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Taught degree

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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£9,015 (FT) £4,530 (PT)
Overseas:
£17,510 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
20 January 2015
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.

Entry Requirements

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).

English language requirement: Good

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.

International equivalencies

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

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.

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).

Core Modules

  • Museum Communication
  • Managing Museums
  • Collections Management and Care
  • The Museum: Critical Perspectives

Options

  • Oral History from Creation to Curation
  • Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects
  • Issues in Conservation: Context of Conservation
  • Heritage, Globalisation and Development
  • Exhibition Project
  • Cultural Memory
  • Conservation in Practice: Preventive Conservation
  • Collections Curatorship
  • Antiquities and the Law

Dissertation/report

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.

Funding

UK and EU students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council funding.

Kathleen Kenyon Awards

Value:
£4,000
Duration:
1 year

Gordon Childe Studentship

Value:
UK/EU fees plus stipend
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website

Careers

Some recent graduates of the programme have gone to do complete a PhD while others have pursued a career in professional organisations associated with the museum and/or heritage sector. 90% of UK graduates from this degree take up employment in the museum sector within six months.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Bank of England Museum, Education and Museums Officer, 2010,
  • Benjamin Franklin House, Marketing Supervisor, 2011,
  • National Taiwan University, Research Assistant, 2010,
  • UNESCO, Museum Project Assistant, 2010,
  • V&A, Assistant Curator Middle Eastern, Asian Department, 2011,

Employability

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 and communication skills, interpersonal skills, use of IT, time management and group working.

Why 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 have access to MA courses taught in other UCL departments. Please note that students need to contact the relevant course coordinators to register their interest since there are only limited spaces available.

Student / staff ratios › 60 staff › 263 taught students › 130 research students

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Application and next steps

Applications

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?

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
2015-01-20
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.

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 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
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.

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