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This MA provides a broad academic and professional training in all aspects of museum work, and encourages students to reflect on the concept of the museum and its associated practices. Read more

This MA provides a broad academic and professional training in all aspects of museum work, and encourages students to reflect on the concept of the museum and its associated practices. Grounded in museum practice and research, the programme looks at all types of museums.

About this degree

Students are equipped with a range of skills that they can apply in any museum and develop critically aware perspectives on professional practice and research processes. The programme's main aim is to provide an in-depth understanding of approaches to the research, documentation, communication, public engagement, interpretation, presentation and preservation of curated materials in museums, while responding to their audiences and communities. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), work placement (15 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

All students are required to take the following: 

  • The Museum: Critical Perspectives
  • Managing Museums
  • Collections Management and Care
  • Museum Communication

Optional modules

Students also choose further options to the value of 30 credits from the following: 

  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Collections Curatorship
  • Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development
  • Cultural Memory
  • Exhibition Project
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
  • Oral History from Creation to Curation
  • Curating Science & Technology
  • Nature, culture and the languages of art: theories and methodologies of art interpretation
  • Archaeologies of the Modern World
  • GIS in Archaeology and History

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project on a museological topic which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words (60 credits).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, small group seminars, practical workshops, student-led panel meetings, museum visits and guest speakers. Students are required to undertake a work placement for a total of 20 days. Assessment is through coursework assignments, projects, essays, field reports, portfolio and the dissertation.

Placement

Students are required to undertake a minimum of 20 days' work in a museum (or similar institution). Drawing from an extensive network of musuems we collaborate with, the aim is to arrange placements that match students' prior skills, interests and expectations. Placements usually take place one day per week during term-time, although other arrangements may be possible. Students create and present a poster, through which they are assessed, and organise a poster session and placement provider reception. 

Recent placements have included: Brent Museum, the British Museum, The Jewish Museum, Freud Museum, Hackney Museum, London Transport Museum, Handle Hendrix Museum, Alexandra Palace, the Royal Academy, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, Royal Historical Palaces, St Paul's Cathedral, Benjamin Franklin Museum, Islington Museum, the House of Illustration, Marx Memorial Museum, UCL Museums & Collections and the Wallace Collection.

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

Careers

Some recent graduates of the programme have gone on to complete a PhD while others have pursued a career in professional organisations associated with the museum and/or heritage sector. 90% of UK graduates from this degree take up employment in the museum sector within six months.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Assistant Keeper, Historic Royal Palaces
  • Exhibition Project Manager, Athens Biennale
  • Assistant House and Collections Officer, National Trust
  • MA in History of Art, Sapienza University of Rome
  • Archivist, Madame Tussauds

Employability

The MA in Museum Studies facilitates the development of both practical skills relevant to a professional career in the museum and galleries sector and a solid understanding of, and critical engagement with, theoretical issues involved in contemporary museum practice. Core practical skills include collections care procedures, packing and storing objects, documentation, collections-based research, exhibition production, and display evaluation. A museum-based placement and optional modules can be chosen to enable students to focus on specific additional areas of theory and practice. Transferable skills include independent research, writing and communication skills, interpersonal skills, use of IT, time management and group working.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study in related fields such as museum studies, heritage studies and conservation.

Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by UCL's main library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.

London's many museums and galleries are a wonderful source of discussion and material for this degree, but in particular UCL's own important museums and collections are drawn upon for teaching and research, including those of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, the Art Museum, and the Grant Museum of Zoology. Students participate in real-life projects through a number of courses and placements offered on the programme. Students also have access to MA degree programmes taught in other UCL departments. Please note that students need to contact the relevant programme co-ordinators to register their interest since there are only limited spaces available.

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.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology

73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

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



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Summary. This established programme shares best practice and expertise in various aspects of museum studies, cultural management, exhibition practice and care of collections. Read more

Summary

This established programme shares best practice and expertise in various aspects of museum studies, cultural management, exhibition practice and care of collections. The modules draw upon the expectations of the museum standards programmes in UK and Ireland and present these within an international context. Lectures include points of discussion on key issues concerning the museum profession globally. Tutors are either lecturers in Ulster University or senior staff in the museum sector.

About

In developing the Museum Practice and Management programme we worked closely with the Heritage Council, and the course was designed to reflect the Museum Standards Programme Ireland.

There are four modules in the taught part of the programme:

Museums and Culture: Policies and Values

CUS 816 (30 credits)

This module considers the meaning, purposes and impact of museums. It looks at the value of objects, histories of museums as well as issues in relation to governance, museum ethics, social policies and display. It draws on key debates in the museum sector both nationally and internationally and encourages students to reflect upon the potential of museums.

Management and Strategy for the Museum

CUS 817 (30 credits)

Issues of management, marketing, finance and strategic planning are core to this module. Module content explores key thinking and principles in these areas and applies them to the museum sector.

Communication and Learning in Museums

CUS 818 (30 credits)

The focus of this module is museum communication through exhibition development and learning policies. Units relating to exhibitions focus on the importance of display, writing museum text and evaluation. Lectures also reflect upon contemporary learning theories, how these might be applied in museums, and writing an education policy for a museum. Consideration is also given to engaging lifelong learners and employing new media in museums.

Collections Care and Management

CUS 819 (30 credits)

Collections are the basis on which most museum work is developed. This module considers how to make collection management a strategic part of a museum service. It considers the development of standards and accreditation, issues relating to acquisition and disposal of collections as well as documentation. Lectures relating to the care of collections consider preventive conservation; care of collections; storage; object handling; movement of collections; disaster planning; and the broader context of collections care.

Attendance

This is an entirely online programme, with no requirement to attend the Ulster University. However, there is an annual calendar of museum events in Ireland which many students attend and the tutors use as an opportunity to informally meet with students.

Work placement / study abroad

On request, we work with students and local museums or heritage properties to arrange work placements.

Career options

The majority of the students on this programme are working the museum or related sectors. Often these students want to learn more about museum practice and theory. Others are keen to enter the sector and the programme provides invaluable learning. Such students gain a lot from discussion with their peers and tutors. In addition, the Course Director can advise you on finding a work placement in a museum.



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Summary. This established programme shares best practice and expertise in various aspects of museum studies, cultural management, exhibition practice and care of collections. Read more

Summary

This established programme shares best practice and expertise in various aspects of museum studies, cultural management, exhibition practice and care of collections. The modules draw upon the expectations of the museum standards programmes in UK and Ireland and present these within an international context. Lectures include points of discussion on key issues concerning the museum profession globally. Tutors are either lecturers in Ulster University or senior staff in the museum sector.

About

In developing the Museum Practice and Management programme we worked closely with the Heritage Council, and the course was designed to reflect the Museum Standards Programme Ireland.

There are four modules in the taught part of the programme:

Museums and Culture: Policies and Values

CUS 816 (30 credits)

This module considers the meaning, purposes and impact of museums. It looks at the value of objects, histories of museums as well as issues in relation to governance, museum ethics, social policies and display. It draws on key debates in the museum sector both nationally and internationally and encourages students to reflect upon the potential of museums.

Management and Strategy for the Museum

CUS 817 (30 credits)

Issues of management, marketing, finance and strategic planning are core to this module. Module content explores key thinking and principles in these areas and applies them to the museum sector.

Communication and Learning in Museums

CUS 818 (30 credits)

The focus of this module is museum communication through exhibition development and learning policies. Units relating to exhibitions focus on the importance of display, writing museum text and evaluation. Lectures also reflect upon contemporary learning theories, how these might be applied in museums, and writing an education policy for a museum. Consideration is also given to engaging lifelong learners and employing new media in museums.

Collections Care and Management

CUS 819 (30 credits)

Collections are the basis on which most museum work is developed. This module considers how to make collection management a strategic part of a museum service. It considers the development of standards and accreditation, issues relating to acquisition and disposal of collections as well as documentation. Lectures relating to the care of collections consider preventive conservation; care of collections; storage; object handling; movement of collections; disaster planning; and the broader context of collections care.

Attendance

This is an entirely online programme, with no requirement to attend the Ulster University. However, there is an annual calendar of museum events in Ireland which many students attend and the tutors use as an opportunity to informally meet with students.

Work placement / study abroad

On request, we work with students and local museums or heritage properties to arrange work placements.

Career options

The majority of the students on this programme are working the museum or related sectors. Often these students want to learn more about museum practice and theory. Others are keen to enter the sector and the programme provides invaluable learning. Such students gain a lot from discussion with their peers and tutors. In addition, the Course Director can advise you on finding a work placement in a museum.



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Durham University's unique MA in Museum and Artefact Studies will provide you with the high quality training relevant to a career in museums, the cultural heritage sector, and in the academic world. Read more

Durham University's unique MA in Museum and Artefact Studies will provide you with the high quality training relevant to a career in museums, the cultural heritage sector, and in the academic world.

In particular, it is intended to equip you with a sound knowledge and critical understanding of current professional principles, good practice and contemporary debates relating to museum and artefact studies.

It aims to help you develop a variety of skills:

  • Professional skills, relevant to the care, management and exhibition of collections in museums
  • Analytical skills, relevant to the study of a wide range of materials and artefacts, from different periods and cultures, and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives
  • Research skills, relevant to studies of museums and artefacts, including an awareness of current theoretical issues
  • Communication skills - oral, written and visual - relevant to work in the museum profession and to academic research.

It also aims to encourage students to take personal responsibility for their own learning, team-work and professional conduct.

Course Structure

Two distinct routes can be followed through the MA in Museum and Artefact Studies. These comprise different combinations of modules.

Route 1

The first route is intended for students who firmly intend to pursue a career in museums and galleries. It comprises six compulsory taught modules:

  • Approaches to Museum and Artefact Studies
  • Museum Principles and Practice
  • Artefact Studies
  • Care of Collections
  • Museum Communication
  • Research Paper.

Route 2

The second route through the MA provides you with a different choice of modules. It is intended for students with a strong interest in artefact studies, who may wish to pursue a career in the cultural heritage sector or undertake further postgraduate research in museum or artefact studies after completing the MA course, but who also wish to keep their options open. It comprises four compulsory modules (one of which is a dissertation) and a choice of a fifth module:

  • Approaches to Museum and Artefact Studies
  • Museum Principles and Practice
  • Artefact Studies
  • Dissertation.

And either

  • Museum Communication

Or

  • Care of Collections

Or

  • A module from the MA in Archaeology (e.g. Prehistory; Roman Archaeology; Medieval Archaeology; Post-Medieval Archaeology; or the Archaeology of Egypt, the Near East and India (when available).

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and practical classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate in the Museums sector. Tutorials, seminars and workshops then provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that you have gained through your lectures and through independent study outside the programmes formal contact hours. Finally, practical classes allow you to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills in Museum and Artefact Studies through placements and curating an exhibition and/or developing an educational programme for the University Museums.

The balance of these types of activities changes over the course of the programme, as you develop your knowledge and ability as independent learners , giving you the opportunity to engage in research, professional practice, and developing and demonstrating research skills in a particular area of the subject. The programme aims to develop these key attributes in its students thereby preparing them for work or further study once they have completed the programme.

In Terms 1 and 2 you will typically attend 3-4 hours a week of lectures, up to 4 hours of tutorials or seminars, in addition to 2 workshops and 2-3 hours of practical sessions working with artefacts or museum environment-related matters or fieldtrips over the term. You will have a 20-day Museum placement at Easter in a museum or archive. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge. Professional speakers are brought in to engage the students with issues within the professional body.

In Term 3 the balance shifts from learning the basic skills required, to applying them within a real-life museum environment in the module Museum Communications where students work together on a specific project(s) with an opening date in May, June or July. Typically, you could be spending the equivalent of a working week as you complete the work for your projects, under supervision.

The move towards greater emphasis on independent research and research continues in Term 3, where the use of research skills acquired earlier in the programme are developed through the Dissertation research project or the Research Paper. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom they will typically have between 3 and 5 one-to-one supervisory meetings, you will undertake a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research. The Dissertation is regarded as a preparation for further academic work while the exhibition and Research Paper route is designed for a more professional environment.

