external shot of the front of a museum

Museum Studies MA, MSc, PGDip, PGCert, by distance learning

18 months-2 years

This is for you if... you want the flexibility of studying by distance learning whilst gaining the knowledge and skills to develop your career in museums, heritage, and cultural sector or prepare for a research degree.

Museum Studies MA, MSc, PGDip, PGCert, by distance learning, 18 months-2 years

This is for you if... you want the flexibility of studying by distance learning whilst gaining the knowledge and skills to develop your career in museums, heritage, and cultural sector or prepare for a research degree.

Course information

UK fee £10,900

International fee £18,200

Taught by Museum Studies

Admissions and course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
Submit a course enquiry

Programme Director
Stamatina Anastopoulou
stamatina.anastopoulou@leicester.ac.uk

Museum Studies

Course description

Course description

Grounded in museum practice and informed by world-leading teaching and research, Museum Studies by distance learning provides a grounding in theoretical, methodological, and professional themes at the forefront of contemporary Museum Studies, and will equip you with the skills and confidence to apply this knowledge within professional contexts.

You will gain insight into how museums and heritage organisations work, and the economic, political, social, and cultural purposes that they serve. You will also learn how to communicate with publics and stakeholders; set up exhibitions and programmes, and care for objects and collections.

What to expect

You will learn from School of Museum Studies academics and visiting experts via our virtual learning environment, where recorded online lectures, live seminars and short activities are supported by access to study notes and reading lists.

Virtual study visits and external speakers will allow you to understand how course topics are implemented within real-life contexts, and provide opportunities for critical thinking beyond reading materials.

You will be offered specialist options - including heritage, the digital world and a practice module that involves working on a project in your own workplace. If you are completing an MA or MSc degree, you will also undertake a supervised research project on a topic of your choice.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

In recognition of the diverse employment needs of the culture sector, we recognise and credit 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, 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.

Reference

You will need to supply a reference as part of your application. An academic reference is preferred but this can also be a work-based reference. You will be able to upload this as part of the application process.

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.

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 Students

Starting in April 2024

  • MA/MSc: £10,900
  • PGDip: £9,810
  • PGCert: £5,450
  • Short course: £1,365

Find out more about how to pay and scholarships and funding.

Did you know you can apply for a Government Postgraduate Loan? Find out if you’re eligible. (MA/MSc only; not available for PGDip.)

International Students

Starting in April 2024

  • MA/MSc: £18,200
  • PGDip: £16,380
  • PGCert: £9,100
  • Short course: £2,275

Find out more about how to pay and scholarships and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Collaborative working with museums and arts, cultural and heritage organisations is critical to the development and delivery of our courses, and your professional development is central to the curriculum. Our graduates have gone on to occupy a range of roles in leading institutions including the National Galleries of Scotland, British Museum and Natural History Museum; Chatsworth House and the National Trust; the Guggenheim and National Museum Ireland, and the the Hong Kong Museum of History and M+ West Kowloon Cultural District. Those contributing to our Alumni Centenary Census (2022) stated that they had also gained key transferable skills, including networking, presentation, communication and critical thinking.

As one of the top-performing postgraduate programmes in Museum Studies in the UK, our graduates go on to occupy a range of roles in the sector. A postgraduate qualification from the University of Leicester is career changing. It can be the springboard to promotion with your current employer, the platform from which to launch a new career, or simply an aid to becoming more effective in your current role.

Course structure

MA/MSc

MA/MSc

Core modules

Option modules

Choose four option modules from:

Research Project {MA/MSc only)

Your final Research Project can be submitted as an academic research paper or a sector-facing report or proposal (8000 words in each case). 

If your Research Project 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.

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.

PGDip

PGDip

Core modules

Option modules

Choose four option modules from:

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.

PGCert

PGCert

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.

Why Leicester?

Our reputation. Museum Studies is the first and largest academic unit in its field worldwide and continues to be recognised for outstanding research excellence. We have acquired a global reputation for leading-edge thinking and experimental practice in museum studies, and the REF 2021 evaluation found that 100% of our research had real-world impact.

Our expertise. Our teaching is research-led and informed by real-world practices and challenges. You will learn from internationally recognised experts and visiting speakers via our virtual learning environment, where online pre-recorded lectures and optional live seminars are supported by access to a personal tutor and diverse learning resources.

Our flexibility. Designed for students with busy lives, our distance learning programmes allow you to study in your own time and at a pace that suits your other commitments. As well as four core modules, we offer a choice of option modules to suit your specific interests and ambitions.

Your professional development. Collaboration with art institutions, museums and cultural organisations is central to the development and delivery of our postgraduate programmes. All School of Museum Studies graduates can join the Museum Studies Connect network, which brings together a community of professionals working in the arts, museum, and heritage sectors worldwide.

FAQs

How is the distance learning course delivered?

This course offers carefully designed teaching material and reading which offer flexibility and allow you to fit your study around other commitments. These materials are delivered through online resources in the University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard. This includes recorded lectures, international case studies of museum practice, guided readings, group discussions and self-led activities to support your learning. You will also be supported by a module tutor and a personal tutor throughout your studies, through email, phone or video chats. 

Our flexible learning course has been designed with different learning styles and access requirements in mind. The flexibility in accessing the material through different formats anticipates a diverse student body and offers choice in how you are taught and assessed.

How long is each module?

The modules runs consecutively, over 8 weeks, with 6 weeks of taught materials and 2 weeks to prepare and submit your assignment. There is a short break between modules. 

For further information about modules choices, see the course structure section above. 

 

Will I need to attend regular, live online sessions?

No. The course is designed to be flexible, so you can choose when to study. There is one live seminar in each of the core modules, and these are recorded if you can’t attend.

How many hours will I study each week?

For each week of study, there is 8 hours of taught materials. Additionally, you are expected to undertake up to 10 hours of independent study per week. 

This is equivalent to a part-time course.

Are there any study visits?

Throughout your course you will be encouraged to undertake guided study visits in your own local area. There are also virtual study visits within the teaching material.

During the summer, you are also invited to our exciting, optional, non-assessed Summer School week, offering face-to-face teaching, discussions, group activities and study visits.

How do assessments work?

You will have one assignment per module (2,500 word essay or equivalent). We aim for a range of assignment types, including essays, project work, reports, exhibition proposals and consultancy briefs, to ensure you get a range of skills required for museum careers. 

What's the difference between an MA and MSc?

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.

Teaching and learning

We pride ourselves on innovative teaching techniques and high-quality contact time. Museum Studies by distance learning is an interactive programme, and our forms of assessment are designed to be both varied and inclusive. You will be appointed a personal tutor at the start of the course and they will provide pastoral care and academic advice throughout.

Our learning materials, including study notes, reading lists and video sit within a virtual learning environment. While online recorded lectures introduce you to key concepts and case studies, optional live seminars create an opportunity to engage in discussion with your peers and tutors. As well as this, you will also learn through completing short activities and carrying out independent research and reading.

All distance learning students are invited to attend our in-person June Summer School week, which is an opportunity to meet peers and School of Museum Studies academics and tutors in person. We will also encourage you to make self-led visits to museums and arts, cultural and heritage institutions in your own area, so that you can engage with current practice through the lens of your postgraduate studies.

Key dates

Start date: 8 April 2024
Application deadline for April 2024 start: 18 March 2024

Start date: 7 October 2024
Application deadline for October 2024 start: 16 September 2024

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Course Museum Studies Qualification MA Duration 2 years by distance learning Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now
Course Museum Studies Qualification MSc Duration 2 years by distance learning Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now
Course Museum Studies Qualification PGDip Duration 18 months by distance learning Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now
Course Museum Studies Qualification PGCert Duration 8 months by distance learning Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now
Course The Museum and Change Qualification Short course - one module Duration 2 months Start Dates Availability Apply Now
student inspecting a sculpture in the library entrance

I’ve benefited greatly from the extensive range of module topics. They’ve filled my knowledge gaps and have enabled me to have a deeper and better understanding, not only of art museums and galleries, but of the whole art ecosystem.

Jane, MA Art Museum and Gallery Studies

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