BA (Hons) Museum Studies

General

Program Description

Overview

Launching in September 2021

Applying to study with us in 2021?

We are excited to launch this new course for 2021 as we enhance our well-established undergraduate curriculum. Degrees listed as subject to validation are in the final stage of our rigorous approval process, designed to ensure they accurately reflect course content and employment opportunities for students. Through close consultation with industry professionals, academics, students and alumni we can ensure that your learning prepares you for a dynamic and ever-changing future job market.

*Subject to validation

Would you like to work in a museum or gallery, managing events and exhibitions that explore history or celebrate heritage? From arts archiving and project management, to curatorial practice and visitor experience - you could play a pivotal part in connecting audiences with artefacts.

BA (Hons) Museum Studies at Plymouth College of Art will equip you with the skills and competencies used by museum professionals to explore the diverse roles that museums play in contemporary society. You’ll also uncover historical contexts and the cultural role of objects and their power to communicate collective experience. 

This degree is designed to provide an initial broad introduction to the practical skills required to work in museum and heritage contexts with a mixture of lecture-based instruction and hands-on activities. The course provides a wide range of opportunities to explore new thinking about museums and heritage, preparing you to enter an exciting and changing field. 

You will learn about the applications used to provide digital access to museum collections with our staff expertise in digital technologies, whilst critically exploring heritage in relation to debates about social justice, where a commitment to diversity involves the recovery of neglected or obscured histories. 

Learning is also enriched by exciting national and regional relationships, including with Tate Modern, The Box, Plymouth, and other major regional museum centres. Plymouth College of Art is also home to The Gallery, an on-campus venue hosting a vibrant programme of contemporary art, media and design exhibitions, including major touring exhibitions like the British Art Show, which Plymouth will welcome back as the host city in 2021.

You will be taught by our team of highly experienced academic staff, all of whom are active makers and researchers in critical and cultural practice. You’ll also benefit from their knowledge and experience of professional practice and they will encourage you to explore and test concepts, media and environments.  

Our interdisciplinary art, design and media facilities are open to all Plymouth College of Art students, meaning you’ll have unrivalled access to; drawing studios; workshops for fine art printmaking, ceramics, glass, wood and plastics; the Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre; open-access computer suites; and our specialist and well-stocked library.

After graduation, you’ll be fully prepared to enter the diverse arts and culture sector, working in a myriad of roles including; museums, curation, heritage and arts management, or alternatively specialise further in postgraduate research.

Graduates can become:

  • Art Critics
  • Art Preservation Specialists
  • Curators
  • Event Producers
  • Heritage and Arts Managers
  • Journalists
  • Museum Professionals

Thinking & making

Study with us and you’ll expand your critical approach alongside developing skills in research and analysis. Our academically robust and intellectually stimulating degree programmes are delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in learning, teaching and assessment. Our programmes encourage diversity in thinking and making - from practical applications through to reflective, analytical writing.

We provide a dynamic, stimulating learning environment from which to test new models of practice while investing in the rich relationship between practice and theory - based on the potential in material and visual exploration, collaborative working, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and the exploration of histories and contemporary contexts.

Opportunities for studying abroad are available at our partner institutions.

Modules

Our unit structure applies to all of our undergraduate courses and creates a culture that promotes curiosity and creative thinking that extends beyond subject boundaries. Thematic approaches encourage an environment of free-flowing creative learning and opportunities for collaboration. Each unit will be contextualised by the subject specialism, and delivery will manifest uniquely through the specialist lens of each course. 

Applying to a four-year Extended BA degree?

If you choose to study an Extended BA, this will provide you with a preparatory year that will support your creative development through a broad range of art, design and media skills, as the basis for continued undergraduate study in your chosen specialist degree. In Year 0 you will learn through experimentation, exploration and discovery. Successful completion of this year allows automatic progression to Year 1 of your chosen three year BA at Plymouth College of Art. 

