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MSc Sustainable Heritage


Our innovative MSc Sustainable Heritage course at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies uses a block teaching model, like an MBA, so that most of its parts can be accomplished at a distance (see structure). Our course is designed to create a new generation of heritage managers and leaders. Equipping you with the skills to bring together the multi-disciplinary fields of heritage and heritage management, our course attracts those with an aptitude for inter-disciplinary work wishing to make a difference in the heritage field.

Designed for a new generation of heritage leaders, our course brings together all aspects of cultural heritage - historic buildings, collections, sites and landscapes - combined with the best preventive conservation policies, projects, methodologies and practices. Our course intends to instil highly skilled you with leadership and management qualities by bringing professionals and informed clients together in a learning environment to promote mutual understanding.

An undergraduate degree and three years of work experience (paid or unpaid/voluntary/internships), or ten years' experience in a relevant field, are desirable. Above all, our programme is designed to create leaders who apply the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development within heritage management projects.

Centre for Sustainable Heritage homepage

Programme Objectives

Ours is a pragmatic course that incorporates team working, exercises, presentations, problem-based teaching and leading edge teaching and learning techniques. Detailed case studies are used as a way to explore issues in-depth and integrate different strands of information. You are trained to give professional presentations to, and write reports for, policy makers responsible for today's crucial heritage decisions, based upon real and complex heritage dilemmas.

To achieve the aims of the course, you will be challenged to develop both your knowledge and skills. You will engage with issues including:

  • the underlying concepts of heritage value;
  • how social, economic, environmental, scientific, technological, design and engineering decisions affect physical sustainability;
  • the wider implications of our actions to preserve constructed heritage in the natural environment;
  • the planning and management of interdisciplinary heritage projects within the context of sustainable development.

Throughout the course, you will have access to:

  • international, interdisciplinary teachers who are leading professionals in their field;
  • real-life heritage case studies as the dynamic basis for discussing complex and demanding issues;
  • public stewards and private owners of heritage in order to learn from practice;
  • leading heritage stakeholders;
  • a two-week study visit in Malta as an integral part of the course (travel expenses and accommodation are covered by the course).

Our programme also provides opportunities for project placements with leading national and international heritage organisations.

Our course leads to an MSc or Graduate Diploma Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage.


The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Contact details:

Teaching Programme Manager, send an email

Course Director, Dr Kalliopi Fouseki, send an email

CSH Director, Prof May Cassar, send an email


All MSc and Graduate Diploma students undertake the taught elements of the course. This consists of the four compulsory core modules and an oral examination. MSc students additionally complete the master's dissertation. The course can be taken full time over one year or part time (2-5 years), normally over two years. The flexible, modular nature of the course is intended to support busy professionals interested in furthering their education.

The MSc uses a block teaching model, like an MBA rather than the traditional one or two day per week master's course, with each module structured as follows:

  • Two weeks' advance reading using an online learning environment that you can access through a web browser and traditional literature sources. This can readily be accomplished at a distance.
  • A taught phase where all students come together for two weeks' intensive classroom teaching, study visits and case-study work. This is based at UCL for modules 1, 3 and 4 and in Malta for module 2 (travel from the UK and accommodation expenses are paid for from the course). Most students already have work experience in the heritage or related field, and this enhances the quality of classroom discussion, which is a central feature of the course.
  • A post-module phase of four weeks where the student individually completes an assessed piece of course work that is submitted via the online learning environment. This can be completed in the student's home location.


BENVGSH1 Sustainability and Heritage Value
Credits: 30
Assessment: Written assignment
Term 1

BENVGSH2 Heritage Materials and Assemblies
Credits: 30
Assessment: Written assignment
Term 1

BENVGSH3 Sustainable Strategies
Credits: 30
Assessment: Written assignment
Term 2

BENVGSH4 Project Planning, Management and Maintenance
Credits: 30
Assessment: Written assignment and oral examination
Term 2

BENVGBE1 Sustainable Heritage Master's Dissertation
Credits: 60
Assessment: Report/dissertation (10,000 words)
Term 3 and summer vacation



BENVGSH1 Sustainability and Heritage Value looks at the issues of value and sustainability being discussed widely in heritage management practice and theory. The notion of value is becoming mainstream. There is also acceptance of the need to put stewardship of cultural heritage centre stage, that is, to involve communities in decision-making and for practitioners, in turn, to see the relevance of wider societal issues to their work.

This introductory module presents concepts that will become recurring themes throughout the course. These concepts will increasingly inform students' understanding of how they can successfully perform jobs as heritage managers and leaders in a world where access to precious resources - economic, natural, technological and others - is becoming more constrained.

The aim is to provide students with grounding in the theories and philosophies of sustainability, conservation and heritage management, including their underlying values and ethics. Students will engage with issues and ideas relating to sustainability and sustainable development and how they apply to heritage management, thus questioning past and present attitudes to redefine future trends.

BENVGSH2 Heritage Materials and Assemblies aims to enable students to develop an understanding of materials, mechanisms and evidence of deterioration and the interaction and effects of context and use on heritage materials and assemblies. 'Understanding a historic building is the first step towards decisions about management, repair and alteration.'

Students will learn about pathologies and diagnostics including monitoring, analysis and documentation, and use this knowledge to balance a complex range of social, economic, environmental and cultural factors that may affect the integrity of materials.

