Museum and Gallery Studies (MLitt) 2016 entry
The MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies prepares students for employment in museums, principally as curators, with broad training in all types of museums, galleries and other heritage facilities.
Postgraduate; leading to Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time or two years and five months part time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. Students will preferably have some museum work experience (through employment or volunteering). The School welcomes applications from students from all disciplines relevant to museum work, such as history, archaeology, anthropology, languages, media and communications, and physical and natural sciences.
The part-time course is also open to students without a degree but with considerable professional experience in a museum or gallery.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
UK and EU: £6,800
- personal statement (500 words)
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you are looking to start this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Museum and Gallery Studies MLitt page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
- The degree provides broad training, covering all types of museums, galleries and heritage facilities, and includes the principles of conservation, museum education, exhibition planning and design, and management. Structured visits to museums, art galleries, historic houses, ships and other heritage sites are an essential part of the programme.
- Most of the teaching takes place at the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) which includes four display galleries and a ‘learning loft’ for education.
- Students undertake practical project work with a wide variety of host organisations, from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. This includes the University's Museum Collections which include over 100,000 artefacts and specimens in a wide range of subject areas, from art to zoology.
- Full-time students have the opportunity to curate professional exhibitions in the University's galleries and the Fife Cultural Trust's St Andrews Museum, which enables you to develop relevant practical skills.
The MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies is aimed at students wanting to start a career in museum or gallery work, or for those looking for a mid-career change. The part-time course is designed for museum and gallery employees or volunteers who wish to study while continuing with their work.
All Museum and Gallery Studies students take three compulsory modules over two semesters (or four semesters for part-time studies). The taught courses are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical sessions and visits to museums and galleries.
Class sizes typically range from 18 to 24 students, and exhibition teams range from 6 to 9 students. Students complete three assignments per module in a variety of formats including an essay, a documentation and database project, an object study, an exhibition or website review, a lesson plan and a management report.
The final three months of the course will be focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation.
Museums Galleries Scotland and its member museums provide visiting lecturers and host class visits and individual student placements.
The Museum and Gallery Studies teaching staff are experienced museum curators who continue to be involved directly in museum work.
The part-time course runs every two years. The taught element is delivered at four week-long residential schools in January and June of each year. There is an opportunity for you to use your practical experience towards the coursework and write up your professional activities for assessment. The Graduate Diploma can be converted to an MLitt on production of a dissertation of 15,000 words, submitted five months after the formal end of the taught course.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.
- Theory and Practice of Museums, Art Galleries and Related Organisations, Part 1: Collections in Context: covers topics such as the developments and purposes of museums, museum ethics, the history of collecting and collections management policies and procedures.
- Theory and Practice of Museums, Art Galleries and Related Organisations, Part 2: Audiences and Management: continuing from Theory and Practice in Semester 1, this module covers museum audiences and their needs, museum services and programmes, and museum and gallery management.
- Project Work (whole year): involves hands-on learning and develops practical, specialist and transferable skills to prepare students for work in the museums/galleries/heritage sector. It normally includes a team exhibition project and an individual museum work project.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.
Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of a MLitt.
Museum and Gallery Studies at St Andrews
Conferences and events
The School of Art History supports a large, active and diverse postgraduate community. Postgraduate students publish the North Street Review: Arts and Visual Culture journal, an annual journal containing articles on a wide range of topics by students at St Andrews and other universities. The School also organises postgraduate research seminars and occasional symposia. Each year they invite a number of artists and scholars to give lectures.
Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute (MGCI) was established in 2005 and is a leading centre for consultancy, training and research in the heritage sector. It hosts an annual public lecture, usually given by an eminent museum director.
SFC Funded Places
The University of St Andrews is pleased to offer scholarships funded by the SFC (Scottish Funding Council) for postgraduate study. There are occasionally funded places available specifically for Museum and Gallery Studies postgraduate students.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust Museum and Gallery Studies Award
This award is exclusively for Museum and Gallery Studies students and is open to those aiming for a future career as a curator of art.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.
After the MLitt
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Museum and Gallery Studies and in National Trust for Scotland Studies.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.
The Scottish Society for Art History
The SSAH promotes scholarship in Scottish art and art located in Scotland. They offer research support grants from £50 to £300 to assist with research costs and travel expenses.
Recent Museum and Gallery Studies graduates have gone on to work for a range of institutions from the Chicago Institute of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum to the National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Fisheries Museum.
Two year-long traineeships within University Collections are open uniquely to Museum and Gallery Studies graduates, as is the four to five month David Nicholls Curatorial Internship at the South Georgia Museum in Antarctica.
Find out more about careers and traineeships in museum and galleries.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).