Year 1

  • Unit 1: Methods & Materials
  • Unit 2: Encountering place
  • Unit 3: Exploring subject
  • Unit 4: Platforms of exchange

Year 2

  • Unit 1: Speculative Strategies
  • Unit 2: Global Challenges
  • Unit 3: Ideas & Audience
  • Unit 4: Emergent practice

Year 3

  • Unit 1: Research & Development 
  • Unit 2: Publication 
  • Unit 3: Positioning practice
  • Unit 4: Final project

Careers & alumni

Professional practice is embedded within all of our programmes.  Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop the key professional, transferable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially work in partnership with other sectors locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining industry experience, the acquisition of professional skills has been written into the programmes of study by our staff teams, who have ‘real world’ experience. They are also supported by our Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

After graduation, you’ll be fully prepared to enter the diverse arts and culture sector, working in a myriad of roles including; museums, curation, heritage and arts management, or alternatively specialise further in postgraduate research.

Graduates can become: 

  • Art Critics
  • Art Preservation Specialists
  • Curators
  • Event Producers
  • Heritage and Arts Managers
  • Journalists
  • Museum Professionals

Recent industry contributors to the College include:

  • The Box
  • Spike Island, Bristol
  • Museum of Witchcraft, Boscastle
  • Bill Douglas Museum, Exeter
  • V&A Museum London
  • Tate Modern

Entry requirements

2020 onwards: A portfolio and 112 - 120 UCAS points (earned through A-levels, BTEC National Diploma, or Foundation Diploma etc).

We also welcome applications from students who do not have formal qualifications but can provide evidence of their creativity, skills and experience. You will also be required to attend an interview in person or via Skype, Google Meet or similar online platform.

International students

Language requirements for study at Degree level

  • Trinity College London
    • Integrated Skills in English II (Level B2), minimum grade required: Reading: Pass Listening: Pass Certificate valid for two years
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
    • IELTS (Level B2), minimum grade required: IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum score Listening: 5.5, Speaking: 5.5, Reading: 5.5, Writing: 5.5,
    • Certificate valid for two years

Visa requirements

  • As an international student, you will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa which you can apply for online.

Resources

You will be taught by our team of highly experienced academic staff, all of whom are active makers and researchers in critical and cultural practice.

You will benefit from their knowledge and experience of professional practice and they will encourage you to explore and test materials, concepts, media and audiences.

The college also has a wide range of outstanding art, design and media facilities including: drawing studio; workshops for fine art printmaking, ceramics, glass, wood and plastics; the Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre; open-access computer suites; and a well-stocked library.

You’ll also have access to Fab Lab Plymouth, a digital ‘fabrication laboratory’ based in the heart of our Plymouth city-centre campus.

Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are focused on employability and developing creative opportunities for students.

Facilities at the college include:

Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Ceramics and Glass Workshops

With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, 10 potters wheels, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, a plaster room for mould making, 16 kilns, a well-stocked glaze mixing area and individual studio space, our Ceramics and Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor, rivalling any art school around the country.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Fashion Studios

This large professional studio offers a real-life fashion experience in a fabulous space with sea views. Specialist industrial and domestic sewing machines, a range of knitting machines and a wide stock of fabrics and knitting yarns sit alongside a media and marketing Mac suite, a fully operational CAD cutting facility, and a library of designer garments to inspire.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, a historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best-printed textile workshops in the UK.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

Our Digital Print Bureau offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. Our highly experienced Equipment Resource Centre staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Founded in 1856, Plymouth College of Art is an art school run by artists and designers for artists and designers. We are home to a dynamic, cross-disciplinary community of makers and thinkers for whom ... Read More

Founded in 1856, Plymouth College of Art is an art school run by artists and designers for artists and designers. We are home to a dynamic, cross-disciplinary community of makers and thinkers for whom making is as important as reading and writing, and where the purpose of learning is inseparable from that of living your life. A place for making things, and making things happen. For making a difference. Read less