This programme enables you to carry out an original piece of research in museum, gallery and heritage studies. As a research student you will join an interdisciplinary group of researchers and academics at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, fully supported by world expert supervisors.
MPhil and PhD students in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies are based in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS), a leading academic centre for research and teaching at Newcastle.
ICCHS is internationally renowned for its research, securing significant support (around £3m since 2008) from a variety of funders, such as the UK Research Councils and the European Commission. We have a thriving, high-profile interdisciplinary research community made up of postgraduate research students and experienced academic researchers who are key figures in their fields.
Our academic supervisors have significant experience and expertise in interdisciplinary research and practice in the UK and abroad. Through our emphasis on empirical research and having a grounding in professional practice, our research alumni have been successful in securing careers in academia, governmental organisations, and the cultural and creative industry sectors worldwide.
Our research students pursue a variety of topics that explore both historical and contemporary issues with local, national and international dimensions. They have also consistently achieved high submission and completion rates in their chosen programme of study. Recent student research topics in ICCHS include:
- attitudes towards human remains
- constructions and uses of Welsh identity in American museums
- the social roles and regulation of art museum education in China and Taiwan
- the management and interpretation of archaeological sites in Turkey
- meaning making around historic photographic collections on Flickr.
Key research themes
Our key research themes are:
Cultural politics and policy
- factors that determine how cultural policy is constructed, institutionally, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally
- how management strategies affect heritage resources
- the impact of large-scale constitutional change upon cultural policy
- intended and unintended consequences of implementing international conventions, charters and instruments
- contribution of research to cultural policy construction
- the intersection of political movements and agendas with heritage
- definitions and attributed values of heritage.
Identity, community and place
- construction and representation of identities, places and communities through heritage
- how heritage is used by, and for, communities
- relationships between notions of place and identities, communities, and heritages locally regionally, nationally and internationally
- principles of community museology and ecomuseology practice in different contexts
- relationships between heritage tourism and identities, communities and places
- identities produced through the consumption of heritage
- relationship between identity construction and wellbeing.
Media and representation
- how media works in heritage organisations and how organisations work as media
- factors shaping the production, morphology and consumption of media and media representations in heritage organisations
- representations made possible through institutional technologies specific to heritage organisations and how they are analysed to understand culture, society and knowledge
- study and design of digital heritage applications and digital cultural engagement
Attendance on this programme is flexible and agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the requirements of your research project. The main focus of the programme is a piece of independent research carried out by you with the support of your supervisory team.
You will also undertake research methods training and be encouraged to participate in our research activities. You will be able to carry out fieldwork away from Newcastle, in other UK locations or abroad.
As a research student in ICCHS, you will have access to a dedicated study space with networked PCs, printing and photocopying facilities. You can also use the ICCHS common room and kitchen to meet with fellow researchers and academics.
The ICCHS facilities complement the variety of study and research facilities available at Newcastle for all students, plus the extensive cultural resources available on campus and in the city:
- our libraries
- the Great North Museum: Hancock, located on campus, houses the collections that previously made up the Hancock Museum, the Shefton Museum of Greek Art and Archaeology (an internationally-renowned collection of over 1,000 Greek and Etruscan artefacts), and the Museum of Antiquities
- the Hatton Gallery, located on campus, has been at the heart of cultural life in the North East since the early 20th century
- the Language Resource Centre, a specialist language facility providing free access to self-study materials in 50 languages
- computing facilities with access to relevant databases and over 1,400 fully networked PCs
- the Gertrude Bell Archive
- non-campus facilities, often used for student projects, include Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and the Victoria Tunnel.
In addition, the city of Newcastle and the wider region offers a wonderful resource with two World Heritage Sites, and over 80 regional museums and galleries. Much of the region's countryside is designated as National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.