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MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies

Course Description


This interdisciplinary programme will equip you with valuable skills and a critical understanding of issues in curatorship, museology and museum management.

You’ll develop your understanding of the ways in which historians and cultural theorists have interpreted and represented architecture, material culture and museums over the past 2,000 years. You’ll look at different methods of display and interpretation and the methodologies behind museum practice and country house collections. Then you’ll choose from optional modules on topics such as cultural theory, sculpture, Hollywood icons or cinema.

At the same time, you’ll develop practical skills. You’ll work on an interpretation project in our Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and you’ll even undertake a negotiated work placement in your second semester. Supported by the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills for a successful career in the museum and art gallery sector.

All students on the degree become members of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and enjoy opportunities from networking events and links to alumni to conferences, seminars and reading groups.

You’ll study in the heart of a cultural hub for this diverse and vibrant region. Leeds is home to a national museum, nine council-run museums, galleries and heritage sites and many private and charitable museums and galleries.

We’re also a short bus or train journey away from everything the rest of Yorkshire has to offer, from The Hepworth Wakefield to the National Media Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. We have close links with many of these cultural institutions to support your practical learning.

The degree is also available to study part-time over 24 months. Students who study part-time will attend on one day per week each year. The part-time MA may be of special interest to those who are working in related fields as part of their career development.

Course Content

A set of core modules form the bedrock of the programme, introducing you to the concept of the ‘museum’ and the ways in which Western museums have represented and interpreted history and historical material.

You’ll also use contemporary theory to consider 20th-century museum practice and key questions around curatorship, museology and museum management. The role of the curator, funding and sponsorship and the display and interpretation of objects are among the topics you’ll cover.

Your core modules will give you the chance to apply your theoretical knowledge and gain practical skills. You’ll take part in an interpretation project in the University’s Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, as well as completing a work placement in an external arts or heritage organisation.

All MA students in the School take two core modules which develop the research skills to complete research projects such as your essays and dissertation. This will build to our unique MA Symposium in Semester 2, where you present some of your own research across interdisciplinary panels, and a dissertation which enables you to undertake research in a topic of interest to you.

Visit the MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in a relevant subject. Professional experience will also be considered. IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Please contact us for more information.

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