Taught course

Museum and Heritage Studies

University of St Andrews · Graduate School

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Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. Students will preferably have some museum work experience (through employment or volunteering). The School welcomes applications from students from all disciplines relevant to museum work, such as history, archaeology, anthropology, languages, media and communications, and physical and natural sciences.

Students will preferably have some museum work experience (through employment or volunteering).

The part-time course is also open to students without a degree but with considerable professional experience in a museum or gallery.

Months of entry


Course content

The MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies is aimed at students wanting to start a career in museum or gallery work, or for those looking for a mid-career change. The part-time course is designed for museum and gallery employees or volunteers who wish to study while continuing with their work.


  • The degree provides broad training, covering all types of museums, galleries and heritage facilities, and includes the principles of conservation, museum education, exhibition planning and design, and management.
  • Teaching normally takes place at the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA), and structured visits to museums, art galleries, historic houses, ships and other heritage sites are an essential part of the programme.
  • Students undertake practical project work with a wide variety of host organisations, from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. This includes the University's Museum Collections which hold over 100,000 artefacts and specimens in a wide range of subject areas, from art to zoology.
  • As a core part of the course, and working in teams of six to nine, full-time students have the opportunity to curate professional exhibitions in local venues (University museums and Fife Cultural Trust’s St Andrews Museum). This enables you to develop highly relevant practical and vocational skills and will give you the necessary edge over competitors once you start applying for jobs.
  • Students may also apply to take part in a summer exchange programme with the École du Louvre in Paris.

Teaching format

All Museum and Gallery Studies students take three compulsory modules over two semesters (or four semesters for part-time studies). The taught courses are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical sessions and visits to museums and galleries.

Class sizes typically range from 18 to 24 students, and exhibition teams range from 6 to 9 students. Students complete three assignments per module in a variety of formats including an essay, a documentation and database project, an object study, an exhibition or website review, a lesson plan and a management report.

The final three months of the course will be focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation.

Substantial contributions to the course are made by the Scottish museums community which generously provides visiting lecturers and hosts class visits and individual student placements.

The Museum and Gallery Studies teaching staff are experienced museum curators who continue to be involved directly in museum work.

Part-time studies

The part-time course runs every two years. The taught element is delivered at four week-long residential schools in January and June of each year. There is an opportunity for you to use your practical experience towards the coursework and write up your professional activities for assessment. The Graduate Diploma can be converted to an MLitt on production of a dissertation of 15,000 words, submitted five months after the formal end of the taught course.


For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see our website; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students
EU: £9,450  Overseas: £19,400

There are a variety of funding options available for postgraduate students. For more details visit our website.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MLitt
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    part time
    21 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies
+44 (0)1334 46 2032