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Course content

Through combining arts management with heritage studies, students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the changing political, policy and practice contexts within which the arts and heritage sectors operate today.

Core modules explore the nature of heritage and how meanings of objects, artworks and buildings change in different contexts. You will examine the challenges faced by arts managers and cultural leaders, and the changes that have led some museums to move towards the role of the ‘manager’ rather than the ‘curator’.

You will choose from optional modules to tailor your degree to your interests or career plans – including the opportunity to undertake a work placement or consultancy project role in either arts management or heritage. Previous students have undertaken placements focused on collections, digitisation work, digital interpretation and community engagement.

Supported by our Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, you will benefit from our partnerships with major arts and cultural organisations to find out what it means to work in this challenging 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.

Interdisciplinary learning

This exciting programme has been developed in close collaboration with the School of Performance and Cultural Industries and allows students to undertake core and optional courses in both Schools. Students become members of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and enjoy the opportunities that membership offers.

Course content

All MA students in the School take two core modules.

In Arts Management and Cultural Leadership, students will examine theoretical concepts in the emerging field of arts management and the challenges faced by arts managers and cultural leaders. Dialogue with our arts and cultural partners will give an insight into the exciting possibilities opened up by bringing theory and practice together. Students can deepen their learning in this area through optional modules that explore a variety of key issues, such as audience engagement and impact, cultural entrepreneurship, and contemporary cultural strategies, technologies and media.

In Heritage Studies: Key Words, students will develop a critical exploration of heritage through the ways in which people have sought to preserve, understand and pass on their cultures. This is underpinned through combining a sustained theoretical engagement with key ideas which animate heritage – place, community, memory, archive, future – with embedded skills development in heritage and museum interpretative and curatorial practice (which are a core set of sector skills). Students can build on these skills through optional modules such as exploring anthropology and representation, cultural memory and material culture.

Through our Advanced Research Skills modules, students are equipped to undertake assessments and ultimately develop their own research project. The modules build to a symposium in Semester 2 where students present initial research findings towards a dissertation on a research topic of interest.

In addition, students choose from a range of optional modules offered by the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies and the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. These include the opportunity to complete a placement or consultancy project role in either arts management or heritage. Previous students have undertaken placements focused on collections, digitisation work, digital interpretation and community engagement.

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to allow students to benefit from the expertise of our staff. These include weekly seminars, group learning sessions, tutorials and lectures.

Students will also benefit from the expertise of visiting speakers, visits off campus and practical experience. Independent study is also vital to this course, allowing students to develop individual skills and prepare for taught sessions

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Arts Management and Heritage Studies Dissertation 50 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 15 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 25 credits
  • Heritage Studies: Key Words 30 credits
  • Arts Management and Cultural Leadership 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Derrida and Deconstruction 30 credits
  • Capitalism-Criticism-Contemporary Art 30 credits
  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory & the Holocaust 30 credits
  • From Chagall to Kitaj and Beyond 30 credits
  • Encountering Things: Art & Entanglement in Anglo-Saxon England 30 credits
  • Anthropology, Art & Representation 30 credits
  • Individual Directed Study 30 credits
  • Placements in Context: Policy, Organizations and Practice 30 credits
  • Performance & Collaborative Enterprise 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement & Impact 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Arts Management and Heritage Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Arts Management and Heritage Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of our staff. These include weekly seminars, group learning sessions, tutorials and lectures. You’ll also benefit from the expertise of visiting speakers, visits off campus and practical experience. Independent study is also vital to this programme, allowing you to develop your individual skills and prepare for taught sessions.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose, you may experience a range of different assessment methods. These usually include essays of around 7,000 words, individual and group presentations, in-course assessment and project work. You may also be asked to complete a reflective log for your projects, allowing you to look back and critically assess your own practice.

Placement opportunities

All students have a choice of two optional modules. A number of these modules have a work or enterprise component to gain first-hand experience of contemporary museum and gallery practice. If you have a particular ambition in mind for a work placement, we try to find a role that suits you.



Visit the Arts Management and Heritage Studies MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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