Cultural Heritage, MSc

Cultural Heritage, MSc


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.

This course has January and September 2024 start dates. Apply Now.

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

On this one year Masters 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.

The MSc Cultural Heritage explores 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. With three distinct study pathways - Culture and Museums, Heritage Sector, and Archaeological Heritage - this MSc allows you to choose optional courses based on your particular interests or career aspirations.

After graduating you will be competitively placed for employment in a variety of roles. See the Careers section for more information on each pathway.

Available Programmes of Study


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

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £22,000
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

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 Tuition Fees page.


Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

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

Why Study Cultural Heritage?

  • You will gain a solid understanding of the meanings and management of cultural heritage in the modern world, with added depth in archaeological heritage.  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 become well-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
  • Gain direct experience in working with groups that have a stake in heritage sites and narratives by developing and executing a heritage field project
  • Choose from three different pathways – Culture and Museums, Heritage Sector, or Archaeological Heritage – to tailor your postgraduate qualification to your area of interest
  • The University of Aberdeen is an excellent location to study archaeology and heritage due to the vast number of archaeologically significant locations in Aberdeenshire, and the Highlands and Islands. Aberdeen is just a ferry ride away from UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Orkney and Shetland
  • Study at an internationally renowned university for Archaeology.  The University of Aberdeen is ranked 4th in the UK for Anthropology and Archaeology (Guardian University Guide 2024) and in the Global Top 100 for Archaeology (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024) 

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 - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 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

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded postgraduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships


Upon completion of this programme you 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.

In addition to the core courses taught, you are able to tailor your studies to your particular interests or career aspirations by choosing from three study pathways:

  • Culture and Museums Pathway: This pathway is for those who aim to work in the museum sector or cultural sector more broadly, being involved in collections management, heritage tourism, education, and policy. This includes everything from open air museums to
    large national history galleries and more
  • Heritage Sector Pathway: This pathway is for those who seek to join the heritage sector, working at heritage agencies or historical and
    archaeological sites, performing management tasks, assessment, and public outreach. It is also for those interested in further postgraduate research in archaeology and/or heritage studies
  • Archaeological Heritage Pathway: This pathway is for those who want to work or to pursue postgraduate research in archaeology. Research themes will focus on the archaeology of the circumpolar north or heritage science, relating to prehistoric themes or techniques for heritage preservation

Graduates have gone on to roles in curation, archaeology and heritage consultation, teaching, tourism management, and research. This programme also prepares you for further study at the PhD level.

Career Opportunities

  • Curator
  • Field Archaeologist
  • Heritage Manager.
  • Museum Officer
  • Project Archaeologist
  • Public Engagement
  • Researcher
  • Tourism Officer

Anthropology & Archaeology ranked 4th in the UK

Anthropology & Archaeology at Aberdeen is ranked 4th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2024.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Elisabeth Niklasson

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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