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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Does a museum studies degree help you get a job in museums?

By Jack Ashby, on 16 October 2014

Despite the levels of pay and instability of the jobs at the lower rungs (at least) of this particular career ladder, working in the museum sector is incredibly competitive.

As a result, aspiring museum workers often face the question of how to position themselves as the strongest candidate in the pool. Should they take the plunge and stump up thousands of pounds to do a Museum Studies masters degree? It’s worth taking a second to consider that even being able to ask that question is a non-starter for the majority of people, who can’t afford it. Those people shouldn’t be excluded for the museum sector.

A real live collections management job requiring a Museum Studies Masters

A real live collections management job requiring a Museum Studies Masters

The Grant Museum Curator Mark Carnall (who has a Museum Studies degree) gave his opinion on this last year, and I thought I should offer my own personal perspective, as someone in a reasonably senior museum role who doesn’t have this degree.

For me, there are very few circumstances when I would recommend someone did a Museum Studies degree. Obviously I am biased by own own experience, and so this is my own personal take on things. (more…)

The Intrigues of Interning

By Edmund Connolly, on 20 September 2012

guest blogger: Elyse Bailey (Intern at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology)

Usually when the name “Intern” comes to mind, most people think of a young, determined student looking for future connections, more experience in their field of study, and a resume booster. That dreamy description is typically ruined by the thought that this brilliant student is stuck running dull errands, like coffee runs and standing by a photocopier for hours wondering why the clock isn’t going any faster. Even though I have only been with the Petrie Museum for 3-4 weeks, I still have yet to run into any horrifying experiences and hopefully I won’t, but you never know. The jobs that I have helped with thus far have been fairly relaxed tasks, but they’ve kept me quite busy. I’ve been assigned responsibilities from helping set up for a night event to copying the written archives into a word document. Nothing has taken me by surprise and nothing has been super overwhelming. But, what’s great about being assigned these tasks is that I feel like I’m getting the bigger picture as to how a museum operates and what people need to do in order to keep it standing. If I have learned anything so far, it’s that I really underestimated the skill set that people need in order to work at a museum.

Flinders Petrie, a face I am now quite used to!