The Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies courses at Deakin University encourage a holistic approach, aimed at developing skills in protecting the significant elements of cultural heritage - objects, places and intangibles - and making them accessible to the public.
We focus especially on historic places, intangible heritage and museums and their collections. We regard Indigenous heritages as foundational in culture, and therefore refer to and study them throughout the curriculum. We take a transnational interest in all museum and heritage issues.
The courses are designed for Australian and international
students wanting to work in the museum and built
heritage sectors. As well as offering personal enrichment,
graduates obtain a postgraduate qualification that will
assist with professional or academic advancement.
Our graduates work as practitioners in heritage institutions, government
agencies, museums, galleries, private corporations, community organisations,
and private practice. Their work may be in fields such as anthropology,
archaeology, architecture, art, building, curatorship, education, engineering,
environmental and planning law, facilities and asset management, history,
museums, resources management, science, or urban and regional planning.
The specialist teaching staff reflects the interdisciplinary nature of heritage practice, and each member has a strong connection with heritage practice both within Australia and abroad. Staff members are also active in researching tangible and intangible dimensions of heritage in Australia and internationally; and, in addition to teaching the coursework programs listed here, they supervise higher degree by research students studying for doctorates.
About the Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies academic staff
The Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies courses are actively connected with current practice in the heritage sector, through:
- Academic Advisory Board: The current committee began its work in 2010.
- Guest lecturers: Guest lecturers in the on-campus and online environments come from museums of all types: art, history and science; heritage agencies in government and site management; and consultancy.
- Student work experience: Internships that provide a minimum of 10 days practical experience are part of unit AIM717. Students are also encouraged to develop their experience through volunteer postings. Museums and heritage agencies with work (paid and unpaid) opportunities for students often contact the Course Director to invite student participation. Such opportunities are circulated by email to all students. Internship news
- Site visits and field trips: Excursions to relevant locations are part of the on-campus program.
Off-campus students are welcome to participate if able to join the group in Melbourne, and providing that the host museum can accommodate the size of the group.
- International field schools and study tours: Opportunities arise from time to time to hold international field schools to work on particular projects. In 2006, a student party worked on collections of Lao revolutionary history at ViengXai Caves; in 2007, students shared a Thai-Australian exchange considering WW2 historical commemoration in both nations, with a second group participating in 2009. Study tours on history, heritage and culture have been held in Vietnam, Cambodia and China in several years.
Roslyn Lawry Award
This award recognises excellence in the Master's program, and commemorates the life of an outstanding student and graduate, Roslyn Lawry (1962-1987). Recipients of the award
receive a substantial cheque to assist a professional development project, and a certificate. Donations to the award fund are welcome at any time.
Staff may provide the following support to graduates of the Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies courses:
- Advice on further professional development with career planning - by phone, email or in person
- References - to assist with job applications Museum studies staff can often act as referee for a graduate.
- offered full or part time
- offered on or off campus
- intakes in Trimester 1, 2 and 3
For more information about course structure, course fees, units of study, how to apply, Credit for Prior Learning, course entry requirements, visit:
Why Choose Deakin University?
Deakin's courses in cultural heritage and museum studies cover the key issues,
concepts and knowledge required by professionals working in the area of heritage
conservation, access, interpretation and management. Units of study are constantly
reviewed to maintain professional relevance, and materials in study guides, online
folders and related teaching media are informed by practical experience and the
ongoing involvement of staff in cultural heritage research.
We know that postgraduate study is a big commitment. Deakin's postgraduate
program is genuinely flexible to help you fit your studies in with workplace and
personal commitments. This means you can study part-time, fulltime,
off campus, on campus or online - and to adapt the way you study to suit your
changing needs. Regardless of where you live, resources can be posted to off-campus
students, or accessed electronically.
At Deakin we are deeply committed to providing quality postgraduate courses for people working or aspiring to work in cultural heritage fields, museums, galleries, heritage sites, agencies and related policy areas, as well as cultural tourism. A quality focus is reflected in the high standard of study materials, and in teaching staff who are locally and internationally recognised leaders in their work with UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation), ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), ICOM (International Council of Museums), Heritage Council of Victoria and universities worldwide. In the 2010 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation, our group received a grading of 4 (out of 5): "at or above international standing".
The Deakin library contains one of the foremost collections in the field of cultural heritage and museum studies in Australia. With years of supporting off-campus students, our library service is among the best in the world, setting a standard for Australian universities
As a Deakin postgraduate student, you will become part of a network of researchers,
academics, practitioners and alumni. You will have access to Deakin's specialist
research centre, the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (CHCAP)
, and can
establish long-term contacts with the people who are shaping and influencing all
levels of your professional area. CHCAP houses the Australian ICOMOS Secretariat and
is an Executive Committee member of the Asian Academy of Heritage Management.
Site visits and international experience
Students in these courses are encouraged to gain practical experience. Relevant
opportunities include work placements, in-country study tours, local and
On-campus class groups visit a variety of heritage sites and museums in
Melbourne and surrounds, and staff may be able to assist students in gaining
placements after graduation. Opportunities to work on heritage projects in SE Asia arise occasionally, and are circulated to all students.