Museum and Heritage Studies

Accelerate your career in Museums, galleries and heritage
We examine how meaning is constructed in museums and at heritage sites through material objects, cultural practices, events and performances.

We examine how meaning is constructed in museums and heritage sites. Our Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters degrees provide students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to think critically and creatively: interrogating how objects and heritage are managed, conserved and made accessible. Individual subjects offer opportunities to dive deeper into how audiences engage with museums and heritage sites, through memorialisation, exhibitions, public programs, digital experiences and culturally driven development around the world.

The program has strong connections to cultural institutions and heritage organisations across the country. It takes advantage of the world class museums on campus, including the Chau Chak Wing Museum, to provide opportunities for students to develop professional skills. 

The Masters degree is open to students from a range of undergraduate disciplines including Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Classics and Ancient History, Cultural Geography, Cultural Studies, Education, English, Gender Studies, History, Indigenous Studies. Students from outside of these disciplines can also apply if they meet the required equivalent skills and knowledge base. Any student with a sound undergraduate academic record can enter the Graduate Certificate, regardless of discipline.

Join us at the forefront of museum and heritage training and research to further your career in the cultural sector.

Our study offering

The Museum and Heritage Studies Program at Sydney equips you with professional knowledge and practical skills to excel in the field. We offer three coursework options, all of which enhance opportunities for employment in museums and the growing area of local and global heritage. We offer three coursework options, all of which enhance opportunities for employment in museums and the growing area of local and global heritage.

* The three degrees are nested, meaning that you can upgrade from a Graduate Certificate and work towards a Masters. It is possible to transfer between courses to upgrade or downgrade your coursework options. For example, the Graduate Certificate can be completed independently or taken as a progressive step towards the Masters of Museum and Heritage Studies.

Only the Master’s degree offers a capstone (a compulsory project) with a choice of professional and research tracks.

Individual application can also be made to extend your study beyond coursework to undertake Postgraduate research.   

Professional placements are a vital part of the Masters degree and Graduate Diploma, offering students an authentic, for credit, internship at a museum or heritage organisation. Internships have taken place at a range of partners including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Australian Museum, the Australian National Maritime Museum, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, the  Powerhouse Museum and Museums of History NSW . In addition, the program fosters strong connections with academic and professional networks such as the International Council of Museums  (ICOM), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA) and Museums and Galleries of NSW.


Photo © Nicholas Watt for Sydney Living Museums

Course Director

Dr Chiara O'Reilly