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School of Art History - Museum and Gallery Studies

Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of St Andrews


The seaside location of this mediaeval town and university provides a beautiful setting for the study of museums, their history, purpose and contemporary development. Based in the School of Art History, we offer a range of full-time and part-time courses in Museum and Gallery Studies. Taught modules on the Theory and Practice of Museums are balanced with practical projects based either on the museum collections of this 600-year-old university, or at a local museum or gallery. Structured visits are an essential part of the programme and we are well placed for visiting museums, art galleries, historic houses, ships and other heritage sites.

Living and Learning gallery image 

The one-year full-time Graduate Diploma/MLitt course starts in September each year.

 It is aimed at students wanting to start a career in museum or gallery work, and at those looking for a mid-career change. Although the course is based in the School of Art History, applicants can have a degree in any subject. An essential and rewarding aspect of this programme is the opportunity for students to work together to create an exhibition at the University's Gateway Gallery or the St Andrews Museum.

A part-time version of the Graduate Diploma/MLitt course is run every two years.

This course is aimed at museum and gallery employees (or committed volunteers) who wish to study while continuing with their work. If you are working in a museum or gallery, either paid or as a volunteer, you can use your practical experience towards the coursework and write up your professional activities for assessment to gain a Graduate Diploma in Museum and Gallery Studies.

Work is spread over two years and much of the coursework is done in the students' own workplaces, but participants come to St Andrews for four one-week residential schools. These are held in January and June.

The part-time Graduate Diploma/MLitt course is a version of our successful and long-established full-time course and offers an overview of the purposes and activities of museums and galleries. It is open to applicants with a degree in any subject and to students without a degree but with considerable professional experience in a museum or gallery.

The Graduate Diploma can be converted to M.Litt. on production of an dissertation of up to 15,000 words, submitted five months after the formal end of the taught course. To apply please go to the link at the bottom of this page to complete the online application form.

Impressions from spring 2019 exhibition “Unfolding Fans”, curated by students for Fife Cultural Trust at St Andrews Museum

"Having completed an undergraduate degree in Archaeology, I knew I wanted to begin refining my studies and find a course which would allow me to develop more skills. The MLitt Museum and Gallery Studies course has given me fantastic practical experience which I can take forward into a future career, whilst still having the support of an academic institution where I can enjoy all aspects of the student experience. I was instantly made to feel welcome in St Andrews and have been able to meet people from all over the world from a huge variety of backgrounds. Despite only lasting a year, I know the course has had a huge impact on my future and has opened opportunities I never would have been exposed to without it."

Sophie Lenihan, 2018/19

For more information please contact:         
Lynn Ayton
School of Art History
Tel: 01334 462400

Higher Research Degrees

Opportunities are also available for study leading to higher research degrees in the form of MPhil and PhD