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Museum Studies Masters Programs - which is better?

I'm a 2020 history of art graduate from the University of Edinburgh and I have planned to come back post-pandemic to get a Masters in Museum Studies (I'm from California). I was very lucky and received an offer to all four places I applied to. I got into the University of St Andrews, Leicester, Birmingham, and Glasgow. I picked these four because there were things that stood out in my mind for each (St Andrews = prestige, Leicester = great program, Birmingham = almost went for my undergrad, Glasgow = great city life and a good program overall). Is it worth giving up the latter three options so I can have the prestige of St Andrews? Or is Leicester really as good of a program as people say? Is Glasgow a better happy medium? My main priority is getting a degree that will lead to employment. I dread graduating in debt with a degree that doesn't amount to anything!
I havent studied at either, so this is just my person opinion :smile:

It seems like St. Andrews has a great program in Museum Studies, especially in terms of future employment. It seems to be quite broad, rather than very specific, and you will therefore have the qualifications to choose from a wider range of jobs. St. Andrews is quite prestigious as you mentioned, and it will definitely stand out on your resume more than the other universities will. It consistently ranks among the top UK universities, and it has a great reputation for courses related to art and history. It also has a great international reputation, in case you plan on working outside the UK :smile: In my experience, employers tend to look more at the university you studied at than the program in question, at least generally speaking, but I dont know what that is like for your field.

Regardless, they all seem to have great Museum Studies programs from what I can tell. I just know (as a fellow international student who have lived in the US and all over Europe) that St. Andrews has the best overall reputation internationally and it seems to impress employers more :smile:

If I were you I would probably think about what kind of jobs I would like for the future, and then look at the various courses offered within the department at each university. See which ones resonate more with you and your ideal career :smile: Also, you should definitely go with your gut feeling. I chose a university solely based on location, but it didnt feel right at all, so I ended up withdrawing my decision. I instead decided to follow my gut and accepted another offer from a different university that seemed to have the best academic reputation and community, and that decision definitely felt right for me.

From the 15 minutes of research I did, St. Andrews definitely looks like the best option in terms of program, but I am not an expert. I can for a fact say that it is a great university though. Good luck!
I do a more archaeological course, but I will say that, by word of mouth, Leicester is extremely well regarded in the industry.
Reply 3
Original post by Sandtrooper
I do a more archaeological course, but I will say that, by word of mouth, Leicester is extremely well regarded in the industry.

Yeah, when I started applying to Masters programs I saw that Leicester popped up a lot on student room chats as good for museum studies. I just worry how that will translate to job applications, where I have to simply put it down on paper without much further explanation.
Reply 4
Thank you for this perspective! I know in the US St Andrews is fairly recognized, because even my family and friends knew about it before I started applying, but it's hard to tell if that recognition also comes with a level of respect. As I went to Edinburgh, St Andrews' big competitor, I mostly have just heard crap being talked about St Andrews for the last four years :biggrin: It's good to hear that this reputation goes beyond the UK and into the international community! I'm opening to living literally anywhere so it's good that St Andrews could be recognized in a variety of environments.
Reply 5
I've asked a friend who worked at the British Museum and she said that Leicester is the most renowned for Museum Studies and its world- class. She also said that St Andrews is great as well. When it comes to the other two it depends on when you want to settle in afterwards.
Reply 6
Hello! I'm not sure what TSR's policies on necroposting are but I thought I'd check in because I'm facing a similar conundrum trying to decide between Glasgow and Leicester. I know Leicester's definitely got the better programme, but Glasgow seems internationally better-ranked + a bigger, more interesting city overall. I was just wondering which one you ended up going with?

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