SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 10.00
ECTS Credit Points 5.00
Module Code MMV212050
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject History
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module will introduce students to the contemporary issues facing heritage organisations. Taking as its underlying themes time and space, the module will provide an intellectual framework for understanding the social, economic, cultural and political contexts within which heritage organisations operate.


The following areas will be covered:- Space/Time issues - what is culture/heritage; types of heritage; past and present understandings of heritage; international perceptions of heritage; heritage as a professional field.- Social issues - ownership of past; access; identities.- Economic issues - heritage industry; regeneration; commodification; heritage tourism.- Cultural issues - authenticity; contested heritage.- Political issues - ethics; repatriation.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will:- Appreciate the diversity of the international cultural heritage sector, its locus in the wider cultural arena, and its broader social role and potential for economic regeneration.- Engage actively with a range of disciplinary perspectives relevant to cultural heritage principles and practice.- Be critically aware of alternative interpretations and uses of the past.- Be critically aware of the key issues and controversies relating to heritage.- Be aware of the development of ideas of heritage as a cultural construct.- Show an understanding of the underpinning knowledge and background themes which can be applied to management decisions.- Be aware of different professional perceptions of heritage issues.- Appreciate the historical legacy of heritage issues.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Core themes will be presented through lectures and student-led seminars. The themes will be developed through the use of field trips and guest speakers. Students will be enabled to take responsibility for their own learning as an individual by producing an individual piece of written work.

Indicative Reading

Bennett, T. (1995) The Birth of the Museum. London, Routledge.Carbonnel, B. M. (2003) Museum Studies: An Anthology of Contexts. London, Blackwell Publishers.Dicks, B. (2000) Heritage Place and Community. Cardiff, University of Wales Press.Hewison, R. (1987) The Heritage Industry: Britain in a Climate of Decline, Methuen.Karp, I. and Lavine (eds.) (1990) Exhibiting Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. New York, Smithsonian Institution.Lowenthal, D. (1985) The Past is a Foreign Country. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Lowenthal, D. (1998) The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Lumley, R. (1988) The Museum Time Machine: Putting Cultures on Display. London, Routledge.Macdonald, S. (ed.) (1998) The Politics of Display. London, Routledge.Macdonald, S. and Fyfe, G. (1996) Theorizing Museums. London, Blackwell Publishers.Prior, N. (2002) Museums and Modernity. London, Berg.Samuel, R. (1994) Theatres of Memory. London, Verso.Sandell, R. (2002) Museums, Society, Inequality. London, Routledge.Sherman, D.J. and Rogoff, I. (eds.) Museum Culture. London, Routledge.Simpson, M.G. (2001) Making Representations. London, Routledge.Vergo, P. (ed.) (1989) The New Museology. London, Reaktion Books.Walsh, K. (1992) The Representation of the Past. London, Routledge.

Transferrable Skills

- Critical awareness of alternative interpretations and uses of the past.- Reason critically and developing coherent arguments.- Structure and communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively both orally and in writing.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 64.00
Tutorials (FT) 4.00
Practicals (FT) 10.00
Independent Learning (PT) 64.00
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Practicals (PT) 10.00
Lectures (PT) 12.00
Seminars (PT) 6.00
Assessment (PT) 4.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 4.00
Tutorials (PT) 4.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 100.00 45% 3000 word individual written assignment