Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module ARCH3601: Interpreting Heritage

Department: Archaeology

ARCH3601: Interpreting Heritage

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • ARCH1071 Archaeology in Britain and one other Archaeology module at Level 1


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Excluded Combination of Modules

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  • to enhance students' knowledge of the archaeology, architecture and cultural heritage of another country.
  • to enable students to understand the presentation of heritage in another country.
  • to develop critical skills in analysing the presentation of heritage.
  • to reflect upon issues and themes in cultural heritage and archaeology.


  • A fieldwork trip to a country visiting a selection of museums, archaeological sites, landscapes (urban and rural) and monuments.
  • Lectures from practitioners to provide context for the wider perspective on cultural heritage.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • methods of presentation and interpretation of heritage used in the country visited
  • methods for evaluation of the presentation of heritage
  • understanding of cultural, ethical and legal contexts for the presentation of heritage
Subject-specific Skills:
  • ability to collect appropriate evidence of heritage presentation
  • an ability to evaluate the presentation of heritage in another country
  • ability to produce a suitably illustrated report and reflection on heritage presentation
Key Skills:
  • cross-cultural awareness
  • ability to observe and critically evaluate
  • ability to use and combine a variety of information sources.

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

  • The module will be taught by an introductory briefing session which will introduce students to the practical and academic aspects of the trip, and preparatory workshop on principles for the critical evaluation of the presentation of heritage and how these relate to the requirements for the report. The fieldwork trip of 3-4 days (depending on location and logistics) will allow students to observe the presentation of heritage and its interpretation in the country visited and to record appropriate information to be used in their coursework. Students will undertake guided tours led by qualified researchers and/or local experts, but there will also be opportunities for them to explore specific locations on their own. Workshops will review the trip and the material recorded, and critical approaches to interpreting cultural heritage. Lectures will provide information and case studies on the context, ethics and legal issues surrounding the presentation of cultural heritage and its interpretation.
  • The module is assessed through an evaluative report based on the student's observations during the trip which will also draw upon taught sessions on evaluation of heritage.
  • The teaching in this module will be linked to the research of at least one member of staff leading the trip in the country visited, and students will investigate for themselves aspects of the presentation of heritage in that country.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Briefing session 1 once 1 hour 1
Preparatory workshop 1 once 2 hours 2
Fieldwork 1 once 3 or 4 days 30
Lectures 3 Term 1 2 hours 6
Workshops 2 Term 1 2 hours 4
Seminar 1 once 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 156
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio with project for improvement of heritage presentation 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Essay (ideas to improve touristic experience) - 1500 words.

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