UCC Postgraduate courses

Global Gallery Studies

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
FeesSee Fees and Costs for full details.
Start DateProgramme not on offer 2024/2025

Course Outline

Our MA in Global Gallery Studies (MAGGS) is a unique accelerated programme that prepares you for a career in the gallery sector and/or in fine arts institutions in Ireland and abroad. The programme is offered by History of Art, UCC in association with The Glucksman art gallery and the Department of Digital Arts & Humanities. It emphasises learning in both the theoretical and real-world realms. Dr Mary Kelly, Programme Director of this innovative MA Global Gallery Studies programme, notes:

We offer mentorship to our students and we prepare them for a career in the gallery sector…We explore the term ‘global’ both theoretically and geographically. Through these lenses we pursue the investigation of various galleries, art and curatorial practices from countries and regions around the world.

Throughout semesters one and two, in addition to lectures delivered by UCC faculty, we also have numerous guest lectures on MAGGS delivered by national and international gallery practitioners including: curators of exhibitions, curators of engagement and learning, curators of gallery talks and public programmes, artist representatives, artists, art critics, art collectors and gallery directors. MAGGS creates a bridge between academia and gallery practitioners...

Our students engage with theoretical modules including an introduction to global gallery studies, art history for curators and digital arts and humanities, as well as practice-based modules including cutting-edge learning experiences with The Glucksman art gallery, fieldwork and networking in international galleries, and a project-led internship with a prominent fine art gallery in Ireland or internationally. Students also receive a scholarship to cover select international fieldwork travel expenses incurred during the Global Galleries Fieldwork module (HA6025).

This programme will expose you to critical and practical skills prized by the Arts sector as well provide you with a comprehensive understanding of 21st-century gallery practices across diverse geographical borders and cultural traditions.

Course Content

The course, delivered in two parts, is taken over three semesters. Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I

  • DH6004: Conceptual Introduction to Digital Arts & Humanities (5 Credits)
  • HA6019: Research Methods & Sources for Global Gallery Studies (10 Credits)
  • HA6023: Cultural Institutions in Practice (10 Credits)
  • HA6024: Global Contemporary Art (10 Credits)
  • HA6025: Global Galleries Fieldwork (5 Credits)
  • HA6026: Global Galleries: History, Theory and Practice (10 Credits)
  • HA6027: Project-Led Gallery Internship (10 credits)

Part II

  • HA6028: Research Dissertation in Global Gallery Studies (30 credits)

Students write a 15,000-word research dissertation on an approved topic of their choice relevant to Global Galleries Studies. The main period for dissertation work is June to September.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Lectures take place over six months from September to March, with an average of six class hours each week. 24 hours of independent study per module is required, and a 1-week fieldwork module in Semester 2 (UCC will provide students with a scholarship to cover select fieldwork costs).

The History of Art department will arrange all work placements for students: these 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 gallery concerned.


The taught modules are examined through continuous assessment, using a combination of presentations, essays, and projects. The work placements are assessed by a Placement Report Portfolio, while the dissertation requires the submission of a 15,000 word written dissertation.

Why Choose This Course

I particularly valued the opportunity to connect with and learn from curators, museum educators, and other gallery practitioners – working both nationally and internationally...

Marie Lynch, MAGGS student

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A unique element of the MA was the creativity of the assignments...

Heather Dorgan, MAGGS student

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As soon as I heard about University College Cork’s new MA in Global Gallery Studies, I knew it was the course for me...

Fiona Carey, MAGGS student

Find Out More Find Out More

This programme gives you the chance to engage with various theoretical modules as well as practice-based modules including cutting-edge learning experiences with The Glucksman (UCC’s award-winning on-campus gallery), fieldwork in international galleries, and the opportunity to take a project-led internship with a prominent fine art gallery in Ireland or internationally.

Our programme has a genuine global emphasis that embraces global gallery culture beyond Europe and America and includes the United Arab Emirates and China.

In addition to being taught by established expert practitioners, we facilitate network opportunities both nationally and internationally, subsequently exposing our graduates to active employers and potential employment opportunities. Furthermore, responding to industry requirements, we collaborate with the Department of Digital Arts & Humanities who contribute to the delivery of the programme.

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines such as art, cultures, technology, and languages. UCC faculty include:

MAGGS also includes numerous guest lectures delivered by national and international gallery practitioners including curators of exhibitions, curators of engagement and learning, curators of gallery talks and public programmes, artist representatives, artists, art critics, art collectors, and/or gallery directors.

