Care of Collections (MSc)
1 year (Full-time) / 2 years (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
Students interested in careers within the museum sector have an opportunity to improve their career prospects within the museum profession by obtaining specialist training in the care of museum collections with the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. The MSc in Care of Collections provides opportunities for graduates from conservation and other disciplines to study preventive conservation and care and management of cultural and heritage collections.
- Students will be ‘twinned’ with a real heritage organisation and have the opportunity to study the operation of this organisation and how it relates to the care of collections
- The programme does not presume a high level of scientific knowledge, which allows it to attract applicants from a wide range of disciplines
- There are a high proportion of transferable skills in research, project design and report writing within the degree scheme
- The degree offers specialist skills for students building a portfolio of qualifications for entry to the museum sector
The MSc Care of Collections is vocational; the programme is directly relevant to the activities of museums, historic houses and similar institutions. Seminars, lectures and assessed work aim to combine theoretical knowledge with realistic practical applications. The programme will also encourage students to develop their verbal and written communication skills. In this way, the qualification will contribute to the student's experience and qualifications which will be relevant when seeking work within the heritage sector. For students not seeking employment in this field, the MSc provides a stimulating and unusual taught Masters scheme that embodies elements of art and science and includes a wide range of transferable skills.
The course is modular and has a common study structure with the MSc in Professional Conservation and the MA in Archaeology - the taught element lasts for the first two semesters of study and is assessed at the end of this period; this is followed by a dissertation.
Most teaching occurs on Thursdays and Fridays although extra tutorials and field trips may be held on Wednesdays.
Course StructureStudents take a total of 180 credits of modules, consisting of:
- 40 credits of core skills modules
- 40 credits of a compulsory module
- 40 credits of option modules selected by the student
- 60 credit dissertation (topic or theme chosen by the student in consultation with academic staff).
Please see the Archaeology and Conservation website for more course and module information.
Jane Henderson discusses issues relevant to the course on Youtube.
Students will acquire a broad range of transferable skills including the ability to:
- source and synthesis data and apply it in a complex context
- defend a strategy for collections management in a complex situation with multiple possible outcomes
- carry out independent research on specialist subjects
- exercise initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex situations and offer pragmatic evidence based solutions
- talk with conservators and conservation scientists on the decay of objects
- understand simple management strategies for the analysis of organisations in context and for planning and managing change
- recognise and utilise basic influence techniques
- present information in a professional context
- acquire an independent learning ability required for continuing professional development
Graduates from the MSc Care of Collections have gone on to work in a broad range of jobs in the cultural and heritage sector. Graduates have found roles as house stewards, conservator, design officer, collections manager, property manager, preventive conservation officer etc. Other graduates have used the skills from the degree to find roles such as University administrator, civil servants, teacher and archive assistant.
“The MSc Care of Collections strengthened my managerial abilities and provided several opportunities to test them in practical and theoretical situations. This course prepares you to hit the ground running when entering the workforce, as it not only focuses on concerns for object- and collection-level care, but also on developing literacy in policymaking and cultural strategy. At the end of this course, you understand the issues, you can approach them critically, and you are equipped with the right tools to find viable solutions.”
Applicants should hold a 1st or upper 2nd class UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject. Suitable for graduates in archaeology, history, ancient history, conservation, science and chemistry, and other related and relevant disciplines.
Evidence of an interest in or commitment to the cultural heritage sector will strengthen an application.
International students can find equivalent entry requirements via our website.
Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test (minimum 6.5) or equivalent.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
How to Apply
Applications can be made for this course via our Online Application Service selecting the MSc Care of Collections option from the list of courses. Applicants should use the Personal Statement section of the form to outline their area of interest and, if possible, the topic that they hope to research for their dissertation.
For more information on funding available for Masters students in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion please see the school's funding website.
UK & EU Full Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
UK & EU Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
International Full Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
International Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
Next intake: September each year
Name: Ms Jane Henderson
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5629