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BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Overview
Launching in Sept 2021

Applying to study with us in 2021?
We are excited to launch this new course for 2021 as we enhance our well-established undergraduate curriculum. Degrees listed as subject to validation are in the final stage of our rigorous approval process, designed to ensure they accurately reflect course content and employment opportunities for students. Through close consultation with industry professionals, academics, students and alumni we can ensure that your learning prepares you for a dynamic and ever-changing future job market.

*Subject to validation

We are excited to launch this new course for 2021 as we enhance our well-established undergraduate curriculum. Degrees listed as subject to validation are in the final stage of our rigorous approval process, designed to ensure they accurately reflect course content and employment opportunities for students. Through close consultation with industry professionals, academics, students and alumni we can ensure that your learning prepares you for a dynamic and ever-changing future job market.

Would you like to work in a museum or gallery, managing events and exhibitions that explore history or celebrate heritage? From arts archiving and project management, to curatorial practice and visitor experience - you could play a pivotal part in connecting audiences with artefacts.

The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art's undergraduate campus features a high-quality contemporary programme of exhibitions.

BA (Hons) Museum Studies at Plymouth College of Art will equip you with the skills and competencies used by museum professionals to explore the diverse roles that museums play in contemporary society. You’ll also uncover historical contexts and the cultural role of objects and their power to communicate collective experience. 

This degree is designed to provide an initial broad introduction to the practical skills required to work in museum and heritage contexts with a mixture of lecture-based instruction and hands-on activities. The course provides a wide range of opportunities to explore new thinking about museums and heritage, preparing you to enter an exciting and changing field. 

You will learn about the applications used to provide digital access to museum collections with our staff expertise in digital technologies, whilst critically exploring heritage in relation to debates about social justice, where a commitment to diversity involves the recovery of neglected or obscured histories. 

Immersive experiences at the 2019 Art and Design Innovation Future Education Expo, in Shanghai, China.

Learning is also enriched by exciting national and regional relationships, including with Tate Modern, The Box, Plymouth, and other major regional museum centres. Plymouth College of Art is also home to The Gallery, an on-campus venue hosting a vibrant programme of contemporary art, media and design exhibitions, including major touring exhibitions like the British Art Show, which Plymouth will welcome back as the host city in 2021.

You will be taught by our team of highly experienced academic staff, all of whom are active makers and researchers in critical and cultural practice. You’ll also benefit from their knowledge and experience of professional practice and they will encourage you to explore and test concepts, media and environments.  

Our interdisciplinary art, design and media facilities are open to all Plymouth College of Art students, meaning you’ll have unrivalled access to; drawing studios; workshops for fine art printmaking, ceramics, glass, wood and plastics; the Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre; open-access computer suites; and our specialist and well-stocked library.

As a founding associate of Tate Exchange, Plymouth College of Art students gain opportunity to design experiential events at London's Tate Modern.

After graduation, you’ll be fully prepared to enter the diverse arts and culture sector, working in a myriad of roles including; museums, curation, heritage and arts management, or alternatively specialise further in postgraduate research.

Graduates can become:

  • Art Critics
  • Art Preservation Specialists
  • Curators
  • Event Producers
  • Heritage and Arts Managers
  • Journalists
  • Museum Professionals

Thinking & making

Study with us and you’ll expand your critical approach alongside developing skills in research and analysis. Our academically robust and intellectually stimulating degree programmes are delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in learning, teaching and assessment. Our programmes encourage diversity in thinking and making - from practical applications through to reflective, analytical writing.

We provide a dynamic, stimulating learning environment from which to test new models of practice while investing in the rich relationship between practice and theory - based on the potential in material and visual exploration, collaborative working, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and the exploration of histories and contemporary contexts.

Opportunities for studying abroad are available at our partner institutions, click here for more information. 

Interested in finding out more? Fill out our enquiry form below:

BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Modules

Launching in Sept 2021

Our unit structure applies to all of our undergraduate courses and creates a culture that promotes curiosity and creative thinking that extends beyond subject boundaries. Thematic approaches encourage an environment of free-flowing creative learning and opportunities for collaboration. Each unit will be contextualised by the subject specialism, and delivery will manifest uniquely through the specialist lens of each course. 

