Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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MA Arts Management and Heritage Studies

Arts management and heritage studies are emerging disciplines that examine how societies preserve, understand and pass on history and culture. This exciting programme combines theory and practice to give you an insight into the changing nature of the heritage sector.

Core modules explore the nature of ‘heritage’, how meanings of objects, artworks and buildings change in different contexts. You’ll examine the challenges faced by arts managers and cultural leaders, and the changes that have led some museums to move towards the role of the ‘manager’ rather than the ‘curator’.

You’ll even choose from optional modules to tailor your degree to your interests or career plans – including the chance to undertake a work placement and apply theory to a professional context.

Supported by our Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, you’ll benefit from our partnerships with major arts and cultural organisations to find out what it means to work in this challenging sector.

You’ll study in the heart of a cultural hub for this diverse and vibrant region. Leeds is home to a national museum, nine council-run museums, galleries and heritage sites and many private and charitable museums and galleries.

We’re also a short bus or train journey away from everything the rest of Yorkshire has to offer, from The Hepworth Wakefield to the National Media Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. We have close links with many of these cultural institutions to support your practical learning.

Multidisciplinary learning

This exciting, new programme has been developed in close collaboration with the School of Performance and Cultural Industries and allows students to undertake core and optional courses in both Schools. Students become members of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and enjoy the opportunities that membership offers, from networking events and links to alumni, to conferences, seminars and reading groups.

Course tutors include researchers with a background in arts management, theatre, arts galleries, museums and heritage, including collections, curatorial, education and engagement work:

Like all our masters programmes, this programme comprises of core and optional elements. At its core are two modules which develop your understanding of arts management, cultural leadership and heritage studies – you’ll explore the concepts of ‘heritage’ and ‘history’, different methodological and theoretical approaches to heritage and the institutions involved in presenting ‘heritage’ to a wider audience.

You’ll also examine theoretical concepts in the emerging field of arts management and the challenges faced by arts managers and cultural leaders. Privileged access to our arts and cultural partners will give you an insight into the challenges of bringing theory and practice together.

All MA students in the School take two core modules which develop the research skills to complete research projects such as your essays and dissertation. This will build to a symposium in Semester 2 where you present some of your own research, and a dissertation which enables you to undertake research in a topic of interest to you.

In addition, you’ll choose from a range of optional modules from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies and the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. These will include the opportunity to complete a placement in either arts management or heritage.

As a part of the degree students are encouraged to build a portfolio of project work to support future job applications.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Arts Management and Heritage Studies Dissertation 50 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 1 5 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 2 5 credits
  • Heritage Studies: Key Words 30 credits
  • Arts Management and Cultural Leadership 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Derrida and Deconstruction 30 credits
  • Beyond the Trench: Collaborative Projects on the History, Remembrance and Critical Heritage of the First World War 30 credits
  • Capitalism-Criticism-Contemporary Art 30 credits
  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
  • From Chagall to Kitaj and Beyond 30 credits
  • Critical and Curatorial Challenges in Contemporary Art: The Documenta Exhibitions at Kassel 1992-2012 30 credits
  • Encountering Things: Art and Entanglement in Anglo-Saxon England 30 credits
  • Anthropology, Art and Representation 30 credits
  • Individual Directed Study 30 credits
  • Placements in Context: Policy, Organizations and Practice 30 credits
  • Performance and Collaborative Enterprise 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30 credits

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of our staff. These include weekly seminars, group learning sessions, tutorials and lectures. You’ll also benefit from the expertise of visiting speakers, visits off campus and practical experience. Independent study is also vital to this programme, allowing you to develop your individual skills and prepare for taught sessions.


Depending on the modules you choose, you may experience a range of different assessment methods. These usually include essays of around 7,000 words, individual and group presentations, in-course assessment and project work. You may also be asked to complete a reflective log for your projects, allowing you to look back and critically assess your own practice.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons).

We will also expect you to have some experience in a relevant field – this can be voluntary or paid.

We accept a range on international equivalent qualifications. For more information, please contact the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

How to apply

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

  • Your degree certificate and transcripts, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying
  • Two academic references
  • A personal statement
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications if English is not your first subject.
  • You may also choose to submit a CV.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £6,500 (total)

International: £16,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

This programme is still relatively new, and it’s designed to equip you to fill a gap in the current market and become a cultural leader of the future. We encourage you to build up a portfolio of project work to help with future job applications, and you have opportunities to gain practical work experience.

As well as the in-depth subject knowledge you’ll gain, you’ll improve your skills in research, analysis, communication and critical and cultural awareness. You’ll also benefit from the contacts gained through work with partner organisations and the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage.

Graduates from our School have gone onto work as heads of collections, curators and educators in a range of organisations such as local authority museums, national heritage organisations like the National Trust and charitable trusts. They’ve also found success in arts marketing and public relations. Others have also continued with their research and PhD level, many of whom work in academia in the UK as well as the US, Hong Kong and Korea.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

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.

Placement opportunities

Creative Work, Enterprise and Work Placements

All students have a choice of two optional modules. A number of these modules have a work or enterprise component to gain first-hand experience of contemporary museum and gallery practice. If you have a particular ambition in mind for a work placement, we try to find a role that suits you.

The programme has close links with a number of important institutions both in the city and the region and previous students have worked on projects at a wide variety of museums and heritage organisations including Leeds Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Harewood House, the Henry Moore Institute, the National Media Museum, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Grand, Lotherton Hall, Abbey House Museum and the Royal Armouries as well as the University’s own museums and archives, including the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and the Marks and Spencer Archive.

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