As an MPhil or PhD student in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies you'll be based in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS). ICCHS is a leading academic centre for research and teaching at Newcastle. It is internationally renowned for its research. It secures significant support (around £3m since 2008) from a variety of funders, such as the UK Research Councils and the European Commission.
You'll join a thriving, high-profile interdisciplinary research community 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. They practice in the UK and abroad.
We place emphasis on empirical research and a grounding in professional practice. Our research alumni have been successful in securing careers in:
- governmental organisations
- 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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
Find out about the different qualification options for this course.
An MPhil is available in all subject areas. You receive research training and undertake original research leading to the completion of a 40,000 - 50,000 word thesis.
A PhD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. A PhD usually takes three years full time.
How you'll learn
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'll also undertake research methods training and be encouraged to participate in our research activities. You'll be able to carry out fieldwork away from Newcastle, in other UK locations or abroad.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) researcher development programme
Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:
- perform better as a researcher
- boost your career prospects
- broaden your impact
Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.
- techniques for effective research
- methods for better collaborative working
- essential professional standards and requirements
Your programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.
Doctoral training and partnerships
There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:
- Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
- Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:
- they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
- you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
- they’re often interdisciplinary
- your PhD will normally be funded
If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.
The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:
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Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2020 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
As a research student in media, culture and heritage, you'll have access to a dedicated study space with:
- networked PCs
- photocopying facilities
You can also use the common room and kitchen to meet with fellow researchers and academics.
You'll have access to our top-quality facilities, plus the extensive cultural resources available on campus and in the city:
- our libraries and eResources
- the Great North Museum: Hancock, located on campus. It 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 is 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 that are often used for student projects include Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and the Victoria Tunnel
In addition to our expertise in heritage studies, the city of Newcastle and the wider region offer a wonderful resource. We've two World Heritage Sites, many 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.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.
If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Applications for 2022/23
You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021
Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold open days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
- explore our beautiful campus
- find out about our vibrant city
- discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the courses you're interested in.
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
We also hold various online and virtual events.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
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