Course Description

This unique cross-disciplinary and industry-oriented program is open to graduates who are passionate about the social and cultural dimensions of the built environment in the 21st century.

Urban and cultural heritage is central to global cities today. The interpretation, management and conservation of urban and cultural heritage is increasingly a matter of urgency and significance for global cities and communities. Challenges for heritage professionals include the pressures of rapid urbanization; issues of economic, social and environmental sustainability; and social and cultural change.

Taking an international perspective on the heritage of buildings, cities and landscapes, the program will explore key heritage issues from around the world, with a particular focus on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. It introduces students to the integrated skills and knowledge required to contribute to the burgeoning fields of urban and cultural heritage, and is suitable for students from a range of academic backgrounds and cultures.

The core subjects in the Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage examine contemporary and theoretical approaches to heritage policy, regulation and practice; new approaches to digital technologies and heritage; issues of heritage significance within historical and cross-cultural contexts; cultural heritage and its social and economic impacts, including tourism; and heritage reconstruction. Students will gain critical research and presentation skills in the analysis, documentation and management of heritage sites, landscapes and tangible and intangible cultural practices.  Students also study a range of specialist electives, with the option to undertake a research project or industry internship.  

Key Features of the program include the examination of:

  • Heritage in a global context, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific
  • Heritage and Digital Technologies
  • Heritage, Natural Disasters and Reconstruction
  • Urban and Landscape Heritage
  • Heritage Interiors and Moveable and Intangible Heritage
  • Property, Construction and Heritage
  • Cultural and Historical Heritage Significance
  • Indigenous Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural Industries, the Arts, Tourism and Heritage

The program in unique in its approach, which includes:

  • Cross-disciplinary and integrated approaches to Heritage
  • Professional skills development in Heritage design, research, theory and presentation
  • Industry Partners involved in Specialist Teaching
  • Research by Heritage Thesis (25 points) and Heritage Project (12.5 points) modes
  • Heritage Internship available in long (25 points) and short (12.5 points) modes
  • Flexible course structure

The program will be coordinated by Professor Philip Goad and Professor Kate Darian-Smith with staff from the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning and the Faculty of Arts.

Nested qualifications/exit points

Specialist study is available which will appeal to those looking for professional upgrade. These awards are:  
»     Specialist Certificate in Urban and Cultural Heritage (25 credit points of core subjects)
»     Graduate Certificate in Urban and Cultural Heritage (50 credit points of core subjects)

Following completion of the core subject stream students can choose to specialise through electives, take an industry internship or complete a minor research thesis.

Career outcomes

Heritage skills are in great demand throughout Australia and globally, including the Asia-Pacific region. The Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage is designed to complement existing professional skills in areas such as architecture, planning, archaeology and history as well as provide a pathway to a new career in the management, conservation and interpretation of heritage. It provides graduates with the cross-disciplinary skills to pursue careers locally and globally including:

  • Government and non-Government heritage agencies
  • Cultural and collecting institutions
  • Heritage sites
  • Municipal councils
  • Private practices in architecture, landscape architecture and planning
  • Social and urban planning and policy
  • Public history

Heritage Internship opportunities

Internships are offered in both short and long formats and are tailored to the unique skills, needs and interests of individual students. All Internships are subject to availability, acceptance by the host organisation and approval by the internship subject coordinator.

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