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Course content

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)


Visit the Art History and Museum Curating - MA page on the University of Sussex website for more details!

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