This course allows you to study the role of museums, galleries, country houses and heritage sites from an historical and contemporary perspective, alongside history of art and culture.
You'll learn about the interpretation, display, education and communication practices of museums, galleries, heritage and cultural institutions, with visits and privileged access to museum, gallery and country house collections throughout the course. You'll study the history of art and think critically about its development and effects, examining the social history of art and some of the theories and approaches that can help us to interpret works of art, from aesthetics to anthropology.
You'll gain a critical understanding of the history and theory of visual and material culture within the context of the history of museums and art galleries. Our excellent links with local institutions and a dedicated work placement will also allow you to learn about current museum practice through first-hand experience of working in the sector.
The University has a variety of resources to support your learning and research. The cutting-edge research conducted through our Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and the Centre for the Study of the Art and Antiques Market feeds directly into our teaching, meaning you have access to the latest knowledge in these areas.
We have a wide range of museum collections and galleries on campus such as the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and the Brotherton Library Treasures Gallery. ULITA - an Archive of International Textiles is housed on campus to collect, preserve and document textiles and related areas from around the world.
We have a wide range of museum collections and galleries on campus such as the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. ULITA - an Archive of International Textiles is housed on campus to collect, preserve and document textiles and related areas from around the world. Project Space, a new multi-purpose space designed for the development of curatorial practice and visiting exhibitions, sits at the core of the School's new building.
In Year 1, core modules will introduce you to the different ways of thinking about museums, art galleries and heritage organisations. You'll also explore the theme of the English country house and its history and role as heritage. The programme will equip you with the fundamental skills and knowledge for the study of art history and the ways in which cultural forms have been displayed over time.
Further core modules will question the ideas of 'art' and 'artists' and how they have been understood over time in different communities. You'll learn to 'read' images in different contexts, and explore key themes and interpretative methods in the subject.
You'll build on this knowledge in Year 2, taking core modules on contemporary theories of culture and museum practice. You'll examine the methods and ideas behind the collection, interpretation and display of objects, as well as introductions to collections management, exhibitions and the exploration of museum, art gallery and heritage audiences.
Diverse optional modules will allow you to focus on art historical topics that suit your own interests, from medieval and Renaissance art to cinema and the complexities of the historical and contemporary art market.
By your final year, you'll be able to apply your research and critical skills to an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice within art gallery and museum studies. You will also have the opportunity of hands-on experience through your museum or art gallery work placement.
To complement and support your research, you'll select additional modules from the diverse options on offer. If you choose, you can take one fewer optional module and go into greater depth on an extended dissertation.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: AAB-ABB not including General Studies or Critical Thinking.
A high percentage of our graduates go on to postgraduate study. However, others have pursued careers in curating, arts education in organisations such as galleries, colleges and universities, journalism, arts administration, image researching, PR and auctioneering.
Graduates from our School have gone on to work at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice, the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The Saatchi Gallery, The Henry Moore Institute, National Trust, Bonham's, Leeds City Museums, The Hepworth Gallery, The Geffrye Museum London, The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Rydale Folk Museum.
Some examples of roles they have gone on to have include Head of House and Collections at Harewood House, Events Manager at the National Portrait Gallery, PR Officer at Christie's (London and New York), Lecturer at the University of Leeds and Chief Curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.