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Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries MA, MSc, PGDip, PGCert, Short course - one module, by distance learning

Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries MA, MSc, PGDip, PGCert, Short course - one module, by distance learning

Different course options

Study mode

Distance without attendance


18 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Diploma

Subject areas

Museum Skills

Course type


Course Summary

Course description

In the 21st century, leading museums, galleries and heritage practice began to make use of socially engaged approaches. This course will examine the role of museums and practitioners in shaping society's understandings of contemporary issues, upholding values of inclusivity and accessibility, and ensuring that museums benefit their communities. Choosing to study Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries will give you access to leading research and practice on the impact that museums and galleries can have on advocating for social justice and human rights, and how they might better explore and address the contemporary issues that face our societies.

This course is based on research that has been undertaken over the last 15 years by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at Leicester, and draws on broader global shifts in practice. It will introduce you to cutting-edge examples of socially-driven professional practice and challenge you to think deeply about the role of culture in society and the characteristics of socially purposeful museums and galleries.

Over the course, you will engage critically and creatively with areas such as:

  • partnership working
  • participatory practices
  • learning and education
  • design and experience
  • visitor studies and audience research
  • leadership at all levels of an organisation
  • how socially engaged practice can be embedded into the work of museums and galleries

You will gain a deeper understanding of the historical, current and emerging debates, theories, issues, techniques and practice in order to effectively develop and advocate for socially engaged practice in museums, galleries, and similar organisations.

Careers and employability

Our Museum Studies graduates have been employed in some of the largest and most prestigious museums and galleries worldwide, in addition to some smaller specialist and local institutions. They include:

  • National Museums Liverpool
  • The British Museum
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • Tropenmuseum, Netherlands
  • International Council of Museums
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Greek Ministry of Culture
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Imperial War Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum


As museums become increasingly committed to their communities, audiences, and social purposes, the traditional notions of education and learning have found new avenues of practice and significance at the core of the museum?s work. This module helps you to develop a deeper understanding of the unique role of museums and galleries for learning. It will support you to develop your set of approaches and tools to foster learning and education in museum and gallery settings in ways that are meaningful, purposeful, and relevant to individuals and groups within society. It recognises the challenges of advocating for education and learning in the context of museums and galleries, and will enhance your skills in leading and shaping new practice and programming. Overall, this module explores new meanings of museum and gallery education and learning in the context of socially purposeful museums and galleries. It provides you with an opportunity to develop a learning resource and to think deeply about collaborative and participatory approaches including 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, so as 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