The HRM MA program is an online, thesis-based program with an in-person orientation week (orientation is virtual for 2022).

Program Requirements

This program consists of a cohort orientation program on the Burnaby campus, course requirements and a thesis for a minimum of 38 units. Students are expected to complete the program requirements in six (6) terms, but have up to nine (9) terms.

Students complete all of:

Program Calendar

Term 1 - Fall

ARCH 531 - HRM Law and Policy

Course Description
This course provides a broad survey of international heritage authorities and rules with an emphasis on HRM policy in Canada and the United States. Particular attention is given to how the development of rules and organizations affect archaeological practice.

Course Details
Approximate time commitment: 10 hours weekly
Typical assignments include weekly readings, discussion and exercises.

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • identify principal international/North American legal authorities and their impact on the field of HRM
  • explain the essential roles of law and policy in HRM process and practice

ARCH 541 - HRM Professional Practice and Ethics

Course Description
This course focuses on the complexity of operating within an HRM field characterized by overlapping, and at times contradictory, professional standards and ethics. The emphasis is on opportunities to add value to knowledge creation and mobilization through creative engagements with clients, Indigenous and local communities, governments, partners, and publics.

Course Details
Approximate time commitment: 10 hours weekly
Typical assignments include weekly readings, commentaries and blogging.

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • identify the principal ethical standards in HRM work
  • explain the roles ethics play in the professional HRM practice in archaeology and HRM
  • negotiate common ethical dilemmas in HRM, especially in relation to Indigenous peoples 

Term 2 - Spring

ARCH 551 - HRM Business Management

Course Description
This course contextualizes the business of HRM by targeting five clusters of essential concepts and tools in business management -- accounting and finance; marketing, sales, and contracting; human resources, labour, economics, corporate governance, and risk management; business operations and project management; and business models, innovation, and globalization.

Course Details
Approximate time commitment: 10 hours weekly
Typical assignments will ask students to solve business management problems grounded in HRM case studies.

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • identify conceptual & analytical frameworks for applying business management principles in HRM
  • demonstrate the utility of business management tools and skills in HRM

ARCH 561 - HRM Archaeology Research Design and Methods

Course Description
This course examines the hallmarks of excellent research in HRM archaeology through studies of successful and less successful research designs and methods. The course provides essential guidance for student thesis preparation.

Course Details
Approximate time commitment: 10 hours weekly
Typical assignments will ask students to develop and deploy research method tools as they refine their thesis prospectus.

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • identify principal conceptual & analytical frameworks for research in HRM
  • explain and critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of research designs
  • demonstrate the appropriate application of quantitative & qualitative research methods in HRM
  • launch and complete the plan for their thesis research

TERMS 3 - 6

The Professional HRM Program includes four terms for thesis research, writing, and presentation/defence. 

ARCH 898 – MA Thesis

Students in the HRM MA Program complete a written thesis followed by a formal public defence adhering to policies and procedures of SFU Graduate regulations for Master's thesis.

Master’s candidates should choose a thesis topic of compelling interest to them, or one that relates to their current or desired future employment. See our current HRM student profiles for examples of thesis projects.

The following list offers further ideas for thesis research:

  • CRM project report expansion and enhancement;
  • Problem-driven synthesis of understudied region or phenoment;
  • Analysis of policy or planning problem (e.g., professional lecensure; First Nations economic development via HRM archaeology, treatment of research data and conclusions as privileged information);
    Critical comparative analysis of national, regional or administrative HRM contexts, rules, or organizations;
  • Assessment of a field or analytic method (e.g., winter testing);
  • Jurisdiction- or issue-specific "Recommended Management Practices" for guiding HRM research, practice or both;
  • Collection-focused research (e.g., mining implements from ancient quarries).

Note that several jurisdictions in Canada and the United States require or favour applications for professional status supported by a thesis completed on archaeological topics within that jurisdiction.

Tuition Costs

Tuition is per term, rather than per course or credit hour. The total Program tuition and fees are distributed evenly across the six terms, with modest annual increases (~2%) to keep pace with inflation.

For 2022 entrants:

$4,880.00* CAD (per term). $29,280 (total tuition).
*Estimated 2% fee increase.

For 2021 entrants:

$4,784.00 CAD (per term). $28,704 (total tuition).

For 2020 entrants:

$4,689.96 CAD (per term). $28,139.76 (total tuition).

Students who complete the coursework and require additional terms beyond the Program’s six terms must pay continuing registration fees equal to ~50% of the per-term tuition. Enrollment in the HRM Program is considered "off campus" which reduces some fees, and if you choose you may opt out of additional fees such as the UPass (those not within the Lower Mainland of BC) and the Graduate Student Health Plan.

Past Tuition Rates

Entry Year into HRM MA Program

Minimum Total Program Tuition








Each course is 5 credit hours and requires an average of 3.5 instructional hours per week for 13 weeks. Therefore, each course requires an average of 45 hours (3.5 x 13=45.5), a total of 182 instructional hours for the entire HRM program.


Total Credit Hours

Instructional Hours per week (for 13 weeks)

Total Instructional Hours

Approximate Total Student Time Commitment

ARCH 531




~150 hours

ARCH 541




~150 hours

ARCH 551




~150 hours

ARCH 561




~150 hours





~600 hours

Student Learning Outcomes

Heritage Management Resource Program graduates will be ready and able to:

  1. Identify and analyse how personal, collective, governmental, and institutional values and interests are linked to heritage and how these values and interests influence management processes and outcomes.
  2. Recognize, describe, and practice heritage resource management as an international, interdisciplinary profession that draws strengths and creates synergies from the integrated application of biophysical science, social science, and humanities to heritage and heritage management.
  3. Compare and apply international, Canadian and U.S. systems for heritage regulation, identification, categorization, evaluation, and treatment.
  4. Identify and engage individuals and groups with interests tied to particular heritage in discussions regarding the values, threats, management priorities, and investigative and interpretive opportunities presented by that heritage and its status.
  5. Plan, prepare, and deliver the results of heritage resource management research.
  6. Identify and put to work reliable knowledge, skills, and expertise relating to heritage resource management law and policy, ethics and practice, business and management, and research planning and methods.