10 Best Museum Studies Graduate Programs in the World


master's, museum

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” –Rumi

Working in a museum is one of the most satisfying jobs there is because you are always working closely with objects of beauty and rarity.

Museums cover a vast range of topics that go beyond exhibitions of art and culture. Museums cover the entire expanse of human history, products, and experience. A museum houses the treasures of the world and encompasses topics in a full range of fields.

Museum studies is a great career path for anyone interested in blended knowledge and gaining some insight into the field of anthropology, zoology, art history, education, and engineering. A museum professional would be tasked to educate the public through various approaches including education, curating and public programming.

What credentials do you need to work in a museum? To qualify for a profession in a museum you will need advanced degrees; you’ll need at least a master’s degree.

The first step to starting your career in museum studies is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. There are many different kinds of museums such as art, science and natural history. Choose a major that is relevant to the type of museum you want to work in. You may consider studying fine arts or art history, while a historical museum curator may consider studying anthropology or history.

Next, you should earn a master’s degree. A master’s degree is the most common entry level requirement for museum professionals rather than a bachelor’s degree. Choose a specialized area of study such as Native American history or ancient Chinese art. To be more competitive, you can even get multiple master’s degrees such as one in museum studies and another in a specialty area.

Finally, get experience. Internships are helpful and help you gain hands-on experience. You can also do volunteer work to gain credentials. An internship will increase your job prospects. Working in a low-level position as an assistant or associate can give you a first-hand experience of what’s going on in museum operations and will help you gain much needed practical skills as a future leader.

To be truly prepared to take on a career in museology you will need top-notch training in the best museum studies graduate programs in the world. Good training will help you prepare for challenges and meet demands in the work setting. Below is a run-down of some of the best schools to obtain your museum studies degree.

Master’s in Museum Studies-University College London

Description of the Course:

This MA provides a broad academic and professional training in all aspects of museum work and encourages students to reflect on the concept of the museum and its associated practices. The programme looks at all types of museums. Modules include: Collections Management and Care, Managing Museums, Museum Communication, and Audience Engagement

  • Duration: Full time (1 year); Part-time (2 years)
  • Cost: £10,110 for full-time UK and EU students; £20,540 for full time international students

for more information: University College London

Master’s in Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies-University of London

Description of the Course:

The programme is for students wishing to pursue a career in museum studies with a focus on non-Western art and culture. You will be strengthening your knowledge of contemporary debates in critical museology, critical heritage studies and material culture studies. It suits students interested in broadening their expertise across anthropology, art history, and archaeology.

  • Duration: 1-year full time or 3 years part-time.
  • Cost: £8,785 total fees for UK and EU students; £18,075 total fees for international students

for more information: University of London

Master’s in Museum and Artefact Studies-Durham University

Description of the Course:

The program provides students with high-quality training relevant to a career in museums, the cultural heritage sector, and in the academic world. Equips students with a sound knowledge and critical understanding of current professional principles. Students will learn about research, communication skills, relevant to museums and artefact care.

  • Duration: 1-year full time or 2 years part-time.
  • Cost:  £7,400 for full-time UK and EU students; £16,500 for full-time international students

for more information: Durham University

Master’s in Art Gallery and Museum Studies-University of Manchester

Description of the Course:

The program explores emerging critical approaches and shifts in museum practice and theory. The student will undertake a work placement in a museum, gallery or related cultural organization in or around Manchester. The program prepares the student for a career in the museum sector.

  • Duration: 1-year full time or 2 years part-time
  • Cost: £9,000 for full-time UK and EU students; £17,000 for full-time international students

for more information: University of Manchester

Master’s in Museum Studies–Leiden University

Description of the Course:

This master’s specialization combines academic and practical aspects of cultural and landscape studies, politics, cultural theory and the environmental sciences in museum practices.

  • Duration: 1-year full time.
  • Cost:  €2,006 for UK and EU students; €16,600 for international students.

for more information: Leiden University

Graduate Certificate, Museum Studies-University of Cleveland

Description of the Course:

The History Department offers a Museum Studies Certificate for those who already have an MA or who are employed in a museum and would like to enhance their qualifications in the museum studies field. Course include Introduction to Public History, Collections management, and Internship.

  • Duration: 16 credit hours
  • Cost: USD $1,029 per credit hour

for more information: University of Cleveland

Master’s in Critical Museum Studies-University at Buffalo

Description of the Course:

Critical Museum Studies is a pre-professional interdisciplinary MA program under the guidance of core departments/programs: Anthropology, Art, and Arts Management. Students are required to take courses in each of the three core programs ensuring that an interdisciplinary perspective is built into the program.

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Cost: $22,210 per year

for more information: University at Buffalo

Master of Arts in Museum Studies-The George Washington University

Description of the Course:

Museum Studies combines academic training and the practical experience to begin a successful museum career. Students get theoretical and hands-on experience through internship affiliations with more than 60 museums and cultural organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution.

  • Duration: 2 years and one summer
  • Cost: US $30,780 per year

for more information: The George Washington University

Master’s in Museum Studies (Heritage Studies)-University of Amsterdam

Description of the Course:

The Master’s program prepares students for a profession in the museum world by equipping them with cultural-historical research skills and training. Students get gain practical skills during a 5-month internship at a museum in The Netherlands or abroad.

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Cost: €2,006 per year for UK and EU students; €13,255 per year for international students

for more information: University of Amsterdam

MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies–University of St. Andrews

Description of the Course:

The program covers important topics in museology such as exhibition, education and the principles of conservation.

  • Duration: 1-year full time or 2 years and 5 months part-time.
  • Cost: £7,500 total cost for UK and EU students; £17,090 total cost for international students

for more information: The University of St. Andrews

Image Credit: https://www.collegerank.net/most-amazing-college-museums/


About claire

Claire has been studying Museum and Natural history and would like to pursue a career in Museum studies. She is avid reader and she want to read about ancient civilizations and their cultures.

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