Newcastle: A City of Arts and Cultures

In choosing where to do your degree in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies it is critically important that you have access to lots of examples of important venues, sites and organisations.

ICCHS is undoubtedly located in one of the best places in the UK, if not in the world, to study museum, gallery and heritage studies. The big cities in the region are all relatively close to one another, and are home to numerous museums and galleries, while coast, countryside and major heritage sites are within easy reach.

The MA programmes make full use of the cultural and heritage resources available through study visits, placements and through the teaching contribution of professionals from the region and elsewhere.

Galleries

The region is particularly famous for its galleries. These include large, internationally renowned institutions such as BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (the biggest gallery of its kind in the world), the Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art and the National Glass Centre. In Newcastle Gateshead there is a thriving art scene and a plethora of smaller, independent galleries with vibrant exhibition programmes. Newcastle hosts internationally significant arts events, including the biennial Audio-Visual Festival and the yearly Design Event Festival, the Glow Festival and the NewcastleGateshead Art Fair.

Heritage

The region has important World Heritage sites such as Hadrian’s Wall and Durham Cathedral and Castle, alongside major National Trust sites such as Wallington Hall and Cragside. There are, of course, numerous historic castles and areas of outstanding natural beauty, including the north Pennines in Northumberland National Park and the Northumberland coast. The Northumberland countryside is also home to large quantities of prehistoric rock art. The urban heritage of the region is also significant, in particular in the eighteenth-century heart of Newcastle and the medieval buildings of Newcastle and nearby Durham City. Additionally, the region has strong intangible heritage traditions relating to music, dance, agriculture and sport.

ICCHS itself is situated in the heart of the city of Newcastle in a grade 2 listed building – once the original Newcastle Breweries administrative centre. It is appropriate that we teach in a heritage site! Many of the teaching spaces are characterised by ornate interior decoration dating from 1900.

Museums

Tyne and Wear Museums (TWM), England’s largest local authority service, operates 13 museums across the region, including the University’s Hatton Gallery and Great North Museum. TWM cares for internationally important collections relating to art, natural history, science, social history, military history, transport, ethnography. We have strong links with the spectacular Bowes Museum, Hartlepool Historic Quay, the Centre for Life and Beamish, the largest open-air museum in the world.

An extensive account of the city and the region is available in the University's City Life! portal.