How sustainable are our cultural spaces?

Join us online and explore the possibilities for museums in a sustainably minded future.

Come together with other professionals in the field to grow your experience and confidence in this important part of contemporary practice.

  • Learn to deal with some of the most difficult topics and issues we face today.
  • Examine sustainability challenges from every angle – from exhibitions and objects to finance and technologies.
  • Put ecologically responsible and socially conscious practice at the top of your agenda.

Who is this online museum studies course for?

This distance-learning course is ideal if you’re an established or emerging professional or early-career practitioner looking to:

  • increase your understanding of sustainability in the museum sector
  • access postgraduate training without committing to the time and cost of a Masters degree
  • open up opportunities for networking and professional development.

What you’ll study

You’ll study topics including:

  • Museums, sustainability and the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Important terms and philosophies of sustainability
  • A brief history of sustainable museum practice and principles
  • Policy, politics, and the sustainable museum
  • Museums and sustainability activism
  • Museums and sustainable technologies, buildings, exