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Masters Degrees (Museum Studies)

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The Masters in Museum Studies will help you develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required of today’s versatile museum professional. Read more
The Masters in Museum Studies will help you develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required of today’s versatile museum professional. It has been designed in conjunction with employers to meet their needs for well-rounded museum professionals trained in the latest theoretical and practical approaches.

Why this programme

-Glasgow’s civic and university collections are the richest and most diverse outside of London and are of international standing.
-Taught alongside staff from the University's own museum and art gallery, The Hunterian, the degree programme provides a combination of academic and practitioner input.
-If you want to develop a career in the cultural heritage sector, this programme has been developed for you.
-Three versions of the degree allow you follow standard or specialist strands.
-There are great opportunities for you to take practice based courses or work placements at the museums and galleries that partner the programme.
-We welcome applicants from across the arts and sciences, current professionals or career changers, from the UK or abroad.

Programme structure

Three different strands of the MSc Museum Studies are offered. The Theory and Practice strand is our standard Museum Studies programme where the museum itself is the primary object of study.

Two specialist strands: Collecting and Provenance; and Artefact and Material Culture, enable you to combine courses in Museum Studies with specialist courses from Masters programmes provided by Archaeology and History of Art.

Each strand will give you a different mix of core and optional courses. All students take two 20 credit common core courses in Museology and Research and Professional Skills. You also take four 20 credit courses from your strand (a combination of strand core and optional courses) and one 60 credit research project.

Core and optional courses

Strands

Theory and Practice
-Museum Interpretation and Learning (Core)
-Museum Practice
-Heritage and Cultural Informatics
-Curating the Sciences
-American Material Culture
-Phenomenology
-2D Digitisation
-Approaching the Ancient World
-Work Placement
-Hunterian Exhibition Course
-International Trafficking in Cultural Objects

Collecting and Provenance (in conjunction with History of Art)
-Cultures of Collecting (Core)
-Object Biography
-Provenance
-Collecting and Display
-Restitution
-2D Digitisation
-Approaching the Ancient World
-Work Placement
-Hunterian Exhibition Course
-International Trafficking in Cultural Objects

Artefact and Material Culture (in conjunction with Archaeology)
-Material Culture in Context (Core)
-Process of Artefact Studies (Core)
-Critical Themes in the Display and Reception of Objects
-Science Based Analysis of Archaeological Material
-Early Medieval Artefacts
-Viking & Late Norse Artefacts
-2D Digitisation
-Approaching the Ancient World
-Work Placement
-Hunterian Exhibition Course
-International Trafficking in Cultural Objects

Career prospects

Career opportunities exist in a variety of roles within the cultural heritage sector; these include museums and galleries as well as historic houses, heritage sites and consultancy. Roles range from front of house, education and outreach to collections management, curation, marketing and management.

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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

Course description:

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.

View our Youtube video in the university's video library, https://stream.manchester.ac.uk/Play.aspx?VideoId=25498

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.
• See more information and a list of past work placements
• Read students' latest blog posts reflecting on their work placements

Coursework and assessment:

The assessment of courses is as follows:
• 'Introduction to Museum Studies' (Semester 1 core course, 30 credits): The course is assessed by a 5,000 word essay (80% of the overall course mark) and an oral presentation and associated blog (20% of the overall course mark).
• 'Managing Collections and Exhibitions' (Semester 1 core course, 30 credits): The course is assessed by a 4,000 word individual Fieldwork Portfolio (70% of the overall course mark) and a Group Fieldwork Portfolio (30% of the overall course mark).
• Option courses (Semester 2, 15 or 30 credits): Option courses are assessed by a combination of essays and project portfolios. For details, please see the overview of the courses.
• Dissertation (Semester 2 and Summer): 12-15,000 word standard dissertation; or practice-based dissertation (8-10,000 words and appropriate evidence/outputs of the practice)

Course unit details:

Find out more about the course unit details by visiting:
http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/arthistoryvisualstudies/postgraduatetaught/taught/art-gallery-and-museum-studies-ma/index.htm?pg=all

Scholarships and bursaries:

Each year, a number of scholarships, studentships and bursaries for postgraduate study are awarded on a competitive basis by the University, Research Councils UK or other external funders. Visit our website for information on funding opportunities:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/alc/fees/postgraduate-taught-funding

Kostas Arvanitis, Lecturer
“Gain the knowledge and skills needed for a career in the museum and cultural sector.”

