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Birkbeck, University of London: Museum Cultures with Collections Management

Institution Birkbeck, University of London View institution profile
Department School of Historical Studies
Web http://www.bbk.ac.uk/
Telephone 0203 907 0700
Study type Taught

Summary

Museums have been of enormous importance in shaping empires, nations and cities, and their collections are connected to wider histories of conflict and social change. Our MA Museum Cultures with Collections Management combines study of the history and cultural significance of museums with opportunities for professional museum experience.

This MA will give you a solid grasp of foundational skills and key issues in collections management. During an intensive week studying current issues and practices you will meet experts in London museums and galleries and engage in hands-on activities including documentation, cataloguing and issuing loan requests.

You will also have the opportunity to apply for a 10-week supervised work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Previous work placements have been offered at the Tate, British Museum, Whitechapel Gallery and Horniman Museum. Past students have documented collections that were previously uncatalogued, helped design and run schools programmes, conducted visitor research and assisted curators in producing exhibitions.

As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we also offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring.

Highlights

  • Birkbeck was ranked as one of the top four universities in the UK for its Art and Design research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

  • We offer a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. Funds are also available to support research expenses for your coursework on this MA.

  • Birkbeck has an international reputation for its innovative approaches to the history of art, visual culture and museum studies, and attracts a rich programme of visiting scholars and practitioners. We are home to the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre, the Centre for Museum Cultures and the Vasari Research Centre. You will also have access to the Centre for Film and Visual Media. We have state-of-the art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell. Birkbeck Library has an extensive collection of books and journals in museum studies and history of art. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, the British Library and the National Art Library at the V&A.

  • Close to our location in Bloomsbury in central London, you can explore some of the world's best architecture, galleries and museums, collections and art spaces, such as the British Library, British Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Foundling Museum, Wellcome Gallery, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and V&A.

  • We host a range of events including information evenings for prospective students; the annual Murray Lecture where speakers have included Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, and Neil MacGregor, former Director of the British Museum; and exhibitions and displays at Birkbeck's Peltz Gallery and events at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.

  • Study trips in the last few years include visits to Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Moscow.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue career paths in the heritage and museums sector, arts, media and education. Possible professions include:

  • museum/gallery registrar

  • curator

  • arts administrator

  • community arts worker

  • multimedia specialist

  • higher education lecturer.

MA

Birkbeck, part of the University of London, offers nearly 300 taught and research postgraduate programmes across arts and humanities, business and economics, law, science and social science. As an evening teaching specialist, Birkbeck offers its taught postgraduate courses between 6-9pm, with some courses available through distance learning. As with undergraduate courses, postgraduates can study full-time or part-time.

Home to 44 research and specialist institutes, Birkbeck is the sixth largest provider of taught postgrad courses for UK and EU students - some 44% of its 11,000-plus students are on postgrad programmes. Around 90% of its academics are active in research, and …

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