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
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.
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).
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.
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:
The course offers a programme of study that is broad-ranging in terms of its coverage of a variety of areas of Europe since 1500, including Russia and the Soviet Union; medical history; Britain and Ireland; the British Empire and British foreign relations; the Mediterranean world; and US history since 1800. We have thematic and conceptual specialisms in social, political and cultural history; comparative and transnational histories; and the history of migrations and diasporas. If you join us you will be taught by leading authorities in these fields and will gain advanced level training in historical methods, theories and theory and ideas relevant to the study of this island’s past. Overall we provide an excellent foundation for further study; a bridge to new employment opportunities; and a fundamentally valuable cultural and educational experience. We work with local history and cultural sector practitioners from museums, archives, and libraries, and these people contribute to our programme and enhance your experience.
The MA comprises four taught modules of 120 credits and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme is taught by lectures, staff papers, seminar discussions and via student presentations.
The modules are:
Debates and Controversies (30 credit points). This module examines some of the major debates in Historical studies today. The debates and controversies chosen are not exhaustive but are instead exemplars of why historians over disagree over sources, methods, politics, and other factors, and why historical works can be so different. At the same time the module will respond to a diversity of student interests by offering students an opportunity to develop their own reading and historical insights.
Themes in History (30 credit points). This module offers students the opportunity to explore themes in History that draw upon areas of particular staff specialism and that will develop and deepen their knowledge and understand. Divided into three themes of four weeks each, each block will examine key questions, sources and approaches within a theme. We will offer 4-5 themes each cycle to enable a degree of choice within the module’s teaching and learning programme.
Research Methods for Historical Research (30 credit points). This module will provide students with the appropriate research skills necessary for study at postgraduate level, ranging from advanced usage of the library’s rich range of digitised primary sources to the exploitation of free sites and the development of a comprehensive and relevant bibliography for the dissertation. Sessions are designed to help students fit their emerging research question explicitly within the framework of available secondary and primary sources and to develop strategies for obtaining the most benefit possible from such resources. The module also allows students to practise and develop their oral presentation skills.
Special Topic in History (30 credit points). This module encourages focused study of one field of staff expertise. It is taught by individual consultation and a series of group sessions that encourage group support and shared reflection on the research process. Examined by an extended essay, the module will foster deep engagement with specifically related clusters of historical texts.
Dissertation (60 credit points). This module is an independent piece of research on an aspect of historical studies that interests you. Students set the agenda and are guided by some general sessions at the beginning and by individual supervision sessions throughout the semester. The final dissertation is approximately 15,000 words in length.
Full Time: Two modules per semester. Each taught module involves one two-hour lecture/seminar meeting per week for twelve consecutive weeks. Taught modules are scheduled for evenings 5:15-7:15 pm. This is to facilitate attendance by those in full-time work. Independent study modules involve an equivalent number of study hours, with contact hours arranged with supervisory staff.
Part Time: One module per semester. Each taught module involves one two-hour lecture/seminar meeting per week for twelve consecutive weeks. Taught modules are scheduled for evenings 5:15-7:15pm. Independent study modules involve an equivalent number of study hours, with contact hours arranged with supervisory staff.
Students graduating with the MA in History are well-prepared to undertake a variety of occupations. Some students will progress to doctoral research and academic careers. Others will become teachers or lecturers in further education. Not all MA graduates become teachers or university lecturers. Other options include work in libraries, archives, museums, or full-time work in research for charities, official organisations, government, etc. Others may go into marketing advertising, publishing, the civil service or politics. Our MA programmes have been known to help teachers advance their careers. Others pursue these degrees purely through interest and a love of the past. All graduate occupational outcomes are enhanced by a higher qualification such as this.