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The African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies (APMHS) (University of the Western Cape / Robben Island Museum)

The APMHS is a hub for critical heritage studies on the African continent. Through its academic and internship components, it offers the unique opportunity for those employed in the sector and those wanting to enter it to become critical heritage practitioners who are able to reflect upon and transform institutions into sites of sustained scholarly research and public intellectual engagement. The education it offers is driven by an emphasis on a conceptual understanding of the terrain of public culture, of the challenges of social and institutional transformation, and of the work of representation. Through the Programme, the study of museums and the worlds of heritage are approached in a manner that consistently, critically and practically engages with and challenges the dominant ways in which heritage is presented and represented.

Two post-graduate programmes are offered in the fields of Museum and Heritage Studies.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies provides a broad programme in heritage training for those already in the sector as well as those who wish to enter this field.  Applications are invited from graduates with at least a Degree at bachelor level or non-graduates who ideally have at least five years of work experience, of which a significant proportion is in the museum and heritage sector. The Diploma opens up vocational possibilities in the heritage, museum and tourism sector. The principal aim is to ensure that students have the opportunity to explore a range of approaches to heritage and museum studies, while enabling them to combine electives in areas of particular interest to them. It provides students with an intellectual training in the key debates facing heritage in a transforming and democratising South Africa and elsewhere in Africa. At the same time it equips students with the necessary skills in managing heritage structures and institutions.

The MA in History with a specialization in Museum and Heritage Studies enriches understanding of theoretical issues in heritage and provides an intensive immersion in heritage research. It also enables students to explore a wider range of issues in specialist fields. Admission to the Masters is by application and selection on the basis of evidence of ability to succeed in the courses offered and a commitment to the field. Application is open to graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies and students with an honours degree in cognate fields who have obtained a minimum of 65%.

Courses in the Programme include:

  • Issues in museum and  heritage studies
  • Heritage management and collection management
  • Researching and interpreting heritage material
  • Visual history
  • Presenting heritage through different media
  • Management in heritage agencies
  • Public history and tourism
  • Curatorship

Contact Details:
Lameez Lakhen, Administrator, African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies

Centre for Humanities Research, UWC
Tel: 27-21-9593162

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