This course looks at the way that museums, galleries and other cultural institutions are changing to meet the needs of the 21st century. The MA has been designed for students who wish to work as curators, arts organisers, museum professional and other cultural managers and who want to know in particular how these institutions face contemporary issues. It looks at the changing role of cultural provision and how agencies, festivals and flexible organisations shape, house, fund, and disseminate culture today. The course also gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the contemporary debates about working practices in cultural institutions, and the changing context in which organisations operate.
The course concentrates on professional practice and you will work closely with institutions such as Tate Britain and the Museum of London, and conduct case studies into creative projects run by organisations as diverse as the Victoria and Albert Museum, smaller independent galleries and London-based festivals and arts organisations. Classes are taught off-site at other institutions, and involve professionals from the sector as much as possible to give you an understanding of vocational issues and a close involvement in the workplace.
You will examine key issues and themes in the museums and gallery sector, and explore how these are dealt with not just in theory, but also on a day-to-day basis by leading institutions. You will learn about the challenges faced by museums and galleries, how they confront them and how they are developing innovative practices in relation to their collections, exhibitions and audiences.
Gaining professional knowledge is an important part of the course and you will be able to meet curators and museum professionals. The University also assists students to gain internships, work placements and to work on professional projects.
The teaching team are curators, museum and gallery professionals, as well as university academics. You will be taught through seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and workshops, together with independent, student-directed study where students develop their own project. If you are interested in studying the broader theoretical context of museum and gallery issues you can also take modules from other courses taught in the Department, such as Art and Visual Culture MA.
Assessment methods include written coursework - essays, presentations, proposals and project reports as well as a final 10,000–12,000-word Major Research Project.