MUSKUL4100 – Critical Heritage Studies: Theory and history

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course provides an overview of the field of Critical Heritage Studies and introduces some of the most significant problematics involved in our relationships with the past. How do we conceive of heritage and what part does it play in our lives? Is it always ’good’? Who decides what is heritage, how and why? Do people always agree on what is heritage and what is not? How is heritage managed, and what are the politics of this? These are just a few of the questions we will address in the course. We will examine critical and political concepts of heritage and the history of heritage, before proceeding thematically over different areas of live contemporary heritage practice and debate. The course will equip you with the ability to reflect critically on heritage practice and politics and to incorporate resulting insights into your academic and future professional activity, as well as helping you to understand your own relationship and attitudes to heritage and the past.

Learning outcome

After completing this course you will:

  • know how to identify and describe processes of Cultural Heritage
  • understand different theoretical and historical perspectives on Cultural Heritage
  • know how to apply theories in critical analysis of specific problems connected to the field of Cultural Heritage
  • have developed skills in methodical and theoretical thinking and academic writing.
  • be able to discuss and present key texts in the field of Cultural Heritage
  • be equipped with the ability to reflect critically on heritage practice and politics
  • be able to incorporate resulting insights into your academic and future professional activity
  • understand your own relationship and attitudes to heritage and the past


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the Master's Programme in Museology and Cultural Heritage Studies

Recommended previous knowledge

Good knowledge in English


The teaching is delivered intensively Monday to Friday for three weeks throughout the semester.

Lectures are given in the morning and seminars in the afternoon. There will be interactive seminars involving group work and it is compulsory to give at least one presentation per teaching week.

There is a 70% compusory attendance.

Wednesdays are independent study days for students to work singly or in pairs in presentations to be given during the Thursday seminars.


Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The exam is given as a term paper (essay) of approximately 10 pages (2300 characters per page, not including spaces.)

The requirement of compulsory presentations and attendance as stated above has to be completed to hand in your exam.

Previous exams and grading guidelines.


Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language