Want to study heritage interpretation in Europe?


As an academic discipline, heritage interpretation is taught in many universities across the world. It is a blend of developmental psychology, learning theories, communication, cognitive and many other sciences.

In the following list you will find full programmes and modules that are offered by European universities under the term ‘(heritage) interpretation’.


University of Birmingham
MA International Heritage Management,
 one module on heritage interpretation within the Ironbridge International institute for Cultural Heritage.
Focus of the course: This module explores good practice in interpretation, the art of revealing to visitors the meaning and significance of objects and places. The philosophy of interpretation is considered and issues such as selectivity and bias are debated. Interpretation is considered in the contexts of recreation management, tourism, education and museums. Key concepts include communication theory, interpretative planning and programming, exhibition design and layout, visitor behaviour, interpretative media, language for interpretation, monitoring and evaluation.”
Course language: English
Mode of study: n/a
ECTS credit points: n/a
Contact: Dr Roger White, r.h.white@bham.ac.ukwebsite link



University of Exeter
MA International Heritage Management and Consultancy, (one module: Interpretation, Narrative, Memory and Conflict), within Faculty of Humanities, department History.
Focus of the course: Interpreting the past is a key aspect of the heritage professional’s role. Such interpretation involves making important decisions about which elements of the past will be prioritised, and in what ways this history will be presented. Heritage practitioners may need to question the authority given to a particular version of the past, reflecting critically on issues of power and voice in terms of the relationship between dominant and suppressed historical narratives, and in relation to the interests of diverse stake-holders. This module will consider such issues, as well as exploring methods for effectively conveying a chosen interpretation of the past, through the lens of selected research case studies.
Course language: English
Mode of study: n/a
ECTS credit points: 15
Contact: Dr Bryony Onciul, B.A.Onciul@exeter.ac.ukwebsite link



University of Leicester
MA, MSc PGDip Heritage and Interpretation, Museum Studies
Focus of the programme: The processes of heritage making, the politics and uses of heritage across the world, and the concepts, theories and creative practice of heritage interpretation.
Interpretation module focus: processes of learning and the concept of ‘education’ in heritage contexts. Meaning-making. opportunities and issues of co-creative and participatory methods and media.
Language: English
Mode of study: n/a
ECTS credit points: 180 (complete master course)
Contact: Dr Sheila Watson, serw1@le.ac.ukwebsite link



University College London
MA Cultural Heritage Studies, (one module: Museum and Site Interpretation) within Institute of Archaeology at Social and Historical Sciences
Focus of the course: This course provides an overview of communication and interpretation issues relating to museums, sites and other heritage attractions. Topics include: learning and communication theories; audience description; visitor communication needs; public relations; the visitor studies literature; why, when and how to conduct visitor and marketing studies; the preparation of communicative projects;
project management; writing interpretative texts; the range of communications media (including visitor centres and exhibitions); museum and heritage education; publication activities; ‘front of house’ issues; use of volunteers; and  marketing.
Course language: English
Mode of study: n/a
ECTS credit points: 30
Contact: Rachel King, tcrnrki@ucl.ac.uk,​​​​​​​ website link



University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)
MSc Interpretation: Management and practice, Full master’s course within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business Art
Focus of the programme: The course includes modules on Interpretation: purpose and planning, Project design and implementation and Communication strategies and theories and optional modules (minimum three for the MSc) on Interpretive methods, Media and design, Interpreting the natural environment, Interpreting the historic environment, Heritage education, Visitor studies, Sustainable tourism and Research methods and techniques (core for progression to the MSc)
Language: English
Mode of study: Online, structured and unstructured, for full MSc, PGDip or PGCert at student’s choice
ECTS credit points: 180 (complete master course)
Contact: Steven Timoney, steven.timoney.perth@uhi.ac.ukwebsite link


Saint Davies

University of Wales Trinity Saint Davies
MA Heritage Practice, (core module Heritage: Representation and Interpretation) within the Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts
Focus of the course: n/a
Course language: English
​​​​​​​Mode of study: n/a
ECTS credit points: n/a
Contact: Dr Errietta Bissa fhpadmissions@uwtsd.ac.ukwebsite link



University of York
MA in Cultural Heritage Management (core module on Museums, Audiences and Interpretation) within the Institute of Archaeology
Focus of the course: This module explores the ways cultural heritage is interpreted in education, the media and tourism, new technologies, community participation in managing sites or artefacts, social inclusion and access to heritage and historic places.
Course language: English
​​​​​​​Mode of study: n/a
ECTS credit points: n/a
Contact: Prof. John Schofield john.schofield@york.ac.ukwebsite link