Throughout the programme, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically a student will meet their adviser two to three times a year, in addition to which all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The department also has an exciting programme of weekly one hour research seminars which postgraduate students are strongly encouraged to attend as well as Friends of the Oriental Museum events.

Career Opportunities

Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.



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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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Fusing Goldsmiths' academic excellence and professional training from the Horniman Museum, the MA in Anthropology & Museum Practice provides you with a uniquely comprehensive set of skills. Read more

Fusing Goldsmiths' academic excellence and professional training from the Horniman Museum, the MA in Anthropology & Museum Practice provides you with a uniquely comprehensive set of skills.

This degree draws on expertise in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, in partnership with The Horniman Museum and Gardens, to deliver a unique opportunity to develop both your academic knowledge and practical professional skills.

Whether you're a mid-career professional looking to expand your subject expertise in anthropology, or an anthropologist looking to move into the museum sector, the course will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to be a confident, knowledgeable and professional practitioner in the anthropology and museum sector.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens

Goldsmiths' partnership with the Horniman provides a unique opportunity to gain practical skills from museum professionals working with a world-renowned anthropology collection. The collection is currently undergoing a major redisplay involving an extensive three-year development of the museum's gallery spaces. This exciting project is due to be completed in spring 2018, allowing students to learn from the transformation and the extensive collection of artefacts.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Charlotte Joy

Modules & structure

You'll study the following modules:

Optional module/s (30 credits)

You have the opportunity to tailor your studies and gain further specialist knowledge through your own choice of either one or two optional modules. These can be chosen from the wide range of options offered by departments across Goldsmiths, or from another University of London institution.

If you haven’t studied anthropology previously, you’ll also have the opportunity to audit the Masters-level Introduction to Social Anthropology module, which will enable you to hit the ground running with a solid grounding in the subject.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Department

Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked: 1st in the UK for effective teaching* 6th in the UK for the quality of our research** 30th in the world for this subject area***

Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.

As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.

Find out more about the Department of Anthropology.

*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Skills & careers

This course provides you with a unique opportunity to develop both your academic and practical skills in anthroplogy and museum practice. This combination will provide you with an excellent grounding for a career in museum and anthropology work. This could include roles such as:

  • Curator
  • Community education
  • Outreach
  • Exhibitions officer


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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 term museum encompasses a broad range of organisations with a focus on learning in settings outside the traditional classroom. Read more

General Information

The term museum encompasses a broad range of organisations with a focus on learning in settings outside the traditional classroom. Museums include cultural centres, science centres, historic sites, parks, planetaria, art museums and art galleries. Contemporary museum education establishes museums as innovative learning environments rather than repositories of artefacts. As museums and other informal learning sites contemplate new roles within society it will be incumbent upon museum professionals, and particularly museum educators, to become catalysts for different ways of thinking about the educational roles and potentials of museums and other informal learning sites, teaching and learning in museum settings as well as exploring new relationships between museums and the broader community.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Museum Education
- Specialization: Museum Education
- Subject: Education
- Mode of delivery: On campus / Online combination
- Program components: Coursework only
- Registration options: Full-time
- Faculty: Faculty of Education

The Master of Museum Education is a unique graduate degree program focusing on the study of education and learning that occurs in museums and other informal learning contexts. This programs draws together Museum professionals, educators and those with an interest in using the community to support teaching and learning to further their thinking and scholarship around museums as sites of education and learning.

As museums contemplate new roles within society it will be incumbent upon museum professionals, and particularly museum educators, to become catalysts for different ways of thinking about the educational roles and potentials of museums and other informal learning sites, teaching and learning in museum settings as well as exploring new relationships between museums and the broader community.

This program will provide the necessary skills and knowledge for careers as educators in informal settings such as museums, locally and globally, and to support classroom-based teachers in expanding their use of the community as a learning site. The program model is one that recognizes the need for contextualizing museum education curriculum in both home country context (which has its own unique social and political context) and in the Canadian cultural context of museum education, in which practices may be conceptualized in other beneficial ways to that of the student’s own country of origin. The end result are graduating students that are then better able to influence the systems in their own countries with strengthened capacities to introduce beneficial reforms around museum education.

