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Museum and Gallery Studies MA

Course Description

Choose Kingston's Museum and Gallery Studies MA

This course is ideal if you are interested in pursuing imaginative, interdisciplinary, international museum study. It will advance your knowledge of contemporary developments in this vibrant and sophisticated area of culture, art and heritage industries, and provide you with transferable skills essential for the sector. Our underlying philosophy is to offer you a broad and engaging vision of, and approach to, contemporary museum, gallery and heritage practice, evaluation and innovating ideas around the institution and industry.

About this course

You will study a series of dedicated taught modules that are concerned with issues of critical theory and analysis, research methodologies and creative practice. You will be expected to conduct research around the broad themes and subjects addressed by each module. This research will allow you to tailor your own path of study according to your particular interests and future aspirations.

Key features

This course provides an interdisciplinary study of museums and galleries. It offers a range of approaches to teaching and assessment based on the concept of creative research, including creative project work and practice-based research opportunities.

The major project allows you to develop your own interests and gain valuable research and practice-based skills.

Possible European destinations for field visits include Paris, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

What will you study?

The course examines contemporary issues and practices, including collection, interpretation, exhibition, space, place and the city, audiences and communities, institutional purpose, scenario planning and sustainable futures. You will study taught modules covering critical analysis and creative practice, and conduct research around the broad themes and subjects addressed by each module. Modules have been developed in collaboration with, and are taught with museums such as the Museum of London, National Maritime Museum, V&A, and Kingston Museum and Heritage Service.


Essays, project work, portfolio, and dissertation (12,000-15,000 words).

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.


Ideas and Institutions
Learning and Experience
Exhibition an Encounter
The Challenge of Change
Major Project

What is the focus of this course?

Creative practice

The Museum and Gallery Studies MA is a critical and creative practice-based postgraduate programme of academic study. It is ambitious in its aim to:

re-imagine the relationships between academy and profession; and
explore the implications and applications of this approach to accepted ideas of academic museum studies and museum practice.

Ideas of, and approaches to, practice are therefore central to the course, as are opportunities for engaging directly in experimental and creative practice-based research in both institutional and more-than-institutional contexts.

Located within the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, the MA programme of study engages across artistic, urban planning, architectural and design practices as offering alternative creative approaches to museum study and practice. Our genuinely interdisciplinary approach to creative practice is one of the unique features of our curriculum.
A place-based approach

The programme develops through a strongly place-based approach to the contemporary museum. The broad aim is to:

offer a more sustainable, place-sensitive approach to our understandings of museums, museum practices and their academic study; and
further open the museum up to the world in an ethical engagement towards more-than-institutional futures.

Our place-based approach also draws on our location in London as a world city and museum metropolis. Place, locality, ecology and community are essential to museums and museum practices wherever they may be found and from whichever country our students might come from. The course aspires to be international in its scope and vision whilst always grounded in a sympathetic and progressive sense of place.

Museum and Gallery Studies MA news and events blog

Keep in touch with news, events, awards and generally what's going on with the Museum and Gallery Studies MA at Kingston University: https://blogs.kingston.ac.uk/mgs/

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Visit the Museum and Gallery Studies MA page on the Kingston University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Theresa Macaulay

"As a professional looking to change career to the museum sector the Kingston MA presented itself as the most pragmatic course on offer. The reality was an entertaining and immersive educational experience that prepared me with an understanding of the museum world and the practical tools to work within it. I cannot recommend it highly enough."


Entry Requirements

Good BA(Hons) degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area, which may include: humanities subject, such as art history, design history, english literature, film and media studies, cultural studies, philosophy; social sciences subject, such as geography, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, history or education; practice-based degree in an area such as fine art, design or architecture; or business or management related course. We welcome students with relevant professional practice experience should they not hold a higher education qualification. For students without professional experience in museums and galleries, voluntary museum work is not a requirement for acceptance on the course.

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