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Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies

Postgraduate coursework

Develop the knowledge, research skills and practical experience to make a difference in the cultural heritage sector. Be ready for a broad range of roles.

Domestic International

Domestic student information

Key facts

Duration

The time and cost could be reduced based on your previous qualifications and professional experience. This means you can fast track the masters degree from 1.5 years down to 1 year duration. See entry requirements below for more information. 

Key dates

Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 2 2024 close 23 June 2024

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

The Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies allows you to specialise in the areas you want to take your career into. You’ll develop the knowledge, research skills and practical experience to make a difference in the way we engage with our past.

Do you have a passion for the past and how it impacts the present?

Cultural heritage and museum studies at Deakin is the largest and longest running program of its kind in Australia, with over 40-years of experience. All units are developed and taught by leading academics with industry experience.

Whether you want to create exhibitions, manage a museum or heritage site, safeguard Indigenous cultural heritage, support the conservation of intangible cultural heritage or protect and interpret significant objects, buildings, sites and landscapes, you will have the ability to tailor your studies to these disciplines throughout your masters.

During your studies, you will explore traditions and living examples of culture, and focus on current social, environmental and political concerns.

The core units you will study are built around these categories and include:

  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Sustainability and Human Rights in Heritage and Museums
  • Research Design

You’ll also choose up to four elective units based on your interests and use them to form a specialisation in Collections and Curatorship or Heritage Practice. A specialisation isn’t compulsory but can signal to potential employers the type of career you want and your professional interests.

Work-integrated learning is featured throughout the masters, including the Applied Heritage Project unit, which offers a week-long study intensive at sites like Port Arthur. You can also choose to complete an internship unit where you will undertake a professional work placement within a host organisation in Australia or overseas. This experience helps you to develop the skills you need, whether changing or progressing your career, gain industry knowledge and extend your professional networks.

For the opportunity to expand your networks further and graduate with a two Masters degree, you might want to consider applying for our dual award in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies and World Heritage Studies. Deakin partners with Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) in Cottbus-Seftenberg, Germany, to deliver a dual-award program where you will graduate with BTU’s Master of World Heritage alongside your Deakin masters degree, highlighting the global reputation of our course. This competitive entry dual award opens overseas study opportunities and valuable professional experience.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies
Year

2024 course information

Deakin code
A768
Level
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9

Course structure

To qualify for the award of Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, a student must successfully complete 8 or 12 credit points (depending upon entry point) as follows:

    • 2 credit points of compulsory core units
    • Academic Integrity Module DAI001
    • Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit)
    • 6 or 10 credit points of study (depending upon entry point) from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper, or Professional Experience Pathways. Course Elective units may be used to form a Specialisation.*

*course electives may be used to form a specialisation in either Collections and Curatorship or Heritage Practice of 4 credit points

Core units

  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Sustainability and Human Rights in Heritage and Museums
  • Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit)
  • Course Electives*

  • Research Design
  • Heritage Practice: Conservation and Managing Change
  • Heritage Practice: Fundamentals
  • World Heritage
  • Digital Interpretation
  • Cultural Heritage and Museum Practice
  • Managing Collections
  • Developing Exhibitions
  • Applied Heritage Project
  • Museums, Heritage and Society
  • Internship A
  • * choice of elective units may be used to form a specialisation, students who have previously completed any of these units within the Graduate Certificate of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies are required to substitute with an alternate unit from the course elective list

    2 credit points of the electives may be selected from other Deakin postgraduate units with the approval of the course director.

    Pathways

    Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway

  • Research Design
  • Plus 2 credit points of research units:

  • Minor Thesis A
  • Minor Thesis B
  • Plus 3 or 7 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the specialisations and/or course electives

    Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^

  • Research Paper
  • Plus 5 or 9 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the specialisations and/or course electives

    Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^

  • Internship Capstone (2 credit points)
  • Plus 4 or 8 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the specialisations and/or course electives

    ^ The Research Paper and Professional Experience options are not PhD Pathways.

    Specialisations

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.

    Participation requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Work experience

    Elective units may provide the opportunity for Work Integrated Learning experiences.

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    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Depending on your professional experience and previous qualifications, you may commence this course with admission credit and complete your course in 1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent).

