Students have a wide range of museum studies courses to choose from at the University of Leicester

Doing further research

Whether it's an MPhil or a PhD you want to do, ensure the research interests of your chosen institution align with yours
Postgraduate courses in museum studies and related fields can vary, both in terms of the qualification on offer and what they include.

Of the 90 such courses listed by Ucas, the majority are master’s – mainly MA but also MSc (Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leicester) and MLitt (Aberdeen and St Andrew’s) and MRes – Master of Research (Birkbeck, University of London).

Newcastle University also offers a two-year MPrac – a master’s in museum practice in which students take the MA in museum studies followed by a year of work placement as the second part of the degree.

The postgraduate diploma or certificate is available at many places, and although it may not sound as elevated as a master’s, diplomas routinely cover the same academic and practical ground but generally omit one module – a long-form project or dissertation. But for those seeking a practical grounding to prepare for a job, diplomas are a useful option. If you’re aspiring to a future in academia or have a postgraduate qualification, there are further research options.

Academic route

The MPhil in museum, gallery and heritage studies with Newcastle University’s International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies offers students the chance to do supervised research, choosing a topic related to one of centre’s key themes – cultural politics and policy, identity, community and place or media and representation. The MPhil curatorial/knowledge programme at Goldsmiths, University of London, gives curators the opportunity to research a theoretical aspect of their work in more depth.

The University of Lincoln’s MPhil in conservation of cultural heritage is project-based,while King’s College London’s MPhil invites students to research the wider cultural industries and is interdisciplinary, drawing on sociology and history studies.

Most of these universities offer PhD programmes for qualified candidates (with a 1st or 2:1 at undergraduate level and a master’s) in which they pursue their research over a minimum of three years as preparation for academic research in museums and universities. PhDs are not eligible for postgraduate loans but students can apply for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Aligning interests

PhDs are individual but it is important to find a university department where the research interests and themes align with your own. At the University of Leicester, staff interests include material culture, science in museums and the social role of museums, while the University of Manchester’s interests have a particularly international flavour, covering museums and regeneration in Asia and education policy and practice in museums in Greece.

Links and downloads

Courses guide and listings 2018 (pdf)