Cultural Heritage and Sustainability - Master's Programme in the Humanities

Academic year 2022/2023

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What is the role for cultural heritage in a world challenged by globalisation, climate change and social exclusion and shaped by mega trends such as urbanisation, digitalisation, individualisation, ageing population, and the transition to a fossil free economy? The Master's Programme in the Humanities, specialising in Cultural Heritage and Sustainability, provides you with the competence needed to pursue an international career in the strategic management of cultural heritage. In this programme you will explore the links between cultural heritage (both tangible and intangible) and sustainability. You gain the analytical skills needed to manage cultural heritage in our increasingly diversified world. Our unique interdisciplinary profile prepares you for a career in heritage site management, sustainable tourism, cultural planning and regional urban development.

The programme is offered at Uppsala University's Campus Gotland, located in the World Heritage site of Visby. Gotland is an island located in the middle of the Baltic Sea between the mainland of Sweden and the Baltic States.

Why this programme?

The specialisation in Cultural Heritage and Sustainability within the Master's Programme in the Humanities aims to provide an advanced understanding of how cultural heritage and sustainable development are connected. It will help you answer questions on how we can preserve, use and develop cultural heritage in a sustainable way, and how cultural heritage can be used as a driving force for regional development.

The courses are based on research in conservation conducted by members of the Faculty involved in the programme. They will give you a broad introduction to the field of cultural heritage and sustainability as well as specialist knowledge in the following areas:

  • cultural heritage and regional development
  • cultural heritage in identity politics
  • climate change and energy efficiency
  • cultural heritage in peace and conflicts.
During the first year, you will participate in excursions to get a better understanding on how these themes are debated among scholars and practitioners. During the second year, you have the opportunity to shape the focus of the programme to suit your own interests and professional goals, either by choosing courses or by doing an internship.

The programme is based on Campus Gotland. While taking your studies on campus, you will also be able to enjoy everything this historic World Heritage site of Visby and the island of Gotland have to offer, and learn outside of your classroom.


The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with Conservation as the main field of study. It is also possible to graduate after one academic year with a Master of Arts (60 credits).

All specialisations of this programme


The programme starts with two mandatory courses in conservation in the first semester. The first course gives an advanced introduction to the relationship between cultural heritage and sustainable development. The second course focuses on conservation as an academic discipline, introducing different theories and methodologies, and developing your writing skills.

During the second semester, you take four courses offering different perspectives on cultural heritage and sustainability. The topics of these courses correspond to research projects carried out at the department.

During the third semester, you begin working on your Master's thesis. To help you develop your thesis topic, a seminar series is provided. In addition, you can also focus on one of the course topics from the first year in a specialised course. You also have the option of studying at another university or doing an internship.

The programme ends with the Master's thesis which should be completed during the last semester.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1
Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development, 15 credits
Theories, Methodologies and Academic Writing in the Field of Cultural Heritage and Sustainability, 15 credits

Semester 2
Cultural Heritage as a Driver for Regional Development, 7.5 credits
Climate for Culture, 7.5 credits
Cultural Heritage in Peace and Conflict, 7.5 credits
Heritage Politics and Identity, 7.5 credits

Semester 3
Master's Thesis in Conservation, 15 credits
Specialised course in Conservation, Advanced Level, 15 credits, or
Internship in Conservation, Advanced Level, 15 credits

Semester 4
Master's Thesis in Conservation, 30 credits

Learning experience

The programme is offered at Uppsala University's Campus Gotland, located in the World Heritage site of Visby. Gotland is an island located in the middle of the Baltic Sea between the mainland of Sweden and the Baltic States. Visby is the best-preserved Medieval city in Scandinavia. With its rich cultural heritage, Gotland provides you with an inspiring environment, both as a backdrop for discussions and as an arena for implementations, excursions, projects, etc.

The academic environment at Campus Gotland is characterised by a close working relationship between students and faculty. The active involvement of students and their on-site presence in Visby are fundamental to the programme. We consider the diverse experiences of the international student group a valuable resource in teaching. All teaching is conducted in English, mainly in the form of seminars, lectures and group exercises.

At seminars, you present your ideas and discuss the reading you have done beforehand (a course book or other study material) with your classmates, while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

You will also do group work together with your classmates outside the classroom. This way, you learn from each other and practice being team players.

The student group of the programme is diverse with a mix of Swedish and international students with different educational backgrounds from the humanities, the natural sciences and the social sciences.

Examination forms vary between courses, but usually consist of active participation in seminars and submission of written assignments in groups or individually. Academic writing is in focus throughout the programme.


The specialisation in Cultural Heritage and Sustainability is an international and interdisciplinary programme that will provide you with the necessary skills and competences to work with strategic issues related to how cultural heritage can be preserved, used, and developed.

Your ability to understand complex societal phenomena, in which the balance between development and preservation is key, will prepare you for a career in strategic management of cultural heritage in both private companies and the public sector.

The programme, with its focus on academic discourse and writing skills, will also give you a solid foundation for pursuing an academic career within conservation.

Career support
During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose.

Cultural Heritage and Sustainability

120 credits

Autumn 2022, 100%, Campus

Location: Visby

Application deadline: 17 January 2022

Application code: UU-M5026 Application

Language of instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Also required is 60 credits in conservation, history preservation, cultural heritage management, archaeology, heritage studies, architecture, cultural economics, art history, museology, curating, history, anthropology, cultural heritage law, community planning, or a similar field of study.

Language requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies, and
  • a statement of purpose outlining their proficiency in conservation (1-2 pages).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 60,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 240,000

Contact and further resources


Philosophy: Pauliina Remes

+46 18 471 28 97

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Archeology

+46 18 471 20 93

Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology: Charlotta Widmark

+46 18 471 70 33

Cultural Heritage and Sustainability: Gustaf Leijonhufvud

+46 18 471 83 87

Egyptology: Andreas Dorn

+46 18 471 28 97

Aesthetics: Nicholas Wiltsher

+46 471 73 53

Gender Studies: Jenny Björklund

+46 18 471 57 96

Musicology: Mattias Lundberg

+46 18 471 15 84

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Faculty of Arts

Dag Hammarskjölds väg 7

Box 256, 751 05 UPPSALA

Last modified: 2022-05-13