Case study

Tamsyn’s passion for history and heritage

From a young age Tamsyn Flannery has had a fascination with history and heritage. To help develop her career in management within the sector, she is studying our online Public History and Heritage MA. The course is giving her a well-rounded knowledge of the evolving heritage sector and it’s empowering her to take her career further.

From a heritage background

History and heritage have always played a big part in Tamsyn’s life. She explains, “History and heritage is in my blood. My father is a clocks and locks conservator and my mother an ambassador for many heritage crafts and industries, from spinning to weaving willow.

"As a child, while my father was researching his PhD, I would travel with him to the Victoria and Albert museum and other museums, where I would be left in the Costumes Exhibitions with a pad of paper and pencil and I would spend countless happy hours drawing the garments on display. I later realised what I had been drawing was garment construction and translated into pattern making.”

Working in the sector

Tamsyn has always worked in the heritage sector in the South West of England, starting off her career as a costumed interpreter at Morwellham Quay, then becoming a guide on the Golden Hind Museum Ship before setting up her own business.

She says, “When my children were very small, I became a specialist stay maker, making historically accurate garments for reenactors. The business developed into outreach for schools, historical music performance, and attending costumed events. I love talking to the public and visitors about history, and clothing is shared human experience that offers a wonderful opportunity to bridge between then and now.”

Tamsyn currently works for the National Trust at Finch Foundry, demonstrating working machinery as a Collections Assistant, and as an External Grants Assessor for the Cornwall Community Foundation.

Learning essential skills

Studying our online Public History and Heritage MA has helped Tamsyn to develop the relevant skills to progress in her career. She says, “The course has a broad range of modules which gives you insights into conservation best practice, the importance of collaborative community working, funding and funding streams and project management; all essential skills for management roles, which is where I want to be.

“I have really enjoyed the course content, its relevance and structure to the movement of the museum industry. I have learned a great deal about why we do what we do, which, for me, helps me share the bigger picture with my colleagues and empowers me to lead. The mixture of self-led, academic reading, tutor support, and peer-to-peer engagement really helps build your understanding from differing perspectives. It has also helped me develop a well-rounded knowledge of the various roles and needs of the evolving heritage sector.

“I feel I have developed a lot since starting this course, both academically and professionally. I am more confident to understand organisation-wide incentive and feel empowered to voice and share my insights. I have established new practices at work and I have improved the way we do things. I have made some great friends on the course, and that support has been constructive and valuable.”

Tamsyn Flannery working in a blacksmiths yard

This course has been well designed for anyone who works in the heritage sector. Each module has been crafted to give the very best to students who currently work, or want to work, in museums or heritage institutions.

Tamsyn Flannery
Public History and Heritage MA

Taking her love for heritage further

Tamsyn’s love of the heritage sector goes hand in hard with making heritage accessible for all. She says, “My goal is to make serious my love of heritage, my passion for making heritage inclusive and accessible for all, by using my MA to further my career in the field. I want to develop what I already know, learn things I don’t and share that with others. I would love to go on to do my PhD and I will be applying for lead curator/management roles after completion of this masters.”

Hardwick Hall

Our online history courses

Pursue your passion for History. Network with a wide range of professionals and gain a global perspective of the ever developing heritage industry.

Find out more about our online history coursesFind out more about our online history courses