Environment, Heritage and Policy


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.

This interdisciplinary course offers an ideal balance between the practical and intellectual elements of heritage and policy. Students can explore cultural, natural, tangible and intangible heritage with a particular focus on environmental history, whilst also developing a broad base of practical skills both in the field and in the classroom. 

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 of study and in one year enables them to explore 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 
  • Social outcomes and impacts

There is also opportunities to learn basic geo-archaeology approaches and field based archaeological skills. 

Students will apply their experiences and skills in an individual research project.

Placement opportunities will be available in a range of venues across the sector. These will include heritage attractions, 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 and 2018/19 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

  1. The course has a strong emphasis on both the conceptual and the intellectual study of heritage, environment and policy 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 and 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 an enthusiastic teaching team from across a number of disciplines whose links with industry are strong. You will benefit from hearing from guest speakers and external partners who are experts in their field
  5. You will benefit from working closely with the teaching team but also have the opportunities to both conduct independent work to bring ideas back to the classroom and complete a work based project involving ‘real world’ research and dissemination. 

What makes us different?

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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.

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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


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU To be confirmed

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


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 85 fully funded places on a select range of Masters Programmes during 2017/18. 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 scholarships. Successful candidates will then be notified via email by the University's Admissions Office.

Scottish Funding Council masters scholarships

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:





  • Either two options or one in spring and one in summer depending on choices


  • ENHPP32 in only one Spring option taken


  • One option depending on first year choices 


  • Either two options in the Spring or one in the spring and the other in the Summer.


This listing is based on the current curriculum and changes may be made to the course in response to new curriculum developments and innovations. The module information is currently linking to the 2016/17 module listing and the information for 2017/18 will be made available on 21st April 2017. 

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

Teaching is delivered on a Tuesday and Thursday evening 6-10pm. 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 Environment, Heritage 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.  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

My MSc in Environment, heritage and policy from Stirling University has given me a great grounding for a career in heritage. It gave me the opportunity to learn about many different aspects of the sector, from interpretation, to legislation and policy, to PR and marketing. Thought-provoking field trips, and carrying out my dissertation with support from a local landscape partnership were real highlights.

I’m now working for Historic Environment Scotland, and will be returning to Stirling in 2017 when the Engine Shed building conservation centre opens – I’m its Digital Content Officer

Sophie McDonald 

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

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 previously 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.  More recently Catherine has worked on historic occupational exposure to heavy metals poisoning and the landscape legacies of non-ferrous metal extraction.

Dr Paul Adderley, Lecturer in Geoarchaeology and Environmental History

A soil scientist with interests in geoarchaeology and environmental history, Dr Paul Adderley was awarded a prestigious RCUK Academic Fellowship at Stirling in 2005 and is now a Lecturer in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.    He studied at the University of Wales, Bangor and was previously research officer for major ODA/DfID projects in Nigeria.  His research examines the sustainability of societies in marginal environments and the exploitation of natural resources by such societies.  Present research activities include the examination of past landscapes in semi-arid Africa with collaborative projects in Ethiopia funded by the US National Science Foundation, in Benin funded by European Research Council and in Niger as part of a series of National Geographic Society expeditions.  On-going research funded by Historic Scotland examines the sustainability of earth-built vernacular architectures and how changes in climate are affecting historical and archaeological buildings.  A NESTA awardee in 2004, recent work has included a Sci-Art collaboration with Goldsmiths, London that investigates new ways of expressing the outputs from scientific studies. He was Director of the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy from 2012 to 2015.

Sarah Bromage

Art Collection Learning and Audience Development Curator, Scottish Political Archive Archivist


Sarah has worked in a various roles within the heritage sector and has experience of working in museums, archives and galleries with a variety of collections from fine art, costume, oral history, political archives to printing machinery.  She is currently the Learning and Audience Development Curator for the University of Stirling Art Collection and also the archivist for the Scottish Political Archive at the University.  Sarah is also the Museums Galleries Scotland appointed mentor for Dunblane Museum.  This role involves providing advice on all aspects of museum curation and the museum’s accreditation process.  She is a chartered librarian and has an interest in Library and information History.  Since 2011 she has managed the Library and Information History jisc mail LIS-LIB-HIST and between 2007 and 2013 she served as the Publicity Officer for the Library and Information History Group of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

Sarah has been involved in a variety of CEHP public engagement projects including Landscapes of Conflict, Industrial Devon and Funeralscapes.  

Dr Alastair Durie (Guest Lecturer)

Academic qualifications: M.A. (1969) and Ph.D. (1973), The University of Edinburgh.

A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, he has held a series of academic teaching, examination and research appointments at the Universities of Aberdeen (1971-1989), Glasgow (1989-2001) and Stirling (2001-).  Currently teaching the history of medicine for the Open University, and the history of sport at Stirling, and supervising postgraduates for the University of the Highlands and Islands.  His publications span a wide range from the deadly dull, linen and transport, to the mildly interesting, tourism and health.

