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Museum and Gallery Studies MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week
September 2018
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 days a week, plus placement year
September 2018
Part time 2 years 1 day a week
September 2018

Choose Kingston's Museum and Gallery Studies MA

Through this course you will acquire real-world experience of working in museums and galleries. Our imaginative, interdisciplinary, international approach advances your knowledge of contemporary developments in this vibrant and sophisticated area of culture, arts and heritage. Employment destinations of our previous students have included the Natural History Museum, V&A, Museum of London and the National Gallery.

Key features

  • We provide you with transferable skills essential across the sector, working with museum and gallery professionals to nationally and internationally recognised standards.
  • Research opportunities inside museums and galleries allows you to develop your own interests and gain valuable research and practice-based skills.
  • Students have the option to manage and curate an exhibition and produce research work through a dissertation or creative projects

What will you study?

The course examines contemporary issues and practices, including collection, interpretation, exhibition, space and place. You will study taught modules covering critical analysis and creative practice, and conduct research around the broad themes and subjects addressed by each module. Modules have been developed and are taught in collaboration with Kingston's own in-house museums, Stanley Picker Gallery and Dorich House Museum as well as external institutions including the Museum of London, National Maritime Museum, V&A, English Heritage, Turners House Trust, Brooklands Museum, Salisbury Museum and Kingston Museum and Heritage Service.


Essays, project work, portfolio, and dissertation (12,000–15,000 words) or Creative Project (5,000 words and a piece of critically-informed creative practice).

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Invoicing on the placement courses is split into two stages. The standard course fee is payable in year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2017 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,070 in September 2018. Students commencing the course in September 2018 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2019 (provisionally £1,230).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

About this course

You will study a series of dedicated taught modules that are concerned with issues of critical theory and analysis, research methodologies and creative practice. You will be expected to conduct research around the broad themes and subjects addressed by each module. This research will allow you to tailor your own path of study according to your particular interests and future aspirations.

Module collaborations

The modules on this course have been developed in collaboration with several museums:

The Salisbury Museum  

The Ideas and Institutions module is co-delivered and co-hosted by The Salisbury Museum.

Brooklands Museum  

The Learning and Experience module has been developed and is co-delivered in collaboration with the Brooklands Museum.

Museum of London  

The Exhibition and Encounter module has been developed and is co-delivered in collaboration with the Museum of London.

Kingston Museum and Heritage Service  

The Challenge of Change is developed and delivered in collaboration with Kingston Museum and Heritage Service.

Find out more about the modules on this course.

What is the focus of this course?

Creative practice

The Museum and Gallery Studies MA is a critical and creative practice-based postgraduate programme of academic study. It is ambitious in its aim to:

  • re-imagine the relationships between academy and profession; and
  • explore the implications and applications of this approach to accepted ideas of academic museum studies and museum practice.

Ideas of, and approaches to, practice are therefore central to the course, as are opportunities for engaging directly in experimental and creative practice-based research in both institutional and more-than-institutional contexts.

Located within the Kingston School of Art, the MA programme of study engages across artistic, urban planning, architectural and design practices as offering alternative creative approaches to museum study and practice. Our genuinely interdisciplinary approach to creative practice is one of the unique features of our curriculum.

A place-based approach

The programme develops through a strongly place-based approach to the contemporary museum. The broad aim is to:

  • offer a more sustainable, place-sensitive approach to our understandings of museums, museum practices and their academic study; and
  • further open the museum up to the world in an ethical engagement towards more-than-institutional futures.

Our place-based approach also draws on our location in London as a world city and museum metropolis. Place, locality, ecology and community are essential to museums and museum practices wherever they may be found and from whichever country our students might come from. The course aspires to be international in its scope and vision whilst always grounded in a sympathetic and progressive sense of place.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.


  • As sites of continuous research and communication, museums and galleries are never complete. They are always found in the process of being made and re-made; ideas and things in the process of arrangement. This module establishes a progressive interdisciplinary framework for critically and creatively exploring museums and galleries as ideas and institutions based on creative, practice-based approaches to their making.

    Read full module description

  • Experience is central to the performance of public museums, galleries and heritage sites, and to our understanding of them as complex learning environments. This module provides a stimulating and engaging context within which to explore learning and experience as a series of critical and creative practices. Museums, galleries and heritage sites are conceived and operated by a range of governmental and non-governmental agencies, organisations and institutions, by individuals and communities, often by a visiting and participating public, and in an enormously diverse range of social and spatial contexts. In this module, students explore and apply different approaches to learning by constructing an experience for visitors within and through a specific institution or site.

    Read full module description

  • A predominantly rational, ordered approach to exhibition has been central to the conception of museums and galleries. This module introduces new ways to analyse and engage with the idea of display through an emphasis on exhibition as a more open and less didactic space of encounter and association, focussed on an ongoing re-imagining of display and exhibition through invention and experimentation. Extending our understandings of display, this module also explores creative approaches to the performance of heritage by engaging with experimental practices and forms of interpretation, expression and communication.

    Read full module description

  • Museums, galleries and heritage are more than physical, immobile landmarks in the landscape; they are ongoing, place-based processes crafted from diverse and often dissonant human and non-human materials, sites, identities and narratives. Because of this they are constantly open to change. They change due to debates from within the field and a variety of drivers and pressures from outside. In many ways change, and meeting the challenge of change, lies at the very heart of ongoing questions of sustainability, relevance and innovation in the field. This module explores museum and heritage futures, locating development within a more progressive, expanded sense of policy and place. Social, economic, and legislative concerns pertinent to the field are some of the key themes developed here.

    Read full module description

  • The Major Project is the main opportunity and culmination of the MA and most significant piece of work that students deliver on a masters programme. The Major Project provides you with the opportunity to craft your own approach to the field through critical-theoretical and/or creative, practice-based research. The Major Project can accommodate research projects developed through a range of academic and professional contexts depending on your motivation and interests; including work placements and other work-based opportunities. The Major Project can also provide a platform from which you can launch the next stage of your careers. Based on ideas of material thinking and creative practice the taught elements of the module provide you with a strong understanding of different aspects of contemporary practice of value to both academic and professional environments.

    Read full module description


Keep in touch with news, events, awards and generally what's going on with the Museum and Gallery Studies MA at Kingston University.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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Admissions team

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This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact us

Admissions team

*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.


This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps
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