University of Leicester, Museum Studies

Updated on January 18, 2017, to incorporate additional responses.

This post is the review for the University of Leicester’s Museum Studies Program. Though there are various programs you can attend here, they are all within the same department and responses from these various programs will be included in this one post. So far, there has been 15 reviews of the Museum Studies program as a whole: five reviews for the distance learning MA, and ten for degrees earned on-campus.

To get started, here are some quick facts about the University of Leicester and its Museum Studies program:

  • It’s pronounced Less-ter
  • There are 2 museum-centered degree options on campus, Museum Studies or Art Museum and Gallery Studies. Off-campus degree options are Museum Studies, Heritage and Interpretation, and Socially Engaged Practice
  • ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world by Times Higher Education (found here)
  • Offers a 10% discount if you got your undergraduate degree at Leicester OR a 10% discount if you are related to a Leicester graduate.

Leicester Map.jpg
The University of Leicester is a public research university located in Leicester, England.

The participants graduated between less than a year to 15 years ago. 75% graduated 0-5 years ago and 25% graduated 11-15 years ago.

Advantages of the program at the University of Leicester include:

  • Intensive and immersive
  • Affordable (compared to US schools)
  • Only 1-2 large written assignments per term (other activities did not need to be turned in, but were to help learn and prepare for the assessment)
  • Students can explore topics that are of personal interest to them
  • One of the top universities in the world
  • Well respected faculty
  • International focus with students from all over the world attending
  • Length of the program (1 year for the on-campus program)
  • Field trips to museums and collections centers and guest lectures on campus
  • Distance learning: Summer school on campus
  • Comprehensive overview of museum work, in different types of museums and current in the challenges that are facing museums

Disadvantages included:

  • Very Intensive and theoretical
  • Limited contact with professors
  • Cost
  • Distance learning: couldn’t put a face to professors and inactive discussion boards
  • Distance learning: More multimedia interaction/webinars and hands-on learning (all reading)
  • Distance learning: Tutors should be more engaging with students. It’s very learner directed.

The overall score for the Museum Studies program at the University of Leicester is 8.73/10.00

This program’s rating as it is now is 9/10. 7 out of the 15 respondents answered this question.

However, none of the participants included reasoning for this change in rating.

14 of the 15 graduates do not live near the University of Leicester.

Three graduates work at history museums, two work at specialty museums, two graduates work outside of the museum field, one graduate works at a historical society, one at a science museum, one at an academic museum or gallery, one at a historic house, one at an art museum, one is pursuing their PhD, one works for a museum related professional association, and one is on the job market.

Six of participants’ duties include work in exhibitions, six in collections management, five in education, four in registration, three in curatorial duties, three in archival/library duties, three in administration, one in visitor services/membership, and one in research.

Some current job titles are:

  • Head of Archives and Special Collections
  • Museum Technician
  • Education and Interpretation Programs Officer
  • Museum Photographer
  • Information Center Manager
  • Registrar/Exhibitions Coordinator

Some dream jobs are:

  • Director
  • Curator
  • Director of Education
  • Collections Manager
  • Director of Material Culture

My Summary:

Usually two or three responses would be enough for me to write my own summary. However, because there are so many options at the University of Leicester, I feel I need more responses to post a real summary.

That being said, this program (specifically the Museum Studies Program on campus) has been on my personal radar for a couple years now. I love that it’s so well developed, has plenty of theory courses, and is a relatively affordable option in comparison to programs available in the United States. I would be more than happy to go live in Britain for a year to be immersed in museum academia. My hesitation is that though the University of Leicester is excellent on the international level, how well is it really known in the U.S.? How large is their support network here?

Update: Alright, this program still looks pretty cool, personally. One respondent did note that there is not much of an alumni network in the United States which does concern me. However, no one else out of the fifteen respondents noted a poor alumni network whether they were staying in the UK, going to the US or anywhere else, which I’ll take as a good sign.

The distance learning program seems like the self-driven curriculum is a double-edged sword. You can study what you’re interested in but don’t have much opportunity to discuss with others and bounce around ideas and thoughts. So maybe not the best program for you if you want more structure.

If you want to share your experience, take the survey or contact me! If you do fill out the survey for the University of Leicester, please be sure to include your specific program, which will allow me to provide feedback about different postgraduate study options.

If you are looking for more information on the Museum Studies department go here and follow links to whichever program catches your eye.

I will be updating this post as I receive more responses about the Museum Studies Program at the University of Leicester and do some more research on the school, so be sure to check back! As always, feel free to comment or send feedback.

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