with each other in the final course grade, providing assignments were completed by the deadlines, and providing that you pass the exam.

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

The exam is taken at the end of the course and is mandatory. You must pass the exam as part of completing the course. You cannot skip the exam and then do the retake. A retake of the exam is allowed only if you took the exam and your exam grade was below passing.

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, tutorials and exams in semester 1 and semester 2.

However for exams, confirmation through MyStudymap is mandatory.
No confirmation = no participation!

If you are not a BA1 student, but want to take this course, please contact the Administration Office.

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

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

All information (costs, registration, entry requirements, etc.) for those who are interested in taking this course as a Contractstudent is on the Contractonderwijs Archeologie webpage (in Dutch).


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


Compulsory attendance.