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Postgraduate course

Museum Education MA

Take an alternative approach to education. Discover museums as institutions for learning and gain the skills and knowledge needed to be a museum educator.

A group of students looking at an exhibition at the National Railway Museum

Museums are innovative learning environments outside the classroom. Museum educators find new and exciting ways to explore collections and heritage sites. They break down barriers and make learning accessible for all. With a focus on professional placements and social justice, this course explores museum education and its contribution to society.

  • Subject to final approval

York campus

  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 1 year full time | 2 years part time
  • Start date – September 2020
  • School – Education

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 undergraduate degree in a related subject

    6.0 IELTS if your first language is not English

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £6,500

    International 2020-21 £12,750

Course overview

Prestigious museum educators have worked alongside us to create this course. You will gain a professional and academic qualification aligned with the Competency Framework for the Group for Education in Museums. 

As part of our course, you will:

  • Consider the concept of museums as institutions of learning.
  • Develop your understanding of learning theories and consider how to apply these to heritage learning.
  • Research and establish inclusive education programmes for the range of audiences in the museum sector.
  • Explore how you can curate exciting exhibitions and projects to engage visitors of all ages. 

As well as the above, you will learn about the museum industry and how it runs. Investigate how to market museum education programmes through social media, content creation and more. Learn how to write successful bids, manage budgets and make funding applications. Think about museum accessibility to create safe, inclusive learning environments. 

Our flexible degree allows you to specialise in an area that interests you. You will choose one of 3 optional modules to give you specific skills in digital and museum learning in either history, science or art. Follow your passion and learn how you can channel it to inspire others. 

Unique to this course is the opportunity to undertake your placement in term 2 at one of our established partner institutions. These include:

  • English Heritage
  • The International Spy Museum in Washington DC
  • The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York
  • Leeds Museum and Galleries
  • The National Trust
  • The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC
  • York Museums Trust

The placement gives you a picture of museum education on an international level and the vocational skills to take you forward into your career.

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course full time, or part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments. 

For postgraduate study, our academic year is split into 3 terms.  

If you choose to study full time the course will take 1 year to complete. You will:

  • Take 2 compulsory modules in term 1 
  • Take 1 compulsory module, and 1 optional module in term 2. 
  • Take your dissertation module in term 2 and 3. 

If you choose to study part time the course will take 2 years to complete. You will:

  • Take 1 compulsory module in term 1 of your first year 
  • Take 1 compulsory module in term 2 of your first year
  • Take 1 optional module in term 3 of your first year 
  • Take 1 compulsory module in term 1 of your second year 
  • Take your dissertation module in term 3 of your second year. 

Modules

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will come to understand the practice of managing and organising museums. You will consider how to engage audiences and the role of public education within them. You will also think about care and conservation of museum objects and how sensory engagement with them can be used in education. Placements are included on this module and are likely to be carried out twice a month. Together with your peers, and supported by your placements, you will explore what a robust, cohesive learning programme looks like. We will introduce you to research methodology skills in preparation for your dissertation module.   

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

The concepts covered in Introduction to Museum Learning will be further developed on this module. It allows you to apply your understanding as you design educational learning programmes, exhibitions and displays which appeal to a range of age groups. You will consider how museums need to become more agile learning organisations to become more fiscally viable. To this end, you will also think about how people learn, how museums integrate classroom learning, how to make safe learning environments and consider the impact of play based learning. Alongside this, the module also covers funding and marketing in museum contexts and international perspectives of museum learning. 

Credits: 30

Optional module

This module places an emphasis on the role of history in museum learning, allowing you to specialise in an area that interests you. You will learn how to engage learners inclusively in history and the pedagogy of museum educators. Through placements and seminars, you will develop your subject specific knowledge. On these placements, you will engage and consult with museum educators to identify, plan and manage small scale projects to develop your awareness of funding, safeguarding and the delivery of high quality learning activities relating to history. While on placement, you will have contact with a mentor who will support your learning and the logistics of your placement. 

Credits: 30

Optional module

This module places an emphasis on the role of science in museum learning, allowing you to specialise in an area that interests you. You will learn how to engage learners inclusively in science and the pedagogy of museum educators. Through placements and seminars, you will develop your subject specific knowledge. On these placements, you will engage and consult with museum educators to identify, plan and manage small scale projects to develop your awareness of funding, safeguarding and the delivery of high quality learning activities relating to science. While on placement, you will have contact with a mentor who will support your learning and the logistics of your placement.

