Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to


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Excluded Combination of Modules

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  • To provide a framework within which you can develop your knowledge and understanding of the idea of cultural heritage including its social and political functionality and changing meanings and values 
  • To equip you with the skills to analyse and evaluate conceptual frameworks and theoretical models used in the discourse of cultural heritage 
  • To enable you to develop the ability to examine critically how cultural heritage is expressed through national and international governmental and non-governmental agencies 
  • To enable you to develop research skills appropriate to the discipline which will inform your practice throughout the MA
  • To enable you to develop and practice as a reflective practitioner thus initiating a skills sets which will be of value to you during their MA and in your professional lives


  • defining and debating the conceptual discourse of cultural heritage, including sites, landscapes & houses, and their contributions to the cultural processes of making meaning; for example, memorialisation, authenticity
  • defining and debating the concepts of tangible and intangible heritages
  • exploring contested concepts in cultural heritage; for example, the notion of global patrimony; the role of cultural heritage in creating or denying identity; the politics of representation and cultural diversity
  • defining and debating the role of cultural heritage agencies, including NGOs and the World Heritage Organisation (UNESCO) at regional, national, and international level and examining critically the diversity of their functions (i.e. involvement with tourism, social inclusion, economic regeneration
  • defining and debating legal, ethical and professional frameworks, including Charters
  • critically examine cultural heritage in relation to conservation and preservation issues, including tourism, heritage and sustainability
  • development of appropriate research skills
  • working as a reflective practitioner

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • SSK1 advanced knowledge of a range of international cultural heritage sites, institutions and professional bodies and their political, social, economic and ecological contexts as drivers for the development, change and contestation of cultural heritage
  • SSK2 informed and critical understanding of complex theories exploring the changing nature, roles and functions of tangible and intangible culture heritage and their applications in a global framework
  • SSK3 advanced knowledge of critiques of cultural heritage models as contested arenas, including the contribution of cultural heritage sites and agencies to framing identities, building (or separating) communities, addressing cultural conflicts and engaging with social change, development issues, sustainability and tourism
  • SSK4 advanced knowledge of national and international legal, ethical and policy frameworks for tangible and intangible international cultural heritage including a critical understanding of how cultural heritage is expressed through national and international governmental and non-governmental agencies.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • SSS1 an advanced ability to apply subject-related knowledge and advanced theoretical models to core issues in cultural heritage
  • SSS3 advanced ability to synthesise, evaluate and present complex material, including original data and theoretical arguments relevant to cultural heritage
Key Skills:
  • KS1 demonstrate intellectual and professional autonomy by learning and practising independently and taking responsibility for aspects of learning and professional activities
  • KS2 demonstrate the ability to think critically about new and/or unfamiliar ideas by communicating such reflection in written and oral contexts, forming coherent arguments and presenting them to a group (in the course of classes) or on a one-to-one basis (in tutorials)
  • KS4 develop advanced team work skills by learning and researching collaboratively, involving joint decision-making, effective communication and management of a specific task, in this case a group presentation
  • KS5 demonstrate communication skills by developing the ability to express yourself clearly, concisely and appropriately in writing and with relevant illustrations using distinct formats (essay and group presentation ); identifying and analysing complex issues effectively in seminar presentations; contributing appropriately and effectively to case study seminars and group discussions supporting verbal arguments with reference to a range of case studies and theoretical models
  • KS6 develop information technology skills by demonstrating the ability to support your assignments and oral presentations appropriately (e.g. word processing, databases, presentation software, graphing, image processing, web-based resources)
  • KS7 work as a reflective practitioner by reflecting on, and recording in an appropriate format, your research, learning and professional practices and using these reflections as the basis for the development of the assignments and to inform tutorial discussions using the Reflective Practice Log

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures (L) are used to underpin the knowledge requirements of the module providing you with a sound conceptual and empirical base for further study and will follow a pre-planned syllabus. Lecturers will integrate question and answer sessions.
  • Group presentations (GP) provide you with an opportunity to consider and apply what you have learnt in the context of a particular issue or problem. These are intended to develop students’ analytical, presentational and interpersonal skills, including working with others. The presentation will need to be supported with a handout summarizes the central issue and acting as a research resource for peers.
  • Workshops (W) provide detailed input into aspects of research skills and opportunities to undertake classroom based exercises to reinforce learning and good practice. You will discuss work-in-progress and be given formative peer feedback
  • Independent study (IS), research and analysis underpin written and presented work and develop your ability to think independently, discriminate and use judgment, and assess the relevance and validity of others’ views.
  • Reading Seminars (RS), in conjunction with lectures, underpin the knowledge requirements of the module and encourage informed debate
  • Essay tutorial 2 x half hour: one to one choice of essay topic; one to give feedback on the research question, plan and annotated bibliography and one to review progress of essay; both to be informed by the Reflective Practice Log (see below).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours

Summative Assessment

Component: ASSIGNMENT Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
ESSAY 3000-4000 WORDS 100% SAME

Formative Assessment:

Feedback on the framing of the research question and the essay plan. The supporting annotated research bibliography will function both to develop research skills and inform the essay development. Feedback will be delivered orally in essay tutorials and also recorded in writing. Oral and written feedback on group presentation and the associated hand-out Reflective practice log in which you record and reflect on the development of your own intellectual and professional learning; this log will be used to inform discussion and decisions about the choice of essay topic. It will also support work into other modules and be a vital component of the development of the final module (dissertation or professional practice project). A framework for the log will be provided but the choice of log format is individual. However, it must be in a format whereby it can be presented to the module convenor and used as the basis for tutorial discussions. â–  Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University. International Dimensions: The module, by its very definition, focuses on developing your understanding of international cultural heritage. Relevant international examples and comparisons will be used throughout the module and you are encouraged to apply international examples throughout their work. Research-Led Teaching: The lectures will be delivered by specialists who have expertise in that aspect of cultural heritage. Up-to-date research will thus be integrated into the process of teaching and learning. Reading seminars and group presentations will be led by the module convenor so these debates will used to integrate the topics presented by the lecturers and will help provide you with a route-map and enable you to identify suitable essay topics. Sector Connections: Where relevant, the National Occupational Standards developed by the Creative & Cultural Industries Sector Skills Council will be used to inform debate, particularly those relating to conservation, ethics and professional judgement for cultural heritage professionals. Continuing Personal & Professional Development: All students will pursue their personal development by taking part in presentations and group work within seminars. You will be expected to argue and defend your conclusions drawn from research in discussions with the lecturer responsible for the module and your peers. The Reflective Practice Log will enable you to record and reflect on your personal and professional development in a structured and help them identify their strengths and weakness and identify areas for further learning. This will enableyou to reflect on and deepen your learning, research and professional practice and provides a framework for independent learning as well a link to professional practice. It will be used to inform one-to-one tutorials and help to frame the concluding dissertation or professional practice report. You are encouraged to attend the internal guest lecture programme and external events where appropriate; for example, by the Centre for Ethics in Cultural Heritage (CECH) https://www.dur.ac.uk/cech/.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University