Module: Cultural Heritage Research Design, Methodology & Management

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Dr Geraint Coles, Professor Mark Horton
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    30 hours

Module content

This module seeks to explore the instigation and design of research projects.

It is intended to equip participants with an understanding of the key stages in the development of research proposal from the section of appropriate methodologies to the management of its delivery. To that end this module aims to develop participant’s knowledge and critical understanding of:

  • The chief research philosophies, paradigms and methodologies of the historical and social sciences and their application to heritage research 
  • The ethics of research
  • The use of qualitative and quantitative approaches
  • The methods, skills and tools used in heritage research; their theoretical basis and practical application.  The use of project management techniques in the execution of research
  • The design, preparation and execution of rigorous research methodologies for the investigation of the heritage of a given location or thematic focus – in particular the integration of different lines of evidence
  • The selection of the appropriate investigative methods, tools, techniques and levels of recording required for a range of heritage landscapes, sites, structures and buildings affected by development proposals, environmental change or other impacts
  • How to identify the most appropriate bodies or individuals to undertake heritage research and to understand the processes involved in its commissioning, execution, recording/archiving and dissemination

The overall goal is to equip participants with the skills required to identify research areas, design research questions, collect, collate, analyse, present and interpret data and thereby provide a well-planned foundation for the dissertation.

Module outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Undertake critical review and analysis of multiple data sources to identify and isolate key issues or problems in cultural heritage
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies through the selection of appropriate tools for research in different contexts
  3. Design a rigorous multidisciplinary research strategy
  4. Plan for, and manage, the delivery of a multidisciplinary research strategy


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Research strategy for tackling a key problem in Cultural Heritage. 3000 words excluding diagrams and tables 100%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Essential resources:

  • Creswell, J.W. (2009) (3rd edition) Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. London: Sage Publications
  • Lee, E.  (2009) (2nd Edition) Management of Research Projects in the Historic Environment:  The MoRPHE Project Managers’ Guide.  Swindon: English Heritage (can be downloaded from – search for Product code 51218(EH05/09)COL1000)
  • Also MoRPHE on-line training
  • National Historic Ships (2010) Conserving Historic Vessels.  Understanding Historic Vessels, Volume 3. Greenwich:  National Historic Ships

Further Reading: To be used by students based on their project needs.

  • Ambrose, C. and Paine, C. (2012) Museum basics. London: Routledge
  • Association for Project Management (2004) (3rd edition) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.  London: Project Management Institute
  • Clough, P. & Nutbrown, C. (2007) (2nd edition)  A Student’s Guide to Methodology.  London: Sage
  • Daengbuppha, J., Hemmington, N., & Wilkes, K. (2006). Using grounded theory to model visitor experiences at heritage sites: Methodological and practical issues. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 9(4), 367-388
  • Dewberry, C. (2004) Statistical Methods for Organizational Research; Theory and Practice.  Abingdon: Routledge
  • Easterby Smith M, Thorpe R, (2008) (3rd edition) Management Research.  London: Sage Publications
  • Fetterman, D.M. (2008) (3rd edition) Ethnography: Step by Step.  London: Sage Publications
  • Finn, M. (2000). Tourism and leisure research methods: data collection, analysis, and interpretation. London: Pearson education
  • Hall, M.C. & McArthur, S. (1998) Integrated heritage management: principles and practice. London: Stationery Office 
  • Hart C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Imagination. London: Sage Publications
  • Holliday, A. (2007) (2nd edition) Doing and Writing Qualitative Research.  London: Sage Publications
  • Hollowell, J., & Nicholas, G. (2009). Using ethnographic methods to articulate community-based conceptions of cultural heritage management. Public Archaeology, 8(2-3), 141-160
  • Hunter, J. & Ralston, I.  (1993) Archaeological Resource Management in the UK.  Stroud: Alan Sutton
  • Jamal, T., & Kim, H. (2005). Bridging the interdisciplinary divide: Towards an integrated framework for heritage tourism research. Tourist Studies, 5(1), 55-83
  • Mason J, (2002) Qualitative Researching.  London: Sage Publications
  • Moore, J.H. & Weatherford, L.R, (2001) Decision Modelling with Microsoft Excel.  Harlow: Prentice Hall
  • Morris, C. (2003) (6th edition) Quantitative Approaches in Business Studies. London: Pitman Publishing
  • Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2009) (5th edition) Research Methods for Business Students.  London: Pitman
  • Stapp, D.C. & Longenecker, J.G. (2009) Avoiding Archaeological Disasters: A Risk Management Approach.  Techniques & Issues in Cultural Resource Management 2.   Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press
  • Summerby-Murray, R. (2001). Analysing heritage landscapes with historical GIS: contributions from problem-based inquiry and constructivist pedagogy.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 25(1), 37-52
  • Venn, T. J., & Quiggin, J. (2007). Accommodating indigenous cultural heritage values in resource assessment: Cape York Peninsula and the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia.  Ecological Economics, 61(2), 334-344
  • Young, T.L (2001)  The Handbook of Project Management – A Practical Guide to Effective Policies and Procedures.  Professional Paperbacks, London: Kogan Page