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I cannot emphasise enough how much this distance learning course opened up exceptional educational opportunities for me, and how it has whetted my appetite for further research and involvement in the sector using distance learning.
Annette Dearden, MPM graduate (2011)
Study Museum Practice and Management at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.
This established programme shares best practice and expertise in various aspects of museum studies, cultural management, exhibition practice and care of collections. The modules draw upon the expectations of the museum standards programmes in UK and Ireland and present these within an international context. Lectures include points of discussion on key issues concerning the museum profession globally. Tutors are either lecturers in Ulster University or senior staff in the museum sector.
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About this course
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In developing the Museum Practice and Management programme we worked closely with the Heritage Council, and the course was designed to reflect the Museum Standards Programme Ireland.
There are four modules in the taught part of the programme:
Museums and Culture: Policies and Values
CUS 816 (30 credits)
This module considers the meaning, purposes and impact of museums. It looks at the value of objects, histories of museums as well as issues in relation to governance, museum ethics, social policies and display. It draws on key debates in the museum sector both nationally and internationally and encourages students to reflect upon the potential of museums.
Management and Strategy for the Museum
CUS 817 (30 credits)
Issues of management, marketing, finance and strategic planning are core to this module. Module content explores key thinking and principles in these areas and applies them to the museum sector.
Communication and Learning in Museums
CUS 818 (30 credits)
The focus of this module is museum communication through exhibition development and learning policies. Units relating to exhibitions focus on the importance of display, writing museum text and evaluation. Lectures also reflect upon contemporary learning theories, how these might be applied in museums, and writing an education policy for a museum. Consideration is also given to engaging lifelong learners and employing new media in museums.
Collections Care and Management
CUS 819 (30 credits)
Collections are the basis on which most museum work is developed. This module considers how to make collection management a strategic part of a museum service. It considers the development of standards and accreditation, issues relating to acquisition and disposal of collections as well as documentation. Lectures relating to the care of collections consider preventive conservation; care of collections; storage; object handling; movement of collections; disaster planning; and the broader context of collections care.
This is an entirely online programme, with no requirement to attend the Ulster University. However, there is an annual calendar of museum events in Ireland which many students attend and the tutors use as an opportunity to informally meet with students.
- September 2016
- January 2017
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.
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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. An interview may form part of the application process.
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
When enrolled you are provided, week by week over a period of 12 weeks, online access to lectures, readings, and discussion topics. Lectures and all required reading can be downloaded via the module area. Each lecture contains discussion topics to encourage dialogue between you, fellow students, and your module tutor. Each module has approximately two assignments. The first assignment is submitted during the module, with feedback within three weeks, and the final assignment is due a fortnight after the module is completed. On successful completion of 4 modules (a total of 120 credits) you may to exit with Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Practice of Management. You also have the option to continue to the research module (60 credits) and exit with Master’s Museum Practice and Management.
Exemptions and transferability
You may choose to complete one module as a stand-alone course (30credits), two modules for a PG Cert (60 credits) and four modules for a Post Graduate Diploma (120 credits). All modules are Master’s level (Level 7).
Careers & opportunities
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The majority of the students on this programme are working the museum or related sectors. Often these students want to learn more about museum practice and theory. Others are keen to enter the sector and the programme provides invaluable learning. Such students gain a lot from discussion with their peers and tutors. In addition, the Course Director can advise you on finding a work placement in a museum.
Work placement / study abroad
We work with students and local museums or heritage properties to arrange work placements.
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.
The deadline for submission of applications is 15th May and 1 November . We will consider late applications but these may experience delays in processing.How to apply
- September 2016
- January 2017
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.
Isabel Bennett, Curator, Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne, Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Tralee, Co. Kerry
I was very lucky to be accepted into the first intake of the distance-learning PGD Museum Practice and Management, graduating in 2008. Having come from an archaeological background, I didn’t have the basic foundation that many working in the museum world would have. Our museum was involved in the Pilot Study, run by the Heritage Council, which eventually evolved into the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland, which made me realise how much I still had to learn about working in a museum!
As the only year-round employee in this small, local museum, I have to cover many areas including education, exhibition, maintenance of the web-site and Facebook, as well as all the other day-to-day curatorial tasks that take place.
The studies I undertook while following the PGD Museum Practice and Management have given me a wonderful foundation on which to build to enable me to carry out all these tasks with confidence.
It was wonderful that this distance-learning programme was available. Otherwise it would be extremely difficult for someone like me, who lives far away to attend any other 3rd level course of this quality. I commend theUlsterUniversity for having given me this opportunity.