This programme enables you to carry out an original piece of research in museum, gallery and heritage studies. As a research student you will join an interdisciplinary group of researchers and academics at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, fully supported by world expert supervisors.
MPhil and PhD students in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies are based in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS), a leading academic centre for research and teaching at Newcastle.
ICCHS is internationally renowned for its research, securing significant support (around £3m since 2008) from a variety of funders, such as the UK Research Councils and the European Commission. We have a thriving, high-profile interdisciplinary research community made up of postgraduate research students and experienced academic researchers who are key figures in their fields.
Our academic supervisors have significant experience and expertise in interdisciplinary research and practice in the UK and abroad. Through our emphasis on empirical research and having a grounding in professional practice, our research alumni have been successful in securing careers in academia, governmental organisations, and the cultural and creative industry sectors worldwide.
Our research students pursue a variety of topics that explore both historical and contemporary issues with local, national and international dimensions. They have also consistently achieved high submission and completion rates in their chosen programme of study. Recent student research topics in ICCHS include:
- attitudes towards human remains
- constructions and uses of Welsh identity in American museums
- the social roles and regulation of art museum education in China and Taiwan
- the management and interpretation of archaeological sites in Turkey
- meaning making around historic photographic collections on Flickr
Key research themes
Our key research themes are:
Cultural politics and policy
- factors that determine how cultural policy is constructed, institutionally, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally
- how management strategies affect heritage resources
- the impact of large-scale constitutional change upon cultural policy
- intended and unintended consequences of implementing international conventions, charters and instruments
- contribution of research to cultural policy construction
- the intersection of political movements and agendas with heritage
- definitions and attributed values of heritage
Identity, community and place
- construction and representation of identities, places and communities through heritage
- how heritage is used by, and for, communities
- relationships between notions of place and identities, communities, and heritages locally regionally, nationally and internationally
- principles of community museology and ecomuseology practice in different contexts
- relationships between heritage tourism and identities, communities and places
- identities produced through the consumption of heritage
- relationship between identity construction and wellbeing
Media and representation
- how media works in heritage organisations and how organisations work as media
- factors shaping the production, morphology and consumption of media and media representations in heritage organisations
- representations made possible through institutional technologies specific to heritage organisations and how they are analysed to understand culture, society and knowledge
- study and design of digital heritage applications and digital cultural engagement
Attendance on this programme is flexible and agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the requirements of your research project. The main focus of the programme is a piece of independent research carried out by you with the support of your supervisory team.
You will also undertake research methods training and be encouraged to participate in our research activities. You will be able to carry out fieldwork away from Newcastle, in other UK locations or abroad. The programme is supported by Blackboard, our virtual learning environment.
As a research student in ICCHS, you will have access to a dedicated study space with networked PCs, printing and photocopying facilities. You can also use the ICCHS common room and kitchen to meet with fellow researchers and academics.
The ICCHS facilities complement the variety of study and research facilities available at Newcastle for all students, plus the extensive cultural resources available on campus and in the city:
- our libraries
- the Great North Museum: Hancock, located on campus, houses the collections that previously made up the Hancock Museum, the Shefton Museum of Greek Art and Archaeology (an internationally-renowned collection of over 1,000 Greek and Etruscan artefacts), and the Museum of Antiquities
- the Hatton Gallery, located on campus, has been at the heart of cultural life in the North East since the early 20th century
- the Language Resource Centre, a specialist language facility providing free access to self-study materials in 50 languages
- computing facilities with access to relevant databases and over 1,400 fully networked PCs
- the Gertrude Bell Archive
- non-campus facilities, often used for student projects, include Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and the Victoria Tunnel
In addition, the city of Newcastle and the wider region offers a wonderful resource with two World Heritage Sites, and over 80 regional museums and galleries. Much of the region's countryside is designated as National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
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Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.
Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.
Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.
You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.
Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership
Based at Newcastle University, Northern Bridge brings together the expertise and exceptional resources of Newcastle University, Durham University, Queen’s University Belfast and their partners for the training and development of outstanding arts and humanities postgraduate researchers.
Northern Bridge is funded by the AHRC to provide doctoral studentships and has been commended for the strength of its research base, shared vision, and its successful track record of partnership working.
Postgraduate Research Student Support
Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £15,600
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
A 2:1 honours degree and preferably a merit master's degree, or an international equivalent. We may ask you to attend an interview either in person, via telephone or Skype.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: email@example.com for further information.
English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
How to Apply
You need to submit a research proposal with your online application. For information about the application process see the School of Arts and Cultures website or read our guidelines for producing a research proposal (PDF: 41.5KB) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Graduate School.
When making your online application, please insert one of the following programme codes on the 'Programme of Study' page:
- 8834F (PhD, full time)
- 8836P (PhD, part time)
- 7018F (MPhil, full time)
- 7019P (MPhil, part time)
Then select ‘PhD Media, Culture and Heritage’ and the ‘Research Area’ Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies.
There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.