Heritage and Tourism

BA, BA (Hons)

This innovative undergraduate degree is supported by Scottish Canals, Historic Scotland and VisitScotland.  The University of Stirling and Forth Valley College will continue to work in partnership with these organisations to develop the curriculum and ensure the course remains relevant to the industry.  

Throughout the four years there will be an integrated approach to teaching.  Academics from the College and the University will work together, alongside employers, to deliver the most up-to-date and industry relevant curriculum.  

All undergraduates of this course will have dual student status and be fully enrolled within both institutions.  Students will have full access to all of the University of Stirling and Forth Valley College online and onsite facilities from first year onwards. 


The course provides a broad-based interdisciplinary training in heritage and tourism that is rigorous and intellectually challenging, as preparation for, or as an enhancement to, a career in this area. 

It combines the applied business and heritage-specific skills of Forth Valley College's HND programme, with the advanced academic skills in heritage of the University's BA (Hons) course. It is designed to equip students with sector-specific and applied business and academic skills which are appropriate for an understanding of contemporary Heritage management issues and promotional and interpretative methods and techniques. This will provide students with a  knowledge, understanding and experience relevant to careers in the sector.

Further, the course will provide graduates with a broad knowledge and understanding of contemporary challenges facing the management, promotion and conservation of the historic and natural environments, both within Scotland and internationally,  and equipping them with the skills necessary for the future development of key economic assets.

Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2017 and 2018 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. EU students will also be eligible for tuition fee support from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

  • UCAS: 8V74
  • Qualification: BA, BA (Hons)
  • Study methods: Full-time
  • Start date: August/September
  • Course Director: Professor Sian Jones
  • Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Download undergraduate prospectus

Steven McGeever

Head of Department
Forth Valley College
Grangemouth Road,

View fees and finance

What makes us different?

This innovative undergraduate degree is supported by Scottish Canals, Historic Scotland and VisitScotland.  The University of Stirling and Forth Valley College will continue to work in partnership with these organisations to develop the curriculum and ensure the course remains relevant to the industry.  

Throughout the four years there will be an integrated approach to teaching.  Academics from the College and the University will work together, alongside employers, to deliver the most up-to-date and industry relevant curriculum.  

All undergraduates of this course will have dual student status and be fully enrolled within both institutions.  Students will have full access to all of the University of Stirling and Forth Valley College online and onsite facilities from first year onwards. 

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.

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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.

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View our stunning campus and facilities in 3D and find out out why Stirling is a great place to study, live, work and play.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
28 points

Other qualifications

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply.
Mathematics Standard Grade (2), National 5 (B), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent required.
Please note that selection will be made via successful interview and submission of a written paper.

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

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: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Fees and costs

Fees 2017/18

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,845.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Fees 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 12,140.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

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

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Year 1 (at Forth Valley College)

  • Structure of the Travel and Tourism Industry
  • Applying Marketing Principles in Travel and Tourism
  • Creating a Culture of Customer Care
  • Preparation for Employment in Travel and Tourism
  • Providing Information on the Scottish Tourism Product
  • Scottish Tourism Product: Niche Markets
  • Research Skills
  • Visitor Attraction Operations
  • Countryside Recreation and Access
  • Scottish Natural Heritage Tourism
  • Personal Development Planning
  • Using Software Application Packages
  • Communication:  Analysing and Presenting Complex Communication
  • Travel and Tourism Graded Unit 1

Year 2 (at Forth Valley College, *at the University of Stirling)

  • Influences on the Travel and Tourism Industry
  • Marketing and Planning in Travel and Tourism
  • Planning and Sustainable Development in Tourism
  • Tour Operations
  • Food Tourism and Culture
  • Visitor Attraction Management
  • Practical Travel and Tourism Visit
  • Work Experience
  • Role of History, Culture and Genealogy in Scottish Tourism
  • Countryside Visitor Management
  • Heritage Studies: Scotland
  • The Making of Modern Britain*
  • Travel and Tourism Graded Unit 2 

Year 3

There is currently one core module that all students must take:

Students must also take one of either:

They can then choose from a range of options, which may include:

Year 4

And two options from the Year 3 list above. 

Or one special subject, which may include:

  • The Stewart Kings of Scotland (not available for 2016/17)
  • Living on the Edge: People and Environment in the North Atlantic World (c1500–c1900) 

Please note that option modules are subject to change according to staff availability.


Delivery and assessment

Teaching is conducted in a wide variety of contexts, from the lecture through to small group work. Assessment is carried out via examinations, essay writing, workshop reports and other forms, such as the final-year dissertation. Final Honours classification is based on work done in Year 3 and Year 4.

All modules at Level 10 are delivered by small group learning and teaching which aims to provide opportunity for interaction with specialist staff and to develop communication skills.  This format enhances opportunity for developed discussion of key issues. In addition, our students will be invited to make formal and informal presentations in these groups as part of their assessment. 

