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This is for you if... you want to develop the knowledge and skills required to move into a variety of careers in museums and galleries or as preparation for further postgraduate study.

Course description

This course is grounded in museum practice and informed at every level by leading museum studies research. You will benefit from the range of exciting and innovative research that takes place in the world-leading Museum Studies at Leicester each year.

We will introduce you to the tools you will need, your tutors and their latest research and a diverse series of learning events.

During this course, you will consider:

  • What is a museum?
  • What are its purposes?
  • How do we encounter and think about objects?
  • How and why do museums look after them?

These topics will lead to the subject of how museums communicate with their audiences; what an exhibition is and how museums tackle them. You will be given expert training in sector-relevant research and professional skills and will have the option of studying specialist subjects such as heritage, museum education, the digital world and museums and the natural environment. There will also be plenty of study visits, visiting speakers from the sector and an opportunity to put on your own exhibition.

Beyond the teaching sessions, you will be able to conduct your own research project. You might choose to write this up as a dissertation, but you could also consider writing a paper, a critique or a professional report, or perhaps even producing a film. We look forward to working with you on the possibilities.

Finally, in the Practice module, you will work in a Museum, Gallery or Heritage Site on a project devised by the host institution. We continue to build contacts with a huge range of organisations across the UK and every year offer placements that excite and challenge our students. You might find yourself caring for a world class collection, helping to build a blockbuster exhibition, or developing a teaching app for school children – the choice is yours.

What's the difference?

If your dissertation concerns a science collection or museum, or if the nature of your investigation is 'scientific', you can receive a Master of Science (MSc) degree instead of a Master of Arts (MA) degree.

If you would like to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma you will complete all of the modules, but not the dissertation.

Careers and employability

Your career development is fundamental to all aspects of our teaching and curriculum. Collaborative working with a wide range of museums, galleries and other cultural organisations is critical to the development and delivery of all of our courses.

You will benefit from a programme of study visits to museums and galleries around the UK (six to eight per year), which will help familiarise you with a variety of working environments and organisations within the museum and gallery sector. These study visits provide numerous opportunities to meet a wide range of museum and gallery professionals.

You will complete an eight-week, full-time work placement offered by one of the over 200 members of the LUMEN network of museums and galleries. Your selection of a work placement host is supported by a Work Placement Marketplace where representatives of a number of museums visit us to promote their museums.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.


Visit the Museum and Gallery Studies - MA/MSc/PGDip page on the University of Leicester website for more details!

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