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.
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)