A World-leading Research Community

Established in 1966, the School of Museum Studies is the only autonomous department in the UK dedicated to the study of museums and galleries. It is the oldest and largest academic unit of its kind in the world. Through its research and teaching, and the careers of its students, the School seeks to have global influence both on its academic field and the institution at its heart. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008), the Department of Museum Studies, as it was then called, was the highest scoring unit of any discipline or institution in the UK.

For almost 50 years, the School of Museum Studies at Leicester has played an influential role in the reinvention of museum theory and practice. The School has been the locus of creative and critical researchers and practitioners who have transformed the academic field and professional practice. By producing original, rigorous and internationally influential research, and by working collaboratively on a range of pioneering initiatives, the School has made a significant and sustained contribution both to the specific field of museum studies and to the international cultural sector more widely.

We welcome enquiries from researchers who are considering making an application to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship scheme and who wish to be hosted here and work with us in an area of Museum, Heritage or Art Studies. These fellowships provide significant support to postdoctoral and other 'experienced' researchers coming to us from anywhere in the world. The current call for applications closes on 14 September 2016 and successful applicants will be able to start their fellowships during the 12 months from May 2017 onwards. If you are interested, please contact the member of staff who most closely reflects your area of interest. If you are not certain who that might be, then please contact the School's Research Director, Simon Knell. Full details of the scheme including eligibility criteria can be found in the Guide for Applicants.

Further details about School research can be found under Research Themes, Research Projects, Recent Books and Reports, and Conferences.

The School is home to the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) established in 1999 to develop research that would directly impact museum practice and museum audiences, and to CRÍA, a collaborative centre researching those institutions where art is created, negotiated, performed and displayed.

Details of individual staff research and interests can be found on the People pages.

As well as our staff research, we have a PhD research community currently numbering around 70 students.

Visiting Scholars- The School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester is happy to welcome visiting scholars. We have hosted many students, academics and professionals here for visits of up to six months. Students are assigned an academic mentor who meets with them on a monthly basis and are welcomed into our thriving research community with opportunities to participate in seminars and meet with staff across the School. In addition, visiting students are allocated a university computer account and given access to the University library with its unrivalled collection of museum studies and related books. The cost for these visits is £500.00 per calendar month. Please direct your enquiries to the Christine Cheesman at cmc17@le.ac.uk.

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If you are interested in any one of our Distance Learning MA courses why not join in the live chat session on Thursday 1st December 12.30 – 14.30, where you can ask questions and talk to us about your interests.


Contact Us

Museum Studies
University of Leicester
Museum Studies Building
19 University Road
Leicester LE1 7RF

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3963
Fax: +44 (0) 116 252 3960

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In the spotlight

ESRC funded PhD studentships with the Midlands Graduate School.
Available for entry in 2017 for PhD projects in Social Research in Museum Studies.

How to apply

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The AHRC Midlands 3 Cities PhD Funding Competition is now open. The School of Museum Studies welcomes expressions of interest from outstanding prospective applicants. For enquiries contact Dr Giasemi Vavoula (PGR Director external) or Christine Cheesman (PGR Administrator).

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EU applicants for 2017-18 entry please note the UK Government's announcement of 11 Oct 2016 that EU students applying for a place at an English university or further education institution in the 2017-18 academic year will continue to be eligible for student loans and grants - and will be for the duration of their course

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