We're working with Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) to jointly deliver this unique course which responds to the growing need for museum professionals to be multi-skilled, innovative and commercially aware, creating industry-ready graduates.
The course will create industry-ready professionals by providing you with educational excellence combined with practical experience, a combination becoming more and more essential for entry to a career pathway in the cultural heritage sector.
The course will appeal to both UK and overseas degree graduates, and those seeking a career change, or museum and heritage staff selecting the part-time study option, wishing to upskill.
If you would like to ask any questions about the course you are welcome to email the Course Director on firstname.lastname@example.org
You'll learn about the importance that innovation plays in 21st century museum operations as the course will introduce you to the three vital strands of contemporary museum practice:
You'll work and learn in a museum environment alongside leading museum professionals and apply research to real-life situations with the public. The course will offer you the opportunity to explore the three core strands from which you'll be invited to select a particular route for further development.
You'll develop an understanding of project management in museum operations, and learn about the principles involved with the construction and delivery of projects. You'll learn about the importance of taking a structured approach to project management through the development of an event plan which may incorporate making a business case, an outline of a project structure and you will also work on real-time projects in a museum environment.
You'll develop your learning experience and explore key specialisms such as Collections Management and Conservation, Collections Research, Curation, Creative Programming, Digital Innovation and Engagement, Audience Development and Marketing, Commercial Operations, and Leadership.
Digital technology and social media are transforming access to museum collections and communication with audiences. The course will be supported by a rich source of digital resources.
Transferable skills developed include key qualities such as: creative and imaginative thinking; communication and presentation skills – practical, written and verbal; independent working, demonstrating initiative and self-reliance; planning and strategising skills; time management skills.
Our next Open Day for this course will take place in 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
The MA Innovation and Leadership in Museum Practice is a new course developed in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust. This blog features news from the course, articles about the industry and student stories about what they've been doing on the course.
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.
An honours degree in Fine Art or Art and Design, or other Arts-based Degree course, humanities and science degrees and other related subjects (2:2 minimum qualification) or equivalent prior experience.
Indicatively (but not exclusively) candidates interested in this programme may include artists, writers, performers, historians, critics, theorists, curators, project managers, cultural producers, activists, educators, health workers and community arts workers.
We also welcome applications from those mature applicants who may not satisfy the normal entry requirements.
Candidates must achieve an overall score of 6 of IELTS.
|MA||Sep 2018||FT||1 year||£6,900 per year|
|MA||Sep 2018||PT||2 years||£3,450 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|MA||Sep 2018||FT||1 year||£12,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
Innovative Practice in Museums and Galleries
This module will introduce you to the three vital strands of contemporary museum practice: Innovative Collections Management; Innovative Learning and Programming; Leadership and Heritage Site Management. Towards that end you will work and learn in a museum environment alongside leading museum professionals, applying research to real life situations with the public. This will be delivered via a specially developed learning cycle which consists of a weekly lecture, homework tasks and onsite practical sessions.
Select one option module @ 20 credits only if Research in Practice is followed at 20 credits.
See modules tab for full list.
This course is part of the School’s extensive Art-Based Masters (ABM) programme. Courses within this programme consist of two core modules (specialist and discipline specific); two common core modules (followed by all ABM students) and a range of option modules (shared by all ABM students) from which you chose to undertake two in Stage 1. You may also follow another option module in Stage 2.
Museum Project Management: Live Projects (core)
This module enables students to develop planning skills, examine concepts in project event management such as: selecting venues, audience development, developing relationships, integrating multiple sub-events, stakeholder management, event promotion, managing and evaluating events and the cultural context of an event. You will learn how to write a detailed event plan. (40 Credits)
Research in Practice
This module introduces you to various research strategies in the arts via sessions on methodology, writing and making workshops and student led seminar presentations. It enables you to adopt approaches applicable to your own artistic practice and assists you in applying the knowledge you have gained in a productive way.
Select two option modules @ 20 credits
See modules tab for full list.
Final Presentation / Dissertation (common core)
This module allows you to build on the knowledge gained so far and enables you to synthesise and resolve your artistic practice or dissertation. You will work together to organise a public exhibition, develop an equivalent presentation or submit a dissertation. You may also present both practical and written work.
The Art Based Master’s Programme is an integrated framework that allows you to build your own course. Core modules in any given course become option modules in all other courses. You will have an opportunity to engage with students from diverse learning and professional experiences. Various freestanding options are available.
Art in the Public Realm
This module addresses ways in which art can be mobilised to improve people’s lived experience. It considers how notions of the public, public and community art are defined and examines issues and debates of inclusion, access, identity/difference, government and regional arts policy and the importance of documentation, accountability and evaluation.