Kristin Hussey, Collections Information Officer, The Science Museum, London
“The necessary foundation for my future career.”

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MLitt in Museum Studies is will use the University’s own internationally important collections and museums to explore these issues and to give practical experience of working in a museum, working closely with professional as well as academic staff. Read more
MLitt in Museum Studies is will use the University’s own internationally important collections and museums to explore these issues and to give practical experience of working in a museum, working closely with professional as well as academic staff.

COURSES
First Semester
Compulsory
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
Art and Business
Connoisseurship: Art in Scotland

Second Semester
Compulsory
Curating an Exhibition
Optional
Managing People at Work
The Leadership Challenge
Approaching Archives
Northern Peoples and Cultures
Advanced Archaeological Approaches
Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art, and Museums
Working with Local Communities: Methods and Theory in Museum Practice
Curating and Exhibition
Developing A Theory of Practise: Learning and Museums
Art and Business

Third Semester
Museum Studies Dissertation
Museum Studies Project

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This degree will provide you with the practical and theoretical experience needed to become a creative and effective museum and gallery professional or to further advance your career. Read more
This degree will provide you with the practical and theoretical experience needed to become a creative and effective museum and gallery professional or to further advance your career.

You will be taught by experts in the field, who have been involved in expanding the academic discipline of museum studies over many years. The course will equip you with a thorough knowledge and critical understanding of current principles, practice, and contemporary debates in Museum Studies.

You will take four core modules and, if you are taking the MA or MSc, complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice. This is your chance to delve into your particular interests and extend your expertise. For many, it is the most exciting part of the course, as a self-directed opportunity to contribute new ideas, new knowledge, or critique existing scholarship or practice at an advanced academic level.

By taking the distance learning course, you have the flexibility to fit studying around your existing work and family commitments. The distance learning course offers the same subject coverage and leads to the same qualification as our campus-based course. The School works with a team of highly skilled Associate Tutors, all of whom are experienced museum and heritage professionals and you will receive excellent support throughout your studies.

This course will especially suit you if you are working in, or looking for employment in, the museum sector and will also provide an excellent preparation if you wish to go on to pursue PhD research in the field.

If you have any questions about this course, join us for a live online chat with academic tutors and admissions staff.

Core Modules

Locating Museums: Communities and Contexts
Managing Resources in the Museum
Engaging Visitors and Audiences
Planning Projects and Designing Interpretive Exhibitions
Dissertation (15,000 words)

(Please note: due to regular enhancement of the University’s courses, please refer to Leicester’s own website (http://www.le.ac.uk) or/and Terms and Conditions (http://www2.le.ac.uk/legal) for the most accurate and up-to-date course information. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this information prior to submitting an application.)

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Our Museum Studies MA, PGDip will develop the practical skills needed to operate a museum, whilst engaging you with theories on the societal role of museums. Read more

Course Overview

Our Museum Studies MA, PGDip will develop the practical skills needed to operate a museum, whilst engaging you with theories on the societal role of museums. You gain a competitive edge by curating group exhibitions or organising and delivering complex education and learning events within high-profile public venues.

The Museum Studies course covers a broad range of issues encountered in museum work. We will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to move into or enhance a career in museums.

Our course is well established internationally – we have been educating museum professionals since 1993. We encourage a hands-on approach, involving major input from museum professionals regionally, nationally and internationally. These professionals range from small, independent museums to those who curate national collections and internationally significant exhibitions.

We use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to help you achieve your learning objectives, with an emphasis on independent study. The scheduled contact time includes lectures, seminars and practical sessions, workshops, and study visits to local heritage venues such as: Bede’s World; Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums venues; National Museums Scotland; Beamish, The Living Museum of the North; York Castle Museum.

Our courses are based in the School of Arts and Cultures. They are 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.

Modules

For detailed module information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/museum-studies-ma-pgdip/#modules

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/museum-studies-ma-pgdip/#howtoapply

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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. The programme looks at all types of museum, from art galleries to science museums, without concentrating on any particular kind.

Degree information

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, 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

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project on a museological topic which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, practical workshops, 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 20 days' work in a museum (or similar institution). This usually takes place one day per week during term-time, although other arrangements may be possible. Students write an assessed 2,500 word report at the end of the placement reflecting on their experience.

