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Course content


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

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

Key areas of investigation in this MA include

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

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


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

Taught Modules

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

MA Research Dissertation

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

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

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


This course is taught on the Belfast campus.

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

Work placement / study abroad

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

Career options

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

The areas graduates have gone on to include:

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

Visit the Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies - MA/PGDip page on the Ulster University website for more details!






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