nl en

Archaeological Site Management


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master programme Applied Archaeology or Heritage and Museum Studies.

The course is also open to RMA students following the track Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World.


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. These may be topics 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;

  • Awareness of the relation with stakeholders and society;

  • Insight into the diversity of approaches involving stakeholders;

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

  • Ability to gather site-specific data and information, and process them 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 to a management plan (real world problem solving).


Course schedule details can be found in the MA and MSc time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Interactive tutorials.

Students receive instructions and are guided in the process of gathering material and information that is needed to write a management plan for a site. They are expected to actively gather and process the required material. They work in pairs (or in groups, depending on student numbers) and each team writes one management plan (including an action 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 group meetings and tutorials (2 ec);

  • 20 hours of practical work (1 ec);

  • 70 pages of literature (0.5 ec);

  • Writing a management plan (2,250-2,500 words) (1.5 ec).

Assessment method

  • Performance in class (e.g. contributions to discussions, presenting progress and results) (10%);

  • Gathering and processing information and applying it to the first draft of the management plan (40%);

  • Final management and action plan (50%).

A retake consists of the improvement of the final management plan (including an action plan) within 6 weeks after the first deadline, and can only be taken if all other requirements have been met.

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the MA and MSc 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.