Recent placements have included: Brent Museum, the British Museum, Croydon Museum, Event Communications, the Freud Museum, Hackney Museum, London Transport Museum, the Museum of London, RAF Museums, the Royal Academy, Royal Botanical Gardens, Royal Historical Palaces, St Paul's Cathedral, Tate Britain, UCL Museums & Collections.

Careers

Some recent graduates of the programme have gone to do 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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Research Officer, Imperial War Museum
-Archivist, Madame Tussauds
-Assistant Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum
-Cataloguer, Historic Royal Palaces
-Museum Assistant, British Museum

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. Thansferable skills include independent research, writing and communication skills, interpersonal skills, use of IT, time management and group working.

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, including those of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, the Art Museum, and the Grant Museum of Zoology. Students have access to MA degree programmes taught in other UCL departments. Please note that students need to contact the relevant programme coordinators to register their interest since there are only limited spaces available.

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The Faculty of Information combines strengths in the stewardship and curation of cultural heritage (libraries, archives, and museums) with leadership in the future of information practice as society is transformed by the rise of digital technologies. Read more
The Faculty of Information combines strengths in the stewardship and curation of cultural heritage (libraries, archives, and museums) with leadership in the future of information practice as society is transformed by the rise of digital technologies.

The Master of Museum Studies program prepares students for future involvement in museums and related cultural agencies. The program examines the theoretical body of knowledge of museology as a necessary context for professional practice. The Faculty of Information also provides a Concurrent Registration Option whereby students may register concurrently in the Master of Information and Master of Museum Studies programs.

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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

Course Overview

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.

Modules

For detailed module information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/heritage-gallery-museum-studies-pgcert/#modules

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/heritage-gallery-museum-studies-pgcert/#howtoapply

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This course will provide you with the practical and theoretical knowledge needed to become a creative and effective museum professional. Read more

Course Description

This course will provide you with the practical and theoretical knowledge needed to become a creative and effective museum professional. You will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively with the concepts and issues that underpin museum work. The course will broaden your philosophical approaches to learning and equip you with the practical methods and skills you will need for a successful career in museums.

Through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions, you will explore four core areas: museums in society, the role of resources, media and communication plus a practical placement during the summer term. This placement will enable you to apply the content of the taught programme to the workplace environment. You will take one optional module from our extensive choice of subjects which will allow you to explore your own area of interest.

During the course you will benefit from a series of six to eight study visits and a series of guest lectures which will provide you with an insight into contemporary museum work. During the summer term, you will undertake an eight-week placement. Regular visits to museums and galleries around the country will provide stimulating opportunities to explore contemporary practice.

The course will give you the entry qualification for a career in the museum industry. If you are already working in the sector it will provide you with the opportunity to develop new knowledge and skills to advance your career.

Core Modules

Museums, Societies and Cultural Change
Strategic Resource Development
Communication, Media and Museums
Museum/Gallery Experience
Dissertation (15,000 words)

Option Modules

Choose one from the following (subject to availability):

Archaeological Curatorship
Museums and Histories
Natural Science Curation
Museum and Gallery Communication and Education
Museum and Gallery Marketing
Digital Media and Curatorship
World Arts/Museum Ethnography

(Please note: due to regular enhancement of the University’s courses, please refer to Leicester’s own website (http://www.le.ac.uk) or/and Terms and Conditions (http://www2.le.ac.uk/legal) for the most accurate and up-to-date course information. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this information prior to submitting an application.)

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Learn the theory and practice of managing cultural heritage, including landscapes, historic houses, museums and archaeological sites. Read more
Learn the theory and practice of managing cultural heritage, including landscapes, historic houses, museums and archaeological sites. The course is specially tailored to respond to the local and international need for qualified, responsible and adaptable cultural heritage professionals, so you can be sure that your time with us will be a great investment in your ongoing career.

The course will also prepare you for more advanced research into the global and local problems and issues surrounding the management of cultural heritage, whilst also providing you with practical experience. You will graduate with the highly developed conceptual and analytical skills needed to succeed in this fascinating field.

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This well-established programme at the University of Ulster is delivered through the School of Creative Arts and is taught on the Belfast campus. Read more
This well-established programme at the University of Ulster is delivered through the School of Creative Arts 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. 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 and allied disciplines, who wish to develop their research interests in these fields.

Key benefits

- Links with the museum and heritage profession in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland 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.