Upon completing the MMEd degree, students will be able to:
- Critically analyze dominant and alternative theories and discourses of learning and teaching in informal settings
- Identify the influences of multiple perspectives (i.e., Local, Aboriginal, International) in facilitating learning experiences in/within museums and communities
- Develop learning opportunities to integrate learning within classrooms, and learning in informal settings such as museums and other informal learning sites
- Develop tools to implement and sustain educational programs outside the traditional classroom
- Develop skills and knowledge to understand and address the increasing complexities of issues facing informal learning settings
- Evaluate the potential for working with a variety of learning communities
- Analyze different approaches to teaching and program development, settings, and perspectives

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Our Museum Practice MPrac, the first in the UK and internationally, blends theory with work-based placements to extend and complement your Museum Studies MA. Read more
Our Museum Practice MPrac, the first in the UK and internationally, blends theory with work-based placements to extend and complement your Museum Studies MA. You will gain essential and relevant work experience in the museum sector, applying theoretical frameworks within a work-based context.

The Museum Practice MPrac offers a mixture of taught modules and two work-based placements, providing you with a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and understanding, and practical experience.

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

During this programme you will:
-Gain the skills and knowledge required to work in the museum sector
-Undertake an extended placement to further enhance your practical skills and knowledge
-Study in an environment responsive to the professional requirements and skills needs of the museum sector, both nationally and internationally
-Understand current developments in the museum sector and gain a critical awareness of problems and new insights, along with the key theoretical principles and conceptual approaches of museum studies

Through our close links with the sector, we welcome a large range of external speakers from all areas of the heritage, museum, and gallery world to lead sessions. This means that the course balances theory with practice and maintains the latest insights into the industry.

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.

Placements

After completing your Museum Studies MA in year 1, you will supervised and mentored through a 36-week work placement in year 2. Placements can be in the UK or abroad, depending upon availability. We will set up the placement for you, based on the submission of a project agreed between you, your tutor and the placement host organisation.

Previous cohorts of students have undertaken placements with:
-BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
-Beamish North of England Open Air Museum
-Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
-Great North Museum: Hancock
-Victoria Tunnel
-Hartlepool Arts, Museums and Events

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Summary. This well-established programme at the Ulster University is delivered through the School of Creative Arts and Technologies and is taught on the Belfast campus. Read more

Summary

This well-established programme at the Ulster University is delivered through the School of Creative Arts and Technologies and is taught on the Belfast campus. It has many links with the museum and heritage profession both north and south and students have the advantage of meeting with practitioners through lectures and visits. Graduates have been successful in securing positions in the museum and heritage sectors both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. To support your learning, we arrange a placement for all students in a local museum or heritage site.

The degree programme has been designed for individuals seeking further career development in the heritage and museum sectors, as well for graduates of Art and Design, Art History, Geography, History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Education, Sociology and allied disciplines, who wish to develop their research interests in these fields.

Key areas of investigation in this MA include

  • Policy concerns relating to heritage, museum and cultural sectors in Ireland, north and south
  • Analysis of the social, economic and cultural contexts of museums and heritage
  • Management issues relating to museums and heritage sites; and
  • Impact of digital technologies on the heritage experience.

Modules have been designed to reflect innovative and current research in these areas and will equip both graduates and those already working in the heritage sectors with the appropriate skills for further academic and professional development.

About

The MA requires successful completion of five taught modules and one research module.

Taught Modules

  • Exploring Heritage
  • Cultures of Curatorship
  • Exhibition: Practice and Evaluation
  • Strategic Management for the Heritage and Museum Sectors
  • Research in Museum and Heritage Studies

MA Research Dissertation

If you choose not to do the research dissertation you may exit with a PGD, postgraduate diploma.

The MA Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies is delivered at the York Street Campus in Belfast to both full and part-time students.

