Environment, Heritage and Policy


SFC funded places available

If you meet all eligibility requirements you will automatically be considered for one of the fully funded places.


The MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy has been developed to provide interdisciplinary training at an advanced level for existing practitioners in the heritage sector or those seeking a career in that sector.

The course offers an ideal balance between the practical and intellectual elements of heritage and heritage policy. Students both explore cultural, natural, tangible and intangible heritage through the lens of environmental history, whilst also developing a strong practical skills-base.

The course provides

  • a foundation in the concepts, ideas, theory, practice and application of heritage and heritage policy
  • skills in the principal subject areas contributing to the study of cultural and natural heritage
  • advanced study in the main subject areas of candidates’ primary disciplines
  • training in appropriate quantitative and qualitative research, interpretative and presentational methodologies.

Students have the opportunity to work with members of staff on a one to one basis, and experience the Scottish cultural and natural environments first-hand on a number of field trips designed to enhance class based teaching. The course of study prepares students in the concepts and ideas of the field and in one year enables them to investigate issues such as:

  • Protected Spaces/Legislative Framework
  • Designation; Heritage, Identity and Place
  • ‘The Highlands and the Roots of Green Consciousness’
  • World Heritage and National Parks
  • Public Relations and Marketing and Interpretation Media

and apply their skills in an individual research project.

Placement opportunities will be available in a range of venues across the sector. These will include heritage attractions and outdoor centres, museums, galleries and libraries, NGOs, and private sector industry partners.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a taught postgraduate degree in the 2017/18 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time, Campus based
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Catherine Mills
Download postgraduate prospectus

Dr Catherine Mills


University of Stirling

View fees and finance
  1. The course has a strong emphasis on both the conceptual and the intellectual study of heritage, which provides a fascinating and unique approach to studying the subject.
  2. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme means you can straddle more than one discipline and gain wider, more diverse skills.
  3. Field trips will allow you to take your learning outside of the classroom, while providing the opportunity to experience the Scottish environment first hand.
  4. You will be taught by a strong team, with excellent industry links, from a number of different disciplines.
  5. You will benefit from the opportunity to work with staff on a one-to-one basis but will be encourage to conduct independent work and bring ideas back to the classroom

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email graduate.admissions@stir.ac.uk to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs

2017/18 Overseas £14,600
2017/18 Home/EU £6,200

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

Scottish Funding Council Masters Scholarships

The Scottish Funding Council is funding Home/EU tuition fees for a number of places on this course. Funded places are open to applicants domiciled in Scotland and the EU. 

More information can be found here.

The University of Stirling is offering any students from the UK or European Union with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study. Further information on the scholarships is available here.

Scholarship finder

Scottish Funding Council masters scholarships

In partnership with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre and The Data Lab, the University of Stirling is currently offering up to 82 fully funded places on a select range of Masters Programmes during 2016/17. For each place, the full cost of tuition will be covered across a diverse set of courses.

All of the cutting-edge programmes supported by this funding have been handpicked because they arm graduates with all the skills necessary to impact Scotland's key up-and-coming industries – and each scholarship is supported by a set of inclusive eligibility requirements.

How do I apply?

You don't. So long as you apply for one of the listed postgraduate courses, accept an unconditional offer and meet all eligibility requirements, you will automatically be considered for one of the SFC's 82 masters scholarships. Successful candidates will then be notified via email by the University's Admissions Office.

Structure and teaching

Delivery and assessment

Depending on module content, delivery is by weekly, three-hour seminar or workshop and/or field visit/class. Assessment for 20-credit core modules is 100% coursework including assessed oral presentations, plus a 15,000-word traditional dissertation (100% of final grade) or work-based project portfolio (70% of the final grade) and a 5,000-word critical essay (30% of final grade)


Academic Year 2017/18




Either two or three modules from the following options:





  • One option AND/OR ENHPP32 in Summer


  • ENHPP32 in only one Spring option taken


  • ENHPP31 - Putting Theory into Practice


  • Two options or One Option and ENHPP32 in Summer
  • ENHPPDS - Dissertation (continued in Summer)


Modes of study

Full-time: 12 months
Part-time: 24 months

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

  9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-6 6-10
Tuesday       CEHP Seminars         Module Seminars
Thursday               Heritage Seminars Module Seminars

Field trips will usually take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am-8pm.  Occasionally a field trip may take place on a Wednesday afternoon.

Why Stirling?



In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Teaching provision in History has been assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and achieved the highest possible rating of 'commendable' in all aspects. In addition, at the last RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) whereby research quality is audited by external auditors, History was commended for the international quality of its research.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .


The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has an established tradition of interdisciplinary teaching up to and beyond Master’s level and of close teaching and research collaborations with the Faculty of Natural Sciences, embodied in the Centre for Environmental History and Policy.

The course is delivered by an interdisciplinary team who possess strong connections with a range of historical and archaeological sector employers, and heritage and tourism industries, including members who have recent experience working within or for the heritage sector nationally and internationally. Individual team members have significant connections with national agencies and charities within the historic and built environment fields of the heritage sector and have served on NGOs and advisory councils in those areas. Others have close professional links with the communications and media sector, including specialists in travel writing and travel journalism, PR and marketing. Contacts are also strong with natural heritage agencies including National Parks authorities, Scottish Natural Heritage/Natural England, and leading conservation charities nationally and internationally.

Academic strengths

The academic subjects contributing to this course have a range of academic expertise in the area of cultural and natural heritage, and the interpretation and communication of heritage significance to broad audiences. Innovative course development within the departments is nurtured by a strong research ethos sustained by the staff. The host department, History, has a strong focus on historic built environment, environmental impacts on cultural landscapes, computer applications for management of historical data, scripting of historical content for heritage interpretation and, in association with colleagues in Natural Sciences, remote sensing technologies and GIS applications for historical/archaeological and natural environment data. 

