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What will I learn?

Overview

The Art Gallery and Museum Studies MA aims to provide you with a critical understanding of issues in curatorship, museology and museum management.

This Masters course considers the ways in which material culture has been represented and interpreted by historians and cultural theorists, the methodologies behind museum practice and methods of display and interpretation, and also puts theory and practice into dialogue.

Through the course, you will develop a critical understanding of the histories of art galleries and museums and explore and challenge key ideas that have shaped museum practice. You will also deploy these historical and theoretical understandings to develop innovative approaches to curation, interpretation and engaging audiences.

Supported by the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, you will gain the knowledge and skills for a successful career in the museum and art gallery sector.

You will study in the heart of a cultural hub for this diverse and vibrant region. Leeds is home to a wide variety of world-leading and innovative arts and heritage organisations, from the Royal Armouries, Opera North, Leeds Playhouse and Northern Ballet, to museums, galleries and heritage sites and many contemporary art spaces.

We are also close to everything the rest of Yorkshire has to offer, from The Hepworth Wakefield to the National Science and Media Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Brontë Parsonage Museum. We have close links with many of these cultural institutions to support your practical learning.

You will become a member of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and enjoy opportunities from networking events and links to alumni to conferences, seminars and reading groups.

Learning and teaching

You will be taught by leading researchers and experienced practitioners in their fields, and you will benefit from a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures and seminars, group learning sessions, as well as gaining insights into specific collections in library sessions.

You will learn from practical experience when you undertake your work placement and a variety of external speakers will give you an insight into contemporary practice in the sector.

Independent study is an important element of the degree, allowing you to develop your research and critical skills. The University Library offers free classes and resources on topics such as academic integrity and plagiarism, public speaking, searching for information and structuring essays.

As part of the course, you will be encouraged to build a portfolio of project work to support future job applications.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Career opportunities

Through a combination of theory and practice, this course produces graduates who are able to develop professional careers in the museums and heritage sector whilst retaining a critical and reflexive eye on their own practice and that of the institutions in which they work.

It will equip you with a good understanding of the issues and approaches to art gallery and museum studies, as well as practical work experience – a combination which is very valuable to employers. You will also develop advanced skills in communication, research and analysis as well as cultural awareness.

Our graduates work as heads of collection, curators and education staff in local authority museums, for national heritage organisations like the National Trust, charitable trusts and in arts marketing and public relations.

Which department am I in?

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

Study options

Full Time (12 months)

Tuition fees
£21,250.00 (US$ 23,026) per year
This is a fixed fee

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

September 2022, September 2023

Venue

University of Leeds

Woodhouse Lane,

Leeds,

LS2 9JT, England

Entry requirements

For students from United States

For Postgraduate qualification, students need to have 4 year Bachelors: for courses requiring 2.1 students need to have a GPA of 3.0; for courses requiring 2.2 students need to have a GPA of 2.5. Minimum qualifications include: IELTS (International English Language Testing System) an overall band of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each component skill.

For international students

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject. Previous academic work should indicate an ability to develop critical thinking around the sector. Professional experience will also be considered. Experience of volunteering or working in a relevant field, such as museums, galleries, auction houses and/or heritage organisations, is required. We do not require a specific length of time to have spent in work experience though you must be able to critically reflect on your experience in your personal statement and at interview. IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) at 92 overall with no less than 21 in listening, 21 in reading, 23 in speaking and 22 in writing.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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About University of Leeds

The University of Leeds enjoys a high student satisfaction rate – 3rd in the UK (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, 2018).

  • In the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings 2021
  • #15 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021
  • One of the largest single-site campuses in the UK
  • Diverse campus with over 12,000 international students

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