Applying to a four-year Extended BA degree?

If you choose to study an Extended BA, this will provide you with a preparatory year that will support your creative development through a broad range of art, design and media skills, as the basis for continued undergraduate study in your chosen specialist degree. In Year 0 you will learn through experimentation, exploration and discovery. Successful completion of this year allows automatic progression to Year 1 of your chosen three year BA at Plymouth College of Art. 

Year 1

Unit 1: Methods & Materials

Develop and extend your existing knowledge of processes and technologies associated with your field of study, through the exploration of associated methods and materials. You will be introduced to a range of practical methods, processes and techniques, and encouraged to think critically about your subject. 

Unit 2: Encountering place

Focusing on the geographical offerings and potential of Plymouth and its surroundings, you will orientate your practice through considering immediate geographies and the relationship of the local to the global. You will develop ways for generating creative ideas in response to a brief, with a primary focus on creative problem solving, methods and materials.

Unit 3: Exploring subject

Engage with subject-specific ideas and applications, encouraging critical reflection on your individual creative practice and subject within the larger creative arts domain. You will be supported to undertake an imaginative approach to your subject that challenges historical and cultural assumptions.

Unit 4: Platforms of exchange

Focus on collaboration as a practice, way of working and experience. Share your skills in pursuit of creative problem solving through mutual interest and cooperative approaches, while being introduced to methodologies from other disciplines.

Year 2

Unit 1: Speculative Strategies

Enhance your awareness of research-informed practice, the role of risk and failure, and the adoption of new or unfamiliar methodologies in developing creative practice. You will focus on the critical and practical processes used for ideas generation, propositional and hypothetical creative outputs, rather than finished outcomes.

Unit 2: Global Challenges

Think deeper about how creative solutions might help solve real-world challenges. Draw on expertise and ideas from the arts and sciences to provide alternative propositions for solution-focussed practical enquiry. 

Unit 3: Ideas & Audience

Through the use of real-world scenarios (live or simulated), you will be encouraged to use the methods, knowledge and understanding gained in previous study to place your work in relevant professional and creative contexts in order to facilitate knowledge transfer into the public domain.                         

Unit 4: Emergent practice

Develop individual authorship in your creative practice, and ownership of your learning through a self-initiated project. You will be introduced to methods for managing and producing an independent creative project, developing skills in project articulation and management to include consideration for project scope, time and resources management.  

Year 3

Unit 1: Research & Development 

You will be encouraged to further refine your aims and ambitions for your final year of study, by formulating and testing out ideas for your Final Project. You will present a creative pitch that outlines the key concepts and methods behind your project and demonstrates knowledge and understanding of appropriate contextual and professional frameworks.

Unit 2: Publication 

You will produce a research-informed critical text that contextualises your research interests and demonstrates sustained critical engagement with your subject. This could be an extended critical essay or industry report; or an original publication (text & image) and accompanying critical essay.

Unit 3: Positioning practice

This unit will extend your understanding and consideration of appropriate audiences, end-users and markets for your work, and raise your awareness of industry-relevant technologies, techniques and innovations. Your learning will support the articulation of your personal career ambitions, informed by an awareness of professional contexts and graduate opportunities for creative practice. 

Unit 4: Final project

The culmination of your undergraduate study providing a focussed period of consolidation and creativity, you will have the opportunity to realise a final major project to demonstrate your specialist knowledge and skills. At the end of the unit, you will have the opportunity to present this project to the public within the context of the annual PCA Summer Shows.

Please note unit details listed above are correct at time of publication and indicative content only. If you have any questions about course content and structure please email 

BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Staff

Launching in Sept 2021

Judith Noble

Judith Noble

Judith Noble is our Head of Academic Research here at Plymouth College of Art. She is joint coordinator of the Black Mirror research network with Dominic Shepherd (AUB), Jesse Bransford (NYU Steinhardt) and Robert Ansell and Merlin Cox (Fulgur). Her research interests centre on experimental, avant-garde and artists film and the occult and magic. She has published extensively on Maya Deren and on Kenneth Anger and Derek Jarman.

