MA Museum and Heritage Development

Nottingham Trent University: School of Arts and Humanities

Program Description

MA Museum and Heritage Development

Nottingham Trent University: School of Arts and Humanities

This course provides opportunities to work on live company projects, to volunteer, take work placements, go on field visits and be supported by professional industry mentors.

Museum and Heritage Development is a progressive, interdisciplinary course that combines the academic interrogation of museums and heritage as ideas, organisations and experiences with creative, practice-based approaches to their ongoing development in the 21st Century.

This course is designed and delivered through collaboration with the museum and heritage sector and in partnership with a number of institutions, sites and agencies reflecting the diversity of the sector, including: Museum Development East Midlands, East Midlands Museums Service, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, Museum of the Mercian Regiment, The Canalside Heritage Centre, National Justice Museum, the National Videogame Arcade, and Barker Langham.

The course encourages and supports you to re-think and re-imagine museums and heritage through critical engagement and reflection and experimentation and creative practice; to develop the confidence and courage to see yourself as a scholar-practitioner leading the field. In doing so, the course integrates the academic and professional practice of what is an increasingly international, interdisciplinary field with the intention of establishing a new benchmark in postgraduate provision.

What you'll study

Special features

The course is developed and delivered through collaboration and engagement with leading organisations within the city, the region, the UK and internationally. You will work on live projects throughout the taught elements of the course as the core component of your academic and professional development. This is further supported by guest keynote speakers, visiting professors, field visits, and professional student mentors from organisations across the region.

A strong international dimension to understanding museums and heritage runs throughout the course and is supported by an optional not-for-credit international field visit, in addition to case studies and literature encountered in the classroom. Museum and Heritage Development introduce students to the realities of professional practice whilst at the same time providing opportunities to speculate on the future of the field.

Working with Barker Langham, a leading international museum, and heritage consultancy, each academic year culminates with a Degree Show; an exhibition in Nottingham based on the ideas and work students have developed during the taught components of the course.

How you’re taught


Assessment includes creative, practice-based work such as photography, film, exhibitions, programmes and events, live projects, presentations, a professional portfolio, essays, reports and a thesis reflecting the professional expertise in the field. There are no written examinations.

Resources and facilities:

  • dedicated seminar room;
  • additional computing facilities; and
  • online support.

Research opportunities

The MA offers the opportunity to undertake a written thesis or piece of practice-based research.

Work placement

Completion of a suitable work placement and report are compulsory elements of the professional development module of the programme. The placement at a museum, country house, historic site or other heritage organisation is additional to any ongoing voluntary work and lasts approximately 20 days (four weeks equivalent). The placement block is normally after the Easter break each year.

The University has a long track record in facilitating work placements across the heritage sector, which are successful both for students and placement hosts. Some students have gone on to gain employment with their hosts and many of those students, who are then employed, go on to offer placements to students in their workplace. Our academic staff will discuss your needs during the course and will help you to secure a place of benefit to you.

You can also carry out voluntary work with a local heritage organisation one day per week throughout the course.

Roles and activities

There is no set pattern to placement work. Past roles (see below) have been as diverse as the host organisations themselves. Whether the placement has clearly defined objectives and tasks, or if there is an open remit to assist with many activities, the emphasis is placed on flexibility, professionalism and good communication. There is the opportunity for hosts to comment on the placement via an evaluation form. A placement visit by a staff member is also planned, where possible.

The placement report is formally structured. It reflects the student's experiences during the placement and should contain information, evidence and evaluation relating to the assessment criteria:

  • demonstrated the ability to work in the museum and heritage industry by successful completion of a work-based placement in a heritage organisation
  • presentation, assessment and evaluation of objectives set for the placement and for professional development
  • research and evaluation of the host institution
  • demonstrated the ability to apply theoretical and underpinning knowledge to the placement experience
  • document and discuss activities undertaken and provide supporting evidence
  • core transferable and professional skills are identified and evaluated and supporting evidence provided
  • challenges specific to the individual are identified and evaluated and supporting evidence provided
  • assess the impact on the future strategy for career development
  • health and safety issues are discussed and evaluated.

Careers and employability

The course, your placements and live projects will give you experience and skills that are highly valued by museums and the wider heritage industry employers.

Recent graduates (of our previous course, MA Museum and Heritage Management) have gone on to work for a wide range of museums and authorities including:

  • The National Trust;
  • English Heritage;
  • Museums, Libraries and Archives Council;
  • Museum database software suppliers;
  • Heritage Lottery Fund; and
  • local authorities and independent museums.

Entry requirements


You will need:

  • a UK honours (minimum 2.2) degree or equivalent and
  • recent practical experience with a professionally run heritage site or organisation.

Applications from candidates with non-standard entry qualifications will be considered on an individual basis if they can demonstrate substantial relevant professional experience.


We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements, please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-Masters or Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our pre-masters and foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test, and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Photo by Igor Miske / Unsplash

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated September 28, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
7,800 GBP
£7,800 Home/EU full-time ; £3,900 Home/EU part-time ; £13,250 International full-time
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info