Museum Cultures

MA Museum Cultures combines study of the history and cultural significance of museums with opportunities for professional museum experience. If you are contemplating a career in the museum and gallery sector, this course provides you with the perfect opportunity to study this expanding and dynamic field in close proximity to world-distinguished museums and galleries.

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Key Facts

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Degree

MA (Hons) Museum Cultures

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Start Dates

October

Degree Overview

Museums have been of enormous importance in shaping empires, nations and cities, and their collections are connected to wider histories of conflict and social change. To study museums is to study the development and fierce contestation of our collective cultural imagination and memory.

Our MA Museum Cultures combines study of the history and cultural significance of museums with opportunities for professional museum experience. If you are contemplating a career in the museum and gallery sector, this course provides you with the perfect opportunity to study this expanding and dynamic field in close proximity to world-distinguished museums and galleries.

As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we also offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring.

You will develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing to practical experience through a 10-week supervised work placement that you can apply for in a museum, gallery or archive. Previous opportunities have been offered at the Tate, British Museum, Whitechapel Gallery and Horniman Museum. Past students have helped design and run schools programmes, documented collections that were previously uncatalogued, conducted visitor research and assisted curators in producing exhibitions.

Birkbeck 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. We are 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. 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.

We host 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 MacGregor, former Director of the British Museum; and exhibitions and displays at Birkbeck’s Peltz Gallery and events at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Find out more about our staff and student activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog.

Study trips in the last few years include visits to Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Moscow.

You will have the opportunity to apply for a work placement in one of London’s thriving museums, galleries or archives, and the option to join our study trips, offered each spring. Cities visited in the last few years include Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Moscow.

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Important
  • You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the university over and above tuition fees in an academic year such as laptops, stationary and additional resources.

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