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Advanced Studies in Archaeological Site Management


Admission requirements

Admission to the Research Master Archaeology programme.

The course is open to students with Archaeological Heritage Management in a World Context as their first or second focus area, and to RMA students following the track Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World.

Students who start in February should contact the lecturer before the start of the course.


You will gain an understanding of the various aspects that need to be considered in the management of archaeological sites. This can be World Heritage sites, but not exclusively. We will look into the legal context, conservation issues, the values and interests of stakeholders (holistic approach), sustainable approaches towards visitor and tourism management, the social and economic impact on local communities.

During the course, examples of existing management plans will be discussed and evaluated and you will actively work on developing a management plan for an existing heritage site. It is an interactive course in which students will regularly discuss/present their progress, discuss solving issues and the challenges they encounter.

During the process, you can propose specific topics or challenges you would like to discuss with experts. This may be on conservation issues, on negotiating with land owners, on maintenance of a protected landscape, on inspiration for visualisation opportunities, on including local communities, etc.

Course objectives

  • In-depth understanding of various aspects of managing archaeological sites (protecting, interpreting and experiencing the heritage);

  • In-depth understanding of the dilemmas of managing archaeological resources;

  • Insight into the diversity of approaches and stakeholders;

  • Awareness of the relation with stakeholders and society;

  • Ability to reflect on ethical and social aspects of archaeology;

  • Ability to gather site-specific data and information and process it to construct a management plan;

  • Ability to analyse and discuss literature and to apply it to one’s own case study;

  • Develop skills to apply the above into a management plan (real world problem solving);

  • Insight into ethical-social aspects and their significance to society from an international globalising perspective;

  • Ability to apply above-mentioned understanding and insight in a wider, multidisciplinary context.


Course schedule details can be found in the RMA and RMSc time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Interactive tutorials.

The students get instructions and are guided in the process of gathering material and information that is needed to write (or revise) a management plan for a site. They are expected to actively gather and process the required material. They work in pairs and each team writes one management plan. Some guest lecturers will discuss their experiences from daily practice that relate to the management of (archaeological) heritage sites.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 28 hours of tutorials (2 ec);

  • 20 hours of practical work (1 ec);

  • 70 pages of literature (0.5 ec);

  • Writing a management plan (1.5 ec).

Assessment method

  • Draft of the management plan (1/3);

  • Final management plan (1/3);

  • Essay (1/3).

You will analyse an existing management plan (of a World Heritage site) and discuss its ethical-social aspects (sustainability), in a short essay (1,000 words).

A retake consists of the improvement of the final management plan within 6 weeks after the first deadline and/or a retake of the essay on a new subject.

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the RMA and RMSc examination schedule.

Reading list

Literature will be indicated during the course.


Registration via uSis is mandatory.

  • The Administration Office will register all BA1 students for their tutorials (not lectures; register via uSis!).

  • BA2, BA3, MA/MSc and RMA/RMSc students are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time.

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


For more information about this course, please contact dr. M.H. (Monique) van den Dries.


Compulsory attendance.