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Masters Degrees (Gallery)

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The Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA, PGDip provides you with the opportunity to develop skills as a curator or gallery educator in the fields of both historical and contemporary art. Read more
The Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA, PGDip provides you with the opportunity to develop skills as a curator or gallery educator in the fields of both historical and contemporary art.

We aim to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to establish or progress your successful career working in art museums or galleries.

Working in collaboration with our key partners - Hatton Gallery and Laing Art Gallery - you will curate a public-facing group exhibition and organise and deliver a programme of public activities and learning events, designed to provide you with an unparalleled experience and a professional edge.

The course encourages a hands-on approach and involves major input from a range of art museum and gallery professionals from the region and beyond. This includes those involved in independent initiatives, national art collections, and internationally significant exhibitions.

Delivery

The course covers all aspects of art museum and gallery work and we use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to help you achieve your learning objectives. This includes a large proportion of guided independent study. The scheduled contact time takes place either on the Newcastle campus or off-site at our partner venues (the Hatton Gallery or the Laing Art Gallery) and includes:
-Seminars and practical sessions
-Workshops
-Fieldwork
-Lectures

You will also go on study visits to venues such as:
-BALTIC, Centre for Contemporary Art
-Laing Art Gallery
-Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

Dr Emma Coffield and Iain Wheeldon lead the course and they will work closely with you throughout your time with us. Emma and Iain are also responsible for supervising MA dissertations.

The academic year usually starts in late September with Welcome Week. We provide a unique blend of theoretical knowledge, understanding and practical experience. This means you will have a mixture of taught modules and work-based placements.

You will take five compulsory modules, with a further choice of two possible pathways. Part time study consists of the same modules and options as the full time course, but spread over a longer period.

Placements

Work placements or work related-projects are usually off campus. You will have the opportunity to complete a placement in a suitable gallery, museum, or heritage site. This could be either 12 days long or 6 weeks long, depending on which pathway you chose in Semester 2.

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The MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies aims to provide students with critical understandings of issues in curatorship, museology and museum management. Read more

The MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies aims to provide students with critical understandings of issues in curatorship, museology and museum management. The course considers the ways in which material culture has been represented and interpreted by historians and cultural theorists, the methodologies behind museum practice and methods of display and interpretation, and also puts theory and practice into dialogue.

Through the course, students develop critical understandings of the histories of art galleries and museums and explore and challenge key ideas that have shaped museum practice. Students will also deploy these historical and theoretical understandings to develop innovative approaches to curation, interpretation and engaging audiences.

You will develop practical skills through working on an interpretation project in our archives and collections on campus, and undertaking a negotiated work placement. Supported by the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, you will gain the knowledge and skills for a successful career in the museum and art gallery sector.

You will study in the heart of a cultural hub for this diverse and vibrant region. Leeds is home to a wide variety of world-leading and innovative arts and heritage organisations, from the Royal Armouries, Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Northern Ballet through to nine council-run museums, galleries and heritage sites and many contemporary art spaces.

We are also close to everything the rest of Yorkshire has to offer, from The Hepworth Wakefield to the National Science and Media Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Brontë Parsonage Museum. We have close links with many of these cultural institutions to support your practical learning.

Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage

All students on the degree become members of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and enjoy opportunities from networking events and links to alumni to conferences, seminars and reading groups.

Course content

A set of core modules form the bedrock of the programme, introducing you to the concept of the ‘museum’ and the ways in which Western museums have represented and interpreted history and historical material.

You’ll also use contemporary theory to consider 20th-century museum practice and key questions around curatorship, museology and museum management. The role of the curator, funding and sponsorship and the display and interpretation of objects are among the topics you’ll cover.

Your core modules will give you the chance to apply your theoretical knowledge and gain practical skills. You’ll take part in an interpretation project in the University’s Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, as well as completing a work placement in an external arts or heritage organisation.

All MA students in the School take two core modules which develop the research skills to complete research projects such as your essays and dissertation.

This will build to our unique MA Symposium in Semester 2, where you present some of your own research across interdisciplinary panels, and a dissertation which enables you to undertake research in a topic of interest to you.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Research Skills 15 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 25 credits
  • History and the Museum: Representation, Narrative and Memory 30 credits
  • Museum, Object, Practice 30 credits
  • Interpreting Cultures 30 credits
  • Dissertation 50 credits

Optional modules

  • Derrida and Deconstruction 30 credits
  • Capitalism-Criticism-Contemporary Art 30 credits
  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
  • From Chagall to Kitaj and Beyond 30 credits
  • Critical and Curatorial Challenges in Contemporary Art: The Documenta Exhibitions at Kassel 1992-2012 30 credits
  • Encountering Things: Art and Entanglement in Anglo-Saxon England 30 credits
  • Anthropology, Art and Representation 30 credits
  • Humanity, Animality and Globality 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Art Gallery and Museum Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Art Gallery and Museum Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught by leading researchers and experienced practitioners in their fields, and you’ll benefit from a range of teaching and learning methods. They include lectures and seminars, gallery and museum visits, as well as hands-on experience of specific collections in library sessions.