Arts, Health and Therapeutic
This module explores art and the therapeutic benefits of making, practice as a set of three activities concerning the relationship between three elements: the creator, the art object and another who facilitates. The module explores professional meanings and theoretical frameworks thus equipping you with the knowledge to negotiate the field.
Arts Policy and Cultural Planning
This module examines arts’ processes and contexts and their relationship to Arts Policy and Cultural Planning considering the UK’s history of cultural policy since WWII and the impact of the Arts Council. Main themes include: the history of arts policy, contemporary policy‐making and examining various funding systems to develop successful grant applications.
This module explores visual culture focusing on methodologies, critical theory, cultural studies and historiography of the discipline. Various analytical tools are experienced: iconographical analysis, formalism, semiology, social contextualisation, post-colonialism and theories of representation. You will examine the cultural politics that continually frame knowledge and the theoretical models for deconstructing it.
Contemporary Curatorial Practice
You will work collaboratively to present/develop artworks that relate to a specific context or setting whilst developing an awareness of issues of space, place and location and the interrelationships between individual works in a given site or context. You will work as a team toward the realisation of the project.
Contemporary Philosophy and Aesthetics
This module examines why and how the fine arts can be explored when the foundations of modern/contemporary political philosophy and its relation to the social are at the forefront of scholarship. It sets the stage, epistemologically and methodologically, giving you a critical knowledge of the complexities underlying our contemporary world.
Creative Publishing and Public Dissemination
This module explores publishing as a dynamic contemporary art-form, a vehicle for disseminating ideas and an exploration of radical formats for bringing your art to a wider public arena. Emphasis is placed on practical outcomes and the exploration of creative modes of dissemination whilst exploring contemporary debates surrounding artists' publishing.
Discourses in Art and Design
This module examines key concepts in western art and design from mid-nineteenth century onwards. Through chronologically arranged presentations, topical issues are introduced from across art and design. Indicative topics: the western canon; approaches and methodologies; design ethics; the changing role of the artist; primitivism and ethnography; postmodern fashion and gender.
Global Innovations in Arts Practice Education
This module examines arts and education since 2000. It maps contemporary educational and artistic trends, and the political and cultural contexts within which art education is located internationally. Indicative topics: Governmental initiatives, new technologies, globalisation, intercultural considerations, application to contexts, formal school-based, museum and gallery education and participatory community arts.
Models and Methods of Curatorial Practice
The module examines: curatorial practice and exhibition making; the museum and gallery as context and framework; artist-run space; the rise of the artist/curator and alternative curatorial practices and contexts; curating for new media and technologies and craft and design. It considers issues of audience and project development for social inclusion.
Narratives in Arts and Design Education
This module explores histories of art and design education between the fifteenth and late twentieth centuries. Narrative themes are introduced in relationship to art and art educational practices and the influence of educational beliefs upon the nature of art education. These periods and influences are also examined within ideological/cultural frameworks.
Photography and the Archive
This module explores the relationship between photography and the archive, the definition and application of documentary photography in relationship to the archive through theoretical and practical methods. It interrogates ideas of objectivity and indexical veracity, demanding an inquisitive approach to questions on the uses of historic and contemporary archive material.
Photography as Research
Employing theoretical and practical methods this module explores the spectrum of therapeutic photography when the image is a tool for enhanced self-awareness. A key question concerns the role of the technology of photography in framing our world. The module therefore examines the ethical and participatory concerns of therapeutic photographic practice.
Queer Strategies in Practice
This module explores queer models of practice that examine the complex relationships between image and text, making and writing, modes of representation, performativity and queering. Indicative topics: historical representation and societal change, queer practices beyond representation, queer figures, affective reading, contemporary art, activist and interventionist strategies, film and collaborative practice.
Small Arts Business Set-up
This module explores entrepreneurship and small business start-up within the arts and creative industries and how entrepreneurial ideas are formed. Indicative topics: arts and creative industries; cultural entrepreneurs; economic development role of entrepreneurship within the arts, creative industries and society; practicalities of business start-up and business operations within the sector.
Social Practice in the Visual Arts
This module examines art as social practice and models of art practice in social contexts: urban, rural and transnational contexts and places of labour, health, post-conflict and post-traumatic societies. It considers the history and development of social practice and the impact it has as a generative and transformative artistic activity.
Technical Methods and Workshop Practice
The module is workshop-led and enables you to engage in practical hands on experience with medium such as print, plaster, lens based, digital media, 3D modelling and printing. You will demonstrate the breadth and depth of what you have learned by developing a portfolio of evidence recording your engagement with processes or skills.