Students are encouraged and expected to undertake independent study. Students are expected to read and observe widely from a variety of sources of different forms (text, film documentary, photo-archive, field observation) from across the contributing disciplines. Their independent study culminates in the dissertation/project researched and written across Semesters 7 and 8. This assessment element provides students with the opportunity to produce a substantial piece of researched material/extended project or portfolio on their chosen area and may be linked to a placement/internship.

Modules are assessed typically by a combination of coursework and examination, with the weighting varying depending on the nature of the material taught and the module outcomes specified. An integrated assessment strategy will be adopted.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading suggestions by module are listed and can be viewed in the links above. 

Modes of study


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 applications from all countries.


The programme team retain strong connections with a range of historical, archaeological and heritage industries and former students who have achieved employment in such areas. Contacts are also strong with natural heritage agencies. In addition, History offers the much valued Masters of Research degree which is often taken by students seeking to develop historical skills at postgraduate level or who wish a stepping-stone to a research degree (PhD).  Further, it is launching this year's Master’s degree in Environment, Heritage and Policy, which offers advanced specialist training in this sector.

Academic strengths

The divisions contributing to this programme have a range of academic expertise in the area of cultural and natural heritage nurtured by a strong research ethos sustained by the staff. In particular, the host division, History, has a strong focus on:

  • historic built environment
  • environmental impacts on cultural landscapes
  • cultural significance and authenticity of heritage
  • community heritage
  • tourism and heritage economies
  • heritage, identity and place
  • computer applications for management of historical data
  • heritage interpretation and exhibition
  • business and marketing
  • in association with colleagues in Natural Sciences, remote sensing technologies and GIS applications for historical/archaeological and natural environment data

Our students

"I'm really enjoying the course.  Being based at the Stirling Campus, with such beautiful views, is so inspiring!

We have met with a wide range of employers, hearing more about their experiences in the industry and how their own business operates.  And we can questions and get real answers! 

For me, a hugely beneficial part of the course has been the focus on self-evaluation and recognising my own development needs which, in turn I have used to improve my coursework and to consider what I have to do to get a job in this sector. 

Having access to the University facilities has been invaluable to me - a week doesn't pass by without me visiting the University campus. It could be to access books in the full to bursting library, to use the computer labs, or just to use the quiet study area in the library, again with inspiring views! The campus is so accessible and compact. It is a really great place to study. 

I feel that spending two years in a College environment is allowing us all to move up the levels progressively, so when our modules started getting tougher, we felt prepared. It will really help build the momentum to our University studies."

Phillippe Maron, Stirling  

Our staff

Professor Siân Jones, Professor of Environmental History and Heritage

Professor Jones is an interdisciplinary scholar with expertise in cultural heritage, as well as on the role of the past in the production of power, identity, and sense of place. She was a student at the University of Southampton, where she obtained a BA (Hons) in Archaeology and a PhD. She has held posts at the University of Southampton and the University of Manchester. She is regularly invited to lecture on heritage and conservation internationally.

Her research and teaching cross-cut history, archaeology and social anthropology. Particular themes include:

  • Monuments, memory, identity and place
  • The production and consumption of cultural heritage
  • Conservation theory and practice, authenticity, and significance
  • Approaches to social and communal value
  • Community heritage and participatory approaches
  • Material culture and the cultural biography of things

Dr Sally Foster, Lecturer in Heritage and Conservation

Dr Foster is an archaeologist who spent over 20 years working in cultural heritage — mainly for Historic Scotland (now Historic Environment Scotland) — before returning to academia. Graduating from University College London with a degree in Medieval Archaeology, I completed my PhD at the University of Glasgow. Before joining Stirling in 2014, I 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 my background, I aim 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).

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.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Heritage and Tourism play a vital role in Scotland’s economy and together offer diverse and rewarding forms of employment. There is a wide range of associated organisations and businesses in the UK and internationally, which require employees with advanced skills, learning and experience. These include conservation, heritage management, interpretation, community engagement, education, visitor attraction operations, tourism management, marketing and communication.  Employability skills are embedded throughout the programme alongside transferrable skills in critical thinking, research, planning, communication, and teamwork. We work in partnership with organisations like Visit Scotland, Scottish Canals and Historic Environment Scotland to make sure our programme meets the needs of the heritage and tourism sectors and our students have close contact with them.

What Employers Say?

"VisitScotland is delighted to support this new Honours course in (Heritage and Tourism). It provides a unique opportunity for Scotland's Tourism, Culture and Heritage sectors to attract talented graduates and turn some of Scotland's most important tourism assets into great visitor experiences to help stimulate economic growth in Scotland's visitor economy."

Riddell Graham, Director of Partnerships, VisitScotland

"Historic Scotland welcomes the introduction of this undergraduate degree as it is vital that we conserve Scotland's heritage not only for the tourism opportunities which help our economy, but for future generations to appreciate and enjoy." 

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial & Tourism, Historic Scotland

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