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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

Course Overview

The final research project in the MSc in Cultural Heritage offers the opportunity to delve deep into a heritage issue or case study that interests you. By conversing with relevant literature and analysing a unique source material, you will become proficient in collecting, evaluating and synthesizing knowledge, and produce your own slice of original research. The project can be completed as a regular dissertation or as an applied research project based on a work-placement.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Third Sub Session Credit Points 60 credits (30 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Elisabeth Niklasson

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

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Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The final research project for the MSc in Cultural Heritage consists of an extensive piece of independent research and writing. It can take two forms. One is a dissertation, representing and in-depth original investigation and analysis of a topic related to cultural heritage. It can deal with, for instance, the process of developing a Wold Heritage site, the impact of heritage regulations on local communities, contested heritage, or political uses of the past within national and international conflicts. The other is an applied research project based on a 2-4 week work-placement at a heritage site or institution. This option results in a study about a policy, practice or issue that relate in some way to the placement, such as political and economic pressures, or challenges related to community engagement.


In both cases, you will be expected to demonstrate that you can: conduct advanced searches for- and organize relevant source materials, apply appropriate methodologies and analytical frameworks from heritage studies and archaeology, prepare a literature review situating their research in its wider ethical, theoretical and thematic context, and write and edit a comprehensive study. As part of this, you will also be required to prepare a popular piece on the topic of your research project – a short text directed to a newspaper, blog or similar.


All students will receive one-to-one supervision in identifying a suitable topic and completing their original research project. The program can arrange suitable work-placements, but students can also identify possibilities themselves. There will be a voluntary joint workshop to offer feedback on everyone’s draft texts. Voluntary writing sessions online will also be organized.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 30 August 2024 for 1st half-session courses and 20 December 2024 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Project Report/Dissertation

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 90
Assessment Weeks 3 Feedback Weeks

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Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Popular Article

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 10
Assessment Weeks 49 Feedback Weeks 51

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1000 words.

Feedback will be provided individually two weeks after the popular article is published or distributed

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionCreatePlan and execute an original research project on some aspect or issue related to archaeological heritage or cultural heritage management
ConceptualApplyDevelop strong research questions and place them in a clearly explained methodological, conceptual and ethical framework
ReflectionEvaluateCritically engage with-, and situate research within current literature and theories from the interdisciplinary field of heritage studies, as well as in its wider social and political setting
ProceduralUnderstandUnderstand how to identify, correctly cite and assess the reliability of written and electronic sources of information
ProceduralApplyShow ability to collect and organise relevant material and data, distinguishing between secondary and primary sources
ReflectionAnalyseEmploy skills to independently analyse sources and write a critical review of the research findings that ties back to the literature
ReflectionCreateProduce a comprehensive and clearly articulated written presentation of original research

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