Culture and heritage


Heritage courses

Below is a summary of the heritage-related courses (degrees, diplomas and masters) or modules (individual topics) presented by various institutions in NSW and the ACT in 2005.

Charles Sturt University

Bachelor of Applied Science (Parks, Recreation and Heritage)
This course has been developed in cooperation with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. It aims to provide students with skills to conserve and manage Australia's natural and cultural resources. In addition to the practical and field components within most subjects, an industry placement is required. The course is recognised by every conservation agency in Australia.

Bachelor of Applied Science (Parks, Recreation and Heritage)/ Bachelor of Applied Science (Ecotourism)
Provides specialist training in the management of parks, recreation and heritage, and ecotourism. It aims to offer students a diverse range of skills to manage natural and cultural resources, and run sustainable tourism exercises. Many subjects offered in this course involve a significant component of practical training and field experience, including a 12 week professional placement in the field.

Bachelor of Applied Science (Parks, Recreation and Heritage)/ Bachelor of Information Technology
Provides specialist training in the management of parks, recreation and heritage, and information technology. It aims to provide graduates with skills that support the management of the environment in relation to information technology. Practical experience includes a major project that is developed in cooperation with a conservation agency.

Bachelor of Arts (Photography)/ Bachelor of Applied Science (Parks, Recreation and Heritage)
Combines studies in photography and applied science fields. It aims to provide students with the opportunity of greater flexibility and employability in the heritage sphere.

Deakin University

Deakin's Cultural Heritage & Museum Studies program offers both on-campus (Burwood, Melbourne) and distance learning (hard copy plus on-line) in professional approaches to heritage and museum management.

Non-graduates may apply for admission to the Graduate Certificate course, and may then progress to higher degrees. Graduates may begin with Graduate Diploma or Master's enrollment, or articulate the first to the second as they choose. Recognition of prior learning may lead to advanced standing at all levels.

  • Master of Cultural Heritage: 12 units
  • Master of Cultural Heritage with Honours (suitable for entry to PhD): 12 units plus 1-unit research methodology and 3-unit thesis
  • Graduate Diploma of Cultural Heritage or Graduate Diploma of Museum Studies: 8 units
  • Graduate Certificate of Cultural Heritage or Graduate Certificate of Museum Studies: 4 unit units

Macquarie University

The Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science courses can offer a variety of programs to study, such as indigenous studies, human geography, history and resource and environmental management.

The following modules are examples of those on offer through the courses:

  • Heritage Law and Policy (LAW-804) or Heritage Law and Policy (LAW-859)
    This module primarily covers items of cultural heritage with a specific emphasis on built heritage. It looks at the way the legal system responds to disputes about heritage, the influences on the legal system, and the Federal, State and local tiers of government.
  • The Making of Australia (HIST-109)
    This module analyses the development of settlement on the Australian continent with particular reference to: Aboriginal society; the emergence of a peculiar Australian community; the creation of a particular form of capitalism; and the development of a political culture.

University of Canberra

Bachelor of Cultural Heritage
The Donald Horne Institute, Faculty of Design and Creative Practice

This course is concerned with understanding cultural heritage in its many forms. Emphasis is placed on identifying, interpreting, managing, conserving and explaining cultural heritage across the spectrum.

Bachelor of Cultural Heritage Conservation
The Donald Horne Institute, Faculty of Design and Creative Practice

This course is about the conservation, care and stewardship of cultural heritage material held in museums, collections and heritage places.

Updated October 2008

University of New England

Advanced Diploma in Local, Family and Applied History; Graduate Diploma in Local, Family and Applied History
Please contact the university for information on these courses.

MA (Heritage Studies)
Designed to enable graduates to pursue further studies in an area of personal interest by studying a number of graduate level course-work units in heritage studies.

MA (Honours) and PhD
Research-based postgraduate work involving any subject within the faculty.

Heritage Centre
Also available at the University of New England.

Heritage Futures Research Centre
Also available at the University of New England.

University of New South Wales

Bachelor of Social Science
Combines a core program of study in social science, policy analysis and research methods with a major in a particular social science discipline, and is 3 years full time. There are core courses required, and then students can choose a major sequence (e.g. Australian Studies, Environmental Studies, Geography).

