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Museology (Professional Doctorate)

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Programme description

The University of Manchester offers a PhD and MPhil in Museology. All Museology staff supervise research students and welcome enquiries from prospective students in their respective research areas:

Dr Kostas Arvanitis: Works in the field of digital heritage, which includes the theory and practice of digital media in museums, galleries and other heritage sites. Researches the use of in-gallery digital interactives, Web 2.0 applications and mobile media (such as mobile phones and hand-held computers) for purposes of curation, interpretation and learning. Also works in the areas of archaeological curatorship, museum archaeology, monuments in urban environments and outdoor museums.

Dr Helen Rees Leahy: Works primarily on collections of fine and decorative art, and writes on issues of art collecting, display and interpretation, gallery space and the art market. Also works on practices of visiting and the politics of cultural access, past and present.

Louise Tythacott: Specialises in the relationship between anthropology and museums. Has written on the relationship between non-western art and museums and present research interests focus on the history of the perception and display of non-European objects and the politics of representing other cultures in museums.

Professional Doctorate in Museum Practice

We are accepting applications for the Professional Doctorate in Museum Practice which launched in  September 2010. This pioneering doctoral programme is specifically designed for people working in museums and galleries who want to undertake advanced research which builds on their professional knowledge and practice.  Find out more.


  • Exhibitions as a Medium of Communication
  • The Display of Medieval Decorative Arts in 19th century Museums and Exhibitions
  • Animals in 18th century Britain
  • Displaying Dress: New Models for Historical Collections (AHRC Collaborative Doctorate with Manchester City Galleries)
  • The Western Front as a Ritual Landscape
  • Object Biographies of Anglo-Saxon Material Culture
  • Visitor Practices at Historic Sites of Conscience
  • University Earth Science Collections
  • The Role of the Curator in Museums of Art

Special features

Resources and Facilities

Research and teaching in the Centre for Museology are supported by rich resources within the University, in the collections of the  University of Manchester Library with its unique Special Collections housed in the refurbished Deansgate building, the Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery, as well as in other distinguished Manchester archives.

Museums and Galleries

The programme is shaped by the rich and diverse ecology of museums in the city and the North West, which makes Manchester such an attractive place for museum studies. The Centre for Museology works in partnership with museums and galleries in Greater Manchester and beyond across three areas of activity: research, postgraduate teaching and professional development for the museum sector. In particular, the Centre works closely with the pre-eminent museums of the University of Manchester: the  Manchester Museum and the  Whitworth Art Gallery.

Postgraduate Training

Museology MPhil and PhD students attend research training sessions at artsmethods@manchester, which is the School's programme of skills training for postgraduates on both taught and research programmes. More information.

Programme unit details

The award of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) follows one year of successful supervised research (longer if part-time), and the thesis is upto 50,000 words in length.

If you are thinking of applying to do a research degree in the Centre for Museology, you should consult the individual web profiles of our members of staff and think about how their research interests coincide with yours Our web profiles include our emails, so you can easily contact us if you wish. It is in the nature of research that it is exploratory and breaks new ground, and we can help you judge what areas you might most profitably explore.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office. Email: