Heritage Pathway

Six pictures depicting the many facets of heritage

Cast iron Lighthouse at Whiteford Point by S P L (CC BY-ND 2.0); Oxford University Museum of Natural History by Chris Chabot (CC BY-NC 2.0); Fragment of the Antikythera Mechanism by Andrew Barclay (CC BY-NC 2.0); Archaeologists at work at Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve by AlaskaNPS (CC BY 2.0); ‘Histories, Mysteries and Future of Oxford’s Broad Street Heads’ Project © Keiko Ikeuchi / History of Science Museum, University of Oxford; ‘Last Supper in Pompeii’ Exhibition © Emily Jarrett / Ashmolean

Heritage Pathway is a series of training and engagement activities which run termly. Since 2015, Heritage Pathway has provided undergraduate and postgraduate students, along with Early Career Researchers at the University of Oxford with the skills, knowledge and confidence to engage effectively with a wide range of partners in the heritage, museums and cultural sector. 

Heritage Pathway is designed and delivered by Dr Oliver Cox and Alice Purkiss and organised through the Humanities Researcher Training and Development Programme

Through a combination of lectures, workshops and site visits led by expert practitioners, participants understand their research in a wider context and gain experience in the heritage, museums and cultural sector. Heritage Pathway opens up new avenues for careers and collaborations, while reinforcing researchers’ ability to complete their research projects and academic tasks in a timely fashion.

Heritage Pathway enables participants to:

•    Understand the opportunities and constraints within each sector of heritage.
•    Understand the different language and vocabulary required to create successful collaborations.
•    Explore how their research experience and expertise can contribute to organisations.
•    Develop the skills and confidence to create collaborative research-led projects.
•    Join a cohort of like-minded undergraduates, postgraduates and early career researchers.
•    Develop and enhance networking abilities with internal and external colleagues.

Previous sessions have explored themes including:

•    Heritage and its Audiences
•    Case Studies in Collaboration: Digital Projects
•    Researching, Curating and Interpreting Collections
•    Careers in the Heritage and Museums Sectors
•    CVs and Cover Letters for the Heritage Sector
•    Commercial Heritage
•    Cataloguing and Digital Projects
•    Cataloguing and Spectrum Standards
•    Interpretation
•    Diversifying Heritage
•    Communicating Heritage
•    Working with Objects
•    Heritage and Landscape
•    Heritage and Authenticity

Site visits always include opportunities to meet with senior leaders and managers to discuss the ways in which research and the day-to-day and strategic concerns of sites and organisations intersect. Previous visits include: Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Black Country Living Museum, and Charleston Farmhouse.

The programme team also organised an international trip to Amsterdam to enable participants to explore European research culture, museums and heritage organisations. This trip was scheduled to take place in March 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

For further information please contact training@humanities.ox.ac.uk.

Follow the Twitter chats @Oxford_Heritage and #HeritagePathway.

LATEST NEWS /  Registration is now open for the sessions of Hilary Term 2022


  • Session 1: Current Issues in Arts and Heritage | Wednesday 26 January 2022, 11am-12.30pm


This session will provide insights into the way in which the Arts & Heritage sector is approaching the climate crisis, and the ways in which this impacts upon the conservation, access, interpretation and futures of heritage sites.

The climate crisis, as noted by recent Historic England research, is affecting our historic environment: the impacts of warmer wetter winters, hotter drier summers, increasingly intense rainfall, rising sea levels and changing patterns in our seasonal weather all exacerbate environmental hazards that affect our heritage. However, our historic environment and cultural heritage is also an important resource for understanding our changing climate, helping reduce carbon and helping people, places and communities adapt to future climates.

This session will feature presentations from Historic England, a case study from the Oxford Resilient Buildings and Landscapes Laboratory, and an introduction to the Strategic Research Fund-supported Oxford Net Zero project.



Dr Hannah Fluck (Head of Environmental Strategy, Historic England)

Dr Katrin Wilhelm (Co-Lead Oxford Resilient Buildings and Landscape Laboratory)

Dr Martin Michette (Social Sciences Engagement Fellow, English Heritage).


Book now


  • Session 2: Workshop – National Trust | Wednesday 9 February 2022, 11am-1pm


Join specialists from the National Trust for an interactive project development workshop exploring 'Children & Heritage' to support new research and visitor interpretation in National Trust places. This is an opportunity to experience first-hand how large-scale research, curatorial and interpretation projects are developed by heritage organisations. 



Dawn Hoskin (Cultural Heritage Curator, National Trust)

Lucy Armstrong-Blair (Curator, National Trust)

Professor Siân Pooley (Tutor in Modern British History & Co-Director of the Centre for the History of Childhood, Oxford University)


**Please note: this is an interactive workshop where participants will be encouraged to speak and share their ideas. Please try to join from a space where you can speak freely**


Book now


  • Session 3: Careers in Arts & Heritage (held in partnership with University of Oxford Careers Service) | Wednesday 23 February 2022, 11am-12.30pm

This session will explore the significant role played by freelance and self-employed professionals in the Arts & Heritage sector.

In partnership with the Careers Service, we will discuss the different forms that freelancing can take, how to build a professional portfolio and reputation, and discover the types of projects freelancers can work on.



Hamish MacGillivray (ACME Museum Services)

Tracy Jones (Brera PR)

Damilola Odimayo (Careers Service).


Book now


OTHER NEWS / Summer 2020

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Heritage Pathway team adapted the programme to respond to the unprecedented challenges faced by the arts and heritage sector. Around the world, museums, heritage attractions and cultural venues are closed, depriving the sector of the visitor income and secondary spend so vital for its economic sustainability. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) predicts changes that will “permanently ruin the cultural landscape of entire communities and countries”. 
Our Trinity Term sessions explored these challenges and discussed the answers to these questions. The programme was delivered through interactive webinars and twitter chats with leading practitioners in the heritage sector, who discussed the short and long-term impacts of the current crisis to the industry. 


TORCH Heritage Programme Homepage

National Trust Partnership Homepage

Oxford University Heritage Network

Humanities Researcher Development Support