Undergraduate Degree




DD9013 Heritage Studies: An Introduction

[Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: Nil; Academic Unit: 3.0] 

Academic Unit


3 AU




Course Description


Learning Objectives

The class will guide the students through the history and methodology of a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to develop an enhanced awareness of knowledge organization and innovation within a globalizing world, in which they are trained to become active leaders in their major of studies. Past human societies embedded their knowledge and values in complex interactions of written, pictorial, sculptural and architectural records, oral memories, and performed rituals.  Through these media knowledge and culture became Heritage, and in these forms we inherited their arts and science.  Present society is very close to a fully digital access to all information encapsulated in monuments, museums, galleries, libraries, archives and live performance all over the world and in any language. The course will engage students in getting the heuristics to become a new generation of scholars, professionals and artists.   



Designed as an interdisciplinary course it engages students from a variety of discipline.  The media of the past were writing, painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, science, etc. Contemporary society is close to a fully digital access to all the information encapsulated in monuments, museums, galleries, libraries, archives and even life performances all over the world and in any languages. To distill data into knowledge, a new generation of scholars, professionals and artists need to know, test, discuss and implement ICT tools and solutions for Heritage studies enhancement.  This course is devoted to train this new generation. It will be complemented by fieldtrips to local museums and galleries, practical workshops and guest lectures.  Written assignments will include exhibition reviews and independent research papers.         

This course looks at Museums in terms of: 

  1. History of collections;
  2. Museum Design;
  3. Museum Practices: Collections management and research;
  4. Curating and Research on collections;
  5. Collections, Space and Visitors: permanent and temporary exhibition;
  6. ICT applied to Museums;
  7. Museum education and edutainment;
  8. Digital Heritage and Heritage Studies


Course Outline 



Lecture Hours


Heritage and Cultural Heritage, Definitions and Concepts



Tangible and Intangible Heritage



UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage



World Heritage sites and indigenous communities



Heritage Data Organization and Management in the Digital Era – Guest Lecturer Prof. A. Nanetti (SHIFT: Sustainable Heritage Impact Factor Theory)



Guided tour to the Botanic Garden, a World Heritage site in Singapore



Student Presentations



National Heritage Board: Guest Lecturing



Guest Lecturing: National Heritage Board



Perspectives of World Heritage



ICT globalization: World Heritage in the new era of web wisdom



Performance, Participation and Audiences



Final presentations






Learning Outcome

Students will be trained on Heritage sites perceptions both from the point of view of local communities and governmental bodies.  Students will be engaged in presenting study-case on Heritage sites and local values perception.

All students are expected to be active participants in the class. Specific requirements are as follow:

1.   Students are expected to attend all classes; students who are absent or plan to be absent are expected to contact the professor by email (andrea.nanetti@ntu.edu.sg) on the day they are absent, to schedule a make-up appointment.

2.   Students are expected to do all the required reading prior to each class and be prepared to discuss their relevance to the focus of the class.

3.   Each week, students will decide among themselves who will lead the discussion of the week’s readings. The first or last part of each class will include a question driven discussion of the issues represented in the readings, led by the student responsible for the readings of the week.


Student Assessment

Students will be assessed by:

Continuous Assessment (100%)

  1. Participation (15%) - Students will be reading about major case studies, critical writings, and engage in class discussions; 

  2. Written assignments (35%) - Students will be writing reviews of museums and gallery exhibition reviews after fieldtrips;

  3. Class presentations (20%) - Students will be expected to prepare verbal responses to topical issues in the fields of museum and curating after going through written materials. They will also introduce and explain their chosen topic and research question to the rest of the class.

  4. Final Research Project and Paper (30%) - Students will complete a choice of final assignment comprising an exhibition proposal and/or a research paper. The research will require the student to do archival research and conceptual thinking.



Batisse M. and Bolla G.. ‘The Invention of World Heritage’. History papers, 2, 2005.


Blake, Janet. ‘On Defining the Cultural Heritage’. The International and Comparative Law Quarterly. Vol. 49, No. 1 (Jan. 2000), pp. 61-85.


Carrier, David. World Art History and Its Objects. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008


Cuno, James B. (ed.). Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate over Antiquities. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.


Gruber, T. R. A translation approach to portable ontologies. Knowledge Acquisition, 5(2): 199-220, 1993. Available online


Jokilehto J. The World Heritage List. What is UOV? Defining the Outstanding Universal Value of Cultural World Heritage Properties. Berlin: Hendrik Baessler Verlag, 2008.


Nanetti, A. Cheong SA., Filippov M., Interactive Global Histories. For a new information environment to increase the understanding of historical processes, in Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Culture and Computing 2013 (Kyoto, Ritsumeikan University, Sept. 16-18, 2013). Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society, 2013, pp. 104-110.

Rowan, Yorke and Uzi Baram (eds.). Marketing Heritage: Archaeology and the Consumption of the Past. Walnut Creek CA: AltiMira Press, 2004.


Wan, Meng Haoand Jacqueline Lau. Heritage Places of Singapore. Singapore, Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2009.


ICOMOS, International Cultural Tourism Charter. Principles And Guidelines For Managing Tourism At Places Of Cultural And Heritage Significance. ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee, 2002.


World Heritage Papers, UNESCO. Papers 31, 2012