The Textile Conservation Centre

MA Museums & Galleries (1999-2009)

The MA Museums & Galleries was evolved from the MA Museum Studies: Culture, Collections & Communication was developed when the Textile Conservation Centre merged with the University of Southampton in 1998. This programme built on the Centre’s long-established interest in object-based research and practice in the museum and heritage sector.

The MA Museum Studies: Culture, Collections & Communication was designed as an integrated programme with the MA Textile Conservation and the MA History of Textile & Dress established by Barbara Burman and Dr Lesley Miller In 2005-2006, this was incorporated as a pathway within the MA Museums & Galleries alongside the other pathways Culture, Collections & Communication, Issues in Collection Management and Access and Learning. This suite of interdisciplinary programmes was designed to create an innovative environment in which individuals intending to enter the heritage profession, whether as curators, collection managers, conservators, educators or interpreters and researchers of culturally significant artefacts, could study together in a creative way. It proved to be highly successful, acting as a powerhouse for generating new ideas in the interpretation and preservation of material culture

The MA was developed following extensive consultation with leading professionals in the Sector and took into account recommendations of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Cultural Heritage National Training Organisation (CHNTO). It was recognised by formal validation by both CHNTO (2001) and the Museums Association (2002). Close links with regional and national heritage organisations, for example: Hampshire County Museums & Archives Service, The National Trust, Southampton City Art Gallery.

Richard Sandell, Director/Head of Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester , External Examiner for the museological pathways from 2004 commented in 2008:

‘The creativity and commitment of staff at the Textile Conservation Centre imbues the programme with currency, quality and relevance…. This programme continues to rank among the best.’

Christopher Breward, Head of the Research Department Victoria & Albert Museum, External Examiner for the History of Textiles & Dress pathway from 2007 noted:

‘The TCC Museums and Galleries programme exceeds national subject benchmarks and is a model of its kind in a field where opportunities to study the subject are shrinking … the TCC course offered an excellent grounding in the history of textiles and dress, Students have consistently achieved high levels of attainment in relation to their peers elsewhere - in the UK and internationally. This is also evidenced by the sound record of graduating students in achieving relevant posts, and in publishing their work’.

Over 170 students have studied on the programme since it began in 1999. Some have gone onto take PhDs or work in academic institutions. Many have gone on to develop careers in the sector, working as curators, educators, collections managers or managers or undertake internships at a range of institutions including: