ANNOUNCEMENT: A New Post-Graduate Programme

ANNOUNCEMENT: A New Post-Graduate Programme
9 September 2013

Under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al-Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah,

ICCROM-ATHAR Centre and University of Sharjah are jointly starting in academic year 2015-2016 a new post-graduate programme leading to a Master’s degree in “Cultural Heritage Conservation Management”, which includes heritage sites and museums collections.

Place: ICCROM-ATHAR Centre/University of Sharjah (UoS), Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Date: Academic year 2015-2016


  • ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)
  • University of Sharjah (UoS)
  • ALECSO (Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization)

Area of Specialization:

Heritage Sites and Museums Collections.

Background and aims:

Cultural heritage in many areas in the Arab region is facing serious challenges that might affect its very survival. Safeguarding this heritage is of great importance not only to the people of the region but to humanity. A number of official bodies in the region have requested ICCROM‘s  assistance in the conservation of their national heritage. Demand for land for housing and infrastructure projects, a massive increase in leisure tourism – challenges that are common to many heritage sites worldwide – as well as regional conflicts, have all combined to place an extraordinary burden on professionals responsible for the preservation and management of this heritage. Those professionals require an increasingly wide range of skills to work both at an interdisciplinary level, and across different sectors with other professionals in tourism, housing, industry and education; and need  to be experts at promoting the importance of preserving cultural heritage to diverse audiences. The most pressing challenges to heritage preservation in the region include as well, a general lack in trained and qualified staff in national capacity building strategies, and inadequate support of the work of official heritage institutions.

The aim of this joint ICCROM-UoS Master’s degree is to enable site and museum collections managers as well as relevant professionals, to elevate the standard of conservation and management practices at heritage sites and museums and enhance interventions and management of cultural properties, by acquiring knowledge aimed at protecting and promoting the rich cultural heritage in the Arab region and broadening access, appreciation, and understanding of its past.

Course objectives and expected results:

The purpose of this higher diploma course is to enable young professionals to contribute to the achievement of the following results at national and/ or regional levels:

  1. Developed knowledge in heritage conservation planning and management, ensuring that:

(a) conservation strategies and interventions are integrated within socio-economic development planning processes;

(b) inventories and listing procedures are used efficiently to manage heritage sites and museums collections;

(c) legal structures and regulations succeed in protecting cultural heritage, and

(d) knowledge of sustainable development projects is improved.

  1. Improved recognition of the significance of the cultural heritage of the region and its contribution to knowledge for present and future generations, and eco-societal development, ensuring that general public knowledge, sense of  involvement, responsibility, ownership and, thereby, support in conserving heritage is developed, by providing information on the value of cultural heritage and its preservation to communities at different levels.
  1. Established regional network of adequately trained and qualified conservation professionals, ensuring that heritage professionals are involved in management and decision-making of conservation projects.

Course Content:

ICCROM-UoS Cultural Heritage Conservation Management Master’s degree will consist of three main taught modules separated by periods of assignments and supervised home projects and a final project  to be presented and discussed based on the home projects and assignments.

Course modules:

1- Module One: The Basics of Cultural Heritage and its Conservation:

a. Cultural Heritage of the Arab Region.

b. International Doctrine  and Instruments: Development of Conservation Theories, and Principles.

c. Cultural Heritage Studies in a Regional Context.

d. Research Methods in Cultural Heritage.

Ø Home Assignment

2- Module Two: Assessment Methodologies for Cultural Heritage:

a. Documentation, Recording and Inventory Systems  for Cultural Heritage.

b. Cultural Heritage Significance  and Value-based Assessment.

c. Condition and Risk Assessment of Material Culture.

d. Assessing Legal and Institutional Heritage Contexts.

e. Heritage Economics.

Ø Home Project 1

3- Module Three: Cultural Heritage Management:

a. Documentation, GIS, and Heritage Information Management.

b. Managing Remedial and Preventive Conservation Projects.

c. Heritage Policies, Planning, Urban Conservation, and Education.

d. Cultural Tourism Management.

Ø Home Project 2

4- Final Project

Working Languages:

The working languages of the course will be Arabic and English. Proficiency in the English language is required, particularly for research work and reading of reference materials.

Attendance of each one-month module is compulsory

Applying and Admission:

 The number of students  will not exceed 25.

The course is open to students from all the Arab States.

Applicants should be mid-career professionals with bachelor degrees in one of the following disciplines:

-     Archaeology;

-     Museum studies;

-     Architecture and planning;

-     Structural engineering;

-     Fine art specialists;

-     Conservation;

-     Art history;

-     Surveying engineering;

-     Applied natural science fields (Chemistry, Geology, etc.);

-     Landscape architecture;

-     IT (Information Technology);

-     Law, Economics;

-     Education;

-     Other relevant fields.

Admission to the course will be subject to selection criteria including:

1-  Professional background: at least a BA or B.Sc. in a relevant field of study.

2-  Employment: priority is given to government employees or government-affiliated professionals.

3-  Work experience: those who have already gained at least 3 years of practical and research experience in the field will have priority.

4-  Letter of intent: candidates are requested to provide a letter stating clearly the reasons for applying to the course, what they hope to learn from it, and how it will benefit them and their institution, country, or future employer.

5-  Working languages: the working languages will be both Arabic and English. Proficiency in the English language is required particularly for research work and reading of reference materials.

6-  Applications should be endorsed by the relevant ministry (Ministry of Culture or Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities) in the candidate’s home country.

For application to the Higher Diploma, and for a preliminary evaluation, please send the following to before Monday 31st March 2014:

a-  Application Form (English) and (Arabic)

b-  Letter of intent in which you need to explain why you wish to take the course.

Those who succeed in this first evaluation will be asked to provide further application requirements.