Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies - MA - Video

Develop your career and learn from key practitioners and academics in the museum and heritage fields.

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Develop your career and learn from key practitioners and academics in the museum and heritage fields.


This well-established programme at the 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 both north and south 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 both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We often invite our past students to talk about their career progression. To support your learning we support you in securing a voluntary placement in a local museum or heritage site.

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, Anthropology, Education, Sociology and allied disciplines, who wish to develop their research interests in these fields.

Key areas of investigation in this MA include

  • Policy concerns relating to heritage, museum and cultural sectors in Ireland, north and south
  • Analysis of the social, economic and cultural contexts of museums and heritage
  • Management issues relating to museums and heritage sites
  • International context of key issues for the heritage and museum sectors

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.

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About this course

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The MA requires successful completion of five taught modules and one research module.

Taught Modules

- Exploring Heritage
- Cultures of Curatorship
- Exhibition: Practice and Evaluation
- Strategic Management for the Heritage and Museum Sectors
- Research in Museum and Heritage Studies

MA Research Dissertation

If you choose not to do the research dissertation you may exit with a PGD, postgraduate diploma.

The MA Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies is delivered at the York Street Campus in Belfast to both full and part-time students.

Your Course Director is Elizabeth Crooke, Professor of Heritage and Museum Studies at Ulster University. Elizabeth works with a team of expert and experienced tutors to deliver this programme. Elizabeth is currently Chairperson of Board of Directors Northern Ireland Museums Council. She is also a member of the Museum Standards Programme Advisory Committee of the Heritage Council (Ireland) and has served as a member of the Board of Directors Irish Museums Association.


All modules are taught on the Belfast campus where you will find excellent teaching rooms, library facilities, and catering provision. We also make full use of Blackboard Learn, opening up digital resources to all students.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

Postgraduate Diploma: You should normally hold a degree in a relevant discipline.

MA: You should preferably hold a good honours degree in a relevant discipline.

Exceptionally, candidates who do not satisfy these requirements may, by virtue of relevant experience or learning, be admitted. Students who satisfactorily complete the Postgraduate Diploma at the required level will automatically be considered for progress to the MA.

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.

Teaching and learning assessment

Course delivery will include lectures, seminars, tutorials and, in some cases, visits to museum/exhibitions. As well as lectures, students will also be expected to pursue self-directed learning and will be given advice for reading and other forms of research. Sessions are lead by academics who are active in the fields of heritage, arts, and museums. Often we invite guest speakers who work in the sector to share their expertise. All modules are assessed via coursework.

Exemptions and transferability

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

Careers & opportunities

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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

Please see the testimonials below and others on the following page:

The areas graduates have gone on to include: Museums, Archive and Galleries (such as documentation, education, and outreach); further museum-related training (e.g. in conservation of museum objects; museum based internships; Archaeology (mainly excavation and research); Heritage (such as National Trust); PhD research; Education; graduates also pursue other interests such as travelling.

Work placement / study abroad

We arrange a work placement for each student with a museum, heritage or arts centre. Over the years our students have volunteered at Northern Ireland War Memorial, National Trust in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Museums Council, Ulster Museum, and local museums. There is opportunity to use your volunteering to inform your assignments or as a basis for dissertation research.

Academic profile

All lecturers on this programme contribute to the fields of museum and heritage studies or the arts, publishing in such journals as the International Journal of Heritage Studies and the book Companion to Museum Studies. We regularly invite people senior in the museum, heritage or arts sectors to contribute to our programme. Lecturers work closely with the sectors, for instance, the Course Director is currently Chairperson of Northern Ireland Museums Council.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

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

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Part time students have a chance to apply for Curators Team Interships at Historic Royal Palces. The internship will be based at Hillsborough Castle. For more information please contact:

Course Director: Professor Elizabeth Crooke

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5431


Additional mandatory costs


Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Professor Elizabeth Crooke

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5431


For Admissions queries please contact the Admissions Service:

T: +44 (0)28 9536 7890


For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Arts and Humanities


Jenny Haslett, Education Officer, Northern Ireland War Memorial, Belfast
I applied for the Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies MA at Ulster University after completing an undergraduate degree in Fine and Applied Art and having gained experience in museums. While visiting museums for my BA degree I became interested historical textiles and the handling and interpretation of objects. After graduation from the BA, I began voluntary work with the National Trust on a textile conservation project. Shortly after this, I began to work casually with museums, community groups and schools as a textile and craft tutor. These experiences emphasized to me that I wanted to work in a museum. I was delighted to get a place on the MA Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies. The full-time course consisted of two days of lectures a week, allowing me to continue to work casually in museums while taking on some extra voluntary work. The workload was demanding but ultimately rewarding as I found my voluntary placements helped me to make sense of the learning theories and museum issues I studied in class. The course was well-structured and constantly interested me as I decided which area of museums I wanted to work in. The modules covered an array of topical issues encouraging lively debate and allowing us to explore our own interests in most modules. This allowed me to complete my dissertation in a subject I was truly passionate about. Just after graduation I successfully secured the position of part-time Education Officer in Northern Ireland War Memorial. I am now curator-manager.

Please see the testimonials below and others on the following page: