Frequently asked questions

Common questions regarding the taught master's courses offered at the Institute for Cultural Practices (ICP).

What MA courses are available to study through the Institute for Cultural Practices (ICP)?

  • Art Gallery and Museum Studies MA focuses on some of the key intellectual, ethical, political and professional questions posed by, and of, museums across a broad range of museum contexts, encompassing art galleries, museums of science, history, anthropology, archaeology and digital museums. Students on the course have unique access to professionals and spaces through collaborations with the University of Manchester’s cultural assets - The Whitworth and Manchester Museum - as well as a number of local and national museum and gallery partners. Practice is a crucial feature of the course with hands-on activities preparing students for careers in the museums sector. The MA offers optional modules in art curation, decolonial practice and exhibition-making in the museum. Students may also choose from a number of placement opportunities with museums and galleries.
  • Arts Management, Policy and Practice MA focuses on both high-level strategic planning and day-to-day management and operation of diverse cultural organisations (e.g., theatres, museums, galleries, and cultural enterprises) in global contexts. The programme provides two streams of study: one with a business and economic focus, and the other centred around community and non-profit purposes.
  • Creative and Cultural Industries MA
  • Heritage Studies MA/PGDip offers the opportunity to engage with critical approaches and contemporary discourses, alongside real-world policy and management of heritage practices. The programme involves contact with practitioners and a wide range of heritage issues including developing social concerns around identity, dissonance and memory. The MA and PGDip offer useful professional development routes, and can be studied on a part-time basis to reflect students’ caring or professional commitments.
  • Library and Archive Studies MA focuses on contemporary practices in librarianship and archival studies. It provides unique access to world-leading special collections and archives with core courses taking place in the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. Hands-on activities with rare and unique collections occur weekly and students can opt for a work placements in a variety of library, information studies, and archive and records management fields. The MA offers optional modules in data and records management, rare-book curation, exhibition design, law librarianship, and community engagement through libraries and archives.
  • Digital Media, Culture and Society MA

What are the differences between full-time and part-time study on the MA courses?

You will undertake units totalling 180 credits. Core and optional units combine to make 120 credits, with the remaining 60 credits allocated to the dissertation. Most units run for a day or week over 12 weeks, and there are variations in the number of class hours per teaching day depending on the course/week (i.e. 2-5 hours).

Part-time students take courses worth 30 credits in each semester. In their first year, you take one core module in Semester 1, and 30 credits in Option Courses in Semester 2. In the second year, you take the second core module in Semester 1 and another 30 credits in Option Course in Semester 2. Part-time students take the dissertation in Year 2. You should also count time for library work/fieldwork that may require you to come to Manchester, and although sometimes this can be done on the day of teaching, often you will need to come in on an additional day.

If undertaking the work placement module, you should also consider one more day/week (on average) at the work placement institution (which, if appropriate or relevant, can be the organisation where you currently work; but undertaking a project different to your day-to-day work).

Please note that course structures vary for each MA, please see the courses page for more information.

What is the cost of an MA?

Fees vary for each master's course – details of individual course fees can be found on course profiles. Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees. Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes.

Are there any scholarships/bursaries available to support my studies?

As well as the Postgraduate Loan Scheme offered by the UK government to eligible UK/EU students, we offer a range of awards for both Home/EU and International students at master's level.

See also the University's postgraduate funding database to see if you are eligible for any other funding opportunities.

For University of Manchester graduates, the Manchester Alumni Bursary offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a 1st within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

The Manchester Master's Bursary is a university-wide scheme that offers 100 bursaries worth £3,000 in funding for students from underrepresented groups.

Postgraduate 1+3 funding is available from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for students to pursue postgraduate study through a master's (one year) leading into a PhD (3 years). It requires a project proposal as part of the application.

Information is available here: Applying to 1+3 with NWSSDTP

What are the entry requirements needed to enrol on an MA?

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country.

Professional experience in a relevant sector to the degree is also taken into consideration.

Please note that entry requirements vary for each MA, please see the course profiles for more information.

What facilities can I access to support studying?

You will benefit from our extensive library and study facilities for master's students, as well as a wide range of cultural assets.