Logo for MA Global Gallery Studies Best Masters Programme 2022 finalist

Student Testimonials

Having a keen interest in art history and also the gallery space the MA in Global Gallery Studies was at the top of my list for postgraduate studies. The course has been everything I imagined it to be and even more. The course is structured to perfection ensuring that as a student I get maximum exposure to both art, the gallery space and other disciplines that supplement these studies. I have been able to apply philosophy, psychology, etymology, iconography, geography, history, digital humanities and archaeology, and many other humanities subjects to my essays, presentations, and general discussions, making this MA a fantastic choice for Arts students in general. The MA prepares you for the workplace and the highly practical nature of the course is a delight as I get the opportunity to participate in the curation of a project in a dedicated gallery space. This MA is by far the most forward-thinking and ground-breaking education I have experienced.

Lucy Dubert, MA Global Gallery Studies student 2020

As a current student of the MA in Global Gallery Studies, I have found the course a fantastic mix of both theory and practical work including regular seminars from people in the industry as well as lectures in Digital Arts and Humanities. The lecturers are always willing and able to meet with students and work with them on their own individual strengths so that they can get as much out of the programme as possible.  What appealed to me the most about this programme was that there was an opportunity to do a field trip as well as an internship during your time. Both opportunities allow us as students, to use the theory we have learned in the classroom and apply it in a working gallery space.

Kayleigh Falvey, MA Global Gallery Studies student 2020 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Global Galleries Fieldwork (HA6025) information: 

Students undertake group international fieldwork of one-week duration, which is led by a member of faculty. Fieldwork locations can include the United Arab Emirates or China or USA or various European countries. The fieldwork location is established in Semester 1 and students will receive a scholarship to cover select travel expenses for this module.

Project-Led Gallery Internship (HA6027) information:

Students undertake 1 x project-led gallery internship of four weeks duration, where they will learn aspects of gallery practice as well as the opportunity to work on a particular project. The module comprises taught workshops in Semesters 1 & 2, and internships commence towards the end of Semester 2 (March/April). History of Art arranges all internships for our MA GGS students.

Skills and Careers Information

We support the gallery profession through entry-level training and continuing professional development of existing staff. Career pathways include:

  • Administrator/Gallery Assistant
  • Archive Digitisation (Gallery website content creation, maintenance, and development, including social media integration).
  • Artist Advisor
  • Creative Industries
  • Critical Writing
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Curator of Online Collections
  • Development Officer
  • Editorial Departments
  • Exhibitions Curator
  • Gallery/Art Consultancy
  • Global Outreach Officer
  • Heritage and the Arts
  • Programmes and Education Curator/Officer
  • Research in the Arts


A candidate for this MA programme must normally hold an honours Bachelor degree, Second Class Honours Grade I (or equivalent), in Arts and Humanities or equivalent international qualification.  

Candidates who hold a Bachelor degree with a Second Class Honours Grade II (or equivalent) may also be considered subject to review by MA in Global Gallery Studies (MA GGS) selection committee. 

As part of the application process, candidates must submit a statement of purpose (500 words) acceptable to the MA GGS selection committee, detailing their interest in the programme, and their particular research interests and methodologies to date, and their future professional goals.  

In exceptional circumstances, and subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, candidates who hold a primary degree other than Second Class Honours, and who demonstrate a high level of significant and relevant experience, may also be eligible for entry to the programme under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. 

All candidates are subject to an interview and must satisfy a selection committee.

Garda Clearance

All students on this programme will require Garda Clearance in order to attend student placements. University College Cork has made arrangements with the Gardaí in relation to Garda Clearance procedures. All candidates who register on this programme will be required to complete and sign Garda Vetting Forms and return them to the University.


For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

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

  • 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.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


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

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

Additional costs:

Internship module: internships 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 gallery concerned.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

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

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • Please detail your research interests

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please submit a copy of a short analytical/critical/report writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.)   The essay should be an example of your writing related to art or the gallery spaces. 
  • After the online application is submitted, applicants will be required to add the name and email address of 2 referees and send Reference requests via the Application Portal.  One shoudl be a previous supervisor of studies.

All candidates are subject to an interview and must satisfy a selection committee.


Deferrals are not permitted on this programme


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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact