Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Museum Cultures

The MA Museum Cultures offers you the opportunity to study this expanding and dynamic field at close proximity to the most world-distinguished museums and galleries. If you are contemplating a career in the museum and gallery sector and if you are interested in developing an in-depth understanding of contemporary debates about museums and their cultural significance, then this is the course for you. Our MA gives you the chance to develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing to practical experience through a work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Museums have been of enormous importance in shaping empires, nations and cities, and their collections are connected to wider histories of conflict and social change. To study museums is to study the development and fierce contestation of our collective cultural imagination and memory.

Entry requirements

Good honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent (for example, professional experience). For students with a degree in a subject other than history of art, the 1-year, part-time Graduate Certificate in History of Art and Architecture can be used as a conversion course. Students who successfully complete the graduate certificate with merit will normally be guaranteed a place on this programme and do not need to provide an admissions exercise. A written exercise or sample undergraduate essay is required and applicants may be interviewed. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

MA

The MA comprises a core module, a research skills module, 2 option modules, a work placement or an independent research project, and a dissertation.

Full-time students take the core module and an option in the autumn, 1 option in the spring, a research project or work placement in the summer term, and work on their dissertation from January.

Part-time students take a core module in the autumn term, an option module in the spring term, and either a research project or work placement in the summer term. In Year 2, part-time students take a second option in autumn and begin work on their dissertation in January.

The core module introduces you to contemporary debates within museum cultures. The research module is a group exercise wherein the class decides upon and collectively researches a topic, under the supervision of their tutor.

Option modules offer you the opportunity to follow specific interests and areas of research.
Core module:

MA Museum Cultures - Approaches, Issues, Skills.

Indicative option modules:

Creating a Public. Museums and their audiences;
Curating as Critical Practice;
Exhibiting the Body;
Framing and Narrating Modern Art in the Museum;
Histories in Transition: Visual Culture, History and Memory in South Africa and Beyond;
Museum Environments;
Museums, Memory and National Identity;
Nostalgia and the Heritage Industry;
Public Histories in Practice.

Research project/work placement option modules:

Museum Cultures independent research project;
Museum Cultures Work Placement.

MA Museum Cultures dissertation:

MA Museum Cultures Dissertation.

PgCert

The Postgraduate Certificate comprises a core module, a research skills module and 1 option module.

Full-time students take the core module, the research skills module and an option module in the autumn.

Part-time students take the core module and the research skills module in the autumn term and an option module in the spring term.

The core module introduces you to contemporary debates within museum cultures. The research module is a group exercise wherein the class decides upon and collectively researches a topic, under the supervision of their tutor. Option modules offer you the opportunity to follow specific interests and areas of research.
Core module:

MA Museum Cultures - Approaches, Issues, Skills.

Indicative option modules:

Creating a Public. Museums and their audiences;
Curating as Critical Practice;
Exhibiting the Body;
Framing and Narrating Modern Art in the Museum;
Histories in Transition: Visual Culture, History and Memory in South Africa and Beyond;
Museum Environments;
Museums, Memory and National Identity;
Nostalgia and the Heritage Industry;
Public Histories in Practice.

MRes

The MRes comprises a core module, a research skills module, 1 option module and an extended dissertation of 30,000 words and work on your dissertation for the remainder of the year.

Students take the core module and in the autumn and 1 option in the spring term.

The core module introduces you to contemporary debates within museum cultures. The research module is a group exercise wherein the class decides upon and collectively researches a topic, under the supervision of their tutor.

Option modules offer you the opportunity to follow specific interests and areas of research.
Core module:

MA Museum Cultures - Approaches, Issues, Skills.

Option modules:

Archives: Contemporary policy and practice;
Curating as Critical Practice;
Ethnographic Museums and Collections;
Exhibiting the Body;
Framing and Narrating Modern Art in the Museum;
Museum Cultures independent research project;
Museum Cultures Work Placement;
Museums and Galleries in the Digital Age: 1970-2010;
Museums, Memory and National Identity;
Nostalgia and the Heritage Industry;
Public Histories in Practice;
Romantic Objects.

MRes Museum Cultures dissertation:

MRes Museum Cultures Dissertation.

PgDip

The Postgraduate Diploma comprises a core module, a research skills module and 1 option module.

Students take the core module and in the autumn and 1 option module in the spring term.

The core module introduces you to contemporary debates within museum cultures. The research module is a group exercise wherein the class decides upon and collectively researches a topic, under the supervision of their tutor.

Option modules offer you the opportunity to follow specific interests and areas of research.
Core module:

MA Museum Cultures - Approaches, Issues, Skills.

Research project/work placement option modules:

Museum Cultures independent research project;
Museum Cultures Work Placement.

Indicative option modules:

Creating a Public. Museums and their audiences;
Curating as Critical Practice;
Exhibiting the Body;
Framing and Narrating Modern Art in the Museum;
Histories in Transition: Visual Culture, History and Memory in South Africa and Beyond;
Museum Environments;
Museums, Memory and National Identity;
Nostalgia and the Heritage Industry;
Public Histories in Practice.

Assessment methods

MA

Core and option modules are assessed through a 5000-word essay. Dissertation of 15,000 words due in September of the final year.

PgCert

Core and option modules are assessed through a 5000-word essay.

MRes

Core and option modules are assessed through a 5000-word essay. MRes dissertation of 30,000 words, due in September of the final year.

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. Funds are available to support research expenses for your coursework on this MA. The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MRes Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MRes Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MRes Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
MRes Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MRes Full-time October 2016 GBP 11,500 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MRes Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MRes Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 11,500 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (England) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 5,750 per Year 1 (International) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
MA Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
MA Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
MA Part-time October 2017 - 2 years
PgCert Full-time October 2016 GBP 2,000 per Whole course (England) 3 months
PgCert Full-time October 2016 GBP 2,000 per Whole course (Northern Ireland) 3 months
PgCert Full-time October 2016 GBP 2,000 per Whole course (Scotland) 3 months
PgCert Full-time October 2016 GBP 2,000 per Whole course (Wales) 3 months
PgCert Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 1,975 per Year 1 (EU) 6 months
PgCert Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 1,975 per Year 1 (England) 6 months
PgCert Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 3,825 per Year 1 (International) 6 months
PgCert Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 1,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 6 months
PgCert Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 1,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 6 months
PgCert Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 1,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 6 months
PgCert Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2017 - 2 years
PgDip Full-time October 2016 GBP 3,575 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
PgDip Full-time October 2016 GBP 3,575 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
PgDip Full-time October 2016 GBP 7,650 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
PgDip Full-time October 2016 GBP 3,575 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
PgDip Full-time October 2016 GBP 3,575 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
PgDip Full-time October 2016 GBP 3,575 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
PgDip Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
PgDip Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
PgDip Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (England) 2 years
PgDip Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 5,750 per Year 1 (International) 2 years
PgDip Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
PgDip Part-time evening October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
PgDip Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
PgDip Part-time October 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus Bloomsbury WC1E 7HX South East

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Contact: 
Department of History of Art and Screen Media
Telephone number: 
020 7631 6110