You’ll also learn from practical experience when you undertake your work placement, and a variety of external speakers will give you an insight into contemporary practice in the sector. Independent study is an important element of the degree, allowing you to develop your research and critical skills.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods including essays, presentations, assignments and literature reviews among others, depending on the modules you choose.

Career opportunities

Through a combination of theory and practice, the programme produces graduates who are able to develop professional careers in the museums and heritage sector whilst retaining a critical and reflexive eye on their own practice and that of the institutions in which they work.

It will equip you with a good understanding of the issues and approaches to art gallery and museum studies, as well as practical work experience – a combination which is very valuable to employers. You’ll also develop advanced skills in communication, research and analysis as well as cultural awareness.

Our graduates now work as heads of collection, curators and education staff in local authority museums, for national heritage organisations like the National Trust, charitable trusts and in arts marketing and public relations.

A significant number have also returned as research students and have secured scholarships to pursue their research topics, including Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) scholarships. Former research students are now forging academic careers in the UK, Canada and the US.

To get a flavour of the kinds of career trajectories our graduates have taken see the ‘news’ section of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and the alumni pages of the School website.



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The MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies is aimed at students wanting to start a career in museum or gallery work, or for those looking for a mid-career change. Read more

The MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies is aimed at students wanting to start a career in museum or gallery work, or for those looking for a mid-career change. The part-time course is designed for museum and gallery employees or volunteers who wish to study while continuing with their work.

Highlights

  • The degree provides broad training, covering all types of museums, galleries and heritage facilities, and includes the principles of conservation, museum education, exhibition planning and design, and management.
  • Structured visits to museums, art galleries, historic houses, ships and other heritage sites are an essential part of the programme.
  • Most of the teaching takes place at the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) which includes four display galleries and a ‘learning loft’ for education.
  • Students undertake practical project work with a wide variety of host organisations, from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. This includes the University's Museum Collections which hold over 100,000 artefacts and specimens in a wide range of subject areas, from art to zoology.
  • Full-time students have the opportunity to curate professional exhibitions in the University's galleries and Fife Cultural Trust's St Andrews Museum, which enables you to develop relevant practical skills.

Teaching format

All Museum and Gallery Studies students take three compulsory modules over two semesters (or four semesters for part-time studies). The taught courses are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical sessions and visits to museums and galleries.

Class sizes typically range from 18 to 24 students, and exhibition teams range from 6 to 9 students. Students complete three assignments per module in a variety of formats including an essay, a documentation and database project, an object study, an exhibition or website review, a lesson plan and a management report.

The final three months of the course will be focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation.

Substantial contributions to the course are made by the Scottish museums community which generously provides visiting lecturers and hosts class visits and individual student placements.

The Museum and Gallery Studies teaching staff are experienced museum curators who continue to be involved directly in museum work.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Part-time studies

The part-time course runs every two years. The taught element is delivered at four week-long residential schools in January and June of each year. There is an opportunity for you to use your practical experience towards the coursework and write up your professional activities for assessment. The Graduate Diploma can be converted to an MLitt on production of a dissertation of 15,000 words, submitted five months after the formal end of the taught course.

Modules

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.



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Art Gallery and Museum Studies (AGMS) has been taught at The University of Manchester for more than 40 years. It is one of the longest established MA degree courses in museum studies in the country, and our alumni have reached senior positions in museums and galleries throughout the UK and overseas. Read more

Art Gallery and Museum Studies (AGMS) has been taught at The University of Manchester for more than 40 years. It is one of the longest established MA degree courses in museum studies in the country, and our alumni have reached senior positions in museums and galleries throughout the UK and overseas.

Today, the AGMS course is continually being reviewed and developed in response to new research, emerging critical approaches and shifts in museum practice. Manchester's traditional focus on the art gallery remains, but is now balanced by course units which address history, theory and practice in a range of institutions.

Throughout the degree, you will examine diverse issues related to museum theory and practice, visit numerous museums, galleries and cultural organisations, and have many opportunities to discuss ideas and issues with professionals and academics in the field. The AGMS course combines both guided and independent study, and includes seminars, guest lectures and site visits.

Special features

Work Placement (Semesters 1 and 2)

One of the most popular aspects of the AGMS is the work placement that you undertake in a museum or gallery. Each placement involves a minimum of 20 days work on a specific project, such as exhibition development, collections management, or education programme. Many students find this such a positive experience that they carry on working in their museum when the work placement has finished, and each year a few students are offered jobs by their placement hosts. Work placements start in Semester 1 (November/December) and finish in Semester 2 (June).

You can take the work placement either as 15-credit or 30-credit course.

