Rome is at the center of debates about global heritage. With major international organizations in the city, as well as the greatest concentration of heritage monuments and works, nowhere in the world provides a better base to prepare a student for a career in this field.

Today, in order to make cultural heritage both sustainable and socially useful it is necessary to recognize the need for a multidisciplinary approach to the heritage spectrum. Those who wish to work with heritage will have to undertake many different responsibilities across many areas of expertise.

This M.A. shapes a new generation of professionals. Liberal Arts, Humanities and Social Science graduates acquire the management and business skills to work worldwide. Thanks to AUR’s connections and collaborations with numerous cultural institutions in Rome, and throughout the world, this M.A. provides practical experience in professional circumstances that will shape each student’s career.

The program does not set out to produce professionals for Italy (although it certainly has) but rather to make use of the resources of Rome and Italy that allow for practical and not just theoretical study. None of our courses are specific to sites in Italy but Italy serves as the ideal laboratory for this kind of training.

The Sustainable Cultural Heritage program is focused on the community, not on state structures or institutional responses to heritage. Whereas similar programs in other institutions focus on heritage policy as enacted by governments and international organizations, AUR’s program aims to train students in skills that lead to finding work with communities, NGOs, and other organizations that work within communities.

In balancing theory and practice this Master’s Program prepares students for employment in heritage administration, development control and consultancies, as well as for continuing in academic research.

This program addresses the following:

  • Practical skills to be able to budget and manage projects, to fundraise and to ensure that heritage is not exploited by illegal trafficking.
  • An understanding of the complexity of heritage economics, its relationship to tourism, to the local community and to conservation issues.
  • An appreciation of the role of heritage in the broader political and legal context, including issues of contested heritage, dark heritage and an understanding of the role of heritage in forming identity at the local, regional, national and transnational levels.

Learning Outcomes

Program Objectives:

  1. To provide an overview of the interdisciplinary nature of the field
  2. To give the necessary heritage management tools in line with international, national and regional strategies to enhance cultural heritage management
  3. To provide an understanding of the tools, techniques and processes for documenting and assessing cultural resources, producing management plans, and implementation
  4. To foster an understanding of the role of heritage agencies and organizations at international, national, local and regional levels.

Upon completing the Master’s program in Cultural Heritage Management students will be able to:

  • Communicate at a professional level orally and in written form and debate issues with practitioners in the field
  • Carry out the tasks of employees in the heritage management sector such as planning, marketing, management and funding of sustainable heritage-related projects. This includes the ability to examine and critique heritage management theory
  • Critically assess both their own work and the daily challenges encountered in cultural heritage
  • Discuss the contribution of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)  and International Organizations  (IOs) to cultural heritage
  • High level analytical and research skills necessary to study at the graduate level and to write research papers
  • Ability to plan and execute an extensive research project
  • Ability to use and analyze source materials, including non-literary sources, and to appreciate the context of these sources
  • Ability to critically analyze the use of heritage in different political, religious, social and ethnic contexts
  • Ability to analyze the role of heritage in creating local, regional, national and transnational identity and to appraise issues of contested and dark heritage (that is heritage from periods of tragedy or war or discredited political regimes)
  • Ability to critically analyze the economics of heritage particularly in relation to conservation needs, the impact upon local communities and tourism.

The Story of God with Morgan Freeman & Professor Valerie Higgins

A National Geographic production, 'The Story of God' saw Morgan Freeman traversing the world to examine the history, reality and practice of religion. Introduced thus: "Today, for better or worse, the power of religion touches all of our lives, no matter what our faith. This is Morgan Freeman's journey to discover how our beliefs connect us all. This is the quest of our generation. This is the Story of God." episode 6 brought Morgan to Rome where he met AUR's Professor Valerie Higgins to discuss the ancient Roman's approach to God.

One Student's Internship Experience

Melanie Banks, M.A. Sustainable Cultural Heritage

Centro di Conservazione Archeologica, Italy
AUR grad students find going to the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica a unique experience on many levels. Beautiful and iconic works of antiquity have been brought back to life by Roberto Nardi’s award-winning team and the location of the Centro in a renovated 13th-century Franciscan monastery in the Apennine hills is stunning. The food is pretty good, too! Summer 2017 was Melanie Banks’ turn to experience life as an intern at the Centro:

“As an intern under the tutelage of Roberto Nardi at the CCA, I received first hand on-site experience in conservation practices. While working alongside the student program that CCA runs annually to train students entering the conservation field, I was able to further my interests in practicing conservation in the lab and in the field during a rewarding internship. The main goal for my internship project was to create a narrative on the summer program through student interviews and on-site work. In interviewing alumni of the program and working alongside the summer 2017 students on conservation projects, mosaic treatment and archaeological excavations, I learned first hand about their experiences, their future goals and their diverse educational backgrounds. With the goal of creating a website and developing fundraising campaigns and tools for student scholarships, I was able to further the goals of CCA in training future generations in cultural heritage preservation.”

intern under the tutelage of Roberto Nardi at the CCA