A one-year taught masters degree (NFQ level 9), offered on a full-time basis through the Department of Archaeology and the Department of Management and Marketing in University College Cork. The aim is to provide a broad academic and professional training in all aspects of museum design, management and education, whilst encouraging students to reflect critically on the relevance of these institutions in the contemporary world. This MA is designed for those who wish to enter the museum or heritage centre profession In Ireland or abroad, or who wish to pursue PhD research in museology and related fields. The course provides a balance of theory and practice for students from a range of academic backgrounds, with emphasis on graduates of archaeology and history, and other closely cognate humanities and social science disciplines. The MA programme is made up of taught courses, supervised work placements in museums, the production of a temporary museum exhibition and a research dissertation.
Why Choose This Course
This degree represents the first museum training course offered by any third-level institution in the Republic of Ireland. There is considerable activity in the sector, with some 460 museums and heritage centres registered by the Irish Museums Associations. The diversity of museums at a national, regional/county and local level creates a demand for training and viable employment prospects. This MA course will enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history, theory and practice of museums, and will prepare them for future employment in this sector. It will also support the museum profession through entry-level training and continuing professional development of existing staff.
Placement or Study Abroad Information
Students will undertake two museum placements (10 credits each) where they will learn aspects of museum management, design and practice, as well as the opportunity to work on a particular project such as an exhibition.
AR6026 Museum Placement 1 (regional museum)
AR6029 Museum Placement 2 (thematic and local museums)
The Department of Archaeology will arrange all work placements for students. Placements are unpaid and the costs of participation in terms of travel and accommodation expenses are borne by the student, and will vary depending on the location of the museum concerned.
A 90-credit programme made up of taught modules (25 credits), two work placements (20 credits), museum exhibition (10 credits) and a research dissertation (35 credits)
Five taught modules ( 5 credits each and Museum Placement 1 (10 Credits):
AR6022 The Museum in the 21st century (5 Credits)
AR6028 Museum Curation (5 Credits)
AR6025 Museums and the Public (5 Credits)
AR6023 The Museum Environment (5 Credits)
AR6032 Museum Administration (5 Credits)
AR6026 Work Placement 1 (10 credits)
AR6029 Work Placement 2 (10 credits)
Students will undertake two museum placements (10 credits each) of four weeks duration each, where they will learn aspects of museum management, planning, design and practice, as well as the opportunity to work on a particular project such as an exhibition. Work placements commence towards the end of Semester II (March) and continue until June. The Department of Archaeology will arrange all placements for the students.
AR6030 The Exhibition Experience (10 credits)
Students will prepare a temporary museum exhibition on an agreed theme for a public audience. This includes the necessary background research and cataloguing of primary materials, the design and mounting of the displays, the preparation of an exhibition catalogue and a public launch and visitor survey. The work for this exhibition and its public launch is done in early summer.
AR6027 Dissertation (35 credits)
Students will write a 20,000-word research dissertation on an approved topic of their choice relevant to the museum sector. These can be standard studies based on primary source research or may be practice-based, involving, for example, an exhibition, policy development, visitor experience study, digital media application etc, or may combine both approaches. The main period for dissertation work is July–September. Students who are currently working in museums or who have recent museum experience are eligible to apply for an exemption from one of the work placement modules.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
Honours Primary degree to second honours level from a recognized third-level institution, in one of the following disciplines: Archaeology, Anthropology, Folklore, History, Heritage Studies or Local Studies. Applications will also be considered from graduates in other disciplines who have a demonstrable interest and/or experience in museum work. All applicants will be interviewed.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
How to apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates below.
The UCC application portal will open on November 1st for admission in September 2022.
Irish, EU, UK, EEA and Swiss Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means offers are made at a minimum of four times a year on a rolling basis.
The UCC rounds closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. Applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible.
Deadline for receipt of full applications/ Offers will be made:
For all completed applications received by January 17th, 2022 -
Offers will be made by January 31st, 2022
For all completed applications received by March 7th, 2022 -
Offers will be made by March 21st, 2022
For all completed applications received by May 3rd, 2022 -
Offers will be made by May 17th, 2022
For all completed applications received by July 1st, 2022 -
Offer will be made by July 15th, 2022
After July late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity.
Applicants from outside of EU, UK, EEA, Switzerland: Information may be found on the International Office Website.
NON-EU CLOSING DATE: 15 June
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
What is your current occupation/speciality?
please enter the names and email addresses of 2 referees.
Full-time 1 year
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
This proposal supports a recognised profession within and outside of Ireland, one that has a strategic role in State policy on cultural heritage and tourism. Graduates will acquire a systematic and critical understanding of museum practice and theory. They will have acquired direct experience of practices, procedures and policies in the contemporary museum, and apply a critical awareness of current issues in the field (including professional ethics) to best professional practice. At an applied level the student will acquire an awareness of all that is involved in the design and management of modern museums.
Graduates from this programme work in the museum and heritage sector in Ireland, Britain, Europe, Canada, US and the Middle East. They are employed in Museum Management, Education, Curation and Administration.