During the MA, students have opportunities to design and participate in live projects with cultural organisations in Manchester. These include curating a collection, developing exhibitions, producing cultural events and working on creative collaborative projects.

Teaching and learning

Most teaching takes place in small interactive seminar groups, involving, as appropriate, directed-reading, fieldwork in museums and galleries, staff and student presentations, discussion, debate, problem-solving and group-work.

Most courses run one day/week over 12 weeks and there are variations in the number of class hours per teaching day depending on the course/week (i.e. 2-5 hours). As a general rule, a 30 credit course includes 300 learning hours, which can be roughly divided as follows: a third in classes or class-related work; a third in independent study; and a third in preparation of assignments.

Students undertake also a collections management group project (as part of the 'Managing Collections and Exhibitions' and an exhibition group project (as part of the 'Professional Practice Project' course) in collaboration with a museum, gallery or related cultural organisation in Manchester or the North West of England.

Postgraduate life in the Centre for Museology

Both the Centre for Museology and the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures host a varied programme of activities and events for postgraduate students, including occasional master classes and workshops, as well as our regular calendar of:

  • Museology research seminars
  • 'Showcase' seminars at the Manchester Museum
  • Institute for Cultural Practices events
  • Research forum for PhD students

Full-time or part-time?

The AGMS MA is available as a 1 year Full-time or a 2 year Part-time course. We particularly welcome part-time students and there are many advantages in combining study with work practice, whether you already have a museum post, or are just setting out on your career. Each year, a number of mid-career professionals take the MA degree on a part-time basis and find that the University provides a valuable space for reflection as well as for further learning. Part time students have classes one day per week (usually Tuesday or Thursday; although in Semester 2 it might be a different day depending on the option course you choose). On this one should also add our Thursday 5pm research, professional practice and academic skills workshops. You should also count time for library work/fieldwork that may require you coming to Manchester and although sometimes this can be done on the day of teaching, often one needs to come in a second day (and if you do this on Thursdays then you can combine it with the 5pm workshops). When the work placement kicks off (about November/December in Year 1 or Year 2) you should also count one more day/week (on average) at the Work Placement institution (which, if appropriate or relevant, can be the organisation where you currently work; but undertaking a project different to your day-to-day work) - this is of course if you decide to take the Work Placement module.



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This MA at UCL Qatar equips students with the necessary theoretical and practical skills to assume a career as a leading museum professional within Qatar, the wider Gulf region or further afield. Read more

This MA at UCL Qatar equips students with the necessary theoretical and practical skills to assume a career as a leading museum professional within Qatar, the wider Gulf region or further afield. Through practical placements, students will gain a unique insight into the developing local and international museum sector.

About this degree

This programme introduces the theories and practices of museology, emphasising their significance and relevance in the Gulf region and beyond. Key areas of museum studies are taught, such as collections management, museum, gallery and site management, exhibition development, visual studies, education and emerging digital technologies.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

Students take four core modules (75 credits), plus a combination of optional modules (either three modules at 15 credits each or one module at 15 credits plus one module at 30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Exhibition Project
  • Museums Policies and Practices
  • Principles of Museum and Gallery Practice
  • Research Methods for Museum Studies
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Students choose from the following:

  • Materials vs. Culture
  • Museum Learning, Outreach and Public Engagement
  • Collections Care and Management
  • The Digital Museum
  • Placement I
  • Placement II

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical sessions, and structured reading. Students undertake a 20-day professional placement. Assessment is through essays, presentations, portfolios, reports, oral examination and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Museum and Gallery Practice MA

Careers

Graduates of this programme will gain an in-depth historical and theoretical background in museums and cultural heritage as well as experience in a range of relevant technical skills. They will be trained in all aspects of museums work, including collections management, education and community outreach, emerging digital technologies, exhibition design and interpretation. Graduates will be familiar with regional and global cultural heritage practices.

Employability

There is an increasing need for qualified professionals with expertise in museums in the Gulf. We expect graduates to go on to assume leading roles within museums and galleries in Qatar and elsewhere in the region and internationally, including in management, collection building, curation and outreach.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Museums are flourishing in Qatar and the region, and this programme provides unmatched opportunities to network with leading local museums and heritage professionals.

Education City, Doha, houses branch campuses of some of the world's most prestigious educational institutions. International students benefit from the unique cultural experience of studying in Qatar, where the diverse range of cultural backgrounds ensures that unique perspectives are brought to classroom discussions.

The programme suits students with a genuine interest and curiosity about museums and heritage in the Arab and Islamic world.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The Art Museum and Gallery Practice MPrac is designed to provide you with a clear understanding of the frequently complex theoretical and practical issues that face those involved in art museums and galleries. Read more
The Art Museum and Gallery Practice MPrac is designed to provide you with a clear understanding of the frequently complex theoretical and practical issues that face those involved in art museums and galleries.

