Heritage Studies

About the subject

Heritage Studies is a broad field which examines our common material and immaterial cultural heritage. Using critical theories and practical exercises, you study a changing and international field of cultural heritage through political, legal and social perspectives. Cultural heritage is one of the profile areas at Stockholm University.

Heritage Studies treats the notion of cultural heritage, together with its ideational emergence, organization, function and social role through a historical and contemporary perspective. Based on current international research and political and legal means of control, the development of the questions of cultural heritage is studied with a focus on Swedish conditions. Laws and enactments regulating the safety, protection and care for cultural heritage are treated, and the theoretical, historical and methodological discussion of current research on cultural heritage are paid attention to, together with the discussion of the fundamental and methodological problems concerning working with the documentation, interpretation, care and use of cultural heritage of different kinds.

The education is based upon the collaboration between the disciplines of archaeology, ethnology, history, art history, human geography and Nordic languages, together with practically active specialists. Through the study of the function and social role of the field of cultural heritage, together with the importance of states and regions with its commission to identify, protect and care for ancient monuments, landscapes, parks and settlements through international legislations, you will gain insights into the possibilities that lie in cultural heritage management concerning interpretation, preservation, caring and making available culturally valuable environments and landscapes. Other central themes are the function of cultural heritage in a global, national and local context, and its role in wars, catastrophes and conflicts, as well as international trade in cultural artefacts.

Career opportunities

The education prepares you for work at public authorities and organizations involving cultural heritage. This includes museums, municipalities and consulting companies handling questions of cultural heritage.

Courses and programmes

Degree

To earn a Master’s Degree in Heritage Studies, study one of the programmes listed under Education. Degrees in heritage studies are only offered at the advanced level.

Research

Heritage studies is an interdisciplinary and internationally growing field of research studying how the past is used, valued and institutionalized in the present. These questions have an obvious actuality and social relevance since the use of the past in terms of cultural heritage, consciously and unconsciously, motivates, legitimizes and makes comprehensible identity formations on a local and national as well as an international level. An important theme in the research is how cultural heritage is a political, social, economic and cultural resource, both in a contemporary and historical perspective.