Museums and Galleries in Education MA
The Museums and Galleries in Education MA combines academic study with professional educational practice in museums, galleries and heritage sites, looking at influential contemporary and historic theories in museum and gallery education. This programme also enables international collaborations to take place across the academic and professional field of museum studies.
The programme enables students to carry out a practical and theoretical study on education in museums and galleries. University-based sessions are supplemented by teaching sessions at national, regional and university collections. Additionally students gain flexible access to historic and contemporary sites and full-time students have a 20-day research-based placement in a museum, gallery or heritage site.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation and portfolio (60 credits).
- Issues in Museum Studies
- The module focuses upon participants' professional practice in education as a basis for examining the field of museum studies and developments in museum education, referred to as Museology. It introduces contemporary issues and practice in museum and gallery education and seeks to relate museum education theory to personal practice. Seminars introduce participants to reading and research in the field of museum studies and museum learning, and lectures introduce philosophical, historical, psychological and sociological dimensions of informal sites for education. The module examines the museum as an educational institution, the historical development of museum education, strategies for teaching and learning from material culture and the formation of museum collections and their diverse audiences. Using the British Museum Enlightenment Gallery, early issues in collection and education are debated.
- Responsive Museums: Inclusion and Outreach in Practice
- This module focuses on smaller and medium sized museums and galleries, onsite and offsite, and at archives. The emphasis is on informal learning, outreach and community work; and at audiences such as tourists and lifelong learners. It looks at varieties of providers including volunteers; and broadly at diversity. The Museum of London and the Metropolitan Archives are two of the case studies. The focus of the coursework is on how to secure funding for museum learning projects and programmes.
- Alternative Models for Art Education
In the past decade political, economic and technological developments have had a major impact on art education and generated critical debate about the efficacy of existing art educational models. As a direct response new paradigms are being established locally and globally, including: online colleges, nomadic art schools, and more idiosyncratic short-term projects in and outside of established institutions.
This module enables students to investigate and engage critically with these recent initiatives. Geographical context will also be examined in relation to the increasingly global and digitally networked possibilities for education, communication and knowledge production. The module requires students to devise a proposal for an educational model linked to a specific context that is relevant to their practice. As such it will allow them to formulate their developing philosophical and critical position as artist educators whilst engaging with current literature and debate.
- Constructing and Interpreting Heritage Culture
- This module explores the learning and teaching opportunities that take place in spaces typically defined as places of leisure rather than learning. As the boundaries between formal and informal learning blur alternative sites for learning such as heritage sites (including gardens, zoos and the eco-museum via geo-tourism) have extended their educational remit beyond the pamphlet or guide-book. This module explores and critically appraises the educational potential of these sites and participants will be required to: - critique received views of heritage, culture and history within a multicultural increasingly global context and to offer an alternative perspective on museum and gallery learning; - develop a critical understanding of the contribution the heritage industry can make to building new cultures and communities; - establish the need for criticality in relation to learning and teaching in informal educational sites; - understand the structures and ideologies that sustain heritage culture within the global context of the 'new tourism'.
- Contemporary Art and Artists in Education
The module will enable you to engage critically with contemporary art (practices and discourses) and to investigate the potential of contemporary art and artists to inform practice in different educational contexts, e.g. schools, colleges, galleries and museums. It aims to challenge educational orthodoxies and question myths surrounding modernism by considering contemporary art in the context of the wider international field of visual and material culture. In order to explore debates and practices you will be introduced to analytical methodologies.
- Material and Virtual Cultures: Transforming the Museum and Gallery Experience
This module investigates the key role that new media technologies now play in the work of many artists and designers, in learning, and in the interpretation of art and artefacts in galleries, museums and other sites for learning. Both artists' work and museum and galleries provide a platform for critically considering the ways in which recent technological changes have influenced the reception and dissemination of material culture.
The module is designed to open up the space for interdisciplinary discussions beyond the fields of art, design and museology. It embraces contemporary discussions around the authenticity of the object, taxonomies of the visual, the impact of technology on public and private spheres, the relationship between old and new media, interactivity, and use of technologies to develop new audiences and new ways of facilitating learning. It includes the in-depth study of immersive installations, video art, simulacra, avatars, video games, mobile and navigational technologies, podcasting, and digitisation.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 14,000 words with a portfolio equivalent to 6,000 words for full-time students and a 10,000-word report for flexible students.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching is undertaken by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) staff and visiting lecturers in a variety of forms including lectures, seminars, workshops, visual presentations with a substantial part of the programme involving off-site teaching in museums, galleries and heritage sites. Assessment includes 5,000-word assignments and electronic media.
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
You will normally be required to have an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in an arts, humanities or science-related subject from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, together with professional or voluntary experience in museums, galleries or heritage sites.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October or January.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working as: education officers at historical sites, digital programme managers in national art and design museums, heads of learning, heads of interpretation and curation in museums and galleries, and heads of research.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Learning Manager (Audience Development), Design Museum
- Programme Manager, Dulwich Picture Gallery
- Heritage Intern, South Somerset District Council
- Science Educator, Natural History Museum
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Museums and Galleries in Education MA has a long and distinguished history for both those wishing to learn about the educational potential of the cultural sector and those wishing to expand their existing careers.
UCL Institute of Education is ideally situated for students to make excellent use of an extraordinary range of institutions, many within walking distance of the Art, Design and Museology studios.
Moreover the MA works in close collaboration with the Art and Design in Education MA tutors and together they have created an international research-active environment in which to share knowledge and professional expertise.
Department: Culture, Communication & Media
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Culture, Communication & Media
78% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
This programme combines academic study with professional educational practice. It is suited to those interested in working in informal learning in the cultural sector. Applications are invited from a range of suitably qualified professionals - gallery and museum educators, heritage interpreters, arts administrators, artists, designers, lecturers and primary and secondary teachers.
- All applicants
- 18 August 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Museums and Galleries in Education at graduate level
- why you want to study Museums and Galleries in Education at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.