The course offers a flexible mixture of taught modules and a possible work-based placement, providing you with a unique blend of theoretical knowledge, understanding and practical experience.

The first year of the MPrac is the Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA, which must be completed successfully before undertaking the second year extended work-based placement.

Staff

You will have input from professional and academic experts with substantial experience of working in the museum sectors in various countries.

The course is based in the School of Arts and Cultures. It is also affiliated with the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS), a leading academic centre for research and teaching in museum, gallery, and heritage studies. ICCHS has a thriving, high-profile interdisciplinary research community made up of postgraduate research students and experienced academic researchers who are key figures in their fields.

Delivery

We are based at our city centre campus with work placements or work related-projects usually taking place off campus. Part time study consists of the same modules and options as in the full time course, but spread over a longer period.

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This course provides a quality, career-enhancing education for museum professionals already working in the sector and for others who aspire to enter the field. Read more
This course provides a quality, career-enhancing education for museum professionals already working in the sector and for others who aspire to enter the field. You will add to your existing knowledge with current theories underpinning the sector, develop research skills within an academic environment and conduct a work-based research project.

We have strong working relationships with museums in the region, such as Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and Beamish – the Living Museum of the North, whose staff members teach on the course. These relationships mean that the course is at the cutting edge of museum practice. Due to our international reputation in museum studies, we attract students from a wide range of countries, contributing to our dynamic learning environment.

Delivery

The course consists of two elements:
-Taught component taking place on our city centre campus
-Work-based project at your work, or an approved volunteer host

Recent work-based projects have explored the future of digital media in learning programmes and the impact of the recession on museum provision.

The programme leader for the Heritage, Gallery and Museum Studies PGCert is Andrew Newman. Andrew will be your personal tutor and will work closely with you throughout your studies.

Placements

The course includes a work-based research project. If you are already employed in the museum, gallery, or heritage sector you will need to agree the study time and research project topic with your employer. If you are not already employed in the sector then you can volunteer in an appropriate organisation, as long as the host organisation agrees with any arrangements necessary to allow the completion of a work-based research project.

Facilities

You will have access to our top quality facilities within Media, Culture, Heritage and across the University:
-Our libraries and eResources
-The Great North Museum: Hancock, located on campus, houses the collections that previously made up the Hancock Museum, the Shefton Museum of Greek Art and Archaeology (an internationally-renowned collection of over 1,000 Greek and Etruscan artefacts), and the Museum of Antiquities
-The Hatton Gallery, located on campus, has been at the heart of cultural life in the North East since the early 20th century
-The Language Resource Centre is a specialist language facility providing free access to self-study materials in 50 languages
-Computing facilities with access to relevant databases and over 1,400 fully networked PCs
-The Gertrude Bell Archive
-Non-campus facilities that are often used for student projects include Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and the Victoria Tunnel

In addition to our expertise in heritage studies, the city of Newcastle and the wider region offers a wonderful resource with two World Heritage Sites, many heritage sites and over 80 regional museums and galleries. Much of the region's countryside is designated as National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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The MA Museum Cultures offers you the opportunity to study this expanding and dynamic field at close proximity to the most world-distinguished museums and galleries. Read more
The MA Museum Cultures offers you the opportunity to study this expanding and dynamic field at close proximity to the most world-distinguished museums and galleries. If you are contemplating a career in the museum and gallery sector and if you are interested in developing an in-depth understanding of contemporary debates about museums and their cultural significance, then this is the course for you. Our MA gives you the chance to develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing to practical experience through a work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Museums have been of enormous importance in shaping empires, nations and cities, and their collections are connected to wider histories of conflict and social change. To study museums is to study the development and fierce contestation of our collective cultural imagination and memory.

You begin with a core course that introduces interdisciplinary perspectives on the study of museums and a research skills module where you work collaboratively with your classmates. You then take 2 options in areas of specialist interest and either an independent research project or a work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Finally, you will be individually counselled in your choice of dissertation topic.

The Department of History of Art at Birkbeck has an international reputation for its innovative approaches to the history of art, visual culture and museum studies. Our expertise extends into areas such as postcolonial museums, museums in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, the senses and museums, architecture and museums, museums and art, museums and memory, museums and conflict, museums and gender, small museums, and museums, politics and heritage. As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring. Students are encouraged to become involved in the lively research culture of the department through the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history. In addition to the core teaching and individual research support, students benefit from many events in the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck, including: the department’s postgraduate events; the annual Murray lecture where speakers have included Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain and Neil McGregor, director of the British Museum; and the programme of exhibitions and displays at the Peltz Gallery, the School of Arts' purpose-built exhibition space. Students are also welcome to attend other seminars and events across the School of Arts and at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.

Our flexible approach to full-time and part-time evening study is ideal if you are thinking about undertaking paid or voluntary work experience in London’s museums and galleries during the daytime, while studying for a postgraduate degree that can give you a head start in a competitive jobs market.

