Taught course

Museum Cultures with Collections Management

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · History of Art
Qualifications
MA

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Entry requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above).

For students with a degree in a subject outside the arts and humanities, the one-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.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry

October

Course content

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. Our MA Museum Cultures with Collections Management combines study of the history and cultural significance of museums with opportunities for professional museum experience.

This MA will give you a solid grasp of foundational skills and key issues in collections management. During an intensive week studying current issues and practices you will meet experts in London museums and galleries and engage in hands-on activities including documentation, cataloguing and issuing loan requests.

You will also have the opportunity to apply for a 10-week supervised work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Previous work placements have been offered at the Tate, British Museum, Whitechapel Gallery and Horniman Museum. Past students have documented collections that were previously uncatalogued, helped design and run schools programmes, conducted visitor research and assisted curators in producing exhibitions.

As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we also offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring.

Highlights
  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), Art and Design at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
  • The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. Funds are also available to support research expenses for your coursework on this MA.
  • The Department of History of Art has an international reputation for its innovative approaches to the history of art, visual culture and museum studies, and attracts a rich programme of visiting scholars and practitioners. It is home to the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre, the Centre for Museum Cultures and the Vasari Research Centre. You will also have access to the Centre for Film and Visual Media which is based in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies. We have state-of-the art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell. Birkbeck Library has an extensive collection of books and journals in museum studies and history of art. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, the British Library and the National Art Library at the V&A.
  • Close to our location in Bloomsbury in central London, you can explore some of the world's best architecture, galleries and museums, collections and art spaces, such as the British Library, British Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Foundling Museum, Wellcome Gallery, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and V&A.
  • The Department hosts a range of events including information evenings for prospective students; the annual Murray Lecture where speakers have included Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, and Neil McGregor, ex-Director of the British Museum; and exhibitions and displays at the Peltz Gallery, the School of Arts' purpose-built exhibition space. You are also welcome to attend other seminars and events across the School of Arts and at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Find out more about our staff and student activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog.
  • Study trips in the last few years include visits to Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Moscow.
  • The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700