The University of Aberdeen is following Scottish Government Guidelines in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to physical distancing measures to support a safe environment for our staff and students. Therefore, the programme structure and delivery method for September 2020 may differ slightly from that listed on this page. Find out more about September 2020 study with us.

This programme builds on the established archaeological expertise of the University of Aberdeen to provide you with the knowledge and skills to enter the professional world of cultural heritage. You will learn about current policy and practice and apply your knowledge at heritage sites, working directly with heritage professionals and local communities.

Jump-start your career in cultural heritage management, professional archaeology or education and research.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Subject marketing image

On this one year Master’s programme, you will study heritage institutions and sites in Scotland and further afield to understand the social, political and regulatory frameworks within which cultural heritage professionals operate today.

This MSc programme provides essential training in the practical and theoretical elements of culture and heritage and is aimed at students from a wide range of academic backgrounds who wish to pursue opportunities in heritage agencies and organisations, professional heritage research units, local authorities, museums or the education sectors.

The Department of Archaeology enjoys close working relationships with a wide range of local, national and international museums, local authorities, agencies and other organisations within the growing heritage sector. Our location in the north east of Scotland provides easy access to numerous ancient sites and institutions where students undertake in situ fieldwork to learn about the key issues in cultural heritage through lively discussions and hands-on exercises.

You will also learn to apply knowledge and skills of the cultural heritage sector, and work with heritage professionals in a series of real-world situations, gaining practical experiences including the option of a work placement as well as opportunities to undertake a community heritage project.

This is a broad-reaching programme, exploring the multi-disciplinary nature of the heritage environment and community engagement and is suited to students from various academic backgrounds looking to pursue careers in the heritage sector.

Available Programmes of Study

Semester 1:

Managing the Past: Politics and Practice in Cultural Heritage Management

  • You will learn about the different political, social and economic meanings of heritage. Specific focus is placed on archaeological heritage, how its significance and stewardship has changed over time, and what policies and practices inform its management today.

Optional Courses

  • Making History or
  • Theory and Method in Research or
  • Northern People and Cultures

Semester 2:

Managing the Present: Communities and Representation in Cultural Heritage Management

  • You will learn about approaches and ethics when working with groups that have a stake in archaeological sites and narratives, from indigenous peoples to experts and politicians. Through a joint field project, you will gain direct experience in identifying and engaging Aberdeenshire communities in heritage interpretation.

Optional Courses

  • Developing a Theory of Practice: Learning and Museums or
  • Advanced Archaeological Approaches or
  • Northern Worlds

Semester 3

Research Project in Cultural Heritage

  • The final research project 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.

Cultural Heritage

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Please contact for more information about this programme.

MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Please contact for more information about this programme.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • Field Work
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars

Why Study Cultural Heritage?

In this programme you will gain a solid understanding of the meanings and management of cultural heritage in the modern world, with added depth in archaeological heritage. Through academic studies, practical exercises, and independent research, you will learn the principles and practices that guide heritage selection and protection level and be trained in tasks that are directly applicable to professional roles in the heritage sector.

You will also become versed in current and future challenges in the field. Specific focus is placed on identity politics and contested heritage. How does heritage figure into international politics? Why did the distant past become a factor in Brexit and in European debates on immigration? A second major focus is on community engagement. Who is represented by current frameworks for heritage management?

Through workshops and excursions, you will get to discuss these issues with heritage professionals. By developing and executing a heritage field project, you will also gain direct experience in working with groups that have a stake in heritage sites and narratives.

In addition to the core themes, the programme offers two specializations through optional courses. The first, Learning and Communication in Cultural Heritage, is suitable for those interested in the cultural sector more broadly, looking to work in museums or cultural institutions with a focus on the education, development and promotion of cultural heritage, or who want to pursue postgraduate research in heritage studies. The second, Politics and Engagement in Archaeological Heritage, is directed at those who aim for the archaeological heritage sector, looking to work within agencies, at sites or in the field, with management, assessment, and public outreach, or who want to pursue postgraduate research in archaeology.

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

This is a broad-reaching course, exploring the multi-disciplinary nature of the heritage environment and community engagement and is suited to students from various backgrounds looking to pursue careers in the heritage sector.

Applications are open to students presenting a 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours degree, or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth in Archaeology or a related discipline such as History, History of Art, English, Geography, Anthropology, Humanities, Social Sciences or Environmental Sciences.

Applications presenting a 2:2 or equivalent, with related professional experience, will also be considered.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Postgraduate Open Day

Register to attend our Virtual Open Day on and speak live with academics.
Find out about life at the University of Aberdeen with a live Q&A with current students.

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Graduates of this programme are equipped with both the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills needed by employers within the heritage sector, including museums, local authorities and government agencies, historic trusts, and other cultural and conservation bodies.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Elisabeth Niklasson, Department of Archaeology , University of Aberdeen

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX