Membership of the Museums Association can help further your career

Become a valued member

01.03.2018
Professional organisations provide access to useful networks as well as benefits such as free entry to events and museums
Membership of professional bodies such as the Museums Association (MA) opens the door to more than just free entry to museums. It offers valuable networks, which help you get a foothold in the sector, develop your career or specialise.

Student membership of the MA does give free entry to museums and exhibitions, but also includes 11 issues of Museums Journal in print each year and access to its online archive. The magazine’s sister publication, Museum Practice online and its archive, is also part of the package, as is discounted entry to MA events.

Importantly, it means you can attend the MA’s annual conference at a reduced rate. It is where people from national, local and independent museums gather to debate, learn about trends, hear from movers, shakers and government ministers, discuss developments in their fields and share expertise.

Annual MA membership costs £56 for full-time students.

Other organisations to think about joining are:

National Trust – there’s no student membership but there is an annual young person’s membership (13-25 year olds), which costs £32.40 and entitles you to free entry to hundreds of properties and sites in the UK.

English Heritage – there is a student membership scheme that costs £45 a year and gives entry to more than 400 historic sites, plus events, a handbook and a members’ magazine.

What to read


A Companion to Museum Studies, edited by Sharon Macdonald (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), is a multidisciplinary collection of essays by leaders in museum studies and related fields, covering practical issues – buildings, display, collecting – alongside academic theory.

If you are an aspiring curator look at Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating (Mousse Publishing, 2013) edited by Jens Hoffmann, and Thinking About Exhibitions (Routledge, 1996) by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce Ferguson and Sandy Nairne. On art history, read Art History: A Critical Introduction to its Methods (Manchester University Press, 2006) by Michael Hatt and Charlotte Klonk.

With growing interest in topics such as social activism, ethics and diversity, it’s worth seeking out texts dealing with these issues, such as Critical Practice: Artists, Museums, Ethics (Museum Meanings, 2017) by Janet Marstine.

Museums Without Borders (Routledge, 2015) by Robert Janes explores the role of institutions in society, and Museums, Moralities and Human Rights (Museum Meanings, 2016) by Richard Sandell considers how they can shape the moral and political climate around human rights.

Links and downloads

Courses guide and listings 2018 (pdf)