Course 2023-2024 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DSBA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - PPA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - FIN (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  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 to make experiences of the heritage, visiting sites, museums and organizations working in the sector.

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. The course will focus on the relationship between heritage and communities, showing the reciprocity that exists between these two components and the managerial implications that it generates. Moreover the course aims to support students in developing critical thinking on heritage.


The course combines theoretical and empirical elements and emphasise the idea that a direct knowledge of the contexts and of the players operating in a sector is important for developing a conscious critical thinking and for recognising a professional interest.

During the first part of the course the class will share a common theoretical framework and will learn a technical language. The main topics are: definition of the notion of heritage and context analysis at national and international level; introduction to the main policies and to some relevant practices concerning the relation between heritage and communities; introduction to methods and tools for heritage management and examples. 

The second part of the course aims to provide empirical experiences. Visits will be organized and classwork will follow; for each visit, participants will analyze the case study, will apply the tools and will critically evaluate the experiences observed. The empirical work will give the opportunity to understand how the idea of heritage itself depends on the existence of a community able to legitimize and to enhance its value and viceversa.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • 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 management.
  • Understand and define management systems for heritage.
  • Navigate a rich array of case studies 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.
  • Act as a future mediator for management innovation in the cultural heritage sector.
  • Evaluate heritage management systems and strategies.
  • Identify a personal professional interest within the sector.

Teaching methods

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


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.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on the written exam consisting of open and closed questions aimed to assess students' understanding of the contents. 


The final written exam consists of 2 open-answer questions out of 3. It will be focused on subjects covered in the:


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


In-class participation, constructive interaction and critical thinking will be positively considered.


Students’ assessment is based only on one final written exam consisting of 3 open-answer questions out of 3. No other components are evaluated.

Teaching materials


Course materials will be provided by professors and they will include:


  • 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 exam on a list of readings and materials suggested in the syllabus, at the beginning of the course.

Last change 03/06/2023 09:43