Research course

Collections and Curating Practices

University of Edinburgh · Edinburgh College of Art
MSc by research

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in any area of arts (e.g. fine art, digital arts, art, visual culture), or humanities (e.g. art history, cultural geography, literature, archaeology, cultural studies), or social sciences (e.g. social anthropology, sociology), or history of science, or a related field.

You should also have professional or internship experience in museums, galleries or other cultural organisations. You will be able to demonstrate aptitude for conducting research at a level beyond that expected in a taught masters degree, and will also be able to demonstrate willingness to work as part of team in a professional context.

All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

This is a distinctive programme, built around the unique position of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) in the University and the city of Edinburgh.

It combines advanced research in and on collections (ranging from visual art, film and musical instruments through to medical artefacts and rare books) with practices, including archival work and temporary exhibition organisation. At its core are high-quality peer-group research placements delivered in partnership with national cultural institutions and a regular colloquium course debating key issues in the field.

The programme is aimed at students wishing to develop research-level knowledge in the field of museum, gallery and collections studies broadly conceived, and to gain practical experience of professional working as part of a peer group in a large public institution, delivering a live project.

You will gain critical, analytical, interpretative and other research skills that are transferable to further academic research, to museum collections and curatorial settings, and to other professions.

The study and interpretation of diverse museum and gallery collections involves theoretical, historical and practical approaches to artefacts from world cultures past and present.

Drawing on disciplines such as anthropology, art history, archival studies, conservation, history of music, history of science, and sociology, this exciting field is about working at the interface of academic research and the curatorial profession.

The Edinburgh approach, based around strong partnerships with national cultural institutions in the city, fosters the next generation of researchers and museum and gallery professionals. It affords unique opportunities for live project delivery in national institutions, master classes with leading experts, and a rigorous framework for intellectual development and innovation.

Information for international students

To find out about the support offered to international students at Edinburgh from arrival to graduation visit:

Fees and funding

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Qualification and course duration

MSc by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Office
+44 (0)131 651 5736