Museum Cultures with Curating MA
Birkbeck, University of London
Key Course Facts
Museums establish powerful narratives of progress and primitivism, knowledge and ignorance, inclusion and exclusion. Our MA Museum Cultures with Curating combines study of the history and cultural significance of museums with opportunities for professional museum experience.
This MA gives you the chance to acquire key foundational skills in curating and a solid grasp of the related issues. You will benefit from an intensive week studying current issues and practices in curating. You will meet the experts in London museums and galleries and engage in hands-on activities relating to exhibition development, object interpretation and public engagement.
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.
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.
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.
Entry Requirements / Admissions
Requirements for international students / English requirements
IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)
- Mphil / PhD
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still be able to join Museum Cultures with Curating, MA.
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 course. 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.
Tuition Fees Museum Cultures with Curating MA
|England UK||£9030||year 1|
|Northern Ireland||£9030||year 1|
Additional fee information
As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.
An optional field trip is available as part of this course, for which the department does not charge a fee for attendance. Students are, however, responsible for paying all other costs, including travel, accommodation, food and drink and other subsistence costs, gallery fees, etc. The Murray Bequest offers a limited number of bursaries every year to students who would not otherwise be able to take the field trip. Details on how to apply are usually circulated to students in December or January.
Average student cost of living in London
|Water, gas electricity, internet (at home)||£50|
|Takeaways / food deliveries||£30|
|Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food)||£24|
|Holidays and weekend trips||£78|
|Transport within city||£17|
|Self-care / sports||£20|
|Stationary / books||£13|
|Mobile phone / internet||£13|
|Cable TV / streaming||£7|
|Average student cost of living||£1092|
London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.
Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.
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What students say about studying Museum Studies in the UK?
About Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) was established in 1823, and takes a different stance towards admissions than many other universities. Applicants are encouraged by BKK to apply even if they don’t possess the traditional qualifications normally required, as applications here are also considered based on an assessment of your knowledge on the subject, and any work experience you might have. Being located in the very centre of London, students will have all the advantages of the city’s public transport connections, as well as the chance to live in such a diverse and vibrant city with all that it offers.
Where is this programme taught
|Program||University||Student satisfaction||Unemployed||Dropout||Tuition (UK)||Tuition (International)||UCAS Tariff||City|
|History of Art and Museum Studies with Foundation Year BA (Hons)||Liverpool John Moores University||86%||2%||10%||£9250||£11000||123||Liverpool||On campus Full-time|
|Museum and Gallery Studies MLitt||University of St Andrews||86%||2%||10%||£9900||£20370||123||St Andrews||On campus Part-time|
|Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies BA (Hons)||University of Essex||86%||2%||10%||£9250||£16850||123||Colchester||On campus Full-time|
|Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology BSc (Hons)||Cardiff University||84%||1%||3%||£9000||£19200||144||Cardiff||On campus Full-time|
|Museum and Artefact Studies MA||Durham University||84%||1%||3%||£10800||£22100||144||Durham||On campus Full-time|
|Museum and Heritage Studies MLitt||University of St Andrews||84%||1%||3%||£9900||£20370||144||St Andrews||On campus Full-time|
|Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (Diss) MA||Durham University||84%||1%||3%||£14300||£31500||144||Durham||On campus Full-time|
|Cultural Heritage Studies: Libraries, Archives and Museums BA (Hons)||Aberystwyth University||88%||2%||8%||£9000||£14300||117||Aberystwyth||On campus Full-time|
|History of Art and Museum Studies BA (Hons)||Liverpool John Moores University||86%||2%||10%||£9250||£16100||123||Liverpool||On campus Full-time|
|Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (PP) MA||Durham University||86%||2%||10%||£14300||£31500||123||Durham||On campus Full-time|