Bachelor of Planning
Provides academic education and applied learning leading to professional qualifications in planning. The program is of four years full time duration with an additional mandatory year of work experience, normally taken after completing Session 1 of Year 3. Planning has as its focus the management and development of urban and rural areas; ranging from small local precincts to metropolitan areas and regions. The planner's task is often to integrate and coordinate the aims and actions of a large number of government and private organisations and individuals to provide an equitable and efficient distribution of resources. Working at the interface of development and the environment, this involves collecting and analysing information; identifying needs and options; making forecasts; preparing policies, plans and programs for implementation; exercising development control; investigating development proposals; and evaluating results, communicating outcomes and consultation.

The above courses may include the following modules that focus on heritage:

  • Cultural Heritage Management (HPSC-2881)
    This module examines the policies and processes of managing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultural heritage. It identifies the values attributed to cultural heritage items, sites and places by a variety of interest groups, and critically examines the legal, ethical and policy requirements which dictate management processes.
  • Heritage Planning (BENV-2943)
    This module provides students with an overview of the theoretical, practical and policy aspects of issues concerning the conservation of environmental, heritage, both cultural and natural. It deals with the objectives and purpose of heritage conservation, the definitions of heritage at international, national, state and local levels, and methods by which planners work to balance the demand for heritage conservation with the other needs of the urban and natural environment.
  • History, Heritage and the Built Environment (PLAN-2122)
    This module introduces a historical dimension into planning studies. It focuses on the historical development of urban systems and places, the development of modern planning theory and practice, methods of historical research, and assessment of heritage values in the built environment. Emphasis is placed on Sydney and the 20th century.
  • Aboriginal Heritage: From Diggings to Display (GENX0103)
    This module focuses on the role of museums, art galleries and cultural centres in the display and representations of Indigenous peoples and their culture. A critical introduction to heritage of both pre-contact and contact Australia and its relationship to perpetuating myths through display are examined.

University of Technology

Graduate Certificate in Urban Estate Management (UEM)
This is one of the longest-standing property courses in Australia. Graduates are highly regarded throughout the property industry, both in government and the private sector. The program features flexible and innovative attendance patterns. It is designed to provide valuers, real estate practitioners, property managers and other property practitioners with opportunities to enhance and extend their qualifications and expertise in the field, and provide graduates in other fields with the opportunity to extend their professional qualifications and their understanding of property development and investment issues and techniques.

There is also a Graduate Diploma in UEM offered (contact the university for more details).

The following module is an example of one on offer through the course:

  • Heritage and Development (171200)
    This module is centred on the development of sites of heritage significance, including both statutory and strategic planning issues and practice and alternative solutions and approaches to the development of historic buildings and precincts. It also covers the evaluation of the statutory and community processes involved in heritage issues.

University of Wollongong

Bachelor of Science (Land & Heritage Management)
Provides skills and knowledge required for employment or research on both cultural and natural heritage issues. Individual modules in this course include: Landscape Change and Climatology; Environmental Impact of Societies; and Environmental and Heritage Management.

University of Sydney

Master of Heritage Conservation
Aims to develop skills in the assessment, interpretation, management, formulation of policy, and documentation of culturally significant places, including buildings, sites and cultural landscapes. Secondary aims include the promotion of social relevance and cultural continuity as cornerstones of conservation. The program emphasises the importance of management issues and a practical understanding of mechanisms of statutory authorities, both local and international, which affect conservation and development. It is broad based, to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of conservation practice. A professional placement provides a link between the academic core of the program and the discipline and methods of practice.

Bachelor of Arts
Heritage Studies is a major in an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts course. The Heritage Studies major facilitates an interdisciplinary approach to a field which is of special interest to students in many disciplines, including architecture, history, environmental science, museum studies, archaeology and anthropology. This major will prepare students for employment in a range of heritage-related industries and government organisations. It also acts as a feeder into postgraduate coursework programs in historical archaeology, museum studies and history.


There are over 130 TAFE campuses throughout the state, and they run a variety of courses.

Studies related to indigenous studies

There are several certificates and diplomas related to indigenous studies offered by TAFE NSW. The following module is an example of those offered through different courses related to indigenous studies:

  • Aboriginal cultural values (7421AB)
    This module aims to enable students to recognise and appreciate the cultural values that underpin all levels of Aboriginal life. Students will be able to: describe the significance of the Dreaming and its many expressions; identify the importance of the land; and explore customs and ceremonies. This is a 30 hour duration module.

