Heritage Conservation in Context

Code: AHVS489K
Apply this course towards: Cultural Resource Management

Course description

Heritage Conservation in Context will introduce you to the fundamental and interrelated dynamics of place, community ritual, memory and history as these apply to heritage conservation.

The 13 units follow a path from the philosophical and historical roots of conservation to the contemporary issues and challenges facing professional practitioners. Along the way the Canadian legal, regulatory and policy frameworks of heritage conservation are explored. The philosophical underpinnings of conservation are revealed, compared and challenged. Finally, emerging issues and challenges in the conservation sector are presented, and discussed through case studies and assignments

Learning objectives

The overarching goal of this course is to provide you with an understanding of the wide range of issues that influence the practice of conservation.

On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  1. Analyze and explain the fundamental dynamics of place, ritual and context and the interactions of memory, history and relic in heritage conservation.
  2. Describe and explain the cultural, historical and philosophical basis of cultural heritage conservation, and its evolution in Canada and internationally.
  3. Analyze the different approaches by which one can view and ultimately understand “historic places”.
  4. Define the critical roles of authenticity, access, use and community relevance in the practice of heritage conservation.
  5. Critique the basic contextual framework and the common economic, legal, political and social arguments for and against cultural heritage conservation.
  6. Describe the diverse heritage agencies, organizations and stakeholders and what roles they play in heritage conservation in Canada.
  7. Conduct yourself according to the ethical guidelines and professional standards that inform those involved in the practice of heritage conservation in Canada.
  8. Integrate key internal and external emerging conservation issues to achieve a broad contextual understanding of current heritage practice.


  1. Acceptance into the Diploma in Cultural Resource Management program or approval of Program Office (approval pending review of work, volunteer, and/or educational experience provided on course registration form).
  2. A current professional or volunteer role at a heritage site or organization in order to succeed in the course and undertake a range of assignments and discussion. It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure they can complete all course assignments and contribute meaningfully to all course discussions by drawing from their role or experience. Please contact the program office if you have questions.
  3. Access to a computer with a reliable internet connection.
  4. University-level research, writing, and critical thinking skills.



Sean Fraser

What Participants Are Saying

"I really like the way this course is structured ."

"Made learning fun and relevant to my career."

"Very practical application to the workforce. Relevant and timely course materials were appreciated. Relevant and practical assignments were also appreciated."

"I am completely impressed with (instructor Sean Fraser's) teaching style, his knowledge and his leadership of the class. He is an excellent teacher. He is so well-suited for this course. He has made the course experience very rewarding and engaging. I can't say enough good things about him."

"The background experience that (instructor Sean Fraser) brought to this course provided a context that was extremely helpful."

"Excellent instructor. Always gives positive, insightful comments. Makes the discussion flow, and really makes you think!"

"EXCELLENT instructor!"


Online format using the learning management system (LMS), Brightspace, over a 14-week period, requiring approximately 12-14 rigorous hours of coursework per week.

Students login to the course and communicate with the instructor and fellow students via the Brightspace course site. This course follows an asynchronous delivery model.

This course will use online text-based notes and/or PowerPoint presentations, forum-based discussions, individual and individual assignments, and print and online readings/resources. In addition to completing assignments and activities, participants are expected to contribute meaningfully and frequently to forum-based discussions weekly.

Attendence, Decoum, and Participation

Whether registered as a credit or non-credit participant, participants are expected to:

  • login to the course website on a regular basis throughout each week
  • participate in class activities, and thoughtfully and articulately contribute to course forum discussions by reflecting upon assigned readings and professional experiences
  • submit course assignments on scheduled course deadline dates
  • notify course instructors of any personal leaves throughout the term that will affect class participation well in advance
  • notify the instructor of any situation that will compromise the timely submission of an assignment or activity to work out alternate arrangements well in advance of due date
  • provide work throughout the course that is effectively organized and researched, professionally presented, and well-written
  • interact with colleagues, program staff, and course instructors in a respectful and positive manner at all times

Note: if a student has not signed into the course site by the 100% tuition refund drop date, the Program Office reserves the right to withdraw the student from the course. Participation in online courses is mandatory and online interactions are the most important part of the course learning experience. As such, “catching up” at such a late date without prior approval—and make-up scheduling by the instructor and/or program—is impossible

Privacy Considerations

In some cases, participants and the course instructor may discuss examples that reflect an actual situation, institution, or community. In order to create an environment where all feel free to discuss and learn from situational issues, it is asked that everyone respect the confidential nature of the institutions and communities being discussed.

While the site is password protected, note that email and course discussion forum groups are never entirely confidential and are subject to freedom of information and privacy legislation. Your use of these communication tools should reflect the public nature of the media.

We ask that you respect the copyright of any and all course materials and note that these are circulated and shared for the purposes of this course only. Further reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Personal information at the University is protected by the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the University’s Protection of Privacy Policy.

Disclosure of personal information to vendors, systems or services storing or accessing that information outside of Canada is restricted by s.30.1 of FIPPA.

Instructors may use a variety of educational technology in a course including internet-based technologies, or web-based applications, cloud services and social media. The use of technology is intended to enhance and/or deliver students’ education and is part of a students’ engagement at the University. Some of these technologies may collect, use, disclose, and store student and instructor personal information.

In some courses, instructors may require students to use educational technology and social media which stores personal information outside of Canada, in such cases, instructors will try to provide options (such as using an alias to register).

Students are responsible for contacting the instructor if they have any concerns about the storage or accessing of their personal information from outside of Canada.


The textbooks for this course are:
1. Harrison, Rodney (editor). Understanding the Politics of Heritage. Manchester University Press. Manchester, 2010.
2. Jokilehto, Jukka. History of Architectural Conservation. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. 1999.

The textbooks are available for purchase from the UVic Bookstore starting April, 2017.


Course Credit

1.5 units at UVic or may be taken on a non-credit basis.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have not already been admitted to UVic, you cannot take this course(s) for credit. Program Application Deadlines are as follows:

September entry:  July 1
January entry:  November 1
May entry: March 1

However, if you had applied to the program before the application deadline, you will be permitted to register in the course(s).

Registration details

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