Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA, PGDip, 9 months-1 year, full-time

Course information

UK/EU fee £8,560

International fee £19,760

Taught by Museum Studies

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+44 (0)116 252 3963

Museum Studies website

This is for you if... you want to develop the knowledge and skills required to become an art museum and gallery specialist or as preparation for further postgraduate study.

Course description

Course description

Due to the ongoing impact of the global pandemic we have had to evaluate all of our courses to ensure that we adhere to Government guidelines to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and students. This means that as we work through these changes the modules, delivery methods and assessments shown, including those shown for future years, are subject to change.

Supported by a large team of art museum and gallery specialists our Art Museum and Gallery Studies programme takes museum studies in a new direction. It focuses entirely on art institutions from beginning to end. In doing so, it recognises that art museums and galleries are a distinctive kind of institution and that they are best understood in relation to other kinds of art institution (biennials, art fairs, kunsthalles and so on), rather than in relation to other kinds of heritage attraction. In this programme we pay equal attention to collection-focused art museums and to contemporary art institutions. Our aim is to prepare you for work in a wide range of careers in the art sector and to understand that art sector as it is now.

Museum Studies at the University of Leicester has been the world leader in its field since its birth in 1966. It is one of few autonomous museum studies departments in the world. It was the first to develop an Art Museum and Gallery Studies programme. It is also home to CRÍA, an innovative new organisation that researches the institutions of art.

This programme is shaped as a journey from student to art professional. You will begin by locating and deconstructing the art performances of both the great art museums and contemporary art institutions of various kinds. You will then explore how you can become an expert in the field and the role of the art curator. You will study how to manage and care for art objects and collections, and how to shape art experiences for the public so as to foster social change and life enrichment.

The programme concludes with an exhibition project that will involve you in working with artists and curating artworks, field research addressing the relationship between art, institution and the city, a research project of your own design, and an eight-week work placement with a museum or gallery

We also offer a broad-based MA/MSc in Museum Studies both on campus and by flexible or distance learning

What's the difference?

If you wish to obtain an MA you will undertake supervised a research project into a topic of your choice. If you wish to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma you do not complete this research project. 

Field trip

Included in the course are online interactions with, or on-site field trips to, art museums and galleries around the country, offering insights into practitioners and real-world contexts. Leicester is excellently placed to visit institutions in London, the Eastern counties, the Midlands, the South West and the North of England. In the second semester, field trips to accessible major cities (or an online equivalent in the case of a local Covid-19 lockdown) will focus on how different art institutions relate to their location. 

Download a prospectus (PDF, 1.2MB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

In recognition of the diverse employment needs of the culture sector, our admissions process recognises and credits a range of prior qualifications and experiences.

  • 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.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

This is the total course fee.

Starting in September 2020

  • MA: £8,560
  • PGDip: £6,850

Find out more about fees and funding.

Did you know you can apply for a Government Postgraduate Loan? Find out if you’re eligible.

International Students

This is the total course fee.

Starting in September 2020

  • MA: £19,760
  • PGDip: £15,810

Find out more about fees and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Museum Studies at Leicester is committed to producing creative professionals. We will equip you with the core skills and knowledge necessary for a career in museums and art galleries. You will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively with the concepts and issues that underpin museum and gallery work. The course will broaden your philosophical approach to learning and equip you with the practical methods and skills you will need for a successful career in museums, galleries and related art institutions.

The MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies provides you with the flexibility to follow your own area of specialism. Career development has shaped the course curriculum and collaborative working with a wide range of museums, galleries and other cultural organisations is critical to its development and delivery.

The course will give you the entry qualification for a career in museum and galleries. If you are already working in the sector it will provide you with the opportunity to develop new knowledge and skills to advance your career. Graduates of this course work in museums, galleries and related institutions around the world. Many have gone on to complete PhDs and are now university researchers and teachers. We also run our own jobs listing. It is one of the most popular in the sector.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses

Related courses

Course structure

Core modules

Core modules

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.



If you wish to obtain an MA qualification you will undertake supervised research into a topic of your choice and complete a Research Project. Those that wish to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma do not complete the dissertation.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Why Leicester?

An eight-week work placement lets you put into practice the skills you have developed on the course.

Museum Studies at Leicester is a world-leading hub for research, teaching, thinking, debate, and practice.

You will gain knowledge in art history and experience in curating an art exhibition through working with artists and historic collections.

You will explore the art ecology of a major city, gaining knowledge about its art institutions, networks and artist-led organisations.

Museums Studies at Leicester

Maria is learning from Professors whose work she read before coming to Leicester.

Teaching and learning

You will alternate intensive periods of work in online lectures, live seminars, workshops and practical sessions with time set aside for the completion of assignments, reading and exploring your own specialisms. You will also gain insider knowledge, about art exhibitions and other projects, from museum professionals and artists. Regular guest speakers from museums and art galleries around the country provide opportunities to explore contemporary practice with working professionals.

Guest lecturers offer additional real-world perspectives, and are a source of inspiration and ideas which give you the opportunity to further strengthen your links with the profession. During the summer, you will undertake an eight-week museum or gallery placement. We have an extensive network of more than 200 museum and gallery collaborators who offer placement projects.

Museum Studies at the University of Leicester has the largest and most diverse team of museum researchers and teachers in the world. Their books are used to teach museum studies courses around the world. At the University of Leicester, these world-leading specialists will teach you. 

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Course Art Museum and Gallery Studies Qualification MA Duration 1 year full-time Start Dates September each year Availability Apply Now
Course Art Museum and Gallery Studies Qualification PGDip Duration 9 months full-time Start Dates September each year Availability Apply Now