Living with World Heritage Status
This course aims to provide an introduction to World Heritage and what it means to live in a World Heritage area. It also covers issues of sustainable tourism, minimal impact on environment information and an appreciation of the unique Blue Mountains Environment. This is a 6 hour course undertaken in the Blue Mountains.

Art Cultural Tourism - Certificate IV (AQF) (7859)
This course is for people seeking employment in Australian cultural tourism. You will develop knowledge of cultural diversity in the arts sector. It assists in research and forecasting of trends, identification of directions and potential markets. You will gain broad skills and knowledge to meet the requirements of cultural tourism practices for work as employees or volunteers in the cultural industries, including exhibitions, festivals, historic sites, craft fairs, art galleries, monuments and public spaces/works, etc. You will also acquire knowledge of legislation and regulations affecting sustainable cultural tourism practice, occupational health and safety, and specific industry knowledge.

The following module is included in the Art Cultural Tourism course:

  • Heritage and cultural objects
    This module should enable the learner to develop, maintain and apply the contextual knowledge, skills and attitudes required to develop a historical and contemporary overview and awareness of the value of cultural heritage sites, objects and activities. This module has 45 contact hours, and is part of the Art Cultural Tourism course.

Outdoor Recreation (Specialising in General Interpretive Activities) - Certificate IV (AQF) (2647
This course is for people working or wanting to work in the outdoor recreation industry who want to enhance skills to independently participate in outdoor recreation activities and to guide or instruct those activities. The course may alternatively enable you to enhance your skills in non-activity areas such as interpretive guiding. You will develop core skills required to work in the Outdoor Recreation Industry including how to provide client services and develop teams. You will also implement projects, legal responsibilities and risk analysis skills. You will have the opportunity to experience a selected range of outdoor activities that may include abseiling, bushwalking, climbing, canyoning, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, adventure-based learning, ski touring and/or mountain biking.

The following modules are included in the Outdoor Recreation course:

  • Interp - Culture and Heritage
    This module provides specialist knowledge in: cultural and heritage environments; flora, fauna and landscape; and marine environments.
  • Specialist Knowledge: Cultural/Heritage
    This module teaches students how to research and prepare specialised cultural and heritage content relevant to specific guiding contexts for delivery to a range of customers. This would include: knowledge of one or more cultural/heritage environments; and an ability to source and update relevant information to meet differing customer needs and to incorporate this information in interpretive commentaries and activities.

Linear Reserve Conservation - Short Course (9492)
This short course is for people who as part of their work are required to manage, enhance and conserve linear reserves (roadsides, stock routes and rail access reserves). The course provides training to complement training already undertaken in local government, horticulture, agriculture or land-care. This course will equip people working on linear reserves with the knowledge and skills to recognise the specific environmental, heritage and legislative issues associated with working in a linear reserve environment. You will learn how to plan and perform work in a manner that will conserve and enhance the natural environment of roadsides, stock routes and rail reserves

The following module is included in the Linear Reserve Conservation course:

  • Linear Reserves - Heritage
    This module is designed to increase knowledge and understanding of the content and value of linear reserves. The purpose of this module is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge to identify sites of cultural, historical or aesthetic significance on roadside/linear reserves. This module is five contact hours.

Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology

Maritime Archaeology Training
The Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA) conducts courses in Maritime Archaeology. These courses give knowledge and skills to help you unlock the past. The Heritage Branch and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority jointly host courses in The Rocks, Sydney.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Audiovisual Archives course and handbook
Staff of the Audiovisual Archives have developed a course and handbook designed especially for indigenous community people and other researchers. The course aims to provide information that will allow people to create their own good technical audiovisual documents and then to archive and store these materials in local communities. The Audiovisual Archives at AIATSIS hold a huge range of audiovisual materials relating to Australian Indigenous cultures, including approximately 30,000 hours of recorded sound, 650,000 photographic images, 2.5 million feet of film and several thousand video titles.

Local Government and Shires Associations

Learning Solutions

Supporting the professional development of elected members and staff Local Government Learning Solutions, the training unit of the Local Government Association of NSW and Shires Association of NSW, coordinates relevant, high quality and cost effective training programs and seminars for councils in NSW.

Learning Solutions run a variety of short courses throughout the year, and the following is an example of those courses. These courses are subsidised by the Heritage Incentives Program to lower their cost for participants:

Page last updated: 01 September 2012