Interpretation: Management and Practice MSc

What is special about this course?

If you are enthusiastic about creating unforgettable visitor experiences that help people engage with heritage and learn in creative ways, then this innovative postgraduate course is for you.

Interpretation encompasses a variety of activities, from guided walks to multi-million-pound exhibitions, which help to explain the significance of places and resources in a meaningful way. It provides value to communities and organisations through the creation of successful visitor experiences that encourage appreciation of the resource and economic benefit.

A team of highly experienced tourism and heritage professionals and academics deliver this online Masters course, supported by experts engaged in exciting heritage and environmental projects around the world. Through a number of employer-informed modules and engagement with real-life projects, you will gain the knowledge and skills required to become an inspiring and effective interpretation professional.

Special features

  • A unique industry-informed masters course in interpretation, heritage and tourism
  • Taught by highly experienced professionals and academics
  • You will learn how to plan, manage and deliver interpretation and communication projects and apply your newly acquired skills to your areas of expertise and interest
  • The course is delivered online through the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), so you can study wherever you are in the world
  • You can study full-time or part-time enabling you to fit your studies around your personal and professional commitments 
  • You can work towards the PgCert, PgDip or full masters degree, or study individual modules for continuing professional development (CPD)

Entry requirements

  • An honours degree or above, a postgraduate diploma or a professional qualification 
  • Applicants who have an ordinary undergraduate degree, relevant work experience and/or vocational qualifications may also apply


*Funding support notice*

Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scottish domiciled and EU students)

Loans for tuition fees are available from SAAS for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.


Access routes

Entry from the university's undergraduate programmes is possible.


Core modules are:

  • Interpretation: purpose and planning
  • Project design and implementation
  • Communication strategies and theories


Option modules, of which you must choose three, may include:

  • Interpretive methods, media and design
  • Interpreting the natural environment
  • Interpreting the historic environment
  • Heritage education
  • Visitor studies
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Research methods and techniques (core for progression to the MSc)


To achieve the award of MSc Interpretation: Management and Practice you must complete a research dissertation

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

As your course was designed to be fully online and has run successfully for many years in this way, we can confirm that there will be no change to how the course will be delivered next year. You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have an online induction at the start of the course and will be able to meet your fellow students, lecturers and personal academic tutor through video conferencing.
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • Online lectures, interviews with practitioners, presentations, industry case studies, e-books and academic articles are complemented by regular discussions with tutors and fellow students
  • Assessment is varied and includes the production of industry-related plans and reports that give you the opportunity to put the skills and knowledge you have gained through your learning, into real-life scenarios that will benefit you in the workforce.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time (MSc): 18 months
  • Part-time (structured) (MSc): 3 years
  • Part-time (unstructured) (MSc): 6 years (maximum)

Where can I study my course?

  • Perth College UHI

Start date

  • September
  • January


Fees payable for this online postgraduate course depend on your assessed fee status:

2020-21Scottish (SC) and EU (EU)*Rest of UK (RUKO ) and EU (EUO**) International (INTO)**
Per module (20 credits) £560 £650 £980
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,950 £2,940
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,900 £5,880
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,850 £8,820
2019-20Scottish (SC) and EU (EU)*Rest of UK (RUKO ) and EU (EUO**) International (INTO)**
Per module (20 credits) £560 £650 £960
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,950 £2,880
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,900 £5,760
Masters degree (60 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,850 £8,640

*EU students with a term-time address in Scotland.

** EU or international students studying from their own country.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

This course is not open to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK


From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time for any taught postgraduate course up to full Masters level can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.

Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact Perth College UHI for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

As well as considering new posts in the public, private or voluntary/third sector at officer, manager or senior management level, the continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities from this Interpretation: Management and Practice course could lead to promotion in your existing employment, or self-employment.

Can I progress into further study?

Progression to PhD is possible.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

The qualification itself is valuable, but I think the confidence achieved at masters level is every bit as important. It was really useful learning how to critically review academic research and plan my own. The research methodology element helped me to understand how to approach my dissertation and get the most out of conferences - it has shaped the way I think about issues. It’s amazing how often a long-held belief or opinion can be shifted when the results of sound scientific research appear!

Anne Anderson, graduate, MSc Interpretation: Management and Practice

Apply for Interpretation: Management and Practice MSc

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2021 or Aug/Sep 2021 or Jan/Feb 2022

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.