V6K607 Museum and Artefact Studies MA Postgraduate Taught 2021
Please note: 2021-22 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.
Durham University's unique MA in Museum and Artefact Studies will provide you with the high quality training relevant to a career in museums, the cultural heritage sector, and in the academic world. In particular, it is intended to equip you with a sound knowledge and critical understanding of current professional principles, good practice and contemporary debates relating to museum and artefact studies. It aims to help you develop a variety of skills: Professional skills, relevant to the care, management and exhibition of collections in museums Analytical skills, relevant to the study of a wide range of materials and artefacts, from different periods and cultures, and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives
Research skills, relevant to studies of museums and artefacts, including an awareness of current theoretical issues Communication skills - oral, written and visual - relevant to work in the museum profession and to academic research. It also aims to encourage you to take personal responsibility for your own learning, team-work and professional conduct.
Two distinct routes can be followed through the MA in Museum and Artefact Studies. These comprise different combinations of modules.
The first route is intended for those who firmly intend to pursue a career in museums and galleries. It comprises six compulsory taught modules: Debating Heritage and Museums; Museum Principles and Practice; Artefact Studies; Care of Collections; Museum; and Research Paper.
The second route through the MA provides you with a different choice of modules. It is intended for those with a strong interest in artefact studies, who may wish to pursue a career in the cultural heritage sector or undertake further postgraduate research in museum or artefact studies after completing the MA course, but who also wish to keep their options open. It comprises four compulsory modules (one of which is a dissertation) and a choice of a fifth module which previously have included: Debating Heritage and Museums; Artefact Studies; Museum Principles and Practice; and a Dissertation. And either Museum Communication Or Care of Collections Or A module from the MA in Archaeology (e.g. Prehistory; Roman Archaeology; Medieval Archaeology; Post-Medieval Archaeology; or the Archaeology of Egypt, the Near East and India (when available).
Course Learning and Teaching
The course is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and practical classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate in the Museums sector. Tutorials, seminars and workshops then provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that you have gained through your lectures and through independent study outside formal contact hours. Finally, practical classes allow you to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills in Museum and Artefact Studies through placements and curating an exhibition and/or developing an educational programme for the University Museums.
The balance of these types of activities changes throughout the course, as you develop your knowledge and ability as independent learners , giving you the opportunity to engage in research, professional practice, and developing and demonstrating research skills in a particular area of the subject. The course aims to develop these key attributes thereby preparing you for work or further study once you have completed the course.
In Terms 1 and 2 you will typically attend 6-8 hours a week of lectures, up to 4 hours of tutorials or seminars, in addition to 2 workshops and 4-6 hours of practical sessions working with artefacts or museum environment-related matters as well as fieldtrips over the term. You will have a 20-day Museum placement at Easter in a museum or archive. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge. Professional speakers are brought in to engage the students with issues within the professional body.
In Term 3 the balance shifts from learning the basic skills required, to applying them within a real-life museum environment in the module Museum Communications where you will work in groups on a specific project(s) with an opening date in May, June or July. Typically, you could be spending the equivalent of a working week as you complete the work for your projects, under supervision.
The move towards greater emphasis on independent research and research continues in Term 3, where the use of research skills acquired earlier in the course are developed through the Dissertation research project or the Research Paper. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom they will typically have between 3 and 5 one-to-one supervisory meetings, you will undertake a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research. The Dissertation is regarded as a preparation for further academic work while the exhibition and Research Paper route is designed for a more professional environment.
Throughout the course, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically you will meet your adviser two to three times a year, in addition to which all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The department also has an exciting programme of weekly one hour research seminars which you are strongly encouraged to attend as well as Friends of the Oriental Museum events.
Subject requirements, level and grade
Applicants should hold, or expect to be awarded, a 2:1 Honours degree or an international equivalent, such as a GPA of 3.3 or above and hold some museum work experience.
One satisfactory reference is required.
There is no specific deadline for applications although applications for any given academic year must be received before the start of that academic year (i.e. applications for the 2021-22 academic year must be received before October 2021).
Tuition fee deposit
All self-financing overseas students are required to pay a £1000 tuition fee deposit if an offer from the Department of Archaeology is accepted. The tuition fee deposit is paid before the University issues a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number, which is required in order to apply for a visa. £500 deposit is also payable by Home applicants if an offer of a place from the Department of Archaeology is accepted.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£20,700.00 per year|
|Home Student||£10,100.00 per year|
|Island Student||£10,100.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£20,700.00 per year|
Part Time Fees
|EU Student||£11,400.00 per year|
|Home Student||£5,600.00 per year|
|Island Student||£5,600.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£11,400.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Department of Archaeology
Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.
For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our employability web pages.
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Overseas Visit Schedule
Postgraduate VisitsPGVI or
Department of Archaeology
Our internationally respected research expertise will provide you with some of the best resources available for archaeological research. We have one of only three commercial archaeology units in the UK based in a university department here at Durham. You will be able to work with experts in the field and will have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and specialised facilities. Among the best in the world, our MA programmes – including Museum and Artefact Studies, International Cultural Heritage Management, and Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects – offer strong professional and vocational training. The MSc in Bioarchaeology and research strands of the MA in Archaeology offer ideal preparation for research careers and specialisation. Our unique MSc in Palaeopathology attracts students globally with academic and professional goals.
|F4K707||Conservation of Archaeological & Museum Objects (Diss) (MA)|
|F4K507||Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (PP) (MA)|