Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies (Professional)

Postgraduate coursework

Make a difference in the cultural heritage sector by developing your knowledge and research skills. Specialise in the areas you want to take your career.

Domestic International

International student information

Key facts


2 years full-time or 4 years part-time (16 credit points)

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 (Professional) allows you to specialise in the areas you want to take your career. You’ll develop the knowledge, research skills and practical experience to make a difference in the way communities engage with the past.

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

Cultural heritage and museum studies has been taught at Deakin for over
40-years, making it the largest and longest running program of its kind in Australia. 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 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 degree.

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 themes and include:

  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • World Heritage
  • Digital Interpretation
  • Sustainability and Human Rights in Heritage and Museums
  • Museums, Heritage and Society
  • 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 the World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site in Tasmania. You can also choose to complete an internship unit where you will undertake a professional work placement with a host organisation in Australia or overseas. This experience will help you develop the skills you need, whether you’re changing or progressing your career, gain industry knowledge, and extend your professional network.

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.

Read More

Course information

Award granted
Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies (Professional)

2024 course information

Deakin code
CRICOS code?
102878H Burwood (Melbourne)
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

The Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies (Professional) is 16 credit points.

To qualify for the award of Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies (Professional) a student must successfully complete 16 credits as follows:

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


Core units


Research pathway and Elective units


Total units

Core units

  • World Heritage
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Digital Interpretation
  • Sustainability and Human Rights in Heritage and Museums
  • Museums, Heritage and Society
  • Applied Heritage Project *
  • Internship A
  • Academic Integrity Module
  • Academic Integrity (0-credit-point compulsory unit)

    *Trimester 3 study required

    Course Electives

  • Heritage Practice: Conservation and Managing Change
  • Heritage Practice: Fundamentals
  • Cultural Heritage and Museum Practice
  • Managing Collections
  • Developing Exhibitions
  • Research Design
  • 3 credit points of the electives may be selected from other Deakin postgraduate units with the approval of the course director.


    Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway

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

  • Minor Thesis A
  • Minor Thesis B
  • Plus 6 credit points chosen from course electives, including up to 3 open electives as agreed with the course director.

    Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^

  • Research Paper
  • Plus 8 credit points chosen from course electives, including up to 3 open electives as agreed with the course director.

    Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^

  • Internship Capstone (2 credit points)
  • Plus 7 credit points chosen from course electives, including up to 3 open electives as agreed with the course director.

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

    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.

    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.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline

    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

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for credit transfer. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your credit transfer. Your credit transfer is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

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

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    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 tuition fees.

    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

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    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^.


    Career outcomes

    By researching the past you will be contributing to making it more 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 seeking 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 a PhD through research training.

    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.
    Assess the role of cultural heritage in the context of modern organisations and society in order to add value


    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 within organisational and societal contexts to evaluate issues and problems in professional practice and scholarship

    Problem solving

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


    Apply critical reflection and use frameworks of self evaluation to develop independent judgment, adaptability and responsibility for expert professional practice and / or scholarship.


    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

    Engage ethically and professionally when working in a variety of cultural heritage and museum studies situations through concern for legal, economic, environmental and social risks both nationally and globally

    Approved by Faculty Board 2020