Master's Programme in Cultural Heritage and Sustainability

120 credits

What is the role of cultural heritage in a world challenged by globalisation, climate change and social exclusion? In the Master's Programme in Cultural Heritage and Sustainability, you will explore the links between cultural heritage (both tangible and intangible) and sustainability. This will prepare you for a career in heritage site management, sustainable tourism, cultural planning and regional urban development.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Visby, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Visby, 100%, On-campus, English

The programme is offered at Uppsala University Campus Gotland in Visby.

The Master's Programme in Cultural Heritage and Sustainability aims to provide an advanced understanding of how cultural heritage and sustainability are connected. It will help you answer questions on how cultural heritage can be preserved, used and developed in sustainable ways, and how cultural heritage can be used as a driving force for regional development.

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

  • heritage and regional development,
  • heritage in identity politics,
  • heritage and the environment,
  • heritage in peace and conflicts.

The autumn semester of the first year consists of mandatory campus courses carried out at Campus Gotland in Visby. During the spring semester of the first year and the autumn semester of the second year, there are opportunities to shape the focus of the programme to suit your own goals, including the possibility to do an exchange semester or an internship.

Conservation is the major field of study in the Master's Programme in Cultural Heritage and Sustainability and in order to get a master's degree (120 credits), you must take at least 60 credits in the subject. The remaining 60 credits can be taken in conservation or another subject, with a minimum of 30 credits at the advanced level.

Student profile

The student group will be diverse with a mix of Swedish and international students with different educational backgrounds in humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Arts (120 credits) with Conservation as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Arts (60 credits).

The following describes the course of study for the full two-year programme.

The first semester gives you in-depth knowledge of the role of cultural heritage in sustainable development, as well as knowledge of the theories and methods used in conservation as an academic discipline. The first half of the semester is taught in two courses of 7.5 credits each. Ecological, social and economic perspectives on sustainability and how they relate to heritage are explored. Furthermore, you will take an advanced introduction to current theoretical and methodological approaches in the field of cultural heritage and sustainability. You begin writing your thesis during the second half of the semester.

In semesters two and three you can choose between elective courses in conservation or another subject. The department offers in-depth courses in the field of cultural heritage and sustainability. During these semesters you also have the possibility of doing an internship in Sweden or abroad, or to participate in an international student exchange through the university's and the department's exchange agreements.

In semester four, you complete the thesis that was started in semester one.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1

  • Introduction to Heritage and Sustainability, 7.5 credits
  • Theories and Methods in Heritage and Sustainability, 7.5 credits
  • Master's Thesis in Conservation, 15 of 45 credits

Semesters 2 and 3

  • Heritage Politics and Identity, 7.5 credits
  • Cultural Heritage in Peace and Conflict, 7.5 credits
  • Cultural Heritage as a Driver for Regional Development, 7.5 credits
  • Heritage and the Environment, 7.5 credits
  • Specialised Course in Conservation, 15 credits
  • Internship in Conservation, 15 or 30 credits

Semester 4

  • Master's Thesis in Conservation, 30 of 45 credits

The programme is offered at Uppsala University's Campus Gotland, located in the World Heritage site of Visby, the best-preserved Medieval city in Scandinavia. Gotland is an island located in the middle of the Baltic Sea between the mainland of Sweden and the Baltic States. 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. Collaboration with national and international external actors is an important part of the programme.

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 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.

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.

This international and interdisciplinary programme will provide you with the necessary skills and competencies 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 the growing regional development sector. The competencies you develop during the programme will be useful in the strategic management of cultural heritage in both private companies and public organisations.

The international and interdisciplinary profile of the programme lays the ground for a career in the global heritage job market, with private companies, NGOs and public institutions. Potential employers include national, regional and local institutions, museums, heritage sites, and consultancy firms. With its focus on academic discourse and writing skills, the programme will also give you a solid foundation for pursuing an academic career within the growing field of heritage and sustainability.

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.