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Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Museum Studies / Museology

Course type


Course Summary

Course description

This course is grounded in museum practice and informed at every level by leading museum studies research. You will benefit from the range of exciting and innovative research that takes place in the world-leading Museum Studies at Leicester each year.

We will introduce you to the tools you will need, your tutors and their latest research and a diverse series of learning events.

During this course, you will consider:

  • What is a museum?
  • What are its purposes?
  • How do we encounter and think about objects?
  • How and why do museums look after them?

These topics will lead to the subject of how museums communicate with their audiences; what an exhibition is and how museums tackle them. You will be given expert training in sector-relevant research and professional skills and will have the option of studying specialist subjects such as heritage, museum education, the digital world and museums and the natural environment. There will also be plenty of study visits, visiting speakers from the sector and an opportunity to put on your own exhibition.

Beyond the teaching sessions, you will be able to conduct your own research project. You might choose to write this up as a dissertation, but you could also consider writing a paper, a critique or a professional report, or perhaps even producing a film. We look forward to working with you on the possibilities.

What's the difference?

If your dissertation concerns a science collection or museum, or if the nature of your investigation is 'scientific', you can receive a Master of Science (MSc) degree instead of a Master of Arts (MA) degree.

If you would like to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma you will complete all of the modules, but not the dissertation.

Careers and employability

Your career development is fundamental to all aspects of our teaching and curriculum. Collaborative working with a wide range of museums, galleries and other cultural organisations is critical to the development and delivery of all of our courses.

You will benefit from a programme of study visits to museums and galleries around the UK (six to eight per year), which will help familiarise you with a variety of working environments and organisations within the museum and gallery sector. These study visits provide numerous opportunities to meet a wide range of museum and gallery professionals.

You will complete an eight-week, full-time work placement offered by one of the over 200 members of the LUMEN network of museums and galleries. Your selection of a work placement host is supported by a Work Placement Marketplace where representatives of a number of museums visit us to promote their museums.


In this module, you'll sketch out the social, cultural and historical landscapes within which museums are located. This will help you to develop detailed understandings of the place of museums across the globe, in diverse societies, and explore their relationships to other institutions and agencies. In this module you'll critically consider and discuss different histories and discourses concerning museums and galleries, and assess how wider agendas, policy formulation, struggles for justice, and current museum thinking are impacting on these institutions. You'll look out from the museum, to consider the external environment upon which it impacts and that, in turn, impacts upon it. Finally, you'll work to locate the museum within a number of trajectories around digital, educational, rights-based and ethical practice.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need to have: Either a first class or second class degree, which can be in any subject area; Or be able to demonstrate equivalent skills and aptitudes through the possession of a professional or vocational qualification and/or the accrual of relevant work experiences. Relevant experience can come from a wide spectrum of work or voluntary environments but clear evidence of this experience must be provided. You should be able to demonstrate a commitment to, or strong interest in, museums, galleries, or other kinds of heritage or cultural organisation. If you do not have a degree, you will be asked complete an assessment, such as an essay, to demonstrate your readiness for postgraduate study. Clear guidance will be provided on assessment criteria. You may also be required to attend an interview.

University information

For a century, the University of Leicester has been home to great minds; academics, researchers and students who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, advance new practices, and develop a fresh way of thinking. Through the ground-breaking work of the university’s expert research groups, postgraduate students will tackle the emerging social, economic, political, and scientific issues head-on and set the agenda where others simply follow....more

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