Dr Suzanne MacLeod

Suzanne MacLeodDirector and Head of School

+44 (0) 116 252 3759



As Director and Head of School I manage the strategic direction of the School, working with colleagues to further develop the quality of teaching and research. In addition to these management responsibilities I teach across the School’s Masters and PhD programmes and undertake collaborative and individual research.

In terms of teaching, I contribute sessions and supervise on museum architecture, museum history, exhibitions, museum design and interpretation. I make regular contributions to the teaching materials across our distance learning programmes and have recently worked to establish a teaching partnership with Hong Kong University.

My research formed part of the Museum Studies submission to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise which was rated as having the highest proportion of world-leading research of any subject in any UK university and is focused around museum architecture and design, historical and contemporary. I am particularly interested in the ways in which museums and galleries are produced and recently published a monograph exploring the continual remaking of one museum over a period of just over a hundred years (see recent publications). In all of my work – teaching and research - I collaborate closely with colleagues in museums and galleries as well as in design and architecture.

At University level, I sit on the College Leadership Team and the University Executive Board. In 2015, I was appointed as a member of the University Council for three years. Beyond the University, I am Chair of the Board of the online peer reviewed journal Museum and Society and am an Assessor for the Australian Research Council. In 2014 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Career history

I joined the School of Museum Studies in 1997 after undertaking a BA in History of Art and Architecture and an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, both at the University of Manchester. Before that, I trained and worked for seven years as a graphic designer. On arrival in the School in 1997 I worked as a Research Assistant on the development of what was then the new Distance Learning MA in Museum Studies before being appointed to a Lectureship in 1999. Since then, I have undertaken a number of roles including Distance Learning Academic Manager, Deputy Head and, since January 2013, Head of School. In 2012 I completed my PhD with the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

PhD supervision

I supervise PhD students investigating the following topics:

  • New Approaches to Exhibition Making in Archives - Peter Lester
  • The Legacy of Feminist Art History - Kate McPhail
  • Museum Master Planning: towards the spatial, strategic and narrative requirements of the museum environment – Tom Duncan
  • The evolution of museum space at the Pushkin Museum, Moscow - Anna Mikhailova
  • The design, production and use of museum architecture in Taiwan – Cy Shih
  • The use of suspense in exhibition narratives – Ariane Karbe
  • World Heritage Sites, collections and the 1972 Convention ‘Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage’ – Samantha Fabry
  • Victor D’Amico, education and the shaping of Modernism at the Museum of Modern Art, New York – Briley Rasmussen (completed)
  • Contemporary art museums and the global art market – Jennifer Jankauskas (completed)
  • The University art museum and interdisciplinary collaboration- Barbara Rothermel (completed)


Research Interests


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