We offer taster events and information evenings for prospective students interested in our MA Museum Cultures programme throughout the year.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Taught by scholars across Birkbeck, including our Department of History of Art, Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies and Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. This programme offers an interdisciplinary perspective on contemporary debates within museum studies and encompasses museums in Africa, Asia and the Americas as well as in Europe.
We provide students with supervised work placements in museums, galleries and archives including Tate, the British Museum, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Horniman Museum. Past students have helped design and run schools programmes, documented collections that were previously uncatalogued, conducted visitor research and assisted curators in producing exhibitions.
This course of study offers you access to cutting-edge research by some of Britain’s foremost scholars and all the flexibility of evening study at Birkbeck. Whether you have a busy job, have other commitments or want to maximise library time during the day, evening study makes MA study work better.
You can choose option modules from postgraduate courses including History of Art and Arts Policy and Management.
Students studying Museum Cultures are invited to attend postgraduate events in the Department of History of Art and across the School of Arts. Guest speakers include international curators, museum directors, art historians and artists.
The department attracts a rich programme of visiting scholars and practitioners. Our History and Theory of Photography Research Centre and the newly established Architecture, Space and Society Centre offer students the opportunity to develop their knowledge of those areas, as does the Centre for Film and Visual Media which is based in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies.
The Department of History of Art has an outstanding reputation for offering critical and creative programmes designed and taught by leading academics and practitioners in the field, within a learning environment that is supportive of the needs of students from a wide range of educational backgrounds.
With our location in Bloomsbury in central London, you can explore some of the world's best architecture, galleries and museums, collections and arts spaces - many of which are on our doorstep or a short distance away. The British Library is within close proximity as is the British Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Foundling Museum, Wellcome Gallery, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and V&A.
We have a state-of-the art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive collection of books and journals in art history and museum studies. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, the British Library and the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).

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The MA Art Museum and Gallery Studies aims to stimulate students to engage critically and creatively with wide ranging ideas and issues and to develop both philosophical approaches and the practical methods and skills necessary to become creative and effective art museum and gallery professionals. Read more
The MA Art Museum and Gallery Studies aims to stimulate students to engage critically and creatively with wide ranging ideas and issues and to develop both philosophical approaches and the practical methods and skills necessary to become creative and effective art museum and gallery professionals. These interdisciplinary programmes are student-focused and cater for a wide range of learning styles and approaches.

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This programme enables you to carry out an original piece of research in museum, gallery and heritage studies. As a research student you will join an interdisciplinary group of researchers and academics at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, fully supported by world expert supervisors. Read more
This programme enables you to carry out an original piece of research in museum, gallery and heritage studies. As a research student you will join an interdisciplinary group of researchers and academics at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, fully supported by world expert supervisors.

MPhil students in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies are based in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS), a leading academic centre for research and teaching at Newcastle.

ICCHS is internationally renowned for its research, securing significant support (around £3m since 2008) from a variety of funders, such as the UK Research Councils and the European Commission. We have a thriving, high-profile interdisciplinary research community made up of postgraduate research students and experienced academic researchers who are key figures in their fields.

Our academic supervisors have significant experience and expertise in interdisciplinary research and practice in the UK and abroad. Through our emphasis on empirical research and having a grounding in professional practice, our research alumni have been successful in securing careers in academia, governmental organisations, and the cultural and creative industry sectors worldwide.

Our research students pursue a variety of topics that explore both historical and contemporary issues with local, national and international dimensions. They have also consistently achieved high submission and completion rates in their chosen programme of study. Recent student research topics in ICCHS include:
-Attitudes towards human remains
-Constructions and uses of Welsh identity in American museums
-The social roles and regulation of art museum education in China and Taiwan
-The management and interpretation of archaeological sites in Turkey
-Meaning making around historic photographic collections on Flickr

Delivery

Attendance on this programme is flexible and agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the requirements of your research project. The main focus of the programme is a piece of independent research carried out by you with the support of your supervisory team.

You will also undertake research methods training and be encouraged to participate in our research activities. You will be able to carry out fieldwork away from Newcastle, in other UK locations or abroad. The programme is supported by Blackboard, our virtual learning environment.

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The MA in Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture is offered by the Warburg Institute in collaboration with the National Gallery, London. Read more
The MA in Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture is offered by the Warburg Institute in collaboration with the National Gallery, London. The purpose of the programme is to provide high level linguistic, archive and research skills for a new generation of academic art historians and museum curators. The art historical and scholarly traditions of the Warburg Institute are linked to the practical experience and skills of the National Gallery to provide an academic programme which will equip students either as academic art historians with serious insight into the behind the scenes working of a great museum or as curators with the research skills necessary for high-level museum work.

