Cultural Heritage in Sustainable Destination Development

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5EE642

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sustainable Destination Development A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 9 March 2018
Responsible department
Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology

General provisions

The course can be taken as an optional advanced course in the one-year Master’s programme in Sustainable Destination Development, the two-year Master’s programme in Sustainable Destination Development, or as an elective course.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be within the social sciences or the humanities. This prerequisite may be replaced by Introduction to Sustainable Destination Development.

Learning outcomes

The course gives an interdisciplinary introduction to cultural heritage production and use in tourism and destination development from a contemporary and historical perspective. With a broad conception of cultural heritage as a point of departure, the aim is to give insight into the negotiations and constructions of cultural heritage, and the pre-conditions for achieving visibility, attractiveness, place identity and creating cultural economy. The course also provides instruction in ethnographic methods and training in the analysis of the consequences of the uses of cultural heritage for sustainability on a local and regional level.

Having completed the course, the student is expected to be able to:

Regarding knowledge and understanding

  • Apply an analytical concept of culture to notions of cultural heritage in tourism and destination development.
  • Critically examine and apply visual and narrative perspectives on cultural heritage as sites of conflict with stakeholders from local to global level, and how these stakeholders act within the framework of complex socio-economic and ecological contexts.
  • Independently conduct a limited collection of empirical material using ethnographic methods, and analyse said material with a focus on the construction of cultural heritage in tourism and destination development and on its impact on the community.
  • Strategically reflect on how cultural heritage is produced and used to develop tourism and how such practices can both positively promote and challenge sustainability in the long term.

Regarding competence and skills

  • Give an account of central perspectives, concepts and methods of analysis on the course and reflect on ethical concerns arising from the application of such methods.
  • Independently and with ethnographic methods conduct a minor study identifying problems and opportunities arising from the use of cultural heritage in tourism, as well as give an account of and suggest strategic solutions to defined sustainability issues in written or other form.


The course gives knowledge of how cultural heritage is produced, discussed and used on different social arenas. A central perspective covers the performativity of cultural heritage, i.e. how cultural heritage with its materiality, narratives and esthetical expressions can be used as a resource to for example create distinctive characters and attraction of specific places. Based on current research in ethnology and the cultural and social sciences, cultural heritage processes in fields such as world heritage, museums, traditions and material culture are discussed. Another perspective illuminates cultural heritage policy and normative cultural heritage conceptions. The course gives proficiency in relating cultural heritage production and its consequences for questions about how sustainability is done, understood and achieved with a specific focus on current tourism and destination development.


The course consists of lectures and mandatory seminars. Emphasis is put on practical application as well as group exercises and individual assignments done in collaboration with stakeholders in the community.


The course is examined by active participation in seminars (1 credits), exercises (1 credits), written assignments (3 credits) as well as oral and written reports on group assignments (2.5 credits). Final grade is based on a weighted assessment of results from the examination elements.