Museum Studies MA

Fact File

Course Code: CKD09 Full-time

Course Title: Museum Studies

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Museum Studies

Duration: 1 year Full-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: MA

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: €6,300 full-time; 2017/2018 Non-EU fee: €13,000; The cost of bus transport used in one-day field excursions is included in the course fee. Transport and accommodation costs that may arise from work placements will be borne by the student.

Entry Requirements: Students should possess a primary degree to second honours level from a recognized third-level institution, in one of the following disciplines: Archaeology, Anthropology, Folklore, History, Heritage Studies or Local Studies. Applications will also be considered from graduates in other disciplines who have a demonstrable interest and/or experience in museum work. All applicants will be interviewed.

Closing Date: Applications now closed for 2017/18

Next Intake: September 2018


A one-year taught masters degree (NFQ level 9), offered on a full-time basis through the Department of Archaeology and the Department of Management and Marketing in University College Cork. The aim is to provide a broad academic and professional training in all aspects of museum design, management and education, whilst encouraging students to reflect critically on the relevance of these institutions in the contemporary world. This MA is designed for those who wish to enter the museum or heritage centre profession In Ireland or abroad, or who wish to pursue PhD research in museology and related fields. The course provides a balance of theory and practice for students from a range of academic backgrounds, with emphasis on graduates of archaeology and history, and other closely cognate humanities and social science disciplines. The MA programme is made up of taught courses, supervised work placements in museums, the production of a temporary museum exhibition and a research dissertation

Course Details

A 90-credit programme made up of taught modules (25 credits), two work placements (20 credits), museum exhibition (10 credits) and a research dissertation (35 credits)


Five taught modules ( 5 credits each):

Semester I

AR6022 The Museum in the 21st century
AR6028 Museum Curation
AR6025 Museums and the Public

Semester II

AR6023 The Museum Environment
MG6019 The Management and Marketing of Museums


AR6026 Work Placement 1 (10 credits)
AR6029 Work Placement 2 (10 credits)

Students will undertake two museum placements (10 credits each) of four weeks duration each, where they will learn aspects of museum management, planning, design and practice, as well as the opportunity to work on a particular project such as an exhibition. Work placements commence towards end of Semester II (March) and continue until June. The Department of Archaeology will arrange all placements for the students.

AR6030 The Exhibition Experience (10 credits)

Students will prepare a temporary museum exhibition on an agreed theme for a public audience. This includes the necessary background research and cataloguing of primary materials, the design and mounting of the displays, the preparation of an exhibition catalogue and a public launch and visitor survey. The work for this exhibition and its public launch is done in early summer.

AR6027 Dissertation (35 credits)

Students will write a 20,000-word research dissertation on an approved topic of their choice relevant to the museum sector. These can be standard studies based on primary source research or may be practice-based, involving, for example, an exhibition, policy development, visitor experience study, digital media application etc, or may combine both approaches. The main period for dissertation work is July–September. Students who are currently working in museums or who have recent museum experience are eligible to apply for an exemption from one of the work placement modules.

Detailed Entry Requirements

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to apply.

All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application, or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway, immediately after an application is made.

Please note that you will also be asked to fill in a special supplementary information form as part of the applications process for this programme. A copy of this form is available to view here: CKD09AdditionalQuestions (128kB)

Course Practicalities

Lectures take place every Monday (apart from Bank holidays) over six months from October to March, with an average of six class hours each teaching day. Students will attend additional computer lab practicals, and a number of one-day excursions organized on different dates. The Department of Archaeology will arrange all work placements for students. Placements are unpaid and the costs of participation in terms of travel and accommodation expenses are borne by the student, and will vary depending on the location of the museum concerned.


The taught modules are examined through continuous assessment, using a combination of class tests, presentations, essays and projects. The work placements are assessed by a Placement Report Portfolio, while the dissertation requires the submission of a 20,000 word written dissertation

Who Teaches This Course

The MA coordinators are Dr Colin Rynne and Mr John Sheehan (Department of Archaeology), with other lectures including Ms Rose Cleary and Dr Griffin Murray (Department of Archaeology, UCC) and Dr Joan Buckley (Department of Management and Marketing, UCC), as well as National Museum of Ireland staff and a number of guest lecturers

Contact us

E: Mr. John Sheehan

P: 00 353 21 4904044
W: Website

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