Birkbeck, University of London
Museum Cultures with Curating MA
Birkbeck, University of London

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

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.

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.

  • 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.

Coursework only, consisting of essays of up to 5000 words, a work placement project and a 15,000-word dissertation.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Mphil / PhD

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-
Do you not fulfill the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements?
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.

Costs

Tuition Fees Museum Cultures with Curating MA

England UK £9030 year 1
Northern Ireland £9030 year 1
Scotland £9030 year 1
Wales £9030 year 1
International £16380 year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.

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

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
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
Insurance £51
Other £95
  
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.

University Rankings

Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.

See all university rankings of Birkbeck, University of London

What students say about studying Museum Studies in the UK?

  • University of Leicester - School of Museum Studies
  • History of Art and Museum Studies
  • Life in Museum Studies
  • Museum Studies Students and Recent Graduates Town Hall - So what do we do now?
  • The Museum Studies Experience | with Dr. Meghan Tierney Ph.D. | ep. 4 of 4
  • Museum & Heritage Studies Student

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.

  • Stella’s Starting Study Vlog
  • “How has the Birkbeck experience been for you?”
  • Birkbeck's Student Experience
  • Studying for a PhD at Birkbeck - Veronika Akhmadieva
  • Top reasons why students choose Birkbeck, University of London

Where is this programme taught

Main Site - Malet Street
map marker Show on map

Similar courses

Program University Student satis­faction Unem­ployed Drop­out Tuition (UK) Tuition (Inter­national) UCAS Tariff City
Liverpool John Moores University 86% 2% 10% £9250 £11000 123 Liverpool On campus Full-time
University of St Andrews 86% 2% 10% £9900 £20370 123 St Andrews On campus Part-time
University of Essex 86% 2% 10% £9250 £16850 123 Colchester On campus Full-time
Cardiff University 84% 1% 3% £9000 £19200 144 Cardiff On campus Full-time
Durham University 84% 1% 3% £10800 £22100 144 Durham On campus Full-time
University of St Andrews 84% 1% 3% £9900 £20370 144 St Andrews On campus Full-time
Durham University 84% 1% 3% £14300 £31500 144 Durham On campus Full-time
Aberystwyth University 88% 2% 8% £9000 £14300 117 Aberystwyth On campus Full-time
Liverpool John Moores University 86% 2% 10% £9250 £16100 123 Liverpool On campus Full-time
Durham University 86% 2% 10% £14300 £31500 123 Durham On campus Full-time