World Heritage
World Heritage

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

World Heritage

1 Introducing World Heritage

Before we tackle the concept of World Heritage, do the activity below.

Activity 1

Timing: 15 minutes

Take a look at the website of the World Heritage Centre to familiarise yourself with the World Heritage List [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and some of the operations of the UNESCO under the banner of the World Heritage Centre.

Go to the ‘advanced search’ and do a search of the list based on a category of heritage (natural, cultural or mixed) and a country to pursue your own interest. In your Learning Journal make a list of the number of sites listed under the category you have chosen in that country. You might like to look at what is written about some of the sites and record the reasons why they are considered to be World Heritage.


I was interested in looking at the number of cultural sites listed in the USA. At the time I searched, there were eight properties listed, including the Statue of Liberty (which was ‘inscribed’, or added to the list, in 1984) and the Independence Hall (which was one of the earliest World Heritage sites inscribed in 1979). Because there are new sites being added to the list all the time, the numbers may be different even if you did the same search. I hope you took the chance to take a look at the criteria for inscription and got a better idea of what sort of places are listed on the World Heritage List.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371