Your Course Director is Elizabeth Crooke, Professor of Heritage and Museum Studies at Ulster University. Elizabeth works with a team of expert and experienced tutors to deliver this programme. In September 2015 Elizabeth was elected Chairperson of Board of Directors Northern Ireland Museums Council. Elizabeth is currently a member of the Museum Standards Programme Advisory Committee of the Heritage Council (Ireland) and member of the Board of Directors Irish Museums Association.

Attendance

This course is taught on the Belfast campus.

Full-time students attend lectures and seminars two days a week (typically Tuesday and Thursday) and Part-time students one day a week (typically a Thursday in the first year and a Tuesday in the second year).

Work placement / study abroad

We support all students in finding a work placement, which they complete alongside their studies.Students have had placements at National Museums Northern Ireland, local museums, Linen Hall Library, PRONI and the National Trust.

Career options

This programme was introduced in 2001 and since that time our graduates have pursued careers in museums, exhibition design, archives, the cultural sector and further education. Alumni from the programme now form a vibrant community and are having a positive impact on the sector.

The areas graduates have gone on to include:

  • Museums, Archive and Galleries, entry level posts such as documentation, education, and outreach;
  • Specialist museum-related training e.g. in conservation of museum objects
  • museum based internships
  • Archaeology (mainly excavation and research);
  • Heritage (such as National Trust) and the Arts
  • PhD research
  • Graduates also pursue other interests such as travelling.


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Gain the skills to take part in the exciting world of museums, galleries and the cultural heritage sector. . Read more

Gain the skills to take part in the exciting world of museums, galleries and the cultural heritage sector. 

On this MA, you’ll work with academics and museum professionals – these have previously included senior staff from the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, the V&A, the National Trust, the Science Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York – to explore the history, theory and politics of art institutions and to build a critical framework for the practice of curating. 

You visit a number of museums in Sussex and in London, allowing you to learn first-hand about institutional histories, collections, permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions. 

Why choose this course?

  • 100% of our research was rated world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • You’ll be taught by academics who have long-standing relationships with museums across the UK and direct experience of curating exhibitions and permanent collections in the museums and galleries sector.
  • You’ll benefit from our long-standing partnerships with local and national museums and collections – including the V&A, the National Portrait Gallery, Historic Royal Palaces, the National Trust, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and Charleston – providing access to expertise, art objects and research materials.

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact course co-ordinator Sophie Heath at 

How will I study?

In the autumn and spring terms, you take museum skills modules at Sussex and visit local and national collections. With your tutors and classmates, you debate a range of ethical concerns facing museum curators. The summer term is taken up with a work placement.

This MA introduces you to:

  • curatorial scholarship and its methodologies
  • the histories of museums and their collections
  • the ethical and legal frameworks within which curators and museums work
  • the nature and politics of museum displays.

Assessed work includes term papers, practical assignments, a learning journal (written during the placement as a reflection on that experience) and a 12,000-word dissertation.

Work placement

In the summer term, you undertake a work placement in one of our partner museums or galleries, acquiring vocational skills and practical experience.

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Careers

You gain knowledge about objects and collections, and develop a critical awareness of museum practices.

You develop communication and project management skills. These skills provide the practical and theoretical foundation for careers in:

  • museums
  • galleries
  • heritage at curatorial level
  • the cultural sector more broadly.

Graduate destinations

100% of students from the Department of Art History were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our students have gone on to roles including:

  • archaeologist, Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA)
  • exhibition director, Soka Art Centre
  • project curator, British Museum.

(EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 for postgraduates)



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Your programme of study. Museum studies allows you to understand all there is to know about showcasing historic artefacts to a variety of different audiences. Read more

Your programme of study

Museum studies allows you to understand all there is to know about showcasing historic artefacts to a variety of different audiences. You are taught by a combination of practical application and focus on history, collections, practises and understanding of the social roles of museums. MLitt in Museum Studies is ideally situated to take advantage of the University’s own internationally important collections and museums to explore these issues and to give you the opportunity for practical experience of working in a museum, working closely with professional as well as academic staff.

