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 you need to develop your career in the museum and galleries profession.

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 you need to develop your career in the museum and galleries profession.

Course information

UK fee £10,900

International fee £18,200

Taught by Museum Studies

Distance Learning Team
+44 (0)116 252 2903
dladmissions@le.ac.uk

Programme Director
Dr Nuala Morse
nuala.morse@leicester.ac.uk

Museum Studies website

Course description

Course description

This programme allows you to gain an MA, MSc, PGDip or PGCert in Museum Studies to enable you to work at a museum or gallery or to participate in further academic research.

Our postgraduate programme in Museum Studies is grounded in museum practice and informed at every level by world-leading teaching and research. 

We will introduce you to the tools you will need, your tutors and their latest research and a diverse series of learning events.

During this course, you will consider:

  • What is a museum?
  • What are its purposes?
  • How do we encounter and think about objects?
  • How and why do museums look after them?

These topics will lead to the subject of how museums communicate with their audiences; what an exhibition is and how museums tackle them. You will be given expert training in sector-relevant research and professional skills and will have the option of studying specialist subjects such as heritage, museum education, the digital world and museums and the natural environment. There will also be plenty of study visits, visiting speakers from the sector and an opportunity to put on your own exhibition.

Beyond the teaching sessions, you will be able to conduct your own research project. You might choose to write this up as a dissertation, but you could also consider writing a paper, a critique or a professional report. We look forward to working with you on the possibilities.

Finally, in the 'Practice' module, you will work in a Museum, Gallery or Heritage Site on a project devised by the host institution. We continue to build contacts with a huge range of organisations across the UK and every year offer placements that excite and challenge our students. You might find yourself caring for a world-class collection, helping to design and install an exhibition, or developing a teaching app for school children. 

 

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

This is the total course fee. Your fee will be determined by where you will be living during your studies.

Starting in October 2023 or 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

This is the total course fee. Your fee will be determined by where you will be living during your studies.

Starting in October 2023 or 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

Your career development is fundamental to all aspects of our postgraduate Museum Studies teaching and curriculum. Collaborative working with a wide range of museums, galleries and other cultural organisations is critical to the development and delivery of all of our courses.

You will benefit from a programme of study visits to museums and galleries around the UK (six to eight per year), which will help familiarise you with a variety of working environments and organisations within the museum and gallery sector. These study visits provide numerous opportunities to meet a wide range of museum and gallery professionals.

You will complete an eight-week, full-time work placement offered by one of the over 200 members of the LUMEN network of museums and galleries. Your selection of a work placement host is supported by a Work Placement Marketplace where representatives of a number of museums visit us to promote their museums.

Our MSc and MA in Museum Studies courses not only equip you with the relevant skills for today’s competitive job market, but you will be alerted to relevant employment and internship opportunities with appropriate organisations through the Career Development Service. If you are already in employment, you can obtain advice around promotion, pay increases and future careers. Whatever career stage you are at, the Career Development Service is here to support you with professional networking, advice on interviews and CVs, work experience and volunteering opportunities, and more. 

Moreover, many of our Museum Studies graduates either secure or begin to consider opportunities for doctoral studies. A Museum Studies PhD often leads to employment in a research-related area or in an academic environment.

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:

Plus your Research project

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?

At Leicester we have more than 20 years' experience of offering high-quality distance learning courses. More than 36,000 students have successfully graduated with a University of Leicester qualification studied through distance learning.

This course is based on leading museum studies research and practice. It has been designed by experts in the field, who have been involved in expanding the academic discipline of museum studies over many years.

You can take advantage of our network of 20 associate tutors who are all museum professionals working in the sector.

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 our innovative teaching techniques and high-quality contact time with the teaching team. You will be taught through a combination of lectures; where ideas and theoretical concepts will be introduced; and seminars; where you will have the opportunity to discuss ideas with lecturers and fellow students. The Museum Studies postgraduate course is an interactive programme involving practical skills workshops, online tasks and individual study (research and reading) to help you through your learning journey. Regular visits to museums around the country provide opportunities to explore contemporary practice.

Guest lecturers offer additional perspectives, are a source of inspiration and ideas, and will give you the opportunity to further strengthen your links with the profession. During the summer term, you will undertake an eight-week museum or gallery placement.

Our assessment strategy is designed to be varied and inclusive of learners' diverse needs. This is a coursework-based masters degree that combines academic assessments such as short written pieces, with those skills required by employers such as presentations, briefing papers and reports.

If you wish to obtain an MA or MSc, you will undertake supervised research into a topic of your choice and complete an 8000-word dissertation or comparable piece of work such as a paper, a critique or a professional report.

Key dates

Start date: 3 April 2023
Application deadline for April 2023 start: 20 March 2023

Start date: 2 October 2023
Application deadline for October 2023 start: 18 September 2023

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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