A history student in front of a museum display case

Heritage Placements

This optional module allows you to gain valuable on-the-job experience to complement your academic studies.

The Heritage pathway builds on the presence of the Regional Heritage Centre and Ruskin Research Centre within the department and the Department’s strong relationships with regional and national heritage organisations. The project undertaken as part of the placement can take a variety of forms, including:

  • Curating virtual exhibitions
  • Repurposing, cataloguing, and contextualising existing resources
  • Creating and running public workshops, including for schools or families
  • Producing informative literature
  • Checking historic inventories
  • Working with oral history resources including transcription
  • Setting up activity trails
  • Rebuilding the online profile of the organisation

Typically each placement runs within one term, and is assessed via a portfolio of work relating to the placement and a short reflective essay.

In 2018/19, placements were held with Lancashire Archives (Preston) working on the papers of the Dalton Family of Thurnham Hall near Lancaster; with the National Trust in the Lake District (Grasmere, Cumbria); the North Craven Heritage Trust (Settle, North Yorkshire); The Regional Heritage Centre (Lancaster University) working on the digitisation of the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive; and with the Settle Carlisle Railway Trust (Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria) on the construction of the railway.

Andrew Walmsley

'I was in the 2016/17 cohort for the History MA at Lancaster and undertook work experience with the National Trust for the 491 module. This involved working with the NT’s regional curator for the Lake District  and researching and writing on the donation of land to the Trust on and around Scafell and Great Gable as war memorials following the Great War. I used a wide range of sources in libraries, archives and online relating to the gifting processes. Although I had worked in Heritage field for a local authority, this gave me an excellent opportunity to get the feel of project work for an outside body.

The work itself was also fascinating, exploring the processes of memorialisation and the main actors including those involved with the National Trust and the Fell and Rock Climbing Club. Working on the 491 module also led towards a successful paid internship with the Trust through the University. I found the reflective essay particularly useful as it gave me the chance to critically evaluate my experience; not something you often get the chance to do in a work situation. I have since gone on to do freelance heritage work for an HLF project based in Preston.’

Andrew Walmsley

History MA Options