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Athabasca University

Post-Baccalaureate Diploma Program


The Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Heritage Resources Management (PBD-HRM) program is designed for students that already hold a Bachelor's degree.

Graduate-level training provides students with range of important opportunities academically, professionally, and personally. Those who choose a career in the heritage field benefit from a commitment to ongoing professional development, lifelong learning, and a high level of academic training. The PBD-HRM meets these needs, and provides an important professional credential which additionally may be used as a stepping stone to further graduate work such as AU's Master of Arts - Integrated Studies degree.

A baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma. Students must complete all of the HRM Post-Baccalaureate Diploma courses including the 400 hour Practicum. This totals 18 credits (four courses worth 3 credits each plus a 6 credit Practicum). All graduate courses are offered in a paced online distance format utilizing discussion boards and other innovative interactive techniques. All courses have full-time Instructor support.

Graduate Diploma (PBD-HRM) 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 one of three ways:

  • taking the Undergraduate Certificate courses
  • transferring acceptable credits from a recognized institution or program

In most cases, HRM graduate students will have to complete at least some of these four undergraduate courses. Note that these undergraduate courses do not have to be completed prior to admission to the graduate program; rather, they must be completed before graduating with the PBD-HRM. Thus, students may take the undergraduate and graduate courses at the same time.

Many of our students come to the HRM graduate program with relatively little academic or professional experience in the heritage field, so for these students the complete graduate program consists of the four graduate core courses, the practicum, and all or most of the four undergraduate foundational courses.

While the PBD-HRM is a valuable as a stand-alone professional credential, students may also ladder their studies in HRM into a full Master's-level degree at AU. For graduate students, the 18 credits credits earned in the graduate Diploma program may be applied to the 33-credit MAIS degree at Athabasca University. For details, see this page: Laddering the PBD-HRM to MAIS

Graduates of the PBD-HRM program are assured of a solid foundation in both general theory and established practice associated with the heritage field, and a flexible graduate credential that creates many opportunities for further professional or academic pursuits.

Getting Started

Graduate students interested in Heritage Resources Management may take individual courses as a Non-Program student or they may enrol as a PBD-HRM Program student. We accept applications for either student category throughout the year.

Non-program students fill out one form, pay a fee, and submit unofficial copies of their transcripts. Once the HRM office receives these three items, students may immediately begin taking courses. Non-program student status

Program Students can apply on an ongoing basis, and must complete a multi-step application which is then reviewed by the Program Director. Application process for program students

Financial Help for Graduate Students

To help facilitate student participation in the PBD-HRM, we offer a number of funding opportunities through scholarships. Further information about funding is available on our web site.

AU also supports students with financial aid solutions.

Program Requirements

PBD-HRM students must complete all of the HRM graduate courses including the Practicum. This totals 18 credits (4 courses worth 3 credits each plus a 400 hour, 6 credit Practicum). Additionally, many students will need to take up to four undergraduate courses studying foundational areas of heritage practice.

See Program Details for more information.

Total credits in program
(12 of these credits must be completed with AU)
18 credits


Courses listed below each link to their respective syllabi. Note that all core courses are available now, except for HERM 542 which will open in the fall or 2011.

See our detailed course list for more information.

Core Courses

HERM 501 - Issues in Heritage Resources Management 3 credits
HERM 512 - Advanced Methods in Heritage Research 3 credits
HERM 542 - Issues in Planning Historic Places3 credits
HERM 561 - Advanced Issues in Interpretive Programming3 credits

Project Courses

HERM 691 - Heritage Diploma Practicum

Core and Project courses must be successfully completed in order for a diploma to be granted. (400 hours)
6 credits

Note: The Project course must be successfully completed in order for a Diploma to be granted. (400 hours)

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. See Program Details for more information)

HERM 322 - Heritage Collections3 credits
HERM 327 - Heritage Policy in Canada3 credits
HERM 334 - Professional Ethics in Heritage Resources Management3 credits
HERM 339 - Conservation3 credits

There are no elective courses in the program.

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Updated February 10 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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