Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit provides students with the technical and practical knowledge and understanding of what constitutes intangible cultural heritage through examination of the relevant literature, guidelines, conventions and specific case studies. Students explore how the relevant international conventions and operational guidelines can be applied or need to be developed. Students develop their ability to critically analyse and reflect on the core relationship between heritage and identity and the meaning and role of heritage in our society.

Heritage constitutes the core part of people's identity and what makes us who we are. To date, heritage conservation in much of the world has focused predominantly on built or tangible heritage. Recent recognition of cultural diversity has brought about a paradigm shift in the approach to heritage safeguarding. The significance of the non-physical element of heritage is now coming to be seen as fundamental to understanding the value of heritage and approach to heritage safeguarding. This involves recognition of the spirit, feeling, way of life and values of a community, not just bricks and mortar; it focuses attention on local identity and participation. The concept of intangible heritage has become important in the field of heritage studies and has become a key element in the development of international heritage frameworks.

6 points

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the concept of intangible cultural heritage through seminar discussion and written assignments; (2) demonstrate an understanding of international conventions relevant to intangible cultural heritage through application in analysing particular case studies; (3) write clear proposals in relation to intangible cultural heritage projects; and (4) identify potential examples of intangible cultural heritage projects and develop relevant policy guidelines in relation to safeguarding them.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a literature review and project design of 1500 words; (2) a project of 3000 to 3500 words; and (3) lecture/seminar participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Benjamin Smith and Professor Len Collard
Contact hours
4 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.