She has recently completed work on Maya Deren and Surrealism and is preparing a monograph on Deren. In 2014 she organised the Visions of Enchantment conference with Dan Zamani and Rachel Parikh. Before returning to Higher Education in 2007, she worked for many years in arts funding and the film industry. From 1984 - 96 she was Film and Television officer at South West Arts; from 1996 - 2001 she was Chief Executive of the South West Media Development Agency and from 2001 - 2006 she was Head of Production at Sgrin Cymru Wales, where she was responsible for executive-producing and developing feature films supported by the Wales Lottery Film Fund. These included Peter Greenaway’s Tulse Luper Suitcases trilogy (in competition at Cannes and Berlin 2002 - 4), Amma Asante’s A Way Of Life (BAFTA winner 2005), Patagonia (Gruff Rhys) and Sleep, Furiously (Gideon Koppel). In 2007 she joined the staff of the BA (Hons) Film Production course at Arts University Bournemouth. She held an AUB Research Fellowship in 2010-11, trained as a PhD supervisor and became Course Leader for BA (Hons) Film production in 2014 before taking up her current post at Plymouth College of Art.

Judith is a Member of the Modernist Studies Association, ESSWE and a Trustee (and founding Chair) of the Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (Boscastle, Cornwall). Judith holds an MFA from Reading (1980) and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent (1978).

Dr Mohini Chandra

Dr Mohini Chandra

Mohini Chandra’s work on the international flows of people and culture in our globalised world has exhibited in venues such as the Asia Society and Museum (New York), the Queens Museum (New York), the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Whitechapel Art Gallery, the Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne) as well as the First Johannesburg Biennale, Photo Kathmandu (Nepal) and in ‘Now! Now!’ at Chelsea College of Art (presented by Iniva and BAM).

Mohini has received awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Autograph ABP, the Arts Council England, the British Council, the Australia Council for the Artsand Asialink. Recent projects made in the Pacific region and in India have been exhibited at the Third Oceanic Performance Biennial (Auckland) and in the Biennial Focus Festival of Photography (Mumbai). She has recently been awarded an Australia Council funded Cite Residency in Paris to research the Asia-Pacific collections of the Musée du quai Branly and will exhibit at the next international Houston Foto Fest Biennale in 2018.

For Mohini, the combination of photography, found and archival material, moving image, sound and other installation media enables the visual expression of personal experience and a ‘mapping’ of alternate narratives within the complex conditions of globalisation. Her research encompasses both thinking and making around photography through a range of curatorial, writing and publishing projects. Her recent article Plane Views was published by Taylor and Francis in the Journal of Photography & Culture, while artist publications include the photobook ‘album pacifica’, published by Autograph (ABP).

Her work is held in international collections including the Arts Council Collection UK and included in major survey publications such as Phaidon’s Art and Photography by David Campany. With a PhD from the Royal College of Art, and with extensive undergraduate and postgraduate teaching experience both in the UK and abroad, Mohini has a depth of experience in successfully integrating research and professional experience into the academic and studio-based learning environment.

Associate Professor Paul Fieldsend-Danks

Associate Professor Paul Fieldsend-Danks

Academic Dean with strategic academic leadership of the School of Arts + Media, and School of Design + Communication.

As Academic Dean, Paul leads the undergraduate and postgraduate portfolios across both Schools, and is a member of the College’s Senior Leadership Team. In addition, Paul contributes to the development of an emerging research culture at the College. His own research includes both practice-based and pedagogic strands of enquiry, relating primarily to the production of and consideration for, artefacts within an expanded field of contemporary drawing practice; and to the discourses that inform new perspectives on collaboration and interdisciplinary learning in and through art and design higher education.

His studio practice is largely concerned with landscape and place-oriented practice, and the materiality of drawing, with his work exhibited in a wide range of related projects including, most recently: Imagined Landscapes, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol (2016); Anonymous Drawings 2015, Galerie Nord Berlin Germany (touring 2015-16: Galerie ARTQ13 Rome Italy/ Galerie GEYSO20, Braunschweig, Germany); Drawology, Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham (2013) and Lanchester Gallery, Coventry (2014). Paul has exhibited in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and Australia, and has work in both public and private collections.

