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Masters Degrees (Museums)

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This course looks at the way that museums, galleries and other cultural institutions are changing to meet the needs of the 21st century. Read more

This course looks at the way that museums, galleries and other cultural institutions are changing to meet the needs of the 21st century. The MA has been designed for students who wish to work as curators, arts organisers, museum professional and other cultural managers and who want to know in particular how these institutions face contemporary issues. It looks at the changing role of cultural provision and how agencies, festivals and flexible organisations shape, house, fund, and disseminate culture today. The course also gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the contemporary debates about working practices in cultural institutions, and the changing context in which organisations operate.

The course concentrates on professional practice and you will work closely with institutions such as Tate Britain and the Museum of London, and conduct case studies into creative projects run by organisations as diverse as the Victoria and Albert Museum, smaller independent galleries and London-based festivals and arts organisations. Classes are taught off-site at other institutions, and involve professionals from the sector as much as possible to give you an understanding of vocational issues and a close involvement in the workplace.

You will examine key issues and themes in the museums and gallery sector, and explore how these are dealt with not just in theory, but also on a day-to-day basis by leading institutions. You will learn about the challenges faced by museums and galleries, how they confront them and how they are developing innovative practices in relation to their collections, exhibitions and audiences. 

Gaining professional knowledge is an important part of the course and you will be able to meet curators and museum professionals. The University also assists students to gain internships, work placements and to work on professional projects. 

The teaching team are curators, museum and gallery professionals, as well as university academics. You will be taught through seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and workshops, together with independent, student-directed study where students develop their own project. If you are interested in studying the broader theoretical context of museum and gallery issues you can also take modules from other courses taught in the Department, such as Art and Visual Culture MA.

Assessment methods include written coursework - essays, presentations, proposals and project reports as well as a final 10,000–12,000-word Major Research Project.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

You will choose five modules from the list of option modules below.

Core modules

Option modules

Partnerships

Modules on this course have been designed as partnerships with Tate and the Museum of London.

Career path

Graduates will have the skills to work in a variety of positions in the cultural sector, including in the post of curator, consultant, arts and media strategists and advisers, funding officers or education and interpretation officers.



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

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

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

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

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

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

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

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The Museums and Galleries in Education MA combines academic study with professional educational practice in museums, galleries and heritage sites, looking at influential contemporary and historic theories in museum and gallery education. Read more

The Museums and Galleries in Education MA combines academic study with professional educational practice in museums, galleries and heritage sites, looking at influential contemporary and historic theories in museum and gallery education. This programme also enables international collaborations to take place across the academic and professional field of museum studies.

About this degree

The programme enables students to carry out a practical and theoretical study on education in museums and galleries. University-based sessions are supplemented by teaching sessions at national, regional and university collections. Additionally students gain flexible access to historic and contemporary sites and full-time students have a 20-day research-based placement in a museum, gallery or heritage site.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation and portfolio (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Issues in Museum Studies
  • Responsive Museums: Inclusion and Outreach in Practice

Optional modules

  • Alternative Models for Art Education
  • Constructing and Interpreting Heritage Culture
  • Contemporary Art and Artists in Education
  • Material and Virtual Cultures: Transforming the Museum and Gallery Experience

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 14,000 words with a portfolio equivalent to 6,000 words for full-time students and a 10,000-word report for flexible students.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is undertaken by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) staff and visiting lecturers in a variety of forms including lectures, seminars, workshops, visual presentations with a substantial part of the programme involving off-site teaching in museums, galleries and heritage sites. Assessment includes 5,000-word assignments and electronic media.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Museums and Galleries in Education MA

Careers

Graduates of this programme are currently working as: education officers at historical sites, digital programme managers in national art and design museums, heads of learning, heads of interpretation and curation in museums and galleries, and heads of research.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Visitor Experience Associate and Exhibit Mentor, Boston Children's Museum

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 Museums and Galleries in Education MA has a long and distinguished history for both those wishing to learn about the educational potential of the cultural sector and those wishing to expand their existing careers.

UCL Institute of Education is ideally situated for students to make excellent use of an extraordinary range of institutions, many within walking distance of the Art, Design and Museology studios.

Moreover the MA works in close collaboration with the Art and Design in Education MA tutors and together they have created an international research-active environment in which to share knowledge and professional expertise.

