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Conservation in spaces of forced removal: heritage walk in Harfield Village, Cape Town, led by Terry-Jo Thorne and Carl Thorne, February 2018


This exciting inter-disciplinary programme aims to equip graduates with a strong intellectual foundation in the field of built environment conservation, as well as the necessary professional skills in heritage resource management. 

The course is situated in a contemporary South African and global context in which heritage and conservation practices intersect powerfully with the politics of spatial transformation, urban change, social justice and development. Within this context, built environment professionals and managers are often required to work with or to take account of heritage and heritage resources. To do so productively requires a thorough technical and legal understanding of heritage resource management; but beyond this, the ability to grapple critically with the relationships between conservation, heritage, transformation and sustainable futures. We operate from the position that the built environment can only be understood as part of a network of social, political, commemorative, spatial, economic and other meanings. The course aims to enable graduates to practice effectively in the field, supported by a thorough understanding of contemporary debates and issues in heritage and conservation. 

Course structure:

The MPhil is offered part-time over two years, including six taught modules and a research report. Teaching takes place in one-week full-time blocks, designed to accommodate working professionals as well as students who are not permanently based in Cape Town. The course provides input from and opportunities to connect with established heritage professionals, researchers, academics and built environment practitioners, as well as field trips and hands-on experience to provide a well-rounded foundation in conservation practice and theory. 

Potential students: 

We welcome applications from students with diverse disciplinary and professional backgrounds, including those already working in built environment practice as well as those who wish to develop their skills and qualifications in the field. Past students have included those with qualifications/experience in architecture, planning, urban design, heritage, archaeology, history, visual and performing arts, education, and the humanities. Admission to the degree requires a four-year degree or equivalent, and we will consider students with a three-year degree or equivalent plus relevant experience. 

Course content:

Year 1: 

Introduction to Conservation
Conservation in Transformative Contexts
Critical Issues in Heritage Studies (offered through the department of African Studies)
Working With Heritage Resources

Year 2:

Research Methodologies 
Conservation and Development in Practice
60-credit research project (20-30000 words)


For further information contact the course convenor Naomi Roux at 021-6503879 or e-mail n.roux@uct.ac.za,  or the course administrator Mcebisi Mdluli at 021-6502081 or e-mail mcebisi.mdluli@uct.ac.za

The conservation programme has a Facebook page

Image: Conservation in spaces of forced removal: heritage walk in Harfield Village, Cape Town, led by Terry-Jo Thorne and Carl Thorne, February 2018