What is Cultural Heritage Studies?

Cultural Heritage Studies is a multidisciplinary subject that analyses, critiques and reflects upon the ways in which people related to all different aspects of heritage – from historical events, to traditional practices, to places. One challenge for Cultural Heritage Studies is the very diversity of cultural (and natural) heritage itself. Questions we can ask range from how cultural heritage can affect peoples’ sense of place and self, through to how best to manage and protect cultural heritage. Who do we do this for, what is it being protected from?

At the University of Helsinki, Cultural Heritage Studies forms a 30-credit minor studies track in the Cultural Heritage Masters programme, with courses primarily in English, but also with some options in Finnish and Swedish. The courses prepare students for careers in the cultural sector, by opening them up to Critical Heritage Studies and other approaches, introducing them to national and international frameworks in place for cultural heritage management, and by challenging the ways in which cultural heritage is identified and treated.

It is also possible to bring Cultural Heritage Studies elements into the Masters dissertation, and to study Cultural Heritage Studies at doctoral level. Please contact Associate Professor Suzie Thomas (suzie.e.thomas @ helsinki.fi) to discuss further.