- We support all students in finding a work placement, which they complete alongside their studies. Recently we have been working closely with Northern Ireland War Memorial. Students have had placements at the Ulster Museum, PRONI and the National Trust.

Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/201617/cultural-heritage-and-museum-studies-9182

Course detail

- Description -

Key areas of investigation in this MA include:

- Policy concerns relating to heritage, museum and cultural sectors in UK and Ireland;
- Analysis of the social, economic and cultural contexts of museums and heritage;
- Exploration of issues in relation to collections care; exhibitions; learning and management in the heritage sectors;
- Impact of digital technologies on the heritage experience; and,
- Consideration of national issues in the international context.

- Purpose -

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, Sociology and allied disciplines, who wish to develop their research interests in these fields.

- Teaching and learning assessment -

This course is delivered by academics in the fields of museum, heritage and the arts. We invite practitioners as guest lecturers on the programme. All assessment is by coursework.

Career prosepcts

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

How to apply: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply#pg

Why study at Ulster?

1. Over 92% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.
2. We are a top UK university for providing courses with a period of work placement.
3. Our teaching and the learning experience we deliver are rated at the highest level by the Quality Assurance Agency.
4. We are an international university with more than 2,000 international students from over 80 countries and Alumni from 121 countries.
5. More than 4,000 students from over 50 countries have successfully completed eLearning courses at Ulster University.

Flexible payment

To help spread the cost of your studies, tuition fees can be paid back in monthly instalments while you learn. If you study for a one-year, full-time master’s, you can pay your fees up-front, in one lump sum, or in either five* or ten* equal monthly payments. If you study for a master’s on a part-time basis (e.g. over three years), you can pay each year’s fees up-front or in five or ten equal monthly payments each year. This flexibility allows you to spread the payment of your fees over each academic year. Find out more by visiting http://www.ulster.ac.uk/learnyourway

Scholarships

A comprehensive range of financial scholarships, awards and prizes are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Scholarships recognise the many ways in which our students are outstanding in their subject. Individuals may be able to apply directly or may automatically be nominated for awards. Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/scholarships

English Language Tuition

CELT offers courses and consultations in English language and study skills to Ulster University students of all subjects, levels and nationalities. Students and researchers for whom English is an additional language can access free CELT support throughout the academic year: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/english-language-support

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This interdisciplinary programme will equip you with valuable skills and a critical understanding of issues in curatorship, museology and museum management. Read more

Overview

This interdisciplinary programme will equip you with valuable skills and a critical understanding of issues in curatorship, museology and museum management.

You’ll develop your understanding of the ways in which historians and cultural theorists have interpreted and represented architecture, material culture and museums over the past 2,000 years. You’ll look at different methods of display and interpretation and the methodologies behind museum practice and country house collections. Then you’ll choose from optional modules on topics such as cultural theory, sculpture, Hollywood icons or cinema.

At the same time, you’ll develop practical skills. You’ll work on an interpretation project in our Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and you’ll even undertake a negotiated work placement in your second semester. Supported by the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills for a successful career in the museum and art gallery sector.

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.

You’ll study in the heart of a cultural hub for this diverse and vibrant region. Leeds is home to a national museum, nine council-run museums, galleries and heritage sites and many private and charitable museums and galleries.

We’re also a short bus or train journey away from everything the rest of Yorkshire has to offer, from The Hepworth Wakefield to the National Media Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. We have close links with many of these cultural institutions to support your practical learning.

The degree is also available to study part-time over 24 months. Students who study part-time will attend on one day per week each year. The part-time MA may be of special interest to those who are working in related fields as part of their career development.

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.

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Durham University's unique MA in Museum and Artefact Studies aims to provide students with 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 aims to provide students with 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 students 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 students 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 students 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).

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 students to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that they have gained through their lectures and through independent study outside the programmes formal contact hours. Finally, practical classes allow students 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 students develop their knowledge and ability as independent learners , giving them 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 students 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. Students have a 20-day Museum placement at Easter in a museum or archive. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to undertake their own independent study to prepare for their classes and broaden their 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, students could be spending the equivalent of a working week as they complete the work for their 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, students 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.

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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

Course Overview

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.

To apply for this course you must have successfully completed the Museum Studies MA.

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.

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.

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.

Modules

For detailed module information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/museum-practice-mprac/#modules

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/museum-practice-mprac/#howtoapply

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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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