University of Sheffield

MA Public Humanities


The University of Sheffield

Western Bank

Sheffield, England S10 2TN

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Masters in Public Humanities

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Our innovative, flexible programme combines hands-on training in project management and digital methodologies with the study of cultural heritage and public engagement to address the value of the humanities, their impact on society and what forms public humanities may take in the future. On this course you can:

• Specialise in Cultural Heritage, Digital Humanities or Public Engagement with modules taught by leading academics in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

• Study with experts from the world-leading Humanities Research Institute to explore ways of communicating research in the arts and humanities using innovative technological approaches in real-world situations

• Work with IT specialists on public engagement and cultural heritage projects

• Develop skills in project management, evaluation and in designing communication strategies for live projects

Preparing for your future

This programme will equip you for a career in communicating ideas, working directly with the public or behind the scenes in the arts and heritage industry. The combination of theoretical learning and practical application will provide you with experience and skills which are sought by employers.

Graduates also continue into postgraduate research in the field of Public Humanities.

Design your own bespoke programme

Tailor your course by choosing pathways to suit your future ambitions. The course is flexible in nature and can be taken full-time in one year or part-time over two years.


Course Structure

All students take an introductory Public Humanities module and choose one or two pathways from the following:-

• Cultural Heritage Pathway                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               This pathway introduces the theoretical and practical issues involved in managing, conserving and interpreting the historic environment. Practical elements of this pathway include producing educational resources and conservation plans using information from current debates.


• Digital Humanities Pathway

Recent developments in digital technologies have revolutionised humanities research, allowing valuable research tools and resources to be developed for academics and the public. You will learn about key methodologies in this new field and gain experience of implementing and evaluating electronic tools and resources.


• Public Engagement

You will engage external audiences and organisations with Arts and Humanities research as you extend your subject knowledge and gain the valuable practical skills of working in partnership with external organisations. You will consider the value of public engagement, its impact on society, its history, and the forms it might take in the future. At a practical level, you will explore different strategies for engaging with external audiences and attend and reflect on a range of public engagement events.

Complete your MA Public Humanities with optional modules from across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and a dissertation where you will develop, conduct and evaluate a public engagement project.

Practical Experience

Choose modules where you put theory into practice as you work with academics and external partners to design and deliver a project.


In previous years students have worked with the Chatsworth House Trust Library and Archive investigating the role of servants at Chatsworth and with the Guild of St George on their ‘Ruskin in Sheffield’ project. These projects have allowed students to explore the practical aspects of engaging with the wider public; evaluate the impact of engagement activities and investigate the role institutions such as museums play as intermediaries between researchers and their prospective audiences.


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