As part of the module, you will be taken on a two-week study visit to Malta. This is hosted by Heritage Malta, the national agency responsible for the management of national museums, heritage sites and their collections in Malta and Gozo. Travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the course.

This module is not intended to develop your practical preservation and conservation skills; however, as heritage managers and consultants in the heritage sector, you will need to understand the main preservation and conservation issues in order to make informed decisions about the survival of often vulnerable assemblies and to be sensitive to the cultural ramifications of your decisions. You will learn about the range of techniques and tools that are available, their advantages and limitations, and will discuss and use a range of strategies to improve your understanding of deterioration issues and how to achieve this knowledge using the resources available.

BENVGSH3 Sustainable Strategies takes its queue from the definition of sustainable development as 'meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Our Common Future, United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, commonly known as the Brundtland Report). This module deals with sustainability strategies for historic buildings, sites and collections and focuses on practical solutions that meet present requirements for heritage management, preservation, conservation and use, while taking the long view in terms of future needs of communities from the historic and archaeological environment.

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop an integrated understanding of buildings, sites, collections, contexts and environment. This will include teaching the design of sustainable strategies for conservation and reuse of the heritage, their implementation and funding/economic considerations. It will refocus the balance between traditional preservation and conservation approaches and use, leading to sustainable solutions within the broader context of environmental sustainability.

BENVGSH4 Project Planning, Management and Maintenance aims to enable students to develop an understanding of heritage management, personal leadership and project management and how to successfully convert strategy into operational reality. The module will also consider the different scales at which planning of projects takes place, from master planning to detailed project planning. The focus on project planning, management and maintenance will highlight wider leadership and management issues which will be examined in the module. It will draw on knowledge and case studies from earlier modules, providing you with an enhanced framework with which to evaluate strategic decisions and heritage management practices.

BENVGBE1 Sustainable Heritage Master's Dissertation MSc students are required to submit an 8,000-10,000 word dissertation. The topic of the dissertation, which is supervised by a member of staff from the Bartlett Centre for Sustainable Heritage, is selected by the student in agreement with the course director. It can be taken from a wide range of subjects related to the main themes of the course and may be selected to assist career development, for its inherent interest, or because it is related to a relevant professional issue at work.


The MSc Sustainable Heritage programme draws upon the full range of expertise offered by the Bartlett Centre for Sustainable Heritage's extensive team of professors and lecturers working in the field.

Between them, these staff represent some of the world's most respected experts in the discipline of heritage, producing both substantial scholarly work at the centre and highly innovative work at the leading edge of the field.

As experienced teachers, these staff also lead seminars, give lectures, offer one-to-one tutorials and generally engage directly with the students on the MSc Sustainable Heritage.

Staff teaching on the programme currently include:

Professor May Cassar
Send May an email

Dr Kalliopi Fouseki - Course Director, Lecturer
Send Kalliopi an email

Dr Matija Strlic - Senior Lecturer
Send Matija an email

Dr Katherine Curran - Lecturer
Send Katherine an email

David Watt
David is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow and a chartered building surveyor and historic buildings consultant. He is Associate Director with Hutton + Rostron Environmental Investigations Ltd, specialist independent timber decay and damp consultants with a multi-disciplinary approach to building pathology and conservation.

Situated in London and at UCL, the MSc in Sustainable Heritage programme is also able to draw on a wide range of other academics and visitors, such as established museum curators, heritage professionals, scientists and experts in the field, who give occasional talks and advice on student work.


Please click through to the UCL graduate prospectus page for this course, from where you can find information on application fees, eligibility, tuition fees, scholarships, and then complete the online application process.

Applicants should also review the faculty specific admissions information and the FAQ on admissions.

Scholarships and Financial Support

The Centre for Sustainable Heritage has an attractive range of financial support packages available to suit both full-time and part-time postgraduate study.

High calibre applicants should apply for bursaries. This support could be used to cover part of the course fees, travel and/or living expenses, depending on the status of the applicant and the specific criteria of the bursaries.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Studentships for UK/EU applicants.

Other Sources of Funding

The British Chevening Shcolarships are available to enable overseas students to study in the UK. Please note that the closing date for these scholarships is generally in November for the following academic year.

The international Federation of University Women provides funding to women graduates for advanced research, study and training. Funding is available every two years.

Further information about other sources of funding.

You may also wish to contact your professional body for more information on funding available for career development.


For enquiries about the course please email the Course Director, Kalliopi Fouseki.


The course, which is accredited by RICS, gives you an internationally recognised qualification from a world-leading university that improves your education, enhancing the skills and expertise needed to contribute to heritage projects at a high level

You will have the opportunity to undertake a placement at a leading heritage organisation or practice during the course.

You will be a member of an extensive Alumni network of professionals who have studied on the course in the past and are currently leaders in the field.

You're provided with the knowledge and skills to evaluate cultural heritage projects and will be able to develop an understanding of the factors that drive change in the sustainable preservation, management and use of cultural heritage.

It allows you to acquire and demonstrate reflective leadership that exercises your creativity, ingenuity and innovation to deliver attainable goals as a team and helps you understand the roles and relationships among the actors in the preventive conservation and sustainability process for all kinds of heritage.

The course also offers a framework for rational decision making, based on principles of sustainability through understanding of the philosophical context and ethical principles and policies of heritage.