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.

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more.

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 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.

The MSc Cultural Heritage 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. The programme offers four distinct study tracks, allowing you to choose optional courses based on your particular interests or career aspirations - Culture Sector Track, Museum Track, Archaeological Heritage Track, and Archaeology of the North Track. Please see the Careers section below for further details.

Available Programmes of Study

Start in September or January

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.

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.

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 - 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


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.

The MSc Cultural Heritage offers you four tailored study tracks, allowing you to choose courses based on your particular interests or career aspirations.

  • Culture Sector Track

This track is for students interested in the cultural sector, looking to work in heritage tourism or the wide range of cultural institutions that focus on education, policy development, and heritage promotion.

  • Museum Track

This track is for those who aim to work in the museum sector, being involved in collections management, administration or various research functions. This includes everything from open-air museums to large national history galleries.

  • Archaeological Heritage Track

This track is for those who seek to join the archaeological heritage sector, working for heritage agencies or archaeological sites, performing management tasks, assessment, and public outreach. It is also for those interested in postgraduate research in archaeology/heritage.

  • Archaeology of the North Track

This track is for those who wish to pursue postgraduate research or work in field archaeology. Research themes focus on the archaeology of the circumpolar north or heritage science, relating to prehistory or techniques for heritage preservation.

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. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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