Research degrees

We offer supervision for the degree of:

This degree is provided via two routes: the standard PhD which is outlined below and a practice-centred PhD.

We offer supervision in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff including:

  • Educational and communicative character of museums
  • History of museums, objects, and collections
  • Museum spaces and technologies
  • Scientific analyses of objects and collections
  • Cultural policy and politics
  • Cultural analyses of museums, objects, and collections

Find a supervisor in your research area.

Entry requirements

Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • A first class or 2:1 in a first degree, or a Masters degree. As this is an interdisciplinary programme, we will consider any degree combination.
  • You should have a good knowledge of the field of Museum Studies, however, we recognise that knowledge acquired in other fields – from palaeontology to Modern Languages – can serve as a strong foundation for PhD study of museums, galleries and heritage.
  • Students undertaking a PhD in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Practice will usually be working professionals. We will also consider individuals working outside of these formal relationships on the basis of their proposal or an agreed relationship with a museum or heritage organisation. We will consider individuals working in peripheral or commercial organisations associated with this sector (commercial gallery managers, trustees, environmental scientists, tourism officers and so on). We will consider non-professionals where the project has a strong practice-based element (such as a collection or heritage survey).
  • An outline proposal. We do not expect this to perfectly conceptualise the project as this will be achieved in the early stages of study. We are, however, looking for a viable project and the ability to engage deeply with a subject. In addition to describing the project and its methodology your proposal will also need to specify whether the route you intend to follow is the standard or practice-centred route to PhD. You might find the College of Social Science, Arts and Humanities' FutureLearn MOOC 'Writing a Research Proposal' useful.

The entrance requirements for the PhD by distance learning are the same as for the campus-based PhD, but additionally we will need to be sure that you have access to a good university library with some museum studies texts. We will also need to be sure that you are in a position to contact your tutor on a regular basis.

Sources of funding

Once you are a student in Museum Studies you can search for funding to assist with research expenses through the University’s subscription to the research funding database ResearchProfessional.

Many of our international PhD students are funded through scholarships from their country of origin.

Research training

As a Leicester PhD student you will experience a highly individualised programme of research training, with the emphasis on developing the skills needed to complete your thesis and, where appropriate, to prepare you for your subsequent career. These include generic skills and subject-related skills.

You will be offered a menu of opportunities for training and skill development from which you will be expected, in consultation with your supervisor, to create your own personalised programme of training, subject to on-going review and evaluation. Along with training provided by the University, other opportunities for skills-development include:

  • Self-directed reading
  • School-based subject-related classes and lectures
  • Seminars and conferences
  • Teaching opportunities
  • Work experience.

You will also be part of a community of PhD students who are actively seeking to develop resources and experiences to aid individual development.

Contact details

If you have general enquiries or questions about the course please contact:

Christine Cheesman - Admissions Secretary
+44 (0)116 252 3963