Innovation and Leadership in Museum Practice - MA

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2017
Fees:
£6,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)

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.

What's covered in the course?

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:

  • Innovative Collections Management
  • Innovative Learning and Programming
  • Leadership and Heritage Site Management

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. Within the framework of BMT's own unique Management of Museum Projects framework, you'll learn about the importance of taking a structured approach to project management through the development of a business case and a project team, working 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.

Why Choose Us?

  • The course is delivered in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust, which holds a world-class collection of art, history and science, unique listed buildings attracting over a million visitors each year. You'll undertake an embedded year-long placement, 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.
  • You'll have access to 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.
  • You'll collaborate with museum experts, in museum settings.
  • Birmingham School of Art is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for art-based learning and research.
  • You'll become a member of the Centre for Fine Art Research (CFAR), which is rated 5th in the UK, and in the top 20 internationally.
  • Graduates of Birmingham School of Art are now working with companies such as Burberry, Cadbury, Channel 4, Fused, Games Faction, Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA and The Mill.
  • A high number of graduates have been awarded fully funded Arts and Humanities Research Council and BCU Scholarships for PhD study.
  • There are opportunities to interact with students from other Masters courses in Birmingham School of Art and the University.
  • You'll be supported by a highly professional staff team, doctoral researchers, technical demonstrators and artists in residence in a supportive environment.
  • We have strong external links with international galleries and organisations in the creative industries and wider community.
  • Financial support for full time study may be available via the University’s scholarships, the Gertrude Aston Bowater Bequest, and the Mike Holland Trust.
  • The School has excellent connections with major city centre institutions such as Ikon Gallery, Selfridges, Birmingham City Council and the Lunar Society, to name but a few, and are members of the Colmore Row Business District. The School also works with companies such as Savills, Capsticks, and Associated Architects. The School also works with Deutsche Bank, who sponsor an annual award of £10,000 to support artists’ career development.
  • The School partners with Turning Point West Midlands (TPWM), Eastside Projects and The Art Market. Our students are actively linked with up-to-date local and regional opportunities.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 3 and 8pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Book your place now

This course is open to International students

This course is run in partnership with:

Leadership in Museum Blog Feature

Innovation and Leadership in Museum Practice Blog

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.  

View the blog here  

New £10,280 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art or Art and Design, or other Arts-based Degree course, related subject (2:2 minimum qualification) or equivalent prior experience.

Indicatively (but not exclusively) candidates interested in these courses in this programme will 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.

EU/International students
Essential

Candidates must achieve an overall score of 6 of IELTS.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £6,900 per year
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.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 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 broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

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.

View additional costs for this course

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

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?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: PgCert

Innovative Practice in Museums and Galleries

This module enables you to develop and apply the knowledge and understanding you have gained and introduces you to research strategies in the arts in a series of methodology talks, workshops and student led seminars. It gives you the opportunity to adopt approaches in research applicable to your own activities.

Option modules

Select one option module @ 15 credits only if Research in Practice is followed at 15 credits.

See modules tab for full list.

Stage 2: PgDip

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 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. Mentoring for this module is delivered by the School.

 
Research in Practice
Option modules

Select two option modules @ 15 credits

See modules tab for full list.

Stage 3: Masters

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.

Option modules

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.

Changing Paradigms

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.

Untimely Meditations

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 project 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. You work focus and mentoring at the Museum will focus on the strand that reflects your identified area of interest. In term two, 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. There's scope to offer this second module in CPD (continual professional development) mode as an option, with the module being delivered by both the School and Birmingham Museums Trust. This term will require a commitment of approximately 20 hours at Birmingham School of Art approximately 20 hours of onsite mentoring at Birmingham Museums Trust, with tutorials supervised by both the School and Birmingham Museums Trust.

This term will require a commitment of approximately 20 hours at Birmingham School of Art, approximately 20 hours of onsite mentoring at Birmingham Museums Trust, with tutorials supervised by both the School and Birmingham Museums Trust.

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. There's scope to offer this second module in CPD (continual professional development) mode as an option, with the module being delivered by both the School and Birmingham Museums Trust.

During this term part-time students will focus on their Research in Practice and managing Events and Projects modules.

For the Managing Events and Projects modules, you'll have taught sessions with other students across the Art-Based Masters programme.

Assessment methods

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:

  • coursework
  • examinations (seen and unseen, open and closed-book)
  • presentations
  • practical assignments
  • vivas
  • online forums
  • podcasts
  • project work.

Overseas opportunities

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.

Further study

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.

Recent scholarship successes:

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

Trips and visits

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.

Enhancing employability skills

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.

Placements

Every student on this course will undertake an embedded year-long placement, 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

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Careers

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.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

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.

Studios

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

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.

Library

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.

Social space

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.

Gallery

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

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.

Meet our staff

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.

Beth Derbyshire

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

Toby Watley

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.

Other team members

Deborah Cane

Collections Care Manager and Collections Strand Link Tutor, Birmingham Museums Trust

Andrew Fowles

Learning and Access Manager and Learning Strand Lead Tutor, Birmingham Museums Trust

Oliver Buckley

Museum Manager Heritage Sites - Leadership in Heritage Site Management, and Strand Lead Tutor, Birmingham Museums Trust

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

0121 331 5960