This twelve-month, full-time programme provides an introduction to:

Museum knowledge, which covers all aspects of curatorship including the technical examination of paintings, connoisseurship, materials and conservation, attribution, provenance and issues relating to display.
Art history and Renaissance culture to increase students’ understanding of methods of analysing the subjects of works of art and their knowledge of Renaissance art works and the conditions in which they were commissioned, produced and enjoyed.
Current scholarship and professional practice in these areas as well as new and emerging areas of research and scholarship.
The programme will be taught through classes and supervision by members of the academic staff of the Warburg Institute and by National Gallery curatorial and archival experts. The teaching staff of the Warburg Institute are leading professors and academics in their field who have published widely and are involved with research related to the topics they teach.

Structure

All students will take three core modules and two optional modules. The core modules include language and paleography classes, which will be selected following an individual language audit for each student, and are spread over two terms. The optional subjects will vary from year to year and students must select at least one in an art historical field.

Core courses:

Art History – Iconology – Dr Paul Taylor
Language, Paleographical and Archive Skills – Various tutors for language and palaeography classes; Dr Claudia Wedepohl (The Warburg Institute) and Mr Alan Crookham (National Gallery) for archive skills
Curatorship in the National Gallery – Curatorial, conservation and scientific staff of the National Gallery, including Dr Ashok Roy, Dr Susanne Avery-Quash, Mr Larry Keith and Ms Rachel Billinge
Optional courses (two to be chosen):

Artistic Intentions 1400 - 1700 – Dr Paul Taylor
Islamic Authorities and Arabic Elements in the Renaissance – Professor Charles Burnett
Music in the Later Middle Ages and the Renaissance - Professor Charles Burnett
New Worlds, Ancient Texts: Renaissance Intellectual History and the Discovery of the Americas - Dr Philipp Nothaft
Renaissance Art Literature – Dr François Quiviger
Renaissance Philosophy – Dr Guido Giglioni
Renaissance Material Culture – Dr Rembrandt Duits and Dr François Quiviger
Sin and Sanctity in the Reformation – Professor Alastair Hamilton

Students will also be encouraged to attend the Director’s weekly seminar on Work in Progress and any of the other regular seminars held in the Institute that may be of interest to them. These at present include History of Art and Maps and Society. The third term and summer will be spent in researching and writing a dissertation, under the guidance of a supervisor from the academic staff of the Warburg Institute or a member of staff from the National Gallery.

Assessment

The usual format for classes is a weekly seminar. All students are required to submit three essays of 4,000 words, one at the beginning of the second term and the remaining two at the beginning of the third term. A dissertation of 15,000 words, on a topic agreed by the student and supervisor, has to be submitted by 30 September. The course is examined on these four pieces of written work, a catalogue entry (submitted at the end of the first term), and examinations in language, paleographical and archive skills. Students are allocated a course tutor and, in addition, are encouraged to discuss their work with other members of the staff at the Warburg Institute and the National Gallery. Because of the small numbers involved (places are limited to 12 per year), students have unusually frequent contact, formal and informal, with their teachers.

Mode of study

12 months full-time only.

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This course is ideal if you are interested in pursuing imaginative, interdisciplinary, international museum study. It will advance your knowledge of contemporary developments in this vibrant and sophisticated area of culture, art and heritage industries, and provide you with transferable skills essential for the sector. Read more
This course is ideal if you are interested in pursuing imaginative, interdisciplinary, international museum study. It will advance your knowledge of contemporary developments in this vibrant and sophisticated area of culture, art and heritage industries, and provide you with transferable skills essential for the sector. Our underlying philosophy is to offer you a broad and engaging vision of, and approach to, contemporary museum, gallery and heritage practice, evaluation and innovating ideas around the institution and industry.

Key features

-This course provides an interdisciplinary study of museums and galleries. It offers a range of approaches to teaching and assessment based on the concept of creative research, including creative project work and practice-based research opportunities.
-The major project allows you to develop your own interests and gain valuable research and practice-based skills.
-Possible European destinations for field visits include Paris, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

What will you study?

The course examines contemporary issues and practices, including collection, interpretation, exhibition, space, place and the city, audiences and communities, institutional purpose, scenario planning and sustainable futures. You will study taught modules covering critical analysis and creative practice, and conduct research around the broad themes and subjects addressed by each module. Modules have been developed in collaboration with, and are taught with museums such as the Museum of London, National Maritime Museum, V&A, and Kingston Museum and Heritage Service.

Assessment

Essays, project work, portfolio, and dissertation (12,000–15,000 words).

About this course

You will study a series of dedicated taught modules that are concerned with issues of critical theory and analysis, research methodologies and creative practice. You will be expected to conduct research around the broad themes and subjects addressed by each module. This research will allow you to tailor your own path of study according to your particular interests and future aspirations.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Modules
-Ideas and Institutions
-Learning and Experience
-Exhibition an Encounter
-The Challenge of Change
-Major Project

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Sunderland's MA Curating is one of the few courses in the UK to specialise in curating across art, design, media and culture and has a unique delivery system which aims to fit the needs of national and international working arts professionals, as well as full-time international students. Read more
Sunderland's MA Curating is one of the few courses in the UK to specialise in curating across art, design, media and culture and has a unique delivery system which aims to fit the needs of national and international working arts professionals, as well as full-time international students.

