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University of Aberdeen: Museum Studies

Institution University of Aberdeen View institution profile
Department School of Social Science
Telephone 01224 272090
Study type Taught


The one-year Museum Studies master's programme draws on the University’s extensive museum collections to enable you to explore critical approaches to museum theory while also studying the application of museum practice and research at first hand. The University of Aberdeen’s museum collections are among the oldest, largest and most significant in the country, having the status of a Recognised Collection of National Significance. In fact, Aberdeen is one of the very few UK universities to have international-quality collections relating to the natural and cultural worlds.

The Museum Studies programme makes significant use of these collections to enable you to study the historical and contemporary roles of museums in society and develop expertise in public engagement with research while gaining practical experience of museum work. You will gain foundational curatorial skills and understanding of the history and philosophy of museums and the contemporary issues they face in the core courses: Researching Museum Collections, Museum Practice, The Museum Idea, and Navigating the Museum Workplace: Career Portfolio Project.

You can apply this knowledge in options like Learning and Museums, for which you will develop a public engagement event, and Museums and the Digital World, which involves designing a digital intervention for the University Museums and Special Collections. During the summer term, you can choose Curating an Exhibition, which involves working with professional staff to create an exhibition on a topic of the class’s choice to be exhibited to the public at the Sir Duncan Rice Library Gallery or online. Students are responsible for all aspects of the exhibition, from object selection, to marketing, to design. Alternatively, you may research a topic in more depth through writing a Museum Studies dissertation. This route is recommended for those aiming to continue to the PhD in Museum Studies.

Our assessments involve skills you will utilise in a career in the heritage sector, for example, drafting mock grant applications, and putting together a career plan, as well as enhancing your skills in research and academic writing. We offer maximum flexibility with a September or a January start date.


University of Aberdeen


The University of Aberdeen is Scotland’s third oldest university and the fifth  oldest in the UK. Founded by Bishop William Elphinstone in 1495, the beautiful campus attracts a diverse international community of over 14,000 students  from over  130 countries.

The University of Aberdeen is ranked as a Top 20 UK university by the Guardian University Guide 2024 and Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024, and ranks among the best 200 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023). It also ranks second across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for student satisfaction in The …

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