Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  4 credits L-ART/04  |  2 credits SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

No specific knowledge recommendations but a genuine interest in heritage places and the environment in which we live is vital, together with a willingness to dedicate a significant amount of time to coursework where most knowledge acquisition occurs.

Mission & Content Summary


Cultural heritage is a common good passed from previous generations as a legacy for those to come. Cultural heritage is a resource for the future, to be safeguarded, enhanced, and promoted, also by encouraging synergies with contemporary creation. It puts people at its heart, stimulating access and engagement and promoting audience development, with a focus on local communities, children and young people, as well as people with disabilities, thereby fostering social inclusion and integration (EU, 2019). Starting from such premises that have driven the development of public polices at European level in the last decade, the mission of this course is to introduce students to the concept of heritage, to highlight its complexity, to provide a general overview of the main polices and players of the sector at national and international level and to provide managerial tools to manage it. Moreover the course aims to support students in developing critical thinking on heritage.


The course is organized in three main sessions.

The first section aims to define the notion of heritage and to frame the context at national and international level. Some of the main topics are:

  • The heritage as an international field of expertise
  • Heritage international charters
  • Critical heritage and heritage dissonances

The second section analyzes the relation among: heritage, space and communities. This part will be focused on how the idea of heritage itself depends on the existence of a communities able to legitimize the value of the heritage, to valorize and to enhance it. Some of the main topics are:

  • Heritage and cities: the case of Capital of Culture
  • Heritage and spaces: how to transform empty places in community spaces
  • Case studies

The third section provides examples of methodologies and tools for heritage management. Some of the main topics are:

  • Heritage management plan
  • Institutions and data sources
  • Partecipatory heritage management
  • Cultural mapping

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Demonstrate awareness of international policies for heritage.
  • Identify heritage as a collective good and responsibility, and recognize the diversity of heritage places.
  • Illustrate cultural significance and people-centered approaches in the context of heritage managing.
  • Understand and define management systems for heritage.
  • Navigate a rich array of case studies from all over the world with the capacity to discern diverse approaches to heritage conservation and management.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Elaborate mature reflections on how management responses can harness benefits for heritage and for broader wellbeing in society.
  • Demonstrate a mature critical ability and an enhanced capacity to advise professionally within this sector, or in a mediation role between this sector and other sectors.
  • Assess management systems for heritage places.
  • Unite his or her diverse background with a better understanding of the cultural heritage sector in order to make him or her a prime candidate for interdisciplinary cultural leadership roles.
  • Act as a future mediator for management innovation in the cultural heritage sector.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Individual assignments


The course will merge theoretical and empirical approaches.

  • Face-to-face lectures: students will explore some common theoretical frameworks, discuss what is happening in the sector, promote a common language and identify their own capacity to improve practice in the field. Students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share their insights.
  • Guest speaker's talks: professionals will be invited to present the challenges faced in the field or cutting edge research and policy work.
  • Company visits: if possible, external visits to heritage places, including contact with the organizations and communities involved in their management, allow a first-hand understanding of how they work behind the scenes.
  • Individual assignment: an essey exploring specific topics introduced during the first weeks of the course and advanced throughout the course.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


Assessment methods are based on two elements:

  • Final written exam: 60% (of overall course evaluation)

  • Individual assignment: 40% (of overall course evaluation)


The final exam consists of 3 open-answer questions; last 90 minutes. It will be focused on subjects covered in the:

  • Course presentations, including those offered during any external visits.
  • Key texts and other readings suggested in the syllabus.
  • Any other learning resources suggested during the course.


The individual assignment consists of an essay of maximum 10.000 characters spaces included.    






Assessment will be based entirely on one written final exam. The exam is in written form, last 90 minutes and it consists of three open questions, concerning the three main sessions of the course.

Teaching materials


  • Readings and other materials suggested in the syllabus (core bibliography and wider background readings)
  • Course presentations offered during classroom sessions, external visits and guest’s talks
  • Other readings suggested during the course.


Not attending students will sustain the written exam on a list of readings and materials suggested in the syllabus.

Last change 27/07/2021 12:18