Archaeological Heritage Management

The MSc by coursework and research report in the field of Archaeological Heritage Management is a 1 year full-time or 2 year part-time degree. The course is designed to equip heritage management practitioners with the ability to conduct independent research and application of relevant (salient) prin


This degree is particularly aimed at individuals interested in, or already involved with, heritage management, archaeotourism, public archaeology, cultural resource management or related fields. It includes a compulsory research report and a number of electives.


Research Report: Archaeological Heritage Management 90 credits

This course is designed to equip heritage management practitioners with the ability to conduct independent research and application of relevant (salient) principles in practice. The course comprises two components. These are coursework and a research report. The coursework component will provide guided learning, which will prepare the students for independent research at this level. The Research Report will allow students to demonstrate their ability to independently apply the theoretical knowledge and advanced research skills taught in the optional coursework courses.

ARCL7029A Public and Heritage Archaeology 1st Quarter elective 30 credits, Prof. Alex Schoeman 

The course aims to prepare archaeologists, both academic and those involved with the management or exhibition of heritage, to deal with the issues in the field. Public and heritage archaeology is a field that is fraught with complex issues in South Africa. Remarkably, there are few university-level courses that prepare archaeologists to deal with these issues. Instead, academic archaeologists, who are often called upon to engage as consultants to heritage developments, have to make their own way through the labyrinthine issues around heritage. The course focuses primarily on the presentation and re-presentation of the past in public spaces and offers practical training on how to go about constructing visitor experiences to heritage sites.

ARCL7027A Geographical Information Systems for Heritage Resource Management 1st Quarter elective 30 credits, Prof. Karim Sadr

This course provides students with an advanced understanding of GIS through hands-on experience. The aim of the course is to develop the ability of the students to pre-process, analyse and critically assess a variety of datasets and apply the findings to a range of topics addressed by GIS professionals and cultural heritage resources managers.

The course will focus on in-depth knowledge of the sourcing of primary quantitative and qualitative data and their processing to create fundamental datasets for spatial analysis and problem solving. Students for example will learn to analyse site distributions, surface terrain characteristics and derived properties, and integrate GIS with remote sensing within standard and web-based GIS platforms. The course will equip students with practical skills in the application of GIS in the heritage management environment.

ARCL7026A Archaeotourism 2nd Quarter elective 30 credits, Prof. Sarah Wurz

This course is designed to equip students with a thorough understanding of responsible archaeotourism. In archaeotourism sensitive non-renewable archaeological sites are often utilized without engaging with theory development in the field or optimal conservation management structures in place. There is a need for an archaeologically centered course for those interested in developing their skills in the responsible archaeotourism industry. This course will fill this gap by providing information on international and local archaeological heritage that can be utilized as tourism resources, on ‘packaging’ archaeological resources to tourist audiences and on conservation management strategies and policies.

ARCL7028A Cultural Resource Management Archaeology in the Field and Laboratory 3rd Quarter elective 30 credits Dr Jerome Reynard, Dr Chrissie Sievers, Dr Dominic Stratford and Prof. Sarah Wurz

This course is designed to equip students with skills required in Archaeological Impact Assessments (AIA) contexts. These include the ability to engage with ancient and modern landscapes and to accurately identify those processes that affect for formation, integrity and preservations of archaeological assemblages found in all environments, as well as the identification of key archaeological remains. Landscape scale research will focus on training in geoarchaeological techniques that will help refine context documentation and assessment thereby providing greater resolution in submitted reports which are often primary sources of evidence for contractors and other CRM or academic archaeologists. The recovered remains component will introduce the skills required to identify anthropogenic lithic, botanical and osteological remains recovered from archaeological sites.

ARCL7030A Rock Art management 4th Quarter elective 30 credits Dr Catherine Namono

Rock art is a non-renewable archaeological resource found in almost all parts of the World. It is an area of archaeology that almost all archaeologists and the public encounter and often utilize without engaging with optimal current conservation and management theory and practice. As an elective of Archaeological Heritage Management this course is designed to equip students with relevant skills to effectively manage rock art by exploring the intellectual and practical challenges with this process, cognizant of the political and ethical complexities associated with such conservation and management in Africa and abroad. Graduates from this course will be ideally suited for employ at a vast majority of rock art tourism destinations in southern Africa and elsewhere; at various heritage agencies and government departments where such skills are needed. 

Entry Requirements

  • A Bachelor of Science with Honours from Wits or another university.
  • A graduate of this or another university who holds a degree in another faculty whose curriculum has ordinarily extended over not less than four academic years of full-time study.

For admission to a Masters degree the applicant should normally have at least 65% in their honours degree. 

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.