Sustainable Heritage Destinations

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5EE005

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sustainable Destination Development A1N
Grading system
Pass with distinction, Pass with credit, Pass, Fail
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 4 March 2021
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. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

The course provides perspectives from the human and social sciences on how tourism creates preconditions for and reproduces cultural and natural heritage from a sustainability point of view. A central theme concerns the enactment of cultural and natural heritage, i.e., how materiality, narratives and expressive forms can be used as a resource in achieving place identity, unicity and attraction for both locals and visitors. Particular emphasis is put on how an island setting and cultural conceptions of islands shape the formation of tourist destinations. The course is also intended to give practical knowledge and skills that can be applied in working with cultural and natural heritage as resources for sustainable local and regional tourism and destination development, by practising interaction with stakeholders in tourism.

On completion of the course the student shall be able to:

Regarding knowledge and understanding

  • Critically analyse and apply visual and narrative perspectives on how cultural and natural heritage are used in tourism by local and global stakeholders, and how such stakeholders act within the framework of complex socio-economic and ecological contexts.
  • Strategically reflect on how cultural and natural heritage are used as a resource in developing a destination, and how such use can both positively promote and challenge socio-economic and ecological sustainability in the long term.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders in the field of tourism and communicate insights into how norms and values regarding cultural and natural heritage influence the ways in which sustainability is understood, created and managed on the basis of local and regional circumstances.
  • Through ethnographic methods independently formulate research questions and evaluate the uses of cultural and natural heritage as a resource for tourism and destination development.

Regarding competence and skills

  • Give an account of central perspectives, concepts and methods of analysis for the course and reflect on ethical concerns arising from the application of such perspectives, concepts and methods.
  • Independently and with ethnographic methods conduct studies identifying sustainability problems and opportunities arising from the use of cultural and natural heritage in tourism, as well as give an account of and suggest strategic solutions to such problems in written or other form.
  • Apply ethnographic methods crucial for the course and motivate to prospective use of culture and nature as sustainable resources in local and regional destination development by formulating proactive solutions to sustainability problems.


The course builds on a broad definition of cultural and natural heritage as cultural environments created through the interaction between man and nature. Environments are spatially connected and central perspectives on this course cover questions of the use and reuse of the environment as a resource in destination development in different fields, but with a focus on urban and rural landscapes, such as gardens. The student also carries out project work, the applied focus of which is selected in collaboration with teachers and local stakeholders. In project form, a perspective of cultural and natural heritage politics is applied to tourism and destination development. The use of cultural and natural resources is thereby related to issues of power relations, influence and democracy, as well as how values and cultural conceptions impact the creation of sustainability in local and regional contexts.


The course consists of lectures, mandatory seminars and project work in collaboration with stakeholders in the community.


Grades are based on a weighted assessment of active participation in seminars and exercises (6 credits), written assignments (7 hp) and oral reports on group assignments (2 hp).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.