Diploma in World Heritage Conservation


Graduate Diploma (NFQ Level 9)

Qualification Points:

Certificate – 30 credits – equivalent to 3 modules (F040)
Diploma – 60 credits – equivalent to 6 modules (F041)

Duration: Typically 1 year for certificate qualification and 2 years for diploma, maximum 4 years for all
Start Date: January 2014 and September 2014
UCD Academic Expertise:

The Diploma and Certificate in World Heritage Conservation is delivered and supported by academics in UCD Biology and Environmental Science.

Fees: EU & Non-EU rate: €2000 per year

Fees should be confirmed by visiting UCD fees webpage.
Contact us: You can contact us by email using the form at the end of this page or by phone as follows:

Contact Name: Claire Cave/Susan Wilson
Contact Number: +353 1 716 2243


The Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate in World Heritage Conservation are part-time, online, distance learning courses designed to equip you with current thinking and professional understanding of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. It will provide you with the knowledge base, skills and confidence to address World Heritage issues and to advance your career in this field.

The Graduate Certificate (1-year, 30 credits) will give you a competitive advantage as a heritage professional working on projects relating to World Heritage properties and heritage conservation in general.

The Graduate Diploma (2-year, 60 credits) builds on knowledge and skills gained in the first year, developing more comprehensive knowledge and further specialisation in World Heritage Conservation. These courses in World Heritage Conservation are accessible to people from around the world, providing a flexible learning environment for professionals, decision makers, NGOs and other interested parties working in areas related to the nomination, monitoring and conservation of World Heritage properties. Distance learning makes the world your classroom!


This pioneering Distance Learning course in World Heritage Conservation offers:

  • A multidisciplinary approach to conservation of both natural and cultural World Heritage properties.
  • The opportunity for a flexible learning environment through part-time, online courses uniquely focused on international heritage conservation.
  • Courses that have been specifically designed for professionals and motivated participants working in areas related to heritage conservation and implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

What will I study?

This course will introduce you to the science that underpins the practice of heritage protection. Through independent learning, project work and discussion forums you will receive a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide you with knowledge and understanding of world heritage conservation and its relevance for sustainable development. Topics will include the World Heritage Convention and international strategies for conservation, cultural heritage and biodiversity, endangered heritage and sustainable development as well as an exploration of management plans and best practice case studies for the diploma students.

The Grad Dip in World Heritage Conservation is a two-year, part-time, online, distant learning programme. It is worth 60 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System). Each student completes 30 ECTS credits in Year 1.

Three core modules are offered in Year 1. These modules deal with the legal issues of the WH Convention & International legislation and introduce you to cultural heritage conservation and natural heritage conservation. In Year 2, you have the opportunity to complete a management report, on a site of your choice, worth 15 ECTS credits. The remaining credits can be obtained by successfully completing a combination of modules from natural and cultural heritage themes.

How will I study?

The online format allows you to study at your own pace, any place and any time (within given timeframes). You will be assessed through continuous assessment which will be submitted online and you will be asked to participate in online discussion forums. The advantages of distant learning include reduced costs associated with travel and living abroad, however it is very different to traditional, on-campus courses with face-to-face lectures and access to your tutors and peers. It is important that you like to learn independently, that you are self-motivated and that you can manage time effectively.

The online forum will allow you to share your heritage experience with other professionals and people with similar interests from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds, which will create a dynamic and valuable learning environment.

We look forward to welcoming you to the course and are ready to offer advice and support on your distant learning experience.

On successful completion of the course I will be able to

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and its implementation, including the processes of inscription and monitoring of World Heritage properties;
  • Identify and analyse the role of key actors and instruments in global heritage conservation;
  • Understand theory and practice of conserving natural heritage, i.e. species, ecosystems and biodiversity, and cultural heritage, i.e. monuments, sites and landscapes.
  • Building on knowledge gained in the first year, completion of the 2-year Graduate Diploma will provide students with practical skills and a more specialised understanding of the application of the Convention.

Career Opportunities

With 189 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, nearly a thousand properties inscribed on the World Heritage List and an expanding number of properties on the Tentative List, all of which face conservation challenges, there is a growing need for professionals who understand how the Convention operates in terms of nomination, monitoring, conservation reporting and mitigation of threats. Reflecting the spirit of the Convention, to safeguard natural and cultural heritage through an integrated approach, this course provides graduates with a unique multidisciplinary perspective addressing conservation issues of both natural and cultural heritage. We give you the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the working of the Convention and for decision making in areas related to the nomination and conservation of World Heritage properties.

Career opportunities include advancement in international conservation for managerial and policy positions in government, agencies, private practices and NGOs. The qualifications will contribute to career development for heritage custodians and stewards, ranging from national heritage and conservation officers to international conservation agencies.

Entry Requirements

The course is designed to accommodate applicants with a variety of academic qualification including Archaeology, Architecture, Geography, Biology, Arts, Agriculture, Engineering, Environmental Science and Economics. We welcome a diverse group of participants with a wide range of experience in different areas of cultural and natural heritage, to provide for a dynamic forum for discussion and interaction. Applicants are normally expected to have an honours university degree, or equivalent work experience.

If English is not your native language, proof of proficiency in English will be required, unless you took your primary degree through English in an English speaking country. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL Internet Based Test is 100, on the IELTS system it is 6.5

Are there any additional costs?

Students are not required to make any payments other than their tuition fees. All materials used are freely accessible.

Get in touch with our course team...