Melbourne MicroCert

New Approaches for Heritage Significance

Learn cutting-edge techniques for assessing the cultural significance of heritage places.

Study mode
3 weeks (30 hours) + 1 week for assessment (7.5 hours)
Skills area
Urban and Cultural Heritage

Upcoming sessions

Thursday 3 June 2021


As heritage schemes, ideas of cultural value and technologies evolve, new approaches to heritage management are emerging.

This Melbourne MicroCert provides a multidisciplinary introduction to the latest techniques for working with heritage places – from the fields of digital heritage and history, to architecture and planning, environmental psychology, ethnography, sociology and geography.

Adopting the frame of the Burra Charter (The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance) and focusing on its values of cultural significance (aesthetic, historic, social, technological and spiritual), you will gain a practical introduction to methods for identifying, assessing, documenting, conserving and interpreting these values for the tangible and intangible aspects of heritage sites and areas.

Using Australian and international case studies, you will examine new kinds of evidence that can be adopted for making conservation decisions, explore the application of new methods, and consider the challenges these methods pose for traditional conceptions of heritage authenticity and integrity.

New Approaches to Heritage Significance is part of our Urban and Cultural Heritage series, delivered by the Australian Centre for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage (ACAHUCH) and drawing upon its world-leading research, teaching and industry expertise.

Fully online delivery offers a convenient way to develop your skillset, innovative learning technologies, such as virtual field trips, and contact with leading heritage practitioners, ensures an engaging learning experience.

Who is it for?

This Melbourne MicroCert is suitable for professionals from a wide range of sectors. You may have a background in urban policy, planning, property, construction, asset management, architecture, design, heritage or history, or you may be in the culture and arts sector or be a recent arts graduate with an interest in the area. The Urban and Cultural Heritage series is designed for you to learn in a multidisciplinary cohort of motivated professionals and engage with a range of perspectives.

Key topics

You will cover a range of key topics, including:

  • Traditional and emerging approaches to cultural heritage values
  • Application of robust methods and tools for assessing cultural heritage values
  • Future of the concepts of authenticity and integrity in urban and architectural heritage

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this Melbourne MicroCert, you will:

  • Understand the importance of methods and evidence for heritage and conservation
  • Be able to identify the ways methods can be applied to working with the cultural values of heritage places
  • Be able to apply a range of methods to a heritage place.

Learning experience

Within a multidisciplinary cohort of professionals, you will utilise innovative online learning technologies such as interactive digital seminars and virtual field trips with leading heritage practitioners, as well as undertake self-directed learning activities. As informed by the research and industry links of ACAHUCH, you will explore key case studies from leading scholars and practitioners from Australia and across the world. You will also engage with key heritage management tools and be introduced to various international charters.

Who will you learn from?

You will be led by Dr James Lesh, a researcher in urban and cultural heritage and a specialist in the application of values-based conservation. His most recent project focused on Federation Square in Melbourne. An advocate for collaborative practice, James will be joined in the delivery of this Melbourne MicroCert by leading practitioners from across the cultural heritage sector.


New Approaches to Heritage Significance is delivered over four weeks, with one pre-teaching week, two weeks of teaching, and one week for assessment. You will undertake 7.5 hours of guided online learning, 7.5 hours of self-directed exercises, 7.5 hours reading, 7.5 hours for assessment tasks, and 7.5 hours independent study.

Assessment includes:

  • Participation in classes (5%)
  • Responses to prompt questions (5%)
  • Individual report on a place of heritage significance (60%)
  • Group project and presentation (30%).

Digital certificate

Upon completion, you will be awarded your New Approaches to Heritage Significance Melbourne MicroCert. This digital certificate will include information and evidence of your developed and actionable skills, knowledge and capabilities (as outlined in the learning outcomes). It may also include artefacts (such as videos and written material) related to both experiential and work-integrated learning, including translatable assessment that is practical to your professional life.

Links to industry

This Melbourne MicroCert draws upon the extensive experience of ACAHUCH staff in research, education and engagement in the fields of urban and cultural heritage and architectural history.

ACAHUCH has an active and engaged advisory board of leading practitioners within the heritage sector across Australia. Researchers in ACAHUCH are engaged in heritage policy, planning and practice with cultural and collecting institutions, government agencies, heritage professionals and others across the sector in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Depending on your circumstances, this Melbourne MicroCert may be recognised as continuing professional development (CPD) by the following bodies:

  • Australian Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)
  • Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture (AILA)
  • Certified Environmental Practitioner Scheme (CEPS)
  • Law Institute
  • Professional Historians Australia
  • UK Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation (IHBC).

You will need to discuss and confirm this with each organisation directly.

Pathways to further study

New Approaches to Heritage Significance should be taken after completion of the Introduction to Values-Based Heritage or by those with work experience and/or prior study in heritage. You can then complement it with any other Melbourne MicroCert in the Urban and Cultural Heritage series.

Other Melbourne MicroCerts in this series include:

New Approaches to Heritage Significance is also designed to provide a pathway – otherwise known as advanced standing – into the Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage.

To use New Approaches to Heritage Significance in this way, you will need to complete all four Melbourne MicroCerts in the Urban and Cultural Heritage series, as each one is equivalent to one quarter of a standard subject, and then apply for credit towards the Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage.

This Melbourne MicroCerts series is taught at Australian Qualifications Framework level 9 (masters degree level).

Expiry of Melbourne MicroCert

This Melbourne MicroCert will expire seven years from the date of issue as particular knowledge and/or skills may need to be refreshed.

Eligibility requirements

To undertake this Melbourne MicroCert, you must have:

  • A three-year undergraduate degree



  • Documented work experience in urban and cultural heritage


  • Prior tertiary study in heritage

Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


If you’re aged between 45–70, employed or recently unemployed (less than 9 months) and not receiving Australian Government employment assistance, you could be eligible for Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers. Skills Checkpoint is an Australian Government funded service that allows eligible individuals to access personalised support programs including one-on-one support with a career advisor.

Find out more

Upcoming sessions

Thursday 3 June 2021

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