Course overview

This course is for people who want to work either in the traditional areas of curating fine art and cultural artefacts or in emerging areas such as curating digital art, media or live art. We will equip you for careers in the gallery, non-gallery and digital sectors.

By the end of the course, you will have advanced skills in collecting, organising, interpreting and exhibiting cultural items. You will also have expertise in effective teamwork and collaboration with artists and practitioners. All this will be grounded in a rigorous understanding of the historical contexts of curating, arts administration and museums.

The course features three week-long blocks of intensive delivery in October, February and June, plus weekly online contact, meaning national and European candidates can fit attendance and travel around work or family commitments, whilst regular online contact supports the completion of assignments. The course is also a full-time MA for international students, who will attend both intensive blocks and weekly contact onsite. The second intensive block will take place in London in February, accessing key curators and institutions during visits to organisations including Tate, V&A, and Wellcome Collection.

This block is also available as a professional development short course, building on a history of masterclasses including in New York and the UK. With accreditation of prior learning, this 60-credit block can also be taken as an accredited qualification leading to a Postgraduate Diploma.

Graduates from Sunderland can be found in curatorial and academic roles across the world, in cities such as New York, Stuttgart, Vancouver and London. Our graduates are also employed here in the North East by galleries and archival services.

You will be taught by academic staff with research interests that range across art, design, media and culture, with particular specialisms in public art, performance art, and new media art. We provide a well-regarded resource for curators and exhibitors of new media art, known as Curatorial Research for Upstart Media Bliss (CRUMB).

For a specialist web pages about the course and the activities of students, please see: http://www.macurating.net

Course content

The content of the course is shaped by your personal interests with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors.

Modules on this course include:
Curating 1 – Certificate (60 Credits)
-Genealogies of Curating
-Mechanics of Curating

Curating 2 – Postgraduate Diploma (60 Credits)
-Contexts of Curating
-Visions of Curating

Curating 3 – Masters Degree (60 Credits)
-Curatorial Practice
-Major Project and Report

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, study visits and group work. These are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds. You will also have high levels of contact with tutors who give regular feedback and support.

Field trips and practical workshops are important elements of the course, giving you direct contact with curators. Host organisations have included the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Workplace Gallery, the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, the National Glass Centre and Shipley Art Gallery.

Facilities & location

The University has invested in modern facilities that include generous studio spaces and state-of-the-art teaching space and resources as part of a vibrant and outward-looking learning environment.

Arts and Design Library
Our Arts and Design Library has a specialist collection of over 120,000 books, CD-ROMs, videos, slides and one of the largest electronic information networks in the sector.

Journals and research
We subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date articles. Some of the most important sources include:
-Art Full Text + Art Abstracts, which is a major resource for media and arts information
-Design and Applied Arts Index, which covers journals featuring both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century
-British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media
-JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences

Employment & careers

Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course, you will be equipped for roles throughout the creative industries.

Specific opportunities include working in curatorial institutions and event management. Recent Sunderland graduates are now working in institutions such as the BALTIC, the Arnolfini (Bristol), Klomp Ching Gallery (New York), Banff Centre (Canada), Shipley Art Gallery and Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums.

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Photography has become the major form of image-making and visual communication since its development in the nineteenth century. Its importance has been recognised in many areas of scholarship. Read more
Photography has become the major form of image-making and visual communication since its development in the nineteenth century. Its importance has been recognised in many areas of scholarship: history of art, media and cultural studies, literature, memory and memorialisation, gender and identity, philosophy and law. Its role in all fields of the arts and sciences, including those most personal, is being expanded, renewed and questioned by the mushrooming of digital culture.

This programme enables you to learn about - and to negotiate your individual path through - historical and contemporary photographic cultures, in order to develop your interests, whether your engagement with the medium is academic, artistic, personal or vocational.

After an initial introductory core module, and with tutorial guidance, the programme allows you to specialise through your selection of option modules and topics for your research project and dissertation. Options cover a wide range of photographic practices and cultures, past and present, and allow you to explore diverse methodologies and internationally 'local' practices. The course also offers opportunities for work placements with London museums, galleries and archives.

You will develop subject-specific and transferable research, critical and writing skills that will enhance your career opportunities in the field and beyond, whether in academia or teaching, photography as a practice, galleries and museums, or in the media. The programme is also ideally suited to preparing students with a practice-based background considering a PhD, academic or practice-based.

We offer taster events and information evenings for prospective students interested in our history of art programmes throughout the year.

As well as regular museum and gallery visits, the department offers an exciting study trip every spring.

