MSc World Heritage Management & Conservation

Academic Year 2020/2021

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The UCD Masters Programme in World Heritage Management provides graduates with a thorough knowledge of the World Heritage Convention and its application in solving heritage conservation problems. 
  • The only World Heritage Management course in Ireland and one of the first of its kind in the world.
  • A multidisciplinary programme. Lectures delivered by UCD staff and outside experts.
  • Visit Ireland's most iconic World Heritage Site, Bru na Boinne.

Careers & Employability

Graduates are building successful careers in the inter-disciplinary field of heritage protection, management and research in Australia, Canada, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Uganda and the USA.

Employers include international organisations, national authorities and in the private sector. Graduates have secured positions in World Heritage properties, National Parks and Museums, in senior government positions and positions in education. Examples of roles graduates have obtained and sectors they work in include world heritage and protected area manager, heritage officer and education officer, positions in government, natural resources manager, consultancy firms and research and international conservation agencies.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The UCD MSc World Heritage Management & Conservation programme is designed to accommodate applicants with a variety of academic qualifications including Archaeology, Architecture, Geography, Biology, Arts, Agriculture, Engineering and Economics. We normally have a diverse group of students with a wide range of experience in different areas of cultural and natural heritage, which creates a very dynamic group.

Heritage managers play a significant role in planning site management, ensuring sustainability, contributing to sustainable development and transforming the function of heritage in the life of the community. The UCD Masters Programme in World Heritage Management & Conservation has been conceptualized to address the skills and knowledge required to help heritage managers in solving heritage conservation and management problems, enabling them to directly contribute to the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We value motivated students who show a commitment and enthusiasm for tackling conservation challenges and recognise their responsibility as global citizens.

As a multi-disciplinary subject, heritage studies incorporates a wide diversity of heritage resources valued differently by many stakeholders. At UCD we recognise heritage encompasses natural, cultural, tangible, intangible and moveable assets that face many challenges. A key issue in the management of these resources is that cultural and natural features are treated separately even though they face similar challenges and are functionally interlinked. Our unique programme strives to account for these interlinkages in the management of cultural and natural heritages by removing dichotomy and considering them holistically. In doing so we can welcome students from diverse backgrounds and offer you the skills and expertise needed to deal with heritage management and conservation as a whole.

This innovative programme demonstrates the shared challenges to heritage conservation locally, nationally and internationally and provides practical training in how to address them. Furthermore, in recognition of the fact that the importance of heritage is interpreted through how it is valued, we also provide training in how to recognise stakeholders, collate and accommodate their perspectives and mediate and resolve conflict where stakeholders have conflicting interests.

This will be achieved through the use of in-depth globally sourced case studies, national and international field trips (COVID-19 restrictions allowing) and classroom-based training with visiting speakers enabling students to observe best practices in heritage management. Our interactive and supportive learning environment will encourage students to develop their capacity for critical thinking, problem solving, project management and teamwork. The assessment strategy is designed to replicate real-life scenarios and include tasks such as role play, compiling or evaluating management and communication plans, using maps and IT software to assist in inventorying and monitoring as well as critically assessing sustainability at heritage sites.

  • Define heritage and explain the concepts associated with its management and conservation, including sustainability, authorized heritage discourse, heritagization, conceptualisations of community and indigeneity amongst others.
  • Demonstrate the benefits of viewing cultural and natural heritages holistically.
  • Describe the difference between heritage interpretation and communication and devise an effective communication plan for a heritage site drawing on different mechanisms for dissemination.
  • Critically assess the implementation of the policy and legislation associated with heritage management and conservation nationally and internationally.
  • Use a risk management methodology to Identify and evaluate solutions for key threats to heritage affecting its sustainability including climate change, tourism, development and exploitation and conflict and looting.
  • Discuss the challenges faced by heritage managers around project management, heritage economics, marketing and human resources and demonstrate how mediation can be used positively in forums where stakeholders have conflicting interests.
  • Develop and apply practical skills to create and implement an appropriate management plan for heritage sites, including stakeholder identification, collection, collation and integration of conflicting heritage values, devising effective boundaries and buffer zones and strategies for monitoring
  • Formulate research questions and design and undertake research to address them using appropriate data collection. Locate, synthesise and critically review scientific information and data to produce an original professional document that communicates findings and ideas clearly and effectively
  • Communicate findings and ideas clearly and effectively.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the theoretical background that underpins world cultural and natural heritage management and conservation.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and other international conventions and legislation associated with world cultural and natural heritage management and conservation.
  • Demonstrate an ability to critically analyse current theoretical concepts and debates associated with world cultural and natural heritage management issues.
  • Design and undertake research using appropriate data collection and analyses methods to develop solutions to heritage management problems and inform decision making
  • Formulate and communicate research questions related to heritage management and conservation issues
  • Locate, synthesise and critically review scientific information and data from a wide range of sources and produce an original professional document, logically structured with evidence based arguments demonstrating critical thinking.
  • Understand management systems, establish a management plan framework and apply management plan methodology to World Heritage properties, with applicability to other sites.

MSc World Heritage Management & Conservation (F098) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 7725
nonEU    fee per year - € 19900

MSc World Heritage Management & Conservation (F099) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 3865
nonEU    fee per year - € 9950

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

From 2018 students on this programme will also be eligible to apply for the Kay Mahon bursary, valued at €6,000 to be set against fees. See website for details.

  • Applicants are normally expected to have a minimum of a lower second class honours degree or the international equivalent. However, in special circumstances, relevant work experience may be taken into account.
  • Applicants with diverse academic backgrounds including Archaeology, Architecture, Geography, Biology, Arts, Agriculture, Engineering and Economics will be considered.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.
  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information 

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Graduate Profile
Eiru Olinga Moses, Uganda
Wildlife Authority

The World Heritage Management course is an interdisciplinary programme which enhances interaction between nature, culture and man. Through this course, I was able to develop practical skills, pedagogic proficiency and theoretical insights on aspects that make up this interaction. The course included approaches to working in and sharing experiences with other students. This has improved my communication skills and enhanced my ability to craft solutions to various conservation challenges.

See also other offerings in UCD School of Archaeology:

MA Archaeology

MSc Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture

and Graduate Diploma equivalents of these.



The following entry routes are available:

MSc World Heritage Management & Conservation FT (F098)
1 Years
Full Time
Rolling *
MSc World Heritage Management & Conservation PT (F099)
2 Years
Part Time
Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised