Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries MA, MSc, PGDip, PGCert, Short course - one module, by distance learning

2 months-2 years

Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries MA, MSc, PGDip, PGCert, Short course - one module, by distance learning, 2 months-2 years

Course information

UK/EU fee £10,445

International fee £17,450

Taught by Museum Studies

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

Programme Director
Dr Katy Bunning
katy.bunning@le.ac.uk

Museum Studies website

This is for you if... you want a flexible, part-time course that allows you to develop skills and expertise in addressing contemporary social issues in museums and galleries.

Course description

Course description

In the 21st century, leading museums, galleries and heritage practice began to make use of socially engaged approaches. This course will examine the role of museums and practitioners in shaping society's understandings of contemporary issues, upholding antiracist and anti-oppression values of inclusivity and accessibility, and ensuring that museums benefit their communities. Choosing to study Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries will give you access to leading research and practice on the impact that museums and galleries can have on advocating for social justice and human rights, and how they might better explore and address the contemporary issues that face our societies.

This course brings together cutting-edge examples of socially driven professional practice in dialogue with research undertaken by academics within the School of Museum Studies. It draws on broader global shifts in practice and will challenge you to think deeply about the role of culture in society and the characteristics of socially purposeful museums and galleries.

Over the course, you will engage critically and creatively with areas such as:

  • partnership working
  • participatory practices
  • anti-racism and anti-oppression work
  • ethical frameworks for practice
  • liberation and accessibility
  • visitor studies and audience research
  • leadership at all levels of an organisation
  • how socially engaged practice can be embedded into the work of museums and galleries

You will gain a deeper understanding of the historical, current and emerging debates, theories, issues, techniques and practice in order to effectively develop and advocate for socially engaged practice in museums, galleries, and similar organisations. The course offers a platform to explore and experiment with ways of maximising the impact that museums and galleries can have on the wellbeing of communities, on civil debates around controversial topics, and on the building of fairer and more equal societies.

The course is delivered in a variety of ways, including online lectures, seminars, and tutorials, and discussion activities. The programme is designed to fit around your existing commitments and is sympathetically structured to allow you to break up the work into manageable chunks and focus on one assignment at a time.  

You will receive high quality support from your module tutors and a personal tutor throughout your studies.  

What's the difference?

If you are taking the MA or MSc, you will take four core modules, followed by four option modules, as well as completing a research project on the topic of your choice. For many, it is the most exciting part of the course, as a self-directed opportunity to contribute new ideas, new knowledge, or critique existing scholarship or practice at an advanced academic level. You might choose to write this up as a dissertation, but you could also consider writing a paper, a professional report, or perhaps even producing a film. We look forward to working with you on the possibilities. A Master of Science (MSc) can be awarded in preference to a Master of Arts (MA) where the dissertation concerns a science collection or museum, or where the nature of the investigation can be termed 'scientific'.

To complete the Postgraduate Diploma, you will take four core modules, followed by four option modules, giving you the opportunity to delve into your particular interests and to further explore and contextualise socially engaged practice through specific lenses.

You can attain a Postgraduate Certificate by undertaking just the four core modules. It is also possible to take one module, Exploring Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries, as a short course.

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.

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. Please note that the fees for our distance learning courses are based on where you will be residing in the world during your studies.

Starting in April 2022

  • MA/MSc: £10,445
  • PGDip: £9,305
  • PGCert: £4,655
  • Short course (one module): £1,165

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, PGCert or Short course)

International Students

This is the total course fee. Please note that the fees for our distance learning courses are based on where you will be residing in the world during your studies.

Starting in April 2022

  • MA/MSc: £17,450
  • PGDip: £15,520
  • PGCert: £7,760
  • Short course (one module): £1,940

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

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Our Museum Studies graduates have been employed in some of the largest and most prestigious museums and galleries worldwide, in addition to some smaller specialist and local institutions. They include:

  • National Museums Liverpool
  • The British Museum
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • Tropenmuseum, Netherlands
  • International Council of Museums
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Greek Ministry of Culture
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Imperial War Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum

Our Career Development Service is here to support you – by email, phone or skype – with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience and more. From registration to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course structure

MA/MSc modules

MA/MSc modules

Core modules

Option modules

Choose four option modules from:

Plus your Dissertation

A Master of Science (MSc) can be awarded in preference to a Master of Arts (MA) where the dissertation concerns a science collection or museum, or where the nature of the investigation can be termed 'scientific'.

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 modules

PGCert modules

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?

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

This degree offers maximum flexibility for students wishing to take anything from one module to a whole Masters degree, which can be completed in a minimum of two years or built up module by module over a longer period.

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

You will be supported by a dedicated team of academics, tutors and support staff. You will be allocated a personal tutor who can advise you on a range of issues and support you. In addition, for each module you will be allocated a module tutor who is a specialist in that particular field. Your module tutor will support you with academic enquiries as well as your essay plans, marking your assignments and providing you with detailed feedback.

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

Time is built into the structure for you to complete assignments and wider reading on areas of particular interest to you, as well as self-directed study visits. Tutorials with experienced museum professionals are available at various points in the course.

You are invited to join an optional Summer School offering live online or face-to-face teaching, discussions, group activities and the chance to network with fellow part-time learners and staff.

If you are completing a dissertation as part of the MA/MSc course, you will receive four supervisions with your allocated tutor, with support offered between supervisions as and when needed.

Assessment

There are between one and three pieces of assessed coursework for each of the core modules. Together, these form a carefully designed, broad range of assignments including essays, project work, discussions, and presentations as well as practical exercises. Your module tutor will provide you with detailed feedback on each assignment you submit.

Key dates

Start date: 4 April 2022
Application deadline for April 2022 start: 23 March 2022

Start date: 3 October 2022
Application deadline for October 2022 start: 19 September 2022

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Course Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries Qualification MA Duration 2 years, part-time Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now
Course Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries Qualification MSc Duration 2 years, part-time Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now
Course Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries Qualification PGDip Duration 18 months, part-time Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now
Course Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries Qualification PGCert Duration 8.5 months, part-time Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now
Course Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries Qualification Short course - one module Duration 2 months, part-time Start Dates April and October each year Availability Apply Now

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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