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MSc Environment, Heritage and Policy

Gain advanced skills for careers in the cultural and heritage sectors with our unique and interdisciplinary Masters course in Environment, Heritage and Policy.

Environment, Heritage and Policy

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

Our interdisciplinary Masters course is ideal if you’re already working in the heritage sector, or are looking for a career in this field. It offers the perfect balance between the practical and intellectual elements of heritage and policy.

The course explores cultural, natural, tangible and intangible heritage, with a particular focus on environmental history. You’ll develop strong practical skills throughout the course - both in the field and in the classroom - and you’ll carry out an individual research project.

We have strong links with industry, so you’ll benefit from guest speakers who are experts in their field – as well as external partners who offer opportunities for work-based projects.

You’ll also have the opportunity to work with members of staff on a one-to-one basis, and experience the Scottish cultural and natural environments first-hand on a number of field trips designed to enhance class-based teaching. You’ll delve into concepts and ideas of each area of study, and by the end of the course you’ll have explored a wide range of issues, including:

  • designation and protected spaces
  • heritage, identity and place
  • the roots of green consciousness
  • public relations and marketing
  • social outcomes and impacts

There are also opportunities to learn basic geo-archaeological approaches.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    This Masters course is delivered by an interdisciplinary team from the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy that has strong connections with a range of historical and archaeological sector employers – as well as heritage and tourism industries. Individual team members have significant connections with national agencies and charities within the historic and built environment fields of the heritage sector, and have served on NGOs and advisory councils in those areas. The team also connects with natural heritage agencies such as National Parks authorities, Scottish Natural Heritage and leading conservation charities both nationally and internationally.

    Research-led teaching

    Innovative course development at the University of Stirling is nurtured by a strong research ethos held by the staff. The Department of History has an intensive  focus on:

    • historic built environments
    • environmental impacts on cultural landscapes
    • computer applications for management of historical data
    • scripting of historical content for heritage interpretation

    Our History team also works with colleagues in the Faculty of Natural Sciences on research approaches such as:

    • Geo-archaeology
    • Remote sensing technologies
    • GIS applications for historical/archaeological and natural environment data

    This course draws on applied and academic skills from within the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. By working across Faculties, you’ll develop interdisciplinary skills and be able to apply different methods to the management, curation and public interpretation of heritage.

    By the end of the course, you’ll attain advanced-level academic skills in both theoretical frameworks and the contextual application of those theories. You’ll have fostered attributes desirable for careers in an expanding economic sector.

  • Work placements

    Placement opportunities will be available in a range of venues across the sector. These include heritage attractions, museums, galleries, libraries, NGOs and private sector industry partners. Previous industry partners have included:

    • Inner Forth Landscape Initiative
    • Dunblane Museum
    • Innerpeffrey Library
    • Historic Environment Scotland
    • Lismore Heritage Trust
  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 100% of our research impact in History was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Entry requirements for your country/region

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a Second Class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) in a relevant subject or equivalent is required. If you don’t have these formal qualifications, but have significant relevant work and life experience, we still encourage you to apply.

    We would consider relevant degrees to be: History, Theology, Archaeology, Geography, Tourism, Intercultural Studies, Environment studies, Psychology, Agriculture or Anthropology.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C or above
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B or above
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

    More information on our English language requirements

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Depending upon module content, teaching is delivered through a weekly, three-hour seminar or workshop and at least one field visit/class per module.

Teaching will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Field trips, workshops and seminars may take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00am–8:00pm. Field trips may also occasionally take place on a Wednesday afternoon.



The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2019/20 on this course of study.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    Stirling’s History teaching provision has been assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, and achieved the highest possible rating of 'commendable' across all fields.

  • Fieldwork

    You’ll experience the Scottish cultural and natural environments first-hand on a number of field trips that are designed to enhance class-based teaching.

  • Assessment

    Assessment for each module is based on your coursework. This includes academic essays, academic posters, interpretation materials, memo briefings, critical reviews and assessed oral presentations, plus a 15,000-word traditional dissertation (100% of final grade). Instead of a dissertation, you can also choose to be assessed through a work-based project portfolio (70% of the final grade), alongside a 5,000-word critical essay (30% of final grade).

  • Classroom hours

    The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

    • Tuesday – CEHP Seminars 12–1pm
    • Tuesday – Module Seminar 3 hours or Field Class 8am–8pm (approx)
    • Wednesday – Workshop 1 to 3 hours or Field Class 1–5pm (approx)
    • Thursday – Module Seminar 3 hours or Field Class 8am–8pm (approx)
  • Course director
  • Key staff

    Teaching staff on the Masters in Environment, Heritage and Policy include:

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding
    University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

    The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course, or £1,000 for part-time study. Find out more about the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

    Other sources of funding

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

Our course is designed to give you the advanced skills required for a career in the cultural and natural heritage sectors, particularly in:

  • resource management and curation
  • interpretation and presentation of heritage
  • promotion and marketing of heritage
  • sustainable tourism
What are typical careers for graduates of Environment, Heritage and Policy?

Possible careers include roles in management, senior education, interpretation marketing across a range of industries. Past and current employers include:

  • NGOs working in the cultural and natural heritage sectors
  • National Parks authorities
  • local and national government agencies
  • heritage-focused charities (especially historic and built environment)

This course also gives those already employed in the sector crucial professional development opportunities – enabling graduates to step into middle and upper management roles with the help of an advanced-level academic qualification.

  • Employability skills

    The programme offers a strong employability and skills experience to help you maximise your time at university and develop the attributes employers look for. Much of this is embedded in ENHPP21 Project Skills module and includes workshops/seminars on the value of work-based dissertations and the Making the Most of Masters Framework, Careers and Employability and Programme Alumni now employed in the sector sharing their experiences. Students also have the opportunity to attend the CEHP seminar series, roughly 50% of this is dedicated to industry practitioners and provides informal opportunities to network. Students also have to independently organise a conference, ‘New Challenges in Heritage’, delivered by outside agencies which provides additional and more formal opportunities to network.

    Assessments (although the academic essay remains the benchmark) are varied and where possible mirror likely assignments in the world of work. Visual assignments in particular enable the student to build up a portfolio to take to interview. We also put a lot of emphasis on informal and assessed oral presentations to build confidence in, and to gain experience in public speaking.

    In addition, the dissertation offers three routes, traditional, ‘directed’ where the student works with an outside partner but has a significant amount of freedom in terms of the research approach but examines a topic specified by the partner, and ‘work related’ where the student follows a specific employer brief and produces a portfolio of work as opposed to a dissertation. ‘Directed’ and ‘work related’ projects often have bursaries attached and they are generally selected by interview with the outside partner.

    The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a dedicated Employability and Skills Officer.

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