You are able to study collections from around the world within the university as Aberdeen holds collections within its own museums and galleries. Kings museums provides a constant range of collections and annual event 'Night at the Museum,' the Zoology museum provides all sorts of study materials to help with understanding of animals, there is also a Kings College and MacRobert ArtSpace which provides contemporary exhibitions. You can also look at items gifted to Aberdeen, and special collections in the library plus online virtual museums.

Within the city there is an art gallery showcasing major works from all periods and artists globally. There are regular UK wide touring exhibitions showing regularly within the city. Many of the regions well known castles provide wide ranging collections of well known artefacts from different periods of art, allowing tours and special exhibitions.  If you want to go further afield Edinburgh and Glasgow provide many of the national museums of Scotland within the city centre featuring major global works of art, and special exhibitions year round.  

Optional courses from the programme allow you to study other related disciplines and knowledge within the museum and gallery sector such as understanding more about connoisseurship in art galleries and Art in Scotland, Northern artefacts, New World literature, researching for museum collections, and specific marketing or arts business courses.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

Compulsory

  • Museum Practice
  • The Museum Idea

Optional

  • Understanding People and Environment (extended)
  • Research Skills in Anthropology
  • Northern Worlds
  • Theory and Method in Research
  • Marketing Management
  • Introduction to Art History for Business
  • Connoisseurship: Art in Scotland
  • Researching Museums Collections
  • Reviewing Museums
  • Business for Arts
  • New World Narratives Literatures: Discovery and the Americas

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Aberdeen provides you with history, museums, and the opportunity to apply your knowledge within the campus area.
  • You have a great range of optional courses you can choose from depending upon the direction you want to go in and your interests.
  • You are taught by experts in their relevant disciplines all related to the museum and gallery sector

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees:

  • International
  • Scotland and EU
  • Other UK

Find out more from the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs..

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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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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This distance learning programme will provide you with exciting opportunities to develop critical knowledge and skills associated with learning in and through museums and galleries. Read more

This distance learning programme will provide you with exciting opportunities to develop critical knowledge and skills associated with learning in and through museums and galleries. Building on your academic, professional and personal experiences and qualifications, it will deepen your social, cultural, historical and philosophical understanding of museum education.

Why this programme

  • This fully online programme is ideal for those who work in museums and galleries, education, cultural heritage and other related sectors, as well as for those who wish to enter this field. The only distance learning programme of its kind in the UK, it offers high quality, fully supported online distance learning on a flexible part-time basis.
  • The programme utilises a virtual, interactive learning environment incorporating film, blogs, podcasts, forums and feeds. Engaging in a stimulating online community, you will participate in analysis, critique and discussion of current research, practices, provision and policies.
  • Engaging in the programme and its online forums gives you the unique opportunity to access experts, academics, peers and museum collections located around the world, comparing practices, pedagogies and policies in order to expand and extend your knowledge of museum education.
  • The programme includes a placement in a setting relevant to your expertise and interests. Benefiting from the extensive programme network of museum experts, you will be supported to secure a suitable setting where you will have the opportunity to put theoretical ideas and learning into practice.
  • In addition to the vast and varied expertise of academic staff at the University of Glasgow, the programme also draws on the expertise of Scottish and international museum-based specialists. 

Programme structure

Core teaching in years 1 and 2 is followed by a dissertation in year 3 where you will have the opportunity to identify an area of interest and to create a research project that allows in-depth critical explanation of your selected theme. Teaching methods aim to visually and intellectually stimulate you in such a way as to recreate experiences associated with museum contexts and museum education. Films, podcasts, technologically generated images, online forums and other resources will be used to support learning. In year 2 you are required to undertake a placement in a setting relevant to your interest and area of expertise. Your placement will provide an opportunity for you to put theory into practice and to develop links with museum education bodies.

Core courses

Year 1

  • Modern educational thinking
  • Museums, education and curriculum development
  • The museum as a source for learning.

Year 2

  • Access and Inclusion
  • Introduction to educational research
  • Theory into practice.

Career prospects

Whether you work in the field of education, museums or cultural heritage, have an interest in museum education, the programme will equip you with and the required knowledge and skills to pursue a career in museum education, as well as associated contexts. The programme aims to extend and strengthen confidence in your knowledge and skills in terms of learning in and through the museum.



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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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