This module focuses on exploring the shift from an understanding of identity, selfhood and sexuality, as linked to representational logics, to introduce you to non-representational methods of practice. You will investigate the radical consequences of such moves to re-situate time, space and speed as relative conditions to identity and art.
Well-being and Mindfulness: Context and Environment
This module explores well-being and mindfulness in relationship to historical and contemporary debates on creative practices that are context based and environmental in nature. The module considers the history of arts practices, land art and environmental art, towards an understanding of the embeddedness of contemporary art as collective and shared.
Preparation for Masters Practice (Extended PgCert Module)
This module has been designed to enable you to engage with the ABM Programme over an extended period. It enables you to review your practice in response to the demands of Master’s study and introduces you to contemporary ideas in art and theory enabling you to develop your study plan.
Our partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust enables an integrated and embedded learning experience. You'll develop an academic framework of knowledge, strengthened by live on site working, gaining key professional skills from working in the real museum environment.
The core modules of the course will be delivered to both full-time and part-time students in year one. In term one, you'll work independently and collaboratively, developing your knowledge base, whether you have prior knowledge of museum and gallery practices, or to re-orientate your existing knowledge base if you're already working in the sector. During this term both part-time and full students will focus on their core module Innovation and Leadership in Museum practice and the option module they have chosen.
As an MA Innovation and Leadership student you will be supported by both the staff team and also have access to visiting professionals working in the creative industries.
Learning strategies include:
Full-time students have access to the School daily. Part-time students are expected to be on-site one day per week normally Tuesdays and Wednesdays and on evenings across the week depending on which taught modules they choose. Part-time students have open access to the facilities some use them one day per week, others across the week. Attendance is flexible.
Full-time students are expected to commit a minimum of 20 to 37 hours per week to their study whereas part time students are expected to commit approximately 10 to 18 hours per week. However, this is flexible depending on the choices you make and your work pattern as you move through the programme. You will find that everything is negotiable and we are here to enable you to achieve your goals.
Core and option theory seminars are run in the evenings, normally from Monday to Thursday 4 to 6pm or 6 to 8pm in semester one and two. Some seminars run for 10 weeks across the term whilst others are delivered over five weeks and are augmented by a Saturday event 10am to 4pm.
This term will require a commitment of approximately 20 of onsite mentoring at Birmingham Museums Trust, with tutorials supervised by both the School and Birmingham Museums Trust.
At Level 7 the category ‘articulation of ideas’ involves the examination of your ability to research, conceptualise and realise your ideas in your arts based and/or written practice.
This process is additionally informed by your Critical Evaluation of your own work in which you are required to take a step back to reflect upon and critically evaluate what you have achieved.
A range of assessment methods are employed, assessment criteria being published in each assignment brief.
Knowledge and skills are assessed, formatively and summatively, by a number of methods:
You can study abroad through the Erasmus Plus scheme. This enables you to work abroad in an institution or professional organisation or one of our many international academic institutional partners for example: Rotterdam, Gent, Dublin and Rome.
You're expected to research your proposed destination prior to making an application in consultation with your course director. The study period may be organised during or upon completion of your course and can last for up to 18 months. It offers a unique opportunity to network, make friends, enhance your CV and experience new cultures.
A significant number of graduates have been highly successful as doctoral researchers receiving fully funded scholarships from either the University, the AHRC, and the Gertrude Aston Bowater Bequest. There is also the Three Cities Consortium (£14.6 million) fund, and AHRC doctoral training award which enables strong research within the Midlands.
Birmingham City University Scholarship
Emily Sparkes - Tableau vivant: Sensuous painting and the queer living picture
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Alberto Condotta - To listen with open eyes
Gertrude Aston Bowater Bequest
Grace Williams - The Supernatural Sex: Women, Magick and Mediumship
Students benefit from the trips run annually by Birmingham School of Art. Recent visits have included: Berlin, Florence, Liverpool, London, New York and Venice. Masters students are also encouraged to operate independently and visit regional and national cultural centres such as Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ikon, Eastside Projects, the New Art Gallery Walsall, Nottingham Contemporary, Tate Modern, ICA, Tate Liverpool and independent and alternative spaces in Birmingham and beyond.
Birmingham Museums Trust collaborates with regional and National Museums and so further visits to many other internationally acclaimed organisations may occur where appropriate.
There is a strong demand for graduates in this sector with theoretical knowledge well informed by practice-based learning, which can be a main barrier to employment in museums. This course will provide an in-depth experience, engaging in practice with live projects within a museum environment, generating real public impact. Modules have been developed to address this need.