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: Culture, Communication & Media

78% 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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In the 21st century, leading museums, galleries and heritage practice began to make use of socially engaged approaches. Read more
In the 21st century, leading museums, galleries and heritage practice began to make use of socially engaged approaches. This course will examine the role of museums and practitioners in shaping society’s understandings of contemporary issues, upholding values of inclusivity and accessibility, and ensuring that museums benefit their communities. Choosing to study Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries will give you access to leading research and practice on the impact that museums and galleries can have on advocating for social justice and human rights, and how they might better explore and address the contemporary issues that face our societies.

This course is based on research that has been undertaken over the last 15 years by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at Leicester, and draws on broader global shifts in practice. It will introduce you to cutting-edge examples of socially-driven professional practice and challenge you to think deeply about the role of culture in society and the characteristics of socially purposeful museums and practices.

Over the course, you will engage critically and creatively with areas such as:

partnership working and participatory practices
learning and education
design and experience
visitor studies and audience research
leadership at all levels of an organisation
how socially engaged practice can be embedded into the work of museums and galleries

You will gain a deeper understanding of the historical, current and emerging debates, theories, issues, techniques and practice in order to effectively develop and advocate for socially engaged practice in museums, galleries, and similar organisations. The course offers a platform to explore and experiment with ways of maximising the impact that museums and galleries can have on the wellbeing of communities, on civil debates around controversial topics, and on the building of fairer and more equal societies.

The programme is delivered in a variety of ways, including online lectures, seminars, and tutorials, course readers which are posted to you, and discussion activities. There are also optional face-to-face sessions held each year. The programme is designed to fit around your existing commitments, and is sympathetically structured to allow you to break up the work into manageable chunks and focus on one assignment at a time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skills

By completing this programme you'll be able to:

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

Careers

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

  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Programming
  • Fundraising/developing

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

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

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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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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This vocational masters degree (new for 2018) has been developed in partnership with the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove in response to current priorities within the museums and heritage sector. Read more

This vocational masters degree (new for 2018) has been developed in partnership with the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove in response to current priorities within the museums and heritage sector.

Through wide-ranging module options, it caters both for candidates working in the museums and heritage industry wishing to progress their careers, as well as those wishing to move into the sector. Students already working in the sector can choose to take up to 60 credits of business modules and have that reflected in the award they graduate with, Curating Collections and Heritage with Management MA.

Modules cover themes crucial to building a successful career in curating collections and heritage and all feature practical learning and experience at their heart. This MA will appeal to those with a broad range of interests, from curating design, dress and screen to visual culture, heritage and exhibitions.

This new course is in the final stages of development and may change. Check back for the most up-to-date information, as we update the page. 

Why study with us?

  • The course has been developed in partnership with the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove.
  • Part-time study and flexible learning means the course can be incorporated into workplace professional development. Elements of the programme are designed to support applicants who are undertaking or hope to take their Associateship of the Museums Association qualification.
  • Teaching staff include respected University of Brighton academics who develop leading research on the museums and heritage sector, and curating professionals from the Royal Pavilion Museums, the Design Archives and Screen Archive South East.
  • Students can gain industry experience on the course, either through a placement or through the week-long practical module, Collections Intensive, at a partner organisation.
  • Those already working or volunteering within the sector can increase their career prospects by choosing business management modules and graduate with Curating Collections and Heritage with Management.
  • Students have access to internationally important collections including the Royal Pavilion Museum’s collections of decorative art, world art and natural history and University of Brighton-held collections relating to design history, screen history, and historic dress and textiles.
  • Off-site study visits, live briefs and hands-on sessions in all modules bring insight into contemporary practice. 

Syllabus

Semester 1

In semester 1 you undertake a core module and choose one of three option modules.

Museums and Collections Knowledge Journey considers the critical questions of the museum and collections sector, exploring and debating the role and purpose of museums and collections, the ethical responsibilities involved, and key issues in learning, inclusivity and audience development. The module covers several of the key criteria which feature on the Museum Association's in-service professional qualification, Associateship of the Museums Associaton (AMA), supporting or preparing students in their careers.

  • Museums and Collections Knowledge Journey (40 credits)

Options

  • Heritage in a Global Context (20 credits)
  • Strategy, Planning and Commissioning (20 credits)*
  • Managing People (20 credits)

Semester 2

In semester 2 you undertake a core Research Methods module, a dissertation or research project, and choose two option modules. The major, 60-credit research project can take the form of a traditional dissertation or professional report related to a specific organisation's actual requirements in, for example, a collections management issue, a marketing concern, or educational provision. 

