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Heritage (MRes)

The Heritage MRes offers students an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of heritage from the perspective of different disciplines, including archaeology and history.

It enables students to gain critical acumen in exploring the meanings of heritage as a concept and how such concepts are applied in the UK and on a worldwide basis, thus providing valuable insights and an understanding of a sector that is gaining increased significance in today’s world.

Heritage, as understood here, is a concern for the past, imagined and constructed in (and for) the present, but set within a wider appreciation for the future. The past as Heritage might include the tangible surroundings of landscape, art, building and written traces, alongside the more intangible aspects of heritage such as a sense of place, cultural space and resonance, or a locus of ritual, festivals and social memory.

The Mres considers how Heritage is a contested field: set within a framework of communal/ social needs and obligations, and concerned with issues of interpretation and representation. Heritage is also an economic resource and product, an ‘industry’ interwoven into the economic life of community and state, shaped by decisions of conservation and preservation, and directed through a network of overlapping political, legal and institutional ambitions and priorities.


You can apply directly to the University using the Apply Now button at the top of the page. 

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Contact Name: Dr Angus M Slater

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home: £7,800
Overseas (distance/online): £10,400
Overseas (on-campus): £15,000
Fees are for the whole course

Why choose this course?

  1. Hands-on approach and innovative immersive teaching in small groups and one-to-one tutorials
  2. Opportunity to complete a work placement with a relevant heritage organization, for example, CADW, Historic England/English Heritage, National Trust, RCAHMW, and St Fagans National History Museum
  3. Opportunities to explore cutting-edge techniques in the field of digital humanities
  4. Chance to produce original research and to develop transferable skills
  5. Flexibility in learning: the MA is available both on-campus and as a distance learning course. You can choose to study from the comfort of your own home using our VLE (virtual learning environment) and the course content and reading material we provide or in a more traditional classroom environment (also supported by VLE).

What you will learn

Course Overview

This unique research degree provides students with the chance to develop a unique understanding of the heritage sector and provides students with strong opportunities for entering heritage-related employment. It combines two broadly based compulsory modules with distinct and specialised option modules that allow students to develop their own unique engagement the theoretical, conceptual and practical issues surrounding heritage.

The MRes is suited for students with a proven penchant for independent research. The MRes includes 2 taught modules worth 60 credits, but the main focus of the degree is on a longer piece of individual research (30,000 words). Applicants are required to discuss their proposed research with the School before application, and the proposed research must be in one of the areas of supervision offered by the staff.

The Heritage (MRes) begins with a specialist research methodology module followed by a choice of one optional module (outlined below).

The dissertation is the greater part of the Heritage (MRes), as students have the opportunity to conceive and research a topic of their own design of greater length and depth than the MA dissertation.

This enables those students with a greater preference for independent research, and perhaps with a clearer sense at the start of the programme of what they would like to base their research upon, to undertake in-depth research within a structured programme of study. It will also provide students with an excellent introductory pathway into further research at MPhil or PhD level.

Module Topics

Unravelling the Past: History, Theory and Methods (30 credits; compulsory)

This module enables students to explore the connections between Heritage activity and the political, legal and institutional contexts in which it is undertaken and to investigate how the past is conceived and represented in (and by) various Heritage agencies and providers. The module covers various methodologies, approaches and ethical issues faced in Heritage Studies and provides a critical understanding of the political, legal and institutional frameworks within which Heritage is conceived and practised.

Heritage in the Political World: Communities and Comparative Aspects (30 credits; optional)

This module explores the connections between heritage activity and the socio-political contexts in which it is undertaken. Students interrogate how the past is conceived, created and represented in (and by) different social agents (individuals, communities, heritage organisations. The module develops a critical understanding of concepts and theories relating to the creation and representation of tangible and intangible heritage and explores and public engagement with these heritage materials.

Screening the Past: Film and History (30 credits; optional)

This module explores the history of cinema and the manner in which history has been represented in film. Students critically analyse films from different time periods and which depict different historical eras to consider the problems and potentialities of using historical film as a medium to understand, represent and interpret the past.

Welsh History and Heritage (30 credits; optional)

This module enables students to engage critically with key issues surrounding Welsh history and national identity and how these are manifested in contemporary culture and in heritage sites. It largely focuses on the late 18th century onwards, and explores the influence that the medieval history of Wales has had on national identity and the Welsh national ‘revival’ of the 19th century. Alongside this, students will be introduced both to important local heritage sites and to key repositories, libraries and archives that can be used to research Welsh history and heritage.

Writing the History of Power: From Democracy to Dictatorship (30 credits; optional)

This module looks to prepare students to become independent and reflective researchers by introducing them to current debates, applying appropriate methodologies by looking at a number of paradigmatic case studies and exploring the most important types of primary sources useful in writing the history of power.

MRes Dissertation (History and Heritage) (120 credits; compulsory)

The dissertation is the greater part of the Heritage (MRes), as students have the opportunity to conceive and research a topic of their own design of greater length and depth than the MA dissertation.


The programme draws upon a wide range of assessment techniques, which aim to produce historians with a multifaceted set of skills and knowledge. Modules concentrate in particular on essay-writing, but also include the following assessments: book reviews; reflective journals; posters and source commentaries.

Key Information

Entry Criteria

Applicants are expected to have a good first degree (a first or upper second), although every application is considered in its own merit, so places may be offered on the basis of professional qualification and relevant experiences.

The traditional requirement for entry onto a Level 7 programme is a 2.1 or 1st class undergraduate degree. In addition, the School encourages students with an equivalent and appropriate professional qualification or significant and relevant professional experience to apply.

Applicants are required to discuss their proposed research with the Programme Director before application, and the proposed research must be in one of the areas of supervision outlined above.

Proficiency in English of candidates whose first language is not Welsh or English is normally evidenced by a minimum IELTS score (or equivalent) of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component.

Career Opportunities

The programme provides a broad foundation for postgraduate work, by laying particular stress on the methodologies and research tools needed for independent advanced study, thus acting as training for students who intend to undertake an MPhil or PhD.

Additional Costs

Students may spend up to £300 per year on books and additional related materials.

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Bursaries and Scholarships section.

Further Information

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions related to the University or to this course in particular.