Numerous graduates of Birmingham School of Art have achieved regional, national and international profiles as professional artists in the creative industries sector.
Three Art-Based Masters students, Jodie Wingham (MA Fine Art), Tadas Stalyga (MA Radical Media Arts Philosophy) and Grace Page (MA Arts and Project Management have been employed as workshop mentors.
Every student on this course will undertake a placement at one of the nine sites that make up Birmingham Museums Trust. Students will have contact with Museum staff during the entire year, providing an opportunity for you to learn at England’s largest museum trust, across nine award-wining museums and heritage sites, including six unique listed buildings and one Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The location of Birmingham School of Art, in close proximity to the Birmingham Museums Trust’s flagship site, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, is a perfect context to enable you to draw on facilities based at both sites.
A key opportunity is for students to use Birmingham Museums Trust’s world-class collections as a resource for learning and research. The collection is the most important civic collection in England and formally designated as being of national significance with many collection areas of international significance.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Two Art-Based Masters students, Jodie Wingham (MA Fine Art) and Tadas Stalyga (MA Radical Media Arts Philosophy) have been employed as workshop mentors.
The course will help graduates to become operational managers of cultural venues, curators, exhibitions officers, learning officers, community engagement officers, marketing and communications managers, visitor experience managers, audiences research officers, freelance independent curators.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
UK Museums are recognised internationally as leading in best practice in collections management and audience engagement with cultural heritage. This is reflected in Birmingham Museums Trust’s critically acclaimed programmes.
This course may appeal to those in expanding cultural markets such as China and the United Arab Emirates. Students have the benefit of accessing and learning from Birmingham Museums Trust’s international collection of art, history, science and world cultures. This internationally renowned collection is used by museums across the globe for loans and exhibitions.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
Birmingham School of Art (an impressive purpose built Grade 1 listed example of Venetian Gothic architecture) was the first major renovation project undertaken by the university (£5.5m refurbishment). The School provides an incredible resource for the production of art and its associated fields of study. The building has a range of facilities available including studios, workshops, specialist art and design library, bookable spaces, lecture/seminar rooms and ARTicle Gallery.
Located next to the city centre’s Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the School is just a five-minute walk from the new Library of Birmingham and Ikon Gallery.
Students benefit from an environment which thrives on the everyday interaction of education, culture and professional practise.
Our studio spaces make excellent use of height and light, and a special screening system allows each full-time student a dedicated area to work in throughout their course.
Workshops include one-to-one technical support and operate throughout the building, allowing you to develop ideas and skills working with print, wood, metal, plaster, photography, video, textiles, 3D printing, laser cutting and prototyping.
Birmingham School of Art library contains a wealth of artists’ biographies, catalogues, art and design magazines and DVDs, all of which are updated throughout the year. The library is also linked to others across the University so you can order any additional materials you might need.
A new student-led social space, designed by School of Art students, is a great place to relax, grab a coffee, and catch up with friends. Students also display their work, host film showings and private-view receptions in this space.
There are purpose-built spaces throughout the building to present your work, including areas for cabinet, wall and floor pieces, and installation project rooms.
ARTicle, our professional art gallery space, has proved a huge success and offers a diverse and exciting variety of shows every month.
Birmingham Museums Trust has nine award winning museums and heritage sites across Birmingham City, including six unique listed buildings. Each site is self-contained and fully resourced. Learning facilities include lecture rooms, classrooms, meeting rooms, IT suites, workshop areas, conservation studios, extensive research facilities and access to over 800,000 objects of worldwide significance.
The course will be delivered by a core team of arts and museum professional, who collectively have over 100 years’ experience working in the culture and heritage sector.
Course Director MA Innovation and Leadership in Museum Practice.
Beth has worked for twenty years as an artist, curator and academic in innovative ways in the public realm delivering a wide range of public art projects internationally working with people from deaf communities, military planners, refugees and veteran groups. Beth’s projects encompass multiple partnerships seeking to cross industry sectors to bring together many voices. www.bethderbyshire.com
Director of Collections - Course Lead for Birmingham Museums Trust
Toby has extensive experience in leading and motivating large, multi-skilled teams of museum professionals across many different museums to develop innovative, high profile exhibitions and museum collection programmes that engage large and diverse audiences, through building strong cultural, educational and community partnerships.
Collections Care Manager and Collections Strand Link Tutor, Birmingham Museums Trust
Learning and Access Manager and Learning Strand Lead Tutor, Birmingham Museums Trust
Museum Manager Heritage Sites - Leadership in Heritage Site Management, and Strand Lead Tutor, Birmingham Museums Trust