ARCH41250 Nature & Culture: A bridge

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module will introduce key concepts and definitions associated with heritage conservation and management. We will explore how these concepts are applied at an international and national level and evaluate how they impact both heritage management and how we understand and define heritage. We will explain the different mechanisms that exist for the legal protection of heritage.
We will discuss the process and implications of World Heritage nomination and inscription, outline mechanisms for maintaining Outstanding Universal Value, and consider the ramifications in cases where OUV is threatened (specifically inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger). As part of this we will also consider issues around contested heritage and heritage representation from the perspective of both World Heritage and heritage in general.
We will introduce concepts of sustainability and sustainable development considering the different relationships between cultural and natural heritage and their contribution to ensuring sustainability and resilience into the future. A key question here is whether heritage should be used as a tool for sustainable development or whether we should protect and manage sites for their intrinsic values, and as such we should be focused on ensuring their sustainability.
Finally, we will consider different perspectives concerning the relationship between culture and nature, examining these in designations such as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and Geoparks and in practice during a field-trip.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Define key terms in heritage management and conservation
2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of international and national legislation to protect natural and cultural heritage
3. Explain how the World Heritage Convention (1972) is implemented.
4. Define sustainability and explain how cultural and natural heritage can contribute to achieving sustainable development in the face of global challenges.
5. Critically assess the construction of different heritage narratives, considering their role in legitimizing actions.
6. Enhance skills to create and effectively communicate clear, logical arguments on topical heritage issues.

Indicative Module Content:

What is heritage; key definitions and concepts; who decides; international legislation and heritage protection, UNESCO World Heritage Convention and implementation; sustainability and sustainable development; resilience; biodiversity; contemporary heritage; nature and culture; challenges and opportunities; values and conservation

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Field Trip/External Visits


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Small group teaching, field trips and classroom discussion and debate. 
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
Assignment: Written reflection of debate, 1000 words Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Project: Apply international best practices at a local heritage site, 3,000 words. Week 9 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Structured debate. Week 11 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

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Annalisa Christie Lecturer / Co-Lecturer