Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Master List of Graduate HRM Courses

A graduate degree is required for admission to the Graduate Diploma. Students must complete three core HRM Graduate Diploma courses plus two electives. This totals 18 credits (four courses worth 3 credits each plus a 6 credit Practicum). The Practicum requires 400 hours of work. All courses are offered in online distance format utilizing discussion boards and other interactive techniques. All courses have full-time Instructor support.

Graduate Diploma students must also demonstrate competence in the topics covered in HERM 322 (Collections), HERM 327 (Heritage Policy), HERM 339 (Conservation), and Philosophy 334 (Ethics and Heritage). See the list of Certificate courses for details. Competence in these subjects can be demonstrated in the following ways:

  • taking the Undergraduate Certificate courses
  • having transcripts assessed by the HRM Program Director to receive Competency through prior undergrad courses

Core Courses (12 credits)

This course introduces key concepts, definitions and issues in the heritage field. It outlines the various stakeholders, agencies and institutions active in the field and their obligations as holders of a public trust to conserve, preserve and interpret tangible and intangible heritage. The shifts that have occurred with the rise of the New Museology and its rejection of the Modernist paradigm are assessed. To encourage critical thinking about the nature of heritage resource management, the course offers an understanding of central issues, such as those relating to ethics; approaches to measuring and defining significance in heritage preservation; representation and repatriation, using heritage for economic gain through tourism, conservation, and exhibiting and interpreting heritage resources to the public.

(Open for enrollment. Course begins each January. The deadline for registration is one month prior to the course start date.)

Syllabus: HERM 501 syllabus

This course provides advanced skills in applying heritage resource management research methodologies through readings, discussion and applied projects. Students concentrate on archival and library research, oral history research, and research using material culture. Students gain analytical and practical skills in using these types of sources as part of developing and applying a research strategy. Formal skills in writing, planning, structuring, and referencing written reports will be dealt with throughout the course.

(Open for enrollment. Course begins at the start of each month. The deadline for registration is one month prior to the course start date.)

Syllabus: HERM 512 syllabus
HERM 691 Heritage Diploma Practicum 6 credits

The Diploma practicum requires the completion of a 400-hour project. It is the capstone for the Diploma program and will be completed by students who have cleared the requirements in the fields of ethics, heritage policy, collections and conservation and who have completed or are concurrently taking HERM 501, 512, 541, and 561. Students link the knowledge gained from these courses with their experience in a particular heritage setting. Students identify in advance a practicum project and a suitable on-site practicum supervisor. The Professor, Heritage Resources Management, acts as the course professor for the practicum. Formal guidelines provide detailed guidance and set out the procedures for the successful completion of the practicum project.

HERM 691 is offered in an individualized study format, with start dates on the first day of each month. Please contact the HRM office for more information on registration procedures for this course.

Core and Project courses must be successfully completed in order for a diploma to be granted.

Syllabus: HERM 691 syllabus

Elective Courses (6 credits)

This course is a detailed examination of planning options and approaches for historic places. Students will gain advanced skills in managing and structuring planning efforts for a variety of types of circumstances; learn how to define appropriate use for buildings, landscapes, and other resources in terms of broader preservation, economic, social, and interpretative needs; and learn how the planning of historic places is shaped by broader cultural and economic contexts and the existing built environment.

(Open for enrollment. Course begins each September. The deadline for registration is one month prior to the course start date.)

Syllabus: HERM 542 syllabus

This course deals with the application of informal and formal learning strategies and methods of assessing audience needs for planning and implementing interpretive programs. Specific attention is paid through case studies and practical experience to the use of exhibits and first and third person interpretation as elements in interpretive programming.

(Open for enrollment. Course begins each January. The deadline for registration is one month prior to the course start date.)

Syllabus: HERM 561 syllabus
HERM 670 Industrial Heritage 3 credits

This course explores techniques for examining and understanding the processes and products of industrial plants in order to determine and establish their values and significance. It also explores ways to document and record significant aspects of industrial sites and employs case studies to analyze a series of approaches to industrial heritage site conservation and interpretation. The course also examines the issues surrounding industrial heritage through first-hand experience within the context of an industrial heritage site.

This online course makes students familiar with the principle characteristics of the industrial heritage and the array of tools and techniques used for its study, care and use. The practical application of techniques in the analysis and documentation of industrial sites is a fundamental aspect of industrial heritage education, and beside the online component of the course, participation in one-week in residence project forms a central part of the training.

(HERM 670 will next be offered in January 2021. Contact the Program Office for more information.)

