MA Museum Cultures

The MA Museum Cultures offers you the opportunity to study this expanding and dynamic field in close proximity to world-distinguished museums and galleries. If you are contemplating a career in the museum and gallery sector and want to understand contemporary debates about museums and their cultural significance, then this is the course for you. Museums have been of enormous importance in shaping empires, nations and cities, and their collections are connected to wider histories of conflict and social change. To study museums is to study the development and fierce contestation of our collective cultural imagination and memory.

Our MA gives you the chance to develop a range of key skills, from critical thinking and writing to practical experience through a supervised work placement in a museum, gallery or archive. Previous work placements have been offered at the Tate, British Museum, Whitechapel Gallery and Horniman Museum. Past students have helped design and run schools programmes, documented collections that were previously uncatalogued, conducted visitor research and assisted curators in producing exhibitions. As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we also offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring.

MA Public Histories

This MA introduces you to key aspects and issues of the practice of public history. It provides you with the necessary theoretical and practical skills to undertake critical assessments of public history projects and interventions – as well as to create your own. Its focus on public history in practice provides you with a wide range of examples of different types and methods of public history, from museums and material culture, to public history in the media, to the role of history in policy making. This MA aims to give you a sense of the wide range of public history, the variety of roles played by historians in public, and the importance and impact of public history in politics, culture, and society.

The MA Public Histories provides relevant training for careers in media, education, museums and heritage, publishing, and policy, and it also provides rigorous training in the historical discipline suitable to prepare you for further personal or professional research, or research at MPhil/PhD level.

MA Digital Media Culture

How can scholars keep pace with the rapidly changing field of digital media, design and culture? Is it possible to learn academic research skills, approaches and methods that facilitate the understanding of both current forms of digital culture and the anticipation of future developments in digital media? The MA Digital Media Culture at Birkbeck introduces you to the key intellectual debates, discussions and texts shaping the field of digital culture and media theory.

This course provides the conceptual framework required to analyse and comprehend the digital environments of today and tomorrow. It is one of the only MA degrees in the UK to combine academic rigour and scholarly consideration with the opportunity for hands-on training in digital media design and management. The philosophy of the programme is that critical thinking about digital culture is enhanced by direct exposure to digital media software, technologies and design practices.