Students are encouraged to become involved in the lively research culture of the department through the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history. In addition to the core teaching and individual research support, students benefit from many events in the department of History of Art at Birkbeck, including: the postgraduate Research Seminar, which brings art historians from all over the UK and beyond to speak at Birkbeck; the biennial Murray lecture; the Murray Seminar on Medieval and Renaissance Art; and the programme of exhibitions and displays at the Peltz Gallery, the School of Arts' purpose-built exhibition space. Students are also welcome to attend other seminars and events across the School of Arts and at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.

Staff teaching on this programme

Dr Patrizia Di Bello (Course Director)
Dr Suzannah Biernoff
Dr Fiona Candlin
Professor Annie E Coombes
Professor Mark Crinson
Professor Steve Edwards
Dr Tag Gronberg
Dr Akane Kawakami
Dr Gabriel Koureas
Dr Luciana Martins
Professor Lynda Nead
Dr Leslie Topp

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Unique international coverage of photographic cultures, making use of modules offered across the School of Arts.
Taught by renowned research-active academics and writers from a variety of disciplines, including history of art, media and cultural studies, journalism, modern languages and the humanities.
Cross- and interdisciplinary approach to the study of photography in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Research culture and networking opportunities offered by the Birkbeck History and Theory of Photography Research Centre.
You will have access to the Birkbeck Library and an in-house slide library and self-access centre (including the Vasari Digital Media Research Centre).
You will also have access to the Jo Spence Memorial Library and Terry Dennett Archive.
There are opportunities for you to become involved in curating and organising exhibitions in the Peltz Gallery in the School of Arts.
Our location in Bloomsbury offers excellent access to specialist libraries and archives in the University of London. These include the University of London Library, Institute of Historical Research, Warburg Institute and School of Oriental and African Studies, together with the major national resource of the British Library.
Exclusive visits to photographic archives, and group visits to exhibitions, talks and events.
You will also have easy access to specialist libraries and photographic archives, including the Courtauld Institute of Art, the National Art Library and the photographic collection in the Prints and Drawings Study Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London, the National Portrait Gallery (Heinz Archives), the Photographers’ Gallery and the Tate Gallery. We are also near many commercial galleries, photography book specialist dealers and exhibition spaces such as the Barbican, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hayward Gallery, INIVA and the many other places that exhibit photographs from time to time.

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This programme will cover sponsorship and marketing, audience development, regeneration and partnerships, and commerce/merchandise, giving a detailed insight into the ways that museums and galleries are managed and develop entrepreneurship. Read more

This programme will cover sponsorship and marketing, audience development, regeneration and partnerships, and commerce/merchandise, giving a detailed insight into the ways that museums and galleries are managed and develop entrepreneurship.

Perhaps you already work in a museum or gallery and want some CPD experience. Or maybe you work in a different area but are thinking about a change of career.

Through a combination of lectures, seminars, outside visits, interviews, projects, workshops and presentations you'll examine the ways in which museum and gallery professionals have developed sophisticated new strategies and applied innovative entrepreneurial thinking to find ways of attracting visitors from a wide range of backgrounds to visit their institutions, engage with their events, and interact with art works in different ways. 

Entrepreneurial thinking in museums and galleries is unique and cannot be viewed in the same way as a start-up business or new commercial venture. Instead it's a progressive way of developing commercial strands within the public sector. So you'll be encouraged to identify entrepreneurial activity, identify the target audiences for whom activities or resources have been developed, and the type of income raised. 

The programme will use case studies of large-scale public/cultural projects like the Unilever series in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, and the Fourth Plinth project in Trafalgar Square. Many of the sessions will take place in a museum or gallery (for example, Tate, the V&ANational Gallery), where you'll be able to carry out practical research. You'll also be able to meet and engage with potential professional contacts in different departments. 

The programme is made up of two 30-credit modules, which you can also take as standalone short courses:

You can start the course at either point in the year. 

For your assessment you'll be asked to use all of your creative, entrepreneurial and research skills to 'create' a museum of your own. You'll then produce a museum guide containing a director's foreward, an introduction to a collection, a description of how the institution is managed and structured, and an account of leisure facilties and fundraising, sponsorship and enterprise activities. 

Skills

By completing this programme you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the main theories and concepts underpinning gallery and museum entrepreneurship
  • Analyse complex museum structures and the way that cultural organisations operate
  • Understand how museums and galleries attract sponsorship, develop marketing strategies, and communicate their brands
  • Network with gallery and museum professionals 
  • Develop and complete an independent research project 

Careers

This programme covers many different areas and roles within museums and galleries, including:

  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Programming
  • Fundraising/developing

You'll therefore finish the course with a good understanding of these areas and how they interact with each other. This could prove to be excellent experience if you're keen to obtain employment or a placement in these sectors in future. 

It's also ideal continuing professional development (CPD) for anyone already working in a museum or gallery.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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