Syllabus: HERM 670 syllabus

This course will explore various techniques and technologies employed in the field of heritage conservation for recording and documenting historic resources. New ways of observing and thinking about the built environment through practical applications of documentation methods and fieldwork exercises will be exercised.

This course will examine the documentation methods to research, inspect, record, and assess the condition and quality of buildings, districts and cultural landscapes combined with the methods to interpret their historical and architectural significance according to professional standards. The course will also provide an overview of manual, photographic, and computer-aided extant recording techniques; and building repair assessment techniques.

This course is offered online and involves a one-week in residence component. Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experiences working in groups on a historic site.

(HERM 671 is offered intermittently, usually once per academic year. Please contact the Program Office for current information about the upcoming schedule for offering this course.)

Syllabus: HERM 671 syllabus
HERM 672 Heritage and Risk Management 3 credits

This course focuses on the measures and actions that cultural heritage professionals should undertake before, during, and after a disaster. It discusses cultural heritage in the context of disaster and complex emergency situations. The course also discusses how different types of disasters impact cultural heritage resources and how cultural values could be compromised during crises and disasters, through a series of case studies. Students learn about the ways to assess and evaluate different risks to cultural heritage in times of natural and man-made disasters and develop preparedness and preventive measures to reduce risks.

The course examines existing international, national, and local frameworks for the protection of cultural heritage. The course also explores how cultural heritage, as a target in disasters and armed conflict, can become a driver for resilience and potentially contribute to disaster risk reduction and disaster recovery. This course is offered online as a paced course.

(HERM 672 is offered intermittently, usually once per academic year. Please contact the Program Office for current information about the upcoming schedule for offering this course.)

Syllabus: HERM 672 syllabus
HERM 673 Architectural Conservation 3 credits

This course will provide an overview of history and theory of conservation movement including main theorists, historical and philosophical development, current charters, and conceptual frameworks at international, national, provincial and local levels. The course will explore a range of subjects and issues that affect contemporary heritage conservation practices. It will also discuss the relationships between architectural and environmental elements and their impacts on each other.

This course will offer an overview of technology and related strategies in the conservation of historic buildings including associated and topical technical issues in conservation (sustainability, management, maintenance). It will also discuss different concepts and key approaches currently used in built heritage conservation as well various techniques for intervention, including restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive re-use. This course will be offered online as a paced course. 

(HERM 673 is offered intermittently, usually once per academic year. Please contact the Program Office for current information about the upcoming schedule for offering this course.)

Syllabus: HERM 673 syllabus

Undergraduate Foundational Courses

(Post-Baccalaureate Diploma graduate students MAY be required to take some or all of these courses depending on previous academic and professional experience in the heritage field.)

HERM 322 Heritage Collections 3 credits

Heritage collections are significant in defining, preserving and interpreting cultural heritage and often gain meaning through intangible aspects of heritage. This course explores the nature of collecting and its social, intellectual, and institutional meaning. It also introduces types of collections and their management and handling as practiced in archives, museums, and heritage sites and the ways these different types of collections shape institutional mandates and functions. The importance of digital media for the future of collecting and for disseminating knowledge about objects is also studied. (Open for enrollment)

Syllabus: HERM 322 syllabus
HERM 327 Heritage Policy in Canada 3 credits

Heritage is an important part of Canadian cultural policy and of Canadian social, political and economic life. Students learn about government's role in heritage through policy and funding initiatives, and the jurisdictional issues that sharpen the expression of national, regional and provincial identity. Particular focus is given to policies designed to preserve historic places, landscapes and built environments, and for the operation of museums, archives, and similar facilities. The course provides students with an understanding of heritage policy within the wider context of state cultural policy. (Open for enrollment)

Syllabus: HERM 327 syllabus
HERM 339 Conservation 3 credits

This course focuses on preventive conservation through a risk assessment model. In this approach, common causes of deterioration of heritage objects are identified and the actions required to minimize these threats are outlined. Basic philosophies and approaches to preventive conservation are studied through an evaluation of conservation techniques and theories. Case studies of preventive conservation of materials commonly found in heritage institutions are used to illustrate principles of preventive conservation. (Open for enrollment)

Syllabus: HERM 339 syllabus

This course deals with the ways that ethical issues shape heritage practice. These issues are approached through an understanding of moral reasoning, and of the various codes of practice that have been accepted as framing heritage practice. The course studies these issues in terms of specific issues about appropriation, ownership of heritage, censorship, and the exercise of public trust. (Open for enrollment)

Syllabus: HERM 334 syllabus

Updated December 02 2020 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.