Museum Studies MA
This MA provides a broad academic and professional training in all aspects of museum work, and encourages students to reflect on the concept of the museum and its associated practices. The programme looks at all types of museum, from art galleries to science museums, without concentrating on any particular kind.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £8,750
- UK/EU Part-time: £4,400
- Overseas Full-time: £17,000
- Overseas Part-time: £8,500
- All applicants: 20 January 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
Students are equipped with a range of skills that they can apply in any museum and develop critically aware perspectives on professional practice and research processes. The programme's main aim is to provide an in-depth understanding of approaches to the research documentation, interpretation, presentation and preservation of curated materials in museums.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study in related fields such as Museum Studies, Heritage Studies and Conservation.
Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by University College London's main library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.
London's many museums and galleries are a wonderful source of discussion and material for this degree, but in particular UCL's own important museums and collections are drawn upon for teaching, including those of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, the Art Museum, and the Grant Museum of Zoology.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), work placement (15 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
All students undertake an independent research project on a museological topic which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, practical workshops, museum visits and guest speakers. Students are required to undertake a work placement for a total of 20 days. Assessment is through coursework assignments, projects, essays, field reports, portfolio and the dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
A minimum of a high upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants should also have gained experience of working in museums or related organisations (this experience is often gained in a voluntary capacity).
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Good
How to apply
Due to the high demand for places on this programme, candidates are advised to submit their admissions application by the end of December for September start the following year. The final deadline for submitting complete applications, including references, is 20 January 2014.
Who can apply?
The programme is intended primarily for those who wish to enter the museum profession in the UK or abroad or else pursue PhD studies on museological topics. It provides a balance of practice and theory for students from a wide range of academic backgrounds and cultures.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Museum Studies at graduate level
- why you want to study Museum Studies at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
- an appropriate level of awareness of the museum sector
- ability to demonstrate a critical engagement with museum environments and/or exhibitions as 'informed visitors, for example being able to discuss the strength and weaknesses of different museum exhibitions, displays or interpretative strategies
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Some recent graduates of the programme have gone to do PhDs while others have pursued careers in professional organisations associated with the museum and/or heritage sector. According to the UCL Careers Office, ca.90% of UK graduates from this degree have taken up employment in the museum sector within six months of leave.
Top career destinations for this programme
- Bank of England Museum, Education and Museums Officer, 2010
- Benjamin Franklin House, Marketing Supervisor, 2011
- British Postal Museum, Collections Cataloguer, 2009
- National Taiwan University, Research Assistant, 2010
- UNESCO, Museum Project Assistant, 2010
The MA in Museum Studies facilitates the development of both practical skills relevant to a professional career in the museum and galleries sector and a solid understanding of, and critical engagement with, theoretical issues involved in contemporary museum practice. Core practical skills include collections care procedures, packing and storing objects, documentation, collections-based research, exhibition production, and display evaluation. A museum-based placement and optional courses can be chosen to enable students to focus on specific additional areas of theory and practice. Thansferable skills include independent research, writing anf communication skills, interpersonal skills, use of IT, time management and group working.
"The Institute of Archaeology's library has been an invaluable tool due to the huge amount of material available that is related to our field, and is one of my favourite things about the institute."
Degree: Archaeology MA
"UCL Archaeology has a great atmosphere for both staff and students; it's a great place to work, and with so many experts passing through from different countries to give lectures and seminars it is very much the centre of the archaeological world."
Professor Mike Parker Pearson
Professor of British Later Prehistory