UCC Postgraduate courses

Museum Studies

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Museum Studies

  • Code

    CKD09 Full-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2018

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2018


  • Entry Requirements

    Primary degree to 2H2 level from a recognized third-level institution, in one of the following disciplines: Archaeology, Anthropology, Folklore, History, Heritage Studies or Local Studies. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Applications processed in rounds: See How To Apply section for full details

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    15th June

  • Start Date

    10 September 2018

Course Outline

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. 

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.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

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

Why Choose This Course

This degree represents the first museum training course offered by any third-level institution in the Republic of Ireland. There is considerable activity in the sector, with some 460 museums and heritage centres registered by the Irish Museums Associations. The diversity of museums at a national, regional/county and local level creates a demand for training and viable employment prospects.This MA course will enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history, theory and practice of museums, and will prepare them for future employment in this sector. It will also support the museum profession through entry-level training and continuing professional development of existing staff.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Students will undertake two museum placements (10 credits each) where they will learn aspects of museum management, design and practice, as well as the opportunity to work on a particular project such as an exhibition.

  • AR6026 Museum Placement 1 (regional museum)
  • AR6029 Museum Placement 2 (thematic and local museums)

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.

Skills and Careers Information

This proposal supports a recognised profession within and outside of Ireland, one that has a strategic role in State policy on cultural heritage and tourism. Graduates will acquire a systematic and critical understanding of museum practice and theory. They will have acquired direct experience of practices, procedures and policies in the contemporary museum, and apply a critical awareness of current issues in the field (including professional ethics) to best professional practice. At an applied level the student will acquire an awareness of all that is involved in the design and management of modern museums.


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.

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. 

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €6300.

Part-time students:

If your course is offered full time and part time, the fee for part time courses is half the full time fee.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

The Non-EU fee for this course is €13,000.

https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/applicationclosingdates/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.

Non-EU Fees

The 2017/2018 Postgraduate Fees Schedule is available here

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact graduatestudies@ucc.ie

International students contact internationaloffice@ucc.ie

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

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)

Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds.  The closing dates for each round can be found here

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June