UNESCO World Heritage sites, finding a future for our past - CLAS6005

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Ellen Swift checkmark-circle


The module will allow students to acquire knowledge and critical understanding of the principles related to UNESCO World Heritage. Students will learn about the historical development of the concept of World Heritage and the related concept of intangible heritage and why they are often confused. Students will also acquire an in-depth understanding of the national management of World Heritage sites, and assess different approaches to managing sites. Students will then acquire advanced understanding of the latest key issues and themes, including on World Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals, and on climate change. They will also debate recent ethical issues, including the difficulty of involving local communities or the destruction of heritage. During the course, practical and professional skills in drafting statements of value, key aspects of management plans and tourism plans will be acquired by students.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 20 hours
Private Study: 130 hours
Total: 150 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Written Assignment (1,500 words) – 35%
Essay (2,500 words) – 45%
Individual Presentation (10 mins) – 20%

Reassessment methods:
100% Coursework (3,000 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages: https://kent.rl.talis.com/index.html

Edgell, D.L. (2019). Managing Sustainable Tourism. A Legacy for the Future. London: Routledge. 304 p.
Harrison, R. (2012). Heritage. Critical Approaches. London: Routledge. 288p.
Labadi, S. (2013). UNESCO, Cultural Heritage, and Outstanding Universal Value. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 204 p.
Leask, A. and Fyall, A. (eds). (2006). Managing World Heritage Sites. London: Routledge, 320p.
Larsen, P.B. and Logan, W. (eds). (2018). World Heritage and Sustainable Development: New Directions in World Heritage Management. London: Routledge, 310 p.
Smith, L. (2006). Uses of Heritage. London: Routledge. 368p.

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key aspects of the field of World Heritage listing, management and interpretation, and a detailed knowledge of the way in which those principles have developed;
2. Demonstrate the ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within a discipline, in the context of academia and outside;
3. Display a systematic and conceptual understanding that enables the student to devise and sustain an argument on different aspects and academic research related to World Heritage listing, management and interpretation; and an ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of these different approaches to solving problems;
4. Show an in-depth appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge, in particular of students' own biases, and how these influence their analyses and interpretation;
5. Manage their own learning on the topic of World Heritage, and to make use of reviews and primary sources.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment;
2. Demonstrate the ability to communicate information, ideas, problems, and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
3. Display the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of professional or equivalent nature;
4. Display qualities and transferable skills necessary for decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;
5. Demonstrate the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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