Find out more on the Facilities page.

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.


What enrichment activities are available to me as a postgraduate student?

The University of Manchester offers a range of events such as exhibitions, conferences, lectures and seminars, performances, family events etc. Browse the full list of events from across the University.

During the MA, students have opportunities to design and participate in live projects with heritage organisations and contexts in Manchester.

These include researching heritage audiences, developing exhibitions, producing heritage events, and working on community engagement and creative collaborative projects.

Discover our student's exhibitions and initiatives that they have created whilst studying with the Institute for Cultural Practices.

What can I do with this MA?

Our students graduate as the creative professionals of the future. Some graduates find employment in the cultural and heritage sectors as gallery managers, curators and archivists. Many also go into education and events management.

Others launch their careers in the digital technology, cultural and creative sectors.

Learn more on the Careers and employability page, and read profiles of our alumni to find out what they went on to do after completing the course.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability.

Do you have a work placement experience?

Getting involved with work placements is a great way to put theory into practice and make useful contacts in the creative and cultural industries.

The optional 30 credit work placement module places students with arts, cultural and digital organisations, arranged and supported by the Institute for Cultural Practices.

Each placement involves twenty days of work on projects specified by the host organisation, such as:

  • collections management
  • event development and evaluation
  • audience engagement
  • exhibition development
  • marketing and fundraising
  • digital and online media
  • educational programmes

Find out more on the work placements page.

How are international students supported in their study?

We support our international students from the moment they apply to The University of Manchester through to graduation and beyond.

For example, we offer English language courses and have Student Immigration Team, Student Services Centre, Students’ Union and Advice Centre and Careers service to provide comprehensive support for international students.

At Manchester, we offer a wide range of support, from easily accessed online resources to peer support and one-to-one appointments with specialists from our award-winning services – all designed to help you make the most out of your university experience. Find out more on the student support page.

The British Council has published advice on keeping yourself and your belongings safe, keeping your family and visitors safe, and how to safely enjoy a night out in the UK.

Do you work with any arts, cultural, heritage, and digital organisations?

Yes, we work with a wide range of organisations in the cultural sectors. Some examples include The Whitworth, Manchester Museum, The John Rylands Library, Jodrell Bank, and Manchester Digital Collections.

These cultural institutions work closely with us to enhance student experience by providing guest talks and field trips as well as supporting students’ group projects.

Many of these organisations are involved in our optional 30 credit placement module and with staff on research.

Does the MA offer practical experience?

Our exciting contemporary centre provides a platform for postgraduate study, continuing professional development, research and knowledge exchange with cultural and heritage professionals.

All of our practice-based courses have a vocational emphasis and are designed to facilitate a bridge between education and professional life. They are taught by both those working within academia and professional practitioners in a variety of fields.

Our graduates are trained in different methodological and theoretical approaches in their respective fields and are encouraged to participate in lively interdisciplinary debate, alongside developing their own individual skills as practitioners.

Find out more on the why study here page.

What transferrable skills will I develop at the MA?

Depending on the MA programme you have selected, you will develop a comprehensive array of transferrable skills crucial for professional growth.

For example, these include leadership and management capabilities, such as strategic planning, effective decision-making, and resource management.

Your critical thinking and analytical skills will be enhanced, enabling you to assess problems, contexts and situations strategically.

The program also sharpens your communication skills, both written and verbal, ensuring you can articulate ideas clearly and engage with diverse audiences. Networking and relationship-building skills are emphasised in our MAs, fostering your ability to build professional connections.

Additionally, you will develop cultural competence and adaptability, which is valuable in today's globalised and dynamic professional environments.

How long does an MA/PGDip take to complete?

The MA is available as a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time course. For courses which offer a PGDip this is available as a nine-month full-time or 18-month part-time course.

How is a course unit delivered?

In a typical week, for each module, you will attend one lecture (1-2 hours) and one seminar (2 hours). In addition to lectures and seminars, you will have opportunities to interact with guest speakers from cultural organisations in both the private and public sectors.

Additionally, you can also visit cultural places and venues, and work collectively on group projects.