Heritage professionals, researchers and students from around the world come to Leicester to think creatively and critically about museums, galleries and heritage at the School of Museum Studies.
The largest of its kind in the world and the only one in the UK, the School started out as a small group offering a graduate certificate in 1966. It awarded its first PhD in Museum Studies – probably the first in the Anglophone world – in 1983 to Lynne Teather, who wrote on Museology and Its Traditions: the British Experience, 1845-1945.
The School is highly influential, with its Research Centre for Museums and Galleries focusing on how museums can be research-led, socially impactful and inclusive.
Despite its eminence, it is no ivory tower.
Peggy Banks, who left school aged 14 and did not study for a degree, took an MSc in Museum Studies in 2018. Her many years spent working in museums, in a paid and voluntary capacity, meant she could apply for postgraduate study.
“I was over the moon at being accepted,” she says – although admits to having asked herself a few times “What I have done?”