Master of Museum and Heritage Studies
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
The Master of Museum and Heritage Studies is designed to equip graduates with professional knowledge and practical experience consistent with pathways to employment in museums and the growing area of local and global heritage. Now is an especially important time for research, teaching and debate within the discipline, as the museums and heritage industries are in a period of dynamic change and growth around the world. If you are considering further study and an academic career, there is also a pathway to further research in a higher degree such as a PhD.
The program explores collections, cultural processes and strategies that societies use to conserve, communicate and engage with museums and heritage, both tangible (for example, artefacts, buildings, landscapes and monuments) and intangible (for example, memories, cultural practices, crafts, drama, songs and skills). It examines how objects and heritage places are contested, managed and conserved both in the past and today. The program is concerned with the material objects, cultural practices, events and performances through which meaning is constructed in museums and at heritage sites. It is interested in how the public engages with museums and heritage, including sites of trauma, commemoration and memorialisation, and how museums and heritage sites have become important components of economic and urban development strategies in many cities and regions around the world.
Your learning experience in the Master of Museum and Heritage Studies will be enriched by access to the wealth of resources offered by the University museum collections and their curatorial staff. The University also has strong academic and professional ties with a number of major institutions in Australia, including:
- the Art Gallery of New South Wales
- the Australian Museum
- the Australian National Maritime Museum
- the National Gallery of Australia
- the National Museum of Australia
- the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage
- the Powerhouse Museum
- Sydney Living Museums.
In addition, the program fosters strong connections with academic and professional networks such as the International Council of
Candidates for the Master of Museum and Heritage Studies are required to complete 72 credit points including:
(a) a minimum of 24 credit points of core units of study; and
(b) a minimum of 18 credit points of core elective units of study; and
(c) a maximum of 24 credit points of elective units of study. With the permission of the Degree Coordinator a maximum of 12 credit points of elective units can be taken from units of study outside those listed in the Museum and Heritage Studies subject area of the Postgraduate Unit of Study Table, including a maximum of 6 credit points from units of study offered by other faculties.
(d) at least 6 credit points of capstone units of study.
For an up-to-date list of units of study for this degree, please refer to the online
Course outcomes and further study
This unique course will offer graduates opportunities to pursue a career in museum education, public programs administration, collection management, heritage site interpretation, community organisations, protected area management agencies, Indigenous land councils, and across the cultural sector in policy and planning. Employers value our graduates because they demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, abide by strong professional and ethical values and are able to engage with current debates about the place of humanities in public life.
Graduates of the program will have developed the knowledge base and skills necessary for modern museum and heritage practice and research by investigating the theory and history of tangible and intangible aspects of cultural heritage and the collecting of cultural and natural objects, methods of display and interpretation within the evolving nature of the museum as a concept and as an organization. They will also have experienced meaningful professional practice within the museum and heritage sector, which is increasingly becoming a pre-requisite for a career in these highly competitive areas.
Professional skills gained by graduates include:
1. A contextual understanding of core historical and theoretical developments in museum and heritage studies;
2. A theoretical overview of frameworks for managing collections and sites and a practical understanding of the modes of interpretation used in the museum and heritage sector;
3. An ability to undertake object and site research, significance assessment, archival research and exhibition development and to contribute to heritage studies and conservation management plans;
4. A broad understanding of the need for and practice of personal and professional integrity and ethical behaviour and of its particular importance in this field.
Students have the option of completing internships as part of their degree. These placements are project-based and allow students to work under a supervisor in a host organization. The placements are actively supported by the program and require academic work that allows for the development of a clear sense of the relationship between theory and practice.
Research Pathway students undertake an independent research project through the dissertation units. In their dissertation, students are encouraged to identify a research question that contributes to or extends existing knowledge in the field, develop an appropriate research design to address the chosen question and write a scholarly account of the results arising from the project.
Admission to candidature for the Master of Museum and Heritage Studies requires:
(a) a bachelor’s degree with a major in one of Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Cultural Geography, Cultural Studies, Education, English, Gender Studies, History, Indigenous Studies or another major with an equivalent skills and knowledge base; and a minimum credit (65 percent) average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification or
(b) completion of the requirements for the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies with a minimum credit (65 percent) average, or an equivalent qualification.
How to apply
How to apply
Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.
To be considered for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), a completed application must be received by the 30th November for semester 1, 2015 and 30 May 2015 for semester 2, 2015. Please refer to the following link for application details: sydney.edu.au/arts/future_students/scholarships.shtml
How to apply
Overseas applicants may apply:
(i) directly to the University, via the International Office. For information about closing dates and application procedures, visit the International Office website; or
(ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).
Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount
Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2015, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2015, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees and health insurance
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.