ARCH20570 Cultural Heritage

Academic Year 2023/2024

In this module we will explore issues surrounding the concepts of cultural heritage. We will look at what cultural heritage is, and how the concept varies with place, time and social group. How is heritage constructed, commodified, protected and regulated? How representative are global, state or group concepts of cultural heritage, including those of indigenous peoples, and how are these contested? This module will explore international conservation instruments, declarations and treaties, including those of UNESCO; cultural heritage and human rights; cultural landscapes, Indigenous Peoples' heritage; risks to heritage, including conflict, climate change and illicit trade; and detailed case studies.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module you will have demonstrated:
- that you can discuss aspects of the ethical, legal and administrative frameworks for cultural heritage in relation to international guidelines (e.g. UNESCO), and to particular local or group interests.
- that you have an understanding of key issues in heritage management, in Ireland and abroad.
- that you can communicate effectively in writing and by oral presentation and discussion about research problems.
- that you can collaborate with a group of your peers to produce a research outcome.
- that you can organise and carry through effective, problem-based research enquiry.

Indicative Module Content:

What is cultural heritage? Who defines cultural heritage? Who are the stakeholders?
Intangible and tangible heritage.
The role(s) and history of UNESCO. What is universally recognised cultural heritage? Instruments, declarations and treaties.
The place of archaeology in cultural heritage management.
Protecting cultural heritage. Recording and preserving cultural heritage. Threats to cultural heritage. Cultural heritage and human rights.
Cultural landscapes
Heritage tourism, economic development.
Cultural heritage case studies - global and in Ireland.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Seminar (or Webinar)


Field Trip/External Visits


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module is designated as 'blended'. Conditions allowing, lectures will be delivered face to face, with two one-hour lectures a week, and certain online materials available. These will provide guidance for the completion of the assignments which will require critical writing and the development of research skills. Guest lecturers will be invited to deliver targeted seminars. You will do independent research on heritage topics, leading to a powerpoint submission, and independent group research on an international heritage issue, leading to a poster and live group presentation. You will receive peer review as well as grades from the module coordinator for the live presentation. You will also write one short essay on a cultural heritage topic. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 2000 word limit (maximum) essay on a topic in cultural heritage, fully cited (in text, not foot/endnotes) and properly referenced with full bibliography. Bibliography is not included in the word limit Week 5 n/a Graded No


Group Project: World Heritage poster presentation in groups. Grades will be awarded to group as a whole; all members must demonstrate participation. Peer review of presentations. Week 7 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Reflective, scripted powerpoint with voice-over. 1000 wds (script)/10mins max Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Tilden, F. & Craig, R.B. 2007, Interpreting our heritage, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.

Meskell, L., 2018. A Future in Ruins: UNESCO, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace. Oxford University Press

Information and podcasts etc at:

For a synopsis of some issues from one particular perspective:
Name Role
Dr Neil Carlin Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Claire Cave Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Irene Fogarty Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Patrizia La Piscopia Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Barry Molloy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Jessica Smyth Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 16:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 13:00 - 13:50