Faculty of PhilosophyCultural Heritage and Protection of Cultural Goods

The degree programme in cultural heritage and cultural heritage protection provides students with fundamental skills required for the management and handling of material and immaterial cultural heritage, as well as a sound understanding of the foundations of cultural heritage protection. The course covers both the theoretical and practical aspects of cultural heritage.

The degree programme is of an interdisciplinary nature. It offers students insights into the various forms which cultural heritage might take, and amongst other things, in-depth knowledge of the specificities of different world cultures. Mandatory courses and modules provide students with an overview of various types of material and immaterial cultural heritage; offer an academic grounding in research and cultural heritage protection; and cover fundamental aspects of the management and handling of collections. Other topics include museology, and the legal and criminal foundations of cultural heritage protection. Elective courses and modules enable students to specialise in a specific aspect of cultural heritage, in the presentation and dissemination of cultural heritage, or in relevant legal content.

Special Features and Characteristics

The course is designed to cover cultural heritage and cultural heritage protection in the broadest sense. Heidelberg University therefore draws on course offerings and teaching from a wide range of subjects which deal with various material and immaterial forms of cultural heritage. As a result, many of the courses and lectures offered as part of the course are interdisciplinary. The HCCH maintains a large network of cooperation partners across southwest Germany, as well as internationally. These partners enable the University to guarantee that the course is strongly practice-orientated. Students’ participation in project-based lectures and courses supports the transfer of knowledge, and dissemination of knowledge to the public.


Heidelberg University offers a number of subjects which deal with the theoretical and practical aspects of cultural heritage research. The Heidelberg Center for Cultural Heritage (HCCH) brings together all content relevant to cultural heritage from the various subject areas and faculties at the University, and provides the infrastructure required for interdisciplinary research. In particular, the Center enables interdisciplinary cooperation in the areas of regional cultural heritage, cultural heritage theory, transfer and dissemination. The Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) is home to specialist research in “Historicities & Heritage”. In addition, “Transforming Cultural Heritage”, a flagship initiative funded as part of the University’s Excellence Strategy, will shortly be underway. Through critical, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary reflection, the project aims to offer a reinterpretation of the very concept of cultural heritage. As part of this initiative, researchers from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences will develop and trial new theoretical and methodological approaches to cultural heritage.

Career Options

The object-, subject-specific, and generic skills and knowledge gained during the degree programme equip graduates to work independently in a range of sectors, or to continue on to study at doctorate level. Graduates may seek employment in fields and institutions including, but not limited to the following:

  • Universities and research institutes
  • Museums and exhibitions
  • State and private sector archives
  • World heritage sites
  • Cultural heritage protection
  • Political institutions and non-governmental organisations
  • Monument conservation
  • Cultural institutions and sponsorship
  • Journalism and specialist journalism
  • Advisory services in politics and culture
  • Adult education and continuing education

Some of the professions listed above may require graduates to complete doctoral study. The Master’s degree programme is therefore designed to meet the needs of students looking to apply for doctoral study, as well as those wishing to enter employment.