    Academic requirements

    1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent) – 8 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (with 4 credit points of admission credit applied^*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)
    • completion of a bachelor honours degree in a related discipline
    • completion of a graduate certificate or graduate diploma or higher in a related discipline

    1.5 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) - 12 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (without admission credit applied*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline
    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    ^Recognition of prior learning into the Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies) may be granted to students who have successfully completed appropriate Postgraduate level studies. Related disciplines which may be considered include: Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Art History, Cultural Geography, Cultural Studies, History, Indigenous Studies, Landscape Planning, Museum Studies, Natural and Cultural resource management, Sociology.

    Relevant work experience which may be considered include: Heritage officer, Heritage consultant, Heritage site, Museum or Art gallery manager, director, Interpretation officer, Registrar, Curator, Public programs officer, Education officer, Researcher (relevant to the sector), Project officer (relevant to the sector), Archaeologist, Architect, Arts Development officer

    *Recognition of prior learning

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning. 

    You can refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.  The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.  

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.  Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    FEE-HELP calculator

    What is FEE-HELP?

    FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $51,550.

    Please note: fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and based on 2024 rates. Actual fees may vary. We advise confirming fees with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

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    • $* is the estimated full cost for a Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies (12 credit points), based on the 2024 fees.
    • is the annual FEE-HELP payment, based on your current salary
    • of your current salary be spent on FEE-HELP

    *Disclaimer

    Deakin University (Deakin):

    • gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
    • advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
    • instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.

    Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:

    • does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
    • does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
    • assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
    • assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
    • assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
    • where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

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    Research Information

    Students will complete a research pathway in 1 of the 3 following options:

    • Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway
    • Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^
    • Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^.

    Entry pathways

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.

    Careers

    Career outcomes

    By researching the past, you will be contributing to making it accessible in the present – leading to stronger community engagement and a deeper understanding of how cultures have come to be. More than ever, society is wanting to gain a better understanding of the past and to create positive change in the present – something you can be a part of with the expertise you will develop.

    Opening a broad range of roles both locally and abroad, your future roles could include:

    • heritage officer
    • heritage site or museum manager/director
    • interpretation officer
    • registrar
    • curator
    • public programs officer
    • exhibition officer
    • researcher
    • project officer.

    Completion of the course can be used as a pathway to PhD through research training and a two-credit point research minor thesis.

    The graduate certificate and graduate diploma elements of the cultural heritage and museum studies suite are possible early exits, both giving you a solid foundation of knowledge to confidently apply for entry-level roles.

    For more information go to DeakinTALENT

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

    Research and critically reflect on the diverse tangible and intangible manifestations of social memory as expressed in places and sites, objects, traditional practices and beliefs on a personal and collective level and evaluate different conceptual and practical approaches to its identification, collection, conservation, interpretation, display, management and use.

    Communication

    Effectively communicate the findings and analysis of cultural heritage and museum studies concepts, theories and applied knowledge, in written, digital and oral formats to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

    Digital literacy

    Use a range of generic and specialist cultural heritage and museum studies digital technologies and information sources to research, select, analyse, employ, evaluate, and disseminate technical and non-technical information and research outcomes.

    Critical thinking

    Critically reflect on, research, analyse, evaluate and synthesise key concepts in the identification, collection, conservation, display, interpretation, management, and use of cultural heritage.

    Apply expert knowledge of, and, technical and creative skills in cultural heritage to evaluate issues and problems in professional practice and scholarship.

    Problem solving

    Apply expert knowledge to critically analyse, and develop innovative and creative solutions to real-world and ill-defined problems or issues in the identification, collection, conservation, display, interpretation, management and use of cultural heritage.

    Self-management

    Apply knowledge and skills in creative ways to new situations in professional practice and/or further learning in the field of cultural heritage and museum studies with adaptability, autonomy, responsibility and personal accountability for actions as a critically self-reflexive practitioner and learner.

    Teamwork

    Apply the principles of effective team work as a reflective team member and/or leader of diverse cultural heritage and museum teams in order to support the team in achieving designated goals.

    Global citizenship

    Analyse and address cultural heritage issues in the domestic, regional and global context as a critically reflexive scholar and practitioner, taking into consideration cultural and socio-economic diversity, social and environmental responsibility and the application of the highest ethical standards.

    Approved by Faculty Board 2020