The MA Museum Studies 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.
Degree co-ordinators: Theano Moussouri and Alice Stevenson
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, communication, public engagement, interpretation, presentation and preservation of curated materials in museums, while responding to their audiences and communities. Grounded in museum practice and research, the programme looks at all types of museums.
Please note that we are not recruiting students to degree or degree level programmes through commerical, commission based relationships with agents.
We are no longer accepting new applications for entry in 2021-22. Applications for entry in 2022-23 will open in early November 2021.
This degree programme comprises three 15 credit core modules, one 30 credit core module, two 15 credits option modules, a dissertation and placement, each of which is described in greater detail below. Teaching for this degree is primarily by lectures, seminars, practical workshops and museum visits.
All students are required to take the following:
- The Museum: Critical Perspectives (ARCL0092, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Managing Museums (ARCL0093, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Collections Management and Care (ARCL0118, 30 credits, 22 weeks)
- Museum Communication and Audience Engagement (ARCL0130, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
Students also choose two further 15 credit modules from the following list (other modules may also be available):
- Collections Curatorship (ARCL0132, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Antiquities and the Law (ARCL0126, 15 credits, 11 weeks) Not running in 2021-22
- Archaeological Data Science (ARCL0160, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Curating Science & Technology (HPSCGA43, 15 credits, 11 weeks) - by arrangement with the Department of Science and Technology Studies
- GIS in Archaeology and History (ARCL0094, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Oral History: From Creation to Curation (INSTG058, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
- Social and material contexts of art: comparative approaches to art explanation (ARCL0176, 15 credits, 11 weeks) Not running in 2021-22
Please note not all modules are available every year.
(60 credits) - Students are required to research and write a dissertation (10,000 words) on a museological topic. Students will be assigned a supervisor to guide the main stages of the work.
Examples of recent projects include:
- The museum on display: exploring changing attitudes to museum architecture at the V&A
- Memorial museums and the representation of genocide
- Rethinking 'Zulu' material culture in the British Museum's collections
- Digital technologies and museum communication
- Artists-in-residence, artist-curators and the reinterpretation of museum collections
- The National Mall in Washington DC and post-assimilationist US identity
- Historical house museums: representing history, evoking memory
- The art of museum diplomacy: the Singapore-France cultural collaboration in perspective
(15 credits) - Students are required to undertake a minimum of twenty days of supervised placement project with a public musuem or related organisation as a compulsory and assessed part of the degree. Remote placements with museums will be available should circumstances dictate.
Placements usually take place one day per week during term-time, although other arrangements are possible. As part of their assessment, students create a poster and give a poster presentation at the end of the placement reflecting on their experience.
Recent placements have included: Brent Museum, the British Museum, Croydon Museum, Event Communications, the Freud Museum, Hackney Museum, London Transport Museum, the Museum of London, RAF Museums, the Royal Academy, Royal Botanical Gardens, Royal Historical Palaces, St Paul's Cathedral, Tate Britain, UCL Museums & Collections.
Contact Charlotte Frearson London museum studies placement facilitator