Paul is currently on the editorial board for Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice published by intellectbooks, and a co-editor of the international peer-reviewed drawing research journal Tracey, published by Loughborough University. He was a co-director of Tracey between 2011-2014. Recent research has been published and presented in academic journals and international conferences including: The Journal of Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education; Tracey Drawing and Visualisation Research Journal; ‘Exploring Territories: The Changing Landscape of Art & Design Higher Education’, GLAD Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University; ‘Arts Without Borders’ (conference), Helsinki University of the Arts, Finland; ‘ENACT: Learning in/through the Arts’, 7th ELIA (The European League of Institutes of the Arts) Teachers’ Academy, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Dr Stephen Felmingham

Dr Stephen Felmingham

Stephen Felmingham is an artist and educator and has lectured extensively in drawing, painting, print and contemporary art practice on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the UK, including University College Falmouth, Norwich University College of the Arts and Leeds College of Art. He studied at Middlesex University and the University of the Arts London (Wimbledon) where he completed an MA in Drawing in 1999.

He was nominated a member of the LAND2 Research Network in 2009, was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in the same year and was a finalist in the Celeste Art Prize, New York, in 2010. He speaks regularly both on drawing and art and design pedagogy and his work is represented in collections nationally and internationally and he has exhibited widely in the UK and in Europe.

Stephen exhibited The Violet Club in The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art in 2014, a body of work made in response to the Cold War bunkers of the Royal Observer Corps that still exist, abandoned, across the UK.

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Student Work

Launching in Sept 2021

BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Students Say

Launching in Sept 2021

BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Careers & Alumni

Launching in Sept 2021

Professional practice is embedded within all of our programmes.  Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop the key professional, transferable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially work in partnership with other sectors locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining industry experience, the acquisition of professional skills has been written into the programmes of study by our staff teams, who have ‘real world’ experience. They are also supported by our Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

After graduation, you’ll be fully prepared to enter the diverse arts and culture sector, working in a myriad of roles including; museums, curation, heritage and arts management, or alternatively specialise further in postgraduate research.

Graduates can become: 

  • Art Critics
  • Art Preservation Specialists
  • Curators
  • Event Producers
  • Heritage and Arts Managers
  • Journalists
  • Museum Professionals

Recent industry contributors to the College include:

  • The Box
  • Spike Island, Bristol
  • Museum of Witchcraft, Boscastle
  • Bill Douglas Museum, Exeter
  • V&A Museum London
  • Tate Modern

BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Entry Requirements

Launching in Sept 2021

BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Resources

Launching in Sept 2021

You will be taught by our team of highly experienced academic staff, all of whom are active makers and researchers in critical and cultural practice.

You will benefit from their knowledge and experience of professional practice and they will encourage you to explore and test materials, concepts, media and audiences.

The college also has a wide range of outstanding art, design and media facilities including: drawing studio; workshops for fine art printmaking, ceramics, glass, wood and plastics; the Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre; open access computer suites; and a well stocked library.

You’ll also have access to Fab Lab Plymouth, a digital ‘fabrication laboratory’ based in the heart of our Plymouth city centre campus.

Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are focused on employability and developing creative opportunities for students.

Facilities at the college include:

Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Ceramics and Glass Workshops

With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, 10 potters wheels, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, a plaster room for mould making, 16 kilns, a well-stocked glaze mixing area and individual studio space, our Ceramics and Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor, rivalling any art school around the country.

Our Life Drawing Studio.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Fashion Studios

This large professional studio offers a real-life fashion experience in a fabulous space with sea views. Specialist industrial and domestic sewing machines, a range of knitting machines and a wide stock of fabrics and knitting yarns sit alongside a media and marketing Mac suite, a fully operational CAD cutting facility, and a library of designer garments to inspire.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Our Textile Studios.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best printed textile workshops in the UK.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

Our Digital Print Bureau offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. Our highly experienced Equipment Resource Centre staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Our Photographic cove.

Our Fine Art Printmaking Studio.

BA (Hons) Museum Studies — Interview

Launching in Sept 2021