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Through this course you will acquire real-world experience of working in museums and galleries. Our imaginative, interdisciplinary, international approach will advance your knowledge of contemporary developments in this vibrant and sophisticated area of culture, arts and heritage.
You'll develop transferable skills that are essential across this sector, working with museum and gallery professionals to nationally and internationally recognised museum standards. There are plenty of research opportunities in museums and galleries, which will allow you to develop your own interests and gain valuable research and practice-based skills. You'll also have the option to manage and curate an exhibition and produce research towards a dissertation or work-based creative projects.
|Full time||1 year||2 days a week||September 2021|
|Full time||2 years including professional placement||2 days a week, plus placement year||September 2021|
|Part time||2 years||1 day a week||September 2021|
|Location||Kingston School of Art, Knights Park|
If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.
The course examines contemporary issues and practices, including those relating to collections management, interpretation, audiences and exhibition. You will study taught modules covering critical analysis and creative practice, and conduct research around the broad themes and subjects addressed by each module. As well as working with our own in-house museums, Stanley Picker Gallery and Dorich House Museum, we work with four external institutions each year to develop real-world museum projects.
You'll take five core modules, working on live projects with our partners. Four of the modules are worth 30 academic credits each and the major project is worth 60. The course totals 180 credits.
Students can choose to complete a professional placement by opting to study for an additional year. This is not a compulsory part of the course which can be completed either with the placement year or as a single year.
You will study a series of 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Major Project is the capstone module of the Masters programme. Focusing on skills of critical research, analysis and presentation, the capstone project enables you to synthesise and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the course. It provides them with the opportunity to craft their own approach to the field through critical-theoretical and/or creative, practice-based research, supported by a series of taught sessions, enabling a depth and breadth of engagement with research methods. The Major Project can accommodate research projects developed through a range of academic and professional contexts depending on the motivation and interests of the student. It can be presented either as a dissertation or as a creative project, such as a portfolio comprising a chosen medium or media, accompanied by a critical commentary. The intensity of the workload increases across the three teaching blocks, allowing increasing focus in line with the level of your expertise.
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.
The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates professional placement learning, following completion of 120 credits. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills to an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject-specific professional skills in your chosen subject. You may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for your subsequent major project module, and would be expected to use it to help inform your decisions about future careers.
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
Applicants should have a good BA (Hons) degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area, which may include:
We also welcome students with relevant professional practice experience should they not hold a higher education qualification.
For those students without professional experience in museums and galleries, voluntary museum work is not a requirement for acceptance on the course.
We normally invite applicants for an interview prior to selection. We can make alternative arrangements for international students based overseas.
Applicants with prior qualifications and learning may be exempt from appropriate parts of a course in accordance with the University's policy for the assessment of prior learning and prior experiential learning. Contact the faculty office for further information.
All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each element. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.
Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.
Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.
You will be taught and assessed through essays, project work, portfolio, and a dissertation (12,000–15,000 words) or creative project (5,000 words and a piece of critically-informed creative practice).
When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.
Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.
At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.
The course can be studied full-time or part-time. For full-time students, two days a week are spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
13% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Type of teaching and learning
Assessment typically comprise of a written dissertation and practical work with presentations/exhibitions, blogs, portfolios and critical reflective statements. The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:
Type of assessment
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
Class sizes are generally small because we work on live projects with museums and galleries in a team. That means we get to know all our students well. The course normally enrols a hand-picked group of 15 to 20 students. Lecture sizes are small (approximately 15 students) with lots of opportunities for talking to lecturers and curators.
This course is delivered by Kingston School of Art, a highly creative and energetic environment that directly informs the programme and its teaching.
Key staff are responsible for leading individual course components. Their teaching is supplemented by a wide range of practitioners from our collaborating institutions, including curatorial, public engagement, learning, marketing, design, exhibitions, digital, research, management and archives.
Postgraduate students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.
I was not able to go to university when I was younger but always wanted to, so I was really pleased to be accepted as a mature student. I undertook the MA in Museum and Gallery studies during 2017/18 and had wonderful support. I found the lectures and tutorials really inspirational and would always come out buzzing with thoughts and ideas. When I set about writing my dissertation I had help and solid, knowledgeable support.
I particularly appreciated how practical and useful the course was; every day I use the knowledge gained during my studies. This has been integral to the displays and ideas I have put forward for the London Bus Museum. When I read the Museum Association magazine, I am reminded how relevant the course is to the present day, whether it be an article on colonialism, or corporate funding/sponsorship. I also cannot praise the Esteve-Coll Centre (and its staff) highly enough; it seemed to have every book, periodical and download I needed for the course and for my dissertation. It's a wonderful and precious asset.
I chose the Museum and Gallery Studies MA at Kingston University as I was looking for a course that would provide both a theoretical and practical understanding of the museum as cultural institution. I also wanted a course that approached the subject in a more imaginative, creative and experimental way than it is taught elsewhere.
I enjoyed the freedom of being able to follow my research interests and to develop them further in my final dissertation. The course also gave me the opportunity to gain new skills by working with creative practices not commonly associated with this field of study, such as film, scenegraphy, and creative forms of writing.
Studying at Kingston was a very versatile and stimulating experience. I studied the changing role of the visitor, the notion of institutional critique, and installation art. I attended field trips to museums and heritage sites in and around London, and developed ideas in response to a real-world exhibition brief. The course positively influenced my decision to pursue PhD research in museum studies.
Undoubtedly the most exciting feature of the Museum and Gallery Studies MA at Kingston was the element of collaboration between the University and some of London's most famous and respected museums. This allowed students to tackle realistic, real-world challenges within the safe confines of the course's academic projects.
The course provided a valuable introduction to the myriad practicalities of managing museums in our modern world; to the continually shifting debate surrounding collections and their interpretation; and to a broad spectrum of the academic theory in which they are situated.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:
If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.
We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:
Knights Park campus is situated on the Hogsmill River, with a restaurant and bar opening on to the waterside. The relatively small campus has a friendly, creative feel and includes a reception area with a gallery, art shop and the light and airy open-plan library.
The workshops and studios are open for creative exploration and offer you plenty of opportunities to collaborate on projects and share ideas, whether you are studying or researching. Building on this open approach, there are many adaptable architecture studio and workshop spaces, designed by Stirling Prize-winning Haworth Tompkins, alongside active breakout spaces.
At the heart of the building are state-of-the-art workshop facilities, which include:
All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, and irrespective of what degree you're studying.
The University has its own on-site galleries, including:
Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access world-famous museums and galleries.
We have an extensive network of alumni who have successfully completed this course. Graduates have progressed to roles at prestigious organisations in the UK and around the world, including: Tate Gallery, Natural History Museum, V&A, National Gallery, Ministry of Stories, British Council, Imperial War Museum, National Trust, Strawberry Hill House, Ben Uri Gallery, Museum of Brands, Madame Tussaud's, Brooklands Museum, National Maritime Museum, Museo Andino de Historia, Arte y Cultura Viva Peru, William Morris Gallery, Baldwin Gallery, National Museum Prague, Kingston Museum, London Postal Museum, Churchill War Rooms, English Heritage, Historic Royal Palaces, London Bus Museum, Sir John Soane Museum, Wallace Collection, Museum of London and The Barbican.
Students have also progressed onto PhD studies at University College London, Sheffield Hallam University and Royal Holloway, University of London.
Several of the modules on this course are developed and assessed in partnership with museums, galleries and other practitioners. This will include visiting lecturers who are leading practitioners in their field.
Previous partner institutions for this course have included Brooklands Museum, English Heritage, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, the Salisbury Museum, the Museum of Futures, the Museum of London, the National Maritime Museum, Turner's House and the V&A.
All staff and student researchers in the faculty are part of a research centre. They engage both with collaborative and individual projects and with local, national and international research events, including workshops, seminars, visiting lecture series, conferences and symposia.
Museum and gallery study is located within the interdisciplinary Visual and Material Culture Research Centre. The centre enables academics, emerging scholars, and students to conduct research in a stimulating and collegiate environment that actively seeks to shape the future of visual and material culture as field of inquiry. The centre is committed to the continuing development of a wide range of interdisciplinary research methods and activities. It provides an intellectual infrastructure through which researchers engage with both individual and collaborative projects.
Staff and students untangle the knotty historiographical and methodological questions of the past, present, and future of the history of art, architecture, and design. Interests and expertise include: History and Genre Painting; patronage, dealers, and the art market; English and European avant-gardes; the history of the art school; inter- and cross-disciplinarity; archives; and the practice of 'research' itself in the Arts and Humanities.
Researchers are committed to interrogating the historical and theoretical comprehension of local, national, and international identity, of located-ness and dis-location in our contemporary global visual and material cultural context. Interests and expertise include: Museum and Gallery Studies; public sculpture; art beyond the gallery; transcultural practices; Arab women artists; Japanese popular culture; contemporary Chinese art; Orientalism and the Middle East; and the global art market.
Staff and students engage with thorny discourses of gender, technology, and the human image in our volatile, mediated, and often traumatising visual, material, and immaterial cultures. Interests and expertise include: beauty; fashioning the body; performance art; feminism; masculinity and conflict; heterosexuality; mass media; new media; photography; film; informational networks; technological reproducibility; and our bio-cultural futures.
Art has a long and celebrated history in struggles for social change. Drawing on and working across thematic and critical areas, this research group brings together researchers and artists to engage with the historical and theoretical connections between artists and social movements, the cultural production of social movements, and the many important but often overlooked practices which occupy a liminal space between these disciplinary positions.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.
Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from the pandemic.
Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.
In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.
In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.
We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.
If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.
Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.
In the event that a further lockdown is enforced in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.
‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.
In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.
If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.
The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.
We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.
In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.
Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.