Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in art history or another relevant humanities or social science discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

This MA positions you to speak and write confidently about museums and curatorship, and to think about the future of museums and how you can contribute to that future, and equips you with some key skills to support you in doing so.

Teaching on this course is strongly informed by the Department of Art History’s cutting-edge research, and delivers a sound introduction to a series of curatorial topics that include:

  • curatorial scholarship and its methodologies (including conservation-led research and technical art history)
  • the histories of museums and their collections
  • the ethical and legal frameworks within which curators and museums work
  • the nature and politics of museum displays.

You take two core modules and two options, and also undertake a work placement in a museum or gallery. You visit a number of museums in Sussex and several of the national museums in London, allowing you to learn first-hand about institutional histories, collections, permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions. You are taught and supported in your studies by a rich combination of Sussex tutors and external specialists who have, in the past, included senior staff from the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, the V&A and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Throughout the course, you are encouraged to participate actively in the taught sessions and museum visits and to debate, with your tutors and classmates, a range of ethical concerns facing museum curators. You will also develop your own research interests through the dissertation. Teaching is mainly seminar- and museum-based, with some more formal lectures from visiting specialists.


Assessed work includes term papers, several practical assignments, a learning journal (written during the placement as a reflection on that experience) and a 12,000-word dissertation.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2017 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules list. Modules may be subject to change.

In the autumn and spring terms, you take two museum skills modules with seminars at Sussex and at local and national collections. These are taken alongside the core module Theories and Approaches to Art History in the autumn and an option in the spring. Options are frequently taught by academic faculty around specific museum collections. The summer term is taken up with a work placement at a local or national museum or gallery.

Full-time students work on their dissertation in the third term, and part-time students in the third and sixth terms.

Information for international students

Please visit: International qualifications for Masters courses or Fees and Scholarships.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website
International students
Please see our website

Please visit our website for latest fees information: Fees and Scholarships

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study. For full details of our scholarships please visit: Masters Scholarships

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Dissertation50 (20000 words)

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 678841