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Cultural Heritage & Museum Studies


This well-established programme at Ulster University is delivered through the School of Arts and Humanities and is taught on the Belfast campus.

It has many links with the museum and heritage profession in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and students have the advantage of meeting with practitioners through lectures and visits. Graduates have been successful in securing positions in the museum and heritage sectors in the UK, Ireland and internationally - we frequently invite past students as guest speakers, sharing their knowledge and expertise of career development.

The degree programme has been designed for individuals seeking further career development in the heritage and museum sectors, as well for graduates of Art and Design, Art History, Geography, History, Archaeology, Sociology and allied disciplines, who wish to develop their research interests in these fields. There is a track record of graduates achieving funding for further research.


Key areas of investigation in this MA include:

Policy concerns relating to heritage, museum and cultural sectors in UK and Ireland;

Analysis of the social, economic and cultural contexts of museums and heritage;

Exploration of issues in relation to collections care; exhibitions; learning and management in the heritage sectors; and,

Consideration of national issues in the international context.

Modules have been designed to reflect innovative and current research in these areas and will equip both graduates and those already working in the heritage sectors with the appropriate skills for further academic and professional development.

Teaching and learning assessment

This course is delivered by academics in the fields of museum and heritage studies and the arts. We invite practitioners as guest lecturers on the programme. All assessment is by coursework.

Work placement / study abroad

We will support you in finding a work placement, which you complete alongside your studies. In the past students have had placements at National Museums Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Museums Council, local museums, Linen Hall Library, PRONI and the National Trust. There is also the opportunity to use your volunteering to inform assignments and as a basis of your dissertation research.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

You should preferably hold a good honours degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant discipline. Typically applicants have a degree either in archaeology, history, geography, art or art history, social sciences or education.

Exceptionally, candidates who do not satisfy these requrements may, by virtue of relevant experience or learning, be admitted.

The deadline for submission of applications is 15th May. We will consider late applications but these may experience delays in processing.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Those applicants seeking entry with advanced standing, (eg. transfer from another institution) will be considered on an individual basis.



This course is taught on the Belfast campus. The part time programme is a 3 year course. Students take 60 credits per year. The first two years of the programme is the taught course. Full-time students attend lectures and seminars two days a week (typically Tuesday and Thursday) and Part-time students one day a week (typically a Thursday in the first year and a Tuesday in the second year).

Careers or further progression

Career options

This programme was introduced in 2001 and since that time our graduates have pursued careers in museums, exhibition design, archives, the cultural sector and further education. Alumni from the programme now form a vibrant community and are having a positive impact on the sector. Past students are invited back to share their experiences with.

The areas graduates have gone on to include:

Museums, Archive and Galleries, entry level posts such as collections management and curatorship, learning and public engagement;

Specialist museum-related training e.g. in conservation of museum objects

museum based internships

The heritage sector (such as National Trust) and the arts

PhD research

Graduates also pursue other interests such as travelling.

For information on postgraduate research opportunities see:

Further enquiries

Course Director: Professor Elizabeth Crooke
T:+44 (0)28 7167 5431

For Admissions queries please contact the Admissions Service:
T:+44 (0)28 9036 6309

Subjects taught

First Year Modules

Exploring Heritage
Cultures of Curatorship

Second Year Modules

Exhibitions: Practice and Evaluation
Strategic Management
Research Methods for the Heritage and Museum Sectors

Third Year

In the final year students undertake a research project, guided by a supervisor. This dissertation is completed at the end of Semester 2.

Application date

Application is through the University's online application system.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2019

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