This course offers a unique interdisciplinary training at Master’s level that draws on the expertise of a range of subject specialists and professional practitioners with experience across the broad heritage sector. Unlike at other institutions, this course is not delivered from within a Heritage and Tourism Management context, drawing instead on applied and academic skills from within the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences, thereby encouraging the development of interdisciplinary skills, application of interdisciplinary methods, and broader awareness of the distinct contribution of different disciplines and skill-sets to management, curation and public interpretation of heritage. It is designed to provide advanced-level academic skills in both theoretical frameworks and the contextual application of those theories to enhance candidates’ existing qualifications and provide them with a range of graduate attributes desirable for careers within an expanding economic sector. Targeted also at those already working within the broadly-defined heritage professions, this course has been constructed to expand their professional experience beyond the area of the sector within which they have specialised, enabling them to advance into upper-level management positions within the heritage sector more widely.

Our students

The course has provided me with the chance to study a postgraduate degree selected by me. Not only does the interdisciplinary nature of the course provide for an insight in to new fields of study and research but it further gives the opportunity to deepen pre-existing knowledge and it gave me the choice to do a work-based dissertation project rather than a research based thesis. These varying opportunities and the great support and help from the staff should make everybody sign up for the course. 

Joana Krogsrud 

The Environment, Heritage and Policy is a challenging and stimulating course that considers an array of topics in relation the headline themes. Through the interdisciplinary nature of the course I have gained new appreciation of perceptions of the environment and heritage, which I believe will stand me in good stead for a career in the heritage sector, whilst increasing my academic abilities. 

Jordan Lawson


Our staff

Professor Richard Oram

MA (Hons) in Medieval History with Archaeology, University of St Andrews (1983) and PhD in Medieval History, University of St Andrews (1988). Pursued a non-academic career in commercial property underwriting 1987-91 before setting up a freelance historical research business (Retrospect). Joined the University of Stirling in September 2002 as Lecturer in Medieval and Environmental History, having previously been an Honorary Lecturer in History at the University of Aberdeen. Promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2005 and to Professor in 2007. A former Director of the Centre for Environmental History and Policy, in 2008 he was appointed a member of the Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland, providing advice to Scottish Ministers on aspects of policy and public engagement in the sector. Has published widely on Scottish historic environment and cultural heritage.

Dr Catherine Mills

Dr Catherine Mills is course director and deputy director of the Centre for Environmental History and Policy. She joined the University of Stirling in 2009 after successfully completing a Wellcome-funded post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Exeter. Catherine has a research background in the historical management of ‘unhealthy environments’ with an emphasis on both the urban atmosphere and the underground workplace in nineteenth and twentieth century Britain. Since moving to Stirling, Catherine’s research has shifted more towards understanding the specific industrial processes that create ‘unhealthy environments’ and how post-industrial derelict and contaminated landscapes are perceived, experienced and understood over time. She adopts a strong interdisciplinary approach to her research by combining traditional archival material with geo-archaeological and environmental investigation. She is currently working on a series of inter-related projects exploring the unrealised environmental impacts and associated cultural and health legacies of rural industrialisation.

She has published on the occupational health of Cornish miners’, urban air pollution and her first monograph explored the health and safety regulation of the British mining industries, 1800-1914.

Professor Ian Simpson

Ian graduated from the University of Strathclyde as BSc in Geography and Biology and PhD in Geography. He then worked from 1985 as a researcher on land use and environmental policy issues with the UK Government's Civil Service - Ministry of Agriculture. Joining the University of Stirling in 1990 as Lecturer in Environmental Science, he became Professor in 2002. He has previously held the posts of Vice-Dean (Research) in Natural Sciences, Head of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Exchange) before becoming Head of Natural Sciences in 2011.

His research interests are in soils and sediments as records of cultural and environmental change with a current focus on the North Atlantic region and the South Asia region. Working closely with historians, archaeologists and anthropologists, he considers soils and sediments formation as historical narratives defining resource utilisation and management by early societies together with their environmental and landscape consequences. These narratives are ‘read’ through innovative theoretical frameworks of landscape and new techniques in soils and sediments analyses including thin section micromorphology – SEM - EDX, soil biomarker analyses and modelling.   Major soil classes UN-FAO (WRB, 2006) considered include anthrosols (including archaeo-sediments and technosols) podzols, fluvisols and andosols. These analyses offer contributions to the discussion on ‘Long-term human interactions with environmental processes’ and debate on sustainabilities and resiliencies; discussions on ‘Natural and cultural heritage resources management’ and relationships to space, place and identity. 

With support from NERC, AHRC, US - National Science Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust  and UNESCO he has authored and co-authored over a hundred and fifty research papers with a geographic range from arctic Greenland to tropical Sri Lanka.’

Externally, he is Adjunct Professor in Anthropology at the Graduate School, City University of New York, has developed international research experience for undergraduate programmes, and has contributed to a range of national and international working groups on heritage resource policy. 

Careers and employability


This course is designed to produce graduates with advanced skills for careers in the Cultural and Natural Heritage sectors, particularly in cultural heritage resource management and curation, interpretation and presentation of heritage, promotion and marketing of heritage, and sustainable tourism. Typical careers would include management roles within NGOs working in the cultural and natural heritage sectors, National Parks authorities, local and national government agencies, and heritage-focused charities (especially historic and built environment), senior education, interpretation and marketing roles in similar bodies. It is also designed to provide an advanced-level academic qualification for those already employed within the sector seeking professional development opportunities for the step into middle and upper management roles.

Industry connections

Projects with OLP Dunblane museum and Innerpeffrey library. 

Funding available
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon

Forgotten login?