Credits: 30

Optional module

This module places an emphasis on the role of art in museum learning, allowing you to specialise in an area that interests you. You will learn how to engage learners inclusively in art and the pedagogy of museum educators. Through placements and seminars, you will develop your subject specific knowledge. On these placements, you will engage and consult with museum educators to identify, plan and manage small scale projects to develop your awareness of funding, safeguarding and the delivery of high quality learning activities relating to science. While on placement, you will have contact with a mentor who will support your learning and the logistics of your placement.

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

On this module, you will gain significant professional experience. While on placement you will engage with an online discussion forum which will be monitored by course tutors. This is your opportunity to compare placement experiences with your peers and reflect on what you have learnt. While on placement you will undertake practical and research project activities which will enable you to collect and analyse data to apply to your dissertation module. The evidence you collect throughout the module will be presented to a museum educator mentor who will support you through your placement. They will ensure you have met the standards required for the Group of Education Museums' core competencies. 

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

Apply the experience, skills and data you have learnt throughout the course to your dissertation. This module requires sustained independent study, analysis of data and critical thinking. It is your opportunity to take a creative and individual approach to exploring an aspect of museum education which interests you and matches your skills. By the end of the module you will have completed a 10000 word research project. Throughout this module you will be supported by a dissertation tutor who can assist with the development of ideas.  

Teaching and assessment

You are encouraged to play an active role in your own learning. Module tutors will take the role of facilitators, encouraging you to think outside your own sphere of reference. You will be encouraged to share your experience and reflections through in-class dialogue. A proactive approach to learning will be promoted.

The programme employs a range of teaching and learning practices including:

  • Lectures (with supporting materials posted on the Virtual Learning Environment)
  • Tutor and student-led seminars; workshops and discussion groups
  • Independent study and research
  • Museum based workshops
  • Online training and webinars from museum professionals both local and international. 

We use a range of assessment methods on the course and have designed them so you can align the assessments with your individual interests and practice. Assessment methods include: 

  • Research projects 
  • Writing interpretive text 
  • Writing funding bids 
  • A dissertation and peer presentation.

You will receive support and feedback on assessments prior to submission. You will also receive feedback on each submitted assessment. This will allow you to continually improve your academic work.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 undergraduate degree in a related subject

    6.0 IELTS if your first language is not English

Qualifications

Entry onto this postgraduate course requires a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in a related subject. This could be any degree which lends itself to museum education such as History, Art, English Literature, Education or a science subject. 

International Students

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (i.e the same entry criteria as above).

If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

APEL policy

If you can't meet these minimum requirements it may be possible to take into account evidence of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as an alternative method of meeting the programme’s entry requirements. In such a case, appropriate references and records of employment might be presented to support the applicant’s case for admission.

Fees and funding

UK & EU 2020 - 21

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2020 entry to this postgraduate course is £3,250 per year.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about postgraduate funding opportunities.

International (non-EU) 2020 - 21

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £6,500

    International 2020-21 £12,750

Alumni Scholarships

If you are continuing to postgraduate study directly after studying at undergraduate level with us, we offer a reduction in fees depending on the classification of degree you achieve.

If you are graduating from an undergraduate degree at York St John University this year you could be entitled to:

  • a 50% reduction in course fees if you achieve a 1st
  • a 35% reduction if you achieve a 2:1
  • a 20% reduction if you achieve a 2:2

These reductions apply to all York and London-based taught MA, MBA, MSc and MRes courses, except for Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) MSc, Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc and all PCGE courses.

All York St John University alumni are eligible for a 10% reduction on their postgraduate course fees regardless of when you graduated. The 10% alumni discount will not be added on top of these reductions.

Additional costs and financial support

COURSE-RELATED COSTS

Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

ACCOMMODATION AND LIVING COSTS

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Choosing a Postgraduate degree in Museum Education can help you achieve your career ambitions. You will gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours that employers covet. 

With these skills, you could pursue a number of careers. This degree can prepare you for a career as a:

  • Museum Education Officer
  • Museum Exhibitions Officer
  • Museum Curator
  • Heritage Manager
  • Historic Buildings Inspector
  • Conservation Officer
  • Public Librarian 

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.
Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. This link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place. 

Apply now: full time

Applications for part time study are not open currently. If you are interested in studying this course on a part time basis, please email our admissions team. They will be able to notify you when the applications open.

admissions@yorksj.ac.uk

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