His first research and publications were in the field of Scottish textiles, and his book The Scottish Linen Industry in the Eighteenth Century appeared in 1979. He has also published essays on banking and management, on transport and culture, on the environment and sport. In recent years the primary focus has been on the history of Scottish tourism.  Scotland for the Holidays, Tourism in Scotland 1780-1939 was published in June 2003, which was followed in 2006 by a study of hydropathy, Water is Best.   Most             recently, he has edited Travels in Scotland 1788-1881, A Selection of Journals and Diaries, for the Scottish History Society (2012).

He continues to undertake a considerable amount of conference and learned society speaking; in April he was part of a panel on the Scottish Seaside, past and present, and in October coming has been invited to give the Mackenzie memorial lecture at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

Dr Sally Foster, Lecturer in Heritage and Conservation

Sally is an archaeologist who spent over 20 years working in cultural heritage, mainly for Historic Scotland, before returning to academia. She graduated from University College London with a degree in Medieval Archaeology, and completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow. Before joining Stirling in 2014, she  was an archaeology lecturer at Glasgow and Aberdeen universities.

Her research is interdisciplinary in nature, cutting across cultural heritage management, archaeology, history, art history and museology. Reflecting her background, she aims to make a difference on the ground and to curatorial practices. Particular interests include:

  • understanding value, significance and authenticity
  • historiography of cultural heritage
  • biographical approaches to material culture
  • Picts and their northern European early medieval neighbours
  • understanding, protection, conservation, display and interpretation of carved stones (notably prehistoric rock art, early medieval sculpture, graveyards and gravestones).

Her current research focuses on:


Her publications range from academic articles and edited volumes to semi-popular books — the bestseller Picts, Gaels and Scots is now in its third edition (2014) — and guidebooks, such as Maes Howe and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.

My external duties include Chairing the National Committee on Carved Stones in Scotland and acting as Secretary of the Medieval Europe Research Committee. For six years until 2012, I was the Hon. Editor of the international journal Medieval Archaeology. I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Professor Siân Jones, Chair in Environmental History and Heritage

Siân joined the Centre in 2016 having taken up a post in the Division of History and Politics at the University of Stirling. Previously, she was a Professor at the University of Manchester in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. 

She conducts interdisciplinary research bridging history, archaeology and social anthropology. Her research interests include: cultural identity and ethnicity; archaeology and the modern nation-state; monuments, memory and place; the social life of things; heritage management and conservation, authenticity and social value; the material, social and environmental history of urban public parks; and community heritage.

Recent research projects have focused on the experience of authenticity, approaches to social value, conservation practice, and community digital heritage. Since 2010 Siân has also been conducting research on the material, social and natural histories of urban public parks. She is currently writing a monograph with Dr Tom Yarrow (Durham University) based on a collaborative ethnography of conservation practice within Historic Environment Scotland.

Her research has impacted on heritage management and policy, and she has collaborated with a range of external heritage organizations including: Historic Environment Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, English Heritage, the Council for British Archaeology, and Archaeology Scotland. Siân is currently a Trustee for Archaeology Scotland and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage.

For further detail on research projects see: 

Dr Alasdair Ross

Alasdair is a double graduate of the University of Aberdeen and joined the University of Stirling in 2003 as a post-doctoral research assistant in the Centre for Environmental History and Policy. He was offered a lectureship in 2008 and promoted to Reader in 2015.

During the last ten years Alasdair has delivered papers on Medieval Scottish and Environmental History, both here in the UK and much further afield in Turku, Phoenix, Guelph, Tallin, Florence, Kalamazoo, St Louis and Segovia. He has held a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship Award and also manages commercial operations for the History and Politics division through History Tomorrow.

History Tomorrow works closely with industry, other private sector interests, and community-led initiatives including Heritage Lottery Funded partnerships. The many different projects he has run through History Tomorrow range from straightforward historical reports to running training modules for the third sector, and has also included a cameo appearance on the popular (but now sadly cancelled) series Time Team.

As part of his academic interests Alasdair is chief editor of a new monograph series on North Atlantic Environmental History run by Brepols Publishers and in my spare time I am editor of the very popular magazine History Scotland. I am also a member of the CARMEN (Co-operative for the Advancement of Research through a Medieval European Network) group, a worldwide network of medievalists. It links a number of research institutions, universities, interest groups and individuals with common scholarly interest in the study of the Middle Ages.

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. 

Dr Phia Steyn, Lecturer in African Environmental History

Phia specialises in African environmental history with a research focus on Southern Africa and West Africa since 1945, though in some cases my research does go back into the nineteenth century as well as extent to South America. My teaching specialization is in the political, economic and environmental history of Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Her research interests include:

  • The environmental impact of apartheid in South Africa, 1948-1994
  • Environmental crises in the Orange Free State republic in the 1890s
  • Traditional foodways in Southern Africa
  • Oil-related environmental struggles in West Africa (and South America)
  • The history of oil in Nigeria
  • Colonial environmental history of Africa
  • The environmental impact of conflict and war in independent Africa.





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
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