Options

  • Digital Curating (20 credits)
  • Critical Reflection on Current Exhibitions (20 credits) 
  • Work placement in the museums or heritage sector  (20 credits)
  • Collections Intensive (20 credits), week-long behind-the-scenes module in a museum or collection
  • Exploring Partnership Working (20 credits)*
  • Managing Finance in Different Contexts (20 credits)*
  • Marketing and Communication (20 credits)*
  • Leadership with Ethics (20 credits)*

* Business modules can be taken by students who already have some experience working in a museum or heritage site. If you choose business modules amounting to 60 credits across both semesters, this will be reflected in the award you graduate with, Curating Collections and Heritage with Management. 

Careers and employability

This MA is designed to respond to current industry requirements. You will have unique access to museums and heritage professionals though behind-the-scenes working and guest lecturers.

Students choose option modules and develop areas of specialism but all leave with skills to begin or progress a career in the collections and heritage sector. A combination of practical work experience, industry connections and scholarly knowledge will provide an excellent springboard for working in roles such as traditional and digital curating, collections and business management, management, marketing, media and communication, partnerships and fundraising.



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The programme is ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in the museum, heritage and arts sectors with a focus on non-Western art and culture, and both tangible and intangible heritage. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The programme is ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in the museum, heritage and arts sectors with a focus on non-Western art and culture, and both tangible and intangible heritage. It will suit practicing museum and heritage professionals who are interested in strengthening their knowledge of contemporary debates in critical museology, critical heritage studies and material culture studies. With its interdisciplinary focus, it will suit students interested in broadening their expertise across anthropology, art history and archaeology. It will also provide an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research concerned with museums, heritage, and material/visual culture in Asian, African, Middle Eastern and transnational/transcultural contexts.

This interdisciplinary programme brings together anthropological, art historical and archaeological perspectives to explore the interconnecting fields of museums, heritage and material culture studies. The MA disprivileges Western museum and heritage discourses and practices, and explores tangible and intangible cultural heritage as spheres of global interaction.

The MA will equip students with a theoretically-informed critical understanding of museums, heritage and material/visual culture. Taught across the Department of Anthropology and School of Arts, the MA provides a unique opportunity to learn about current debates in World Art and World Heritage, combining ethnographic, art historical and archaeological approaches.

Students will be introduced to a wide range of thematic and theoretical issues, and will have the opportunity to curate a small exhibition in the Curating Cultures module, and put into practice anthropological research techniques in the Ethnographic Research Methods course.

Situated in London’s ‘Museum Mile’, a few hundred meters from the British Museum, and with its own Brunei Gallery, SOAS provides a unique environment in which to study the cultural heritage of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Programme Overview

The programme consists of 180 credits in total: 120 credits of modules and a dissertation of 10,000 words at 60 credits.

All students are expected to take the core and compulsory modules listed here - https://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-museums-heritage-and-material-culture-studies/

Students are advised to take one or both of the recommended modules listed below or may wish to select from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or the School of Arts (Departments of Centre for Media Studies, History of Art and Archaeology or Music) options lists.

The remaining credits can be selected from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology list or the School of Arts options. See below for a detailed programme structure.

Language Entitlement Programme:

Many students choose to pursue a language through the SOAS Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others may also be offered.

Teaching & Learning

Students taking the MA in Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies will have the opportunity to achieve:

- A critical awareness of contemporary theoretical debates in museum studies, cultural heritage studies, and material/visual culture studies;
- A familiarity with the distinctive contributions of anthropology, art history and archaeology to these interdisciplinary fields;
- A critical awareness of World Art/World Cultures/World Heritage, with an emphasis on SOAS’s regional specialisms (Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as transnational/diasporic contexts;
- An understanding of ethnographic approaches to tangible and intangible heritage research;
- Experience of object-based knowledge and museological research methods.

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Your programme of study. If you are fascinated by our changing cultural life across the world and you want to experience being involved in communication the the festivals and events we have on offer globally, the cultural and creative communications programme offered by Aberdeen will help you towards that goal. Read more

Your programme of study

If you are fascinated by our changing cultural life across the world and you want to experience being involved in communication the the festivals and events we have on offer globally, the cultural and creative communications programme offered by Aberdeen will help you towards that goal. In Scotland alone there are many famous festivals such as the Fringe and Edinburgh Festival, the Fireballs Festival in Stonehaven near Aberdeen, Uphelia in Shetland, and the Cullen Skink contest in Cullen to name just a few. The programme is very exciting as it is multidisciplinary and you can choose a variety of different options in line with your own interest areas. This is not just a typical communications programme in the sense of simply writing press releases or articles, it offers you the chance to get involved in the build side of things and the actual communication of exhibitions themselves too.

You may be interested in bringing static objects to life from museums, you may be interested in the type of environment in which audiences engage with culture, or have an interest in Northern World.  You learn some very useful skills within marketing and creative writing to enable you to bring creativity to life to promote creativity to others.  Other optional courses include art history, archives, curating exhibitions and Cultural Property Law. If your interests lie in museums you acquire plenty of all round skills to communicate within marketing, exhibitions and events. If you want to go into a gallery setting you still acquire these all round skills but your interests will be more in the fine art world specifically, though some museums often provide galleries. The business skills you can learn are very useful to market, protect and lead teams within the creative sector.

Career opportunities can be as varied as the courses you study or you can choose to specialise within specific areas of the arts. You can work in museums, private and public collections, galleries (Contemporary and Historic), heritage attractions, castles, stately homes, arts organisations and charities, local government and arts initiatives, festivals and within marketing for these areas. You can also work as a journalist, PR professional and researcher.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

Introduction

Compulsory Courses

  • Public Engagement for the Arts

Optional

  • The Museum Idea
  • Understanding People and Environment
  • Northern Worlds
  • Marketing Management
  • Introduction to Art History for Business
  • Creative Writing Iii Non - Fiction
  • Introduction to Visual Cultural and Theory
  • Communication Theory and Analysis

Semester 2

Optional

  • Managing Self and Others
  • The Leadership Challenge
  • Approaching Archives
  • Northern Peoples and Cultures
  • Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art, and Museums
  • Developing A Theory of Practice: Learning and Museums
  • Curating an Exhibition

Semester 3

Compulsory

  • Dissertation in Cultural and Creative Communication

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Aberdeen has been teaching arts and humanities since the inauguration of Kings College in 1495. It is packed with museums, artefacts, galleries, architectural interest and art in all formats. You also have access to texts and scripts from all ages
  • The city offers you a great art gallery and several museums with paintings and art forms from all centuries and travelling exhibitions
  • You are welcome to attend events across arts and humanities subject areas and research centres
  • You gain hands on experience at Aberdeen within its museums and galleries with plenty of first class art from all ages both at the University and at the art gallery in the city centre. Aberdeen also offers very wide ranging museums and is on the famous 'Castle Trail' of properties owned by the National Trust for Scotland. These properties also offer you the opportunity to volunteer and become involved in the NTS.

Where you study

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

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees

*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

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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Learn to speak and write confidently about museums and curatorship, with a focus on photography, together with hands-on experience in a museum setting. Read more

Learn to speak and write confidently about museums and curatorship, with a focus on photography, together with hands-on experience in a museum setting. You consider the future of museums and how you can contribute to it.

You visit museums in Sussex and in London, allowing you to learn first-hand about institutional histories, collections, permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions. You’re taught by Sussex tutors and external specialists. In the past, these have included senior staff from the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, the V&A, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

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 and an option based on photography at Sussex. You also 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, working with photographic collections. You'll gain 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, specifically in the context of photography, 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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Our flexible research programme focuses on our key research themes. These are. cultural politics and policy; identity, community and place; and representation and media. Read more
Our flexible research programme focuses on our key research themes. These are: cultural politics and policy; identity, community and place; and representation and media. The course is ideal for professionals interested in enhancing their career through research. It will also suit those who want to progress to doctoral study.

The Heritage Museums and Galleries MLitt is a researched based programme with some taught elements. The taught research methods part of the programme provides structured learning. This is ideal if you're unfamiliar with academic research or have been away from academia for a long time.

The flexible nature of the assignments make this programme particularly suitable for sector professionals. It will suit those interested in advancing their career and knowledge through research. The assignments offer the opportunity for you to explore a variety of smaller topics or carry out in-depth research on a single topic.

The programme is in Media, Culture, Heritage, within the School of Arts and Cultures. We also have links with the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS). This is a leading academic centre for research and teaching in museum, gallery, and heritage studies.

ICCHS has a thriving, high-profile interdisciplinary research community of:
-Postgraduate research students
-Experienced academic researchers who are key figures in their fields

Facilities

As a research student in Media, Culture, Heritage, you will have access to a dedicated study space with networked PCs, printing and photocopying facilities. You can also use the common room and kitchen to meet with fellow researchers and academics.

You will have access to our top quality facilities, plus the extensive cultural resources available on campus and in the city:
-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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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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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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This MA at UCL Qatar equips students with the necessary theoretical and practical skills to assume a career as a leading museum professional within Qatar, the wider Gulf region or further afield. Read more

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

About this degree

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

Core modules

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

Optional modules

Students choose from the following:

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

Dissertation/report

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

Teaching and learning

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

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

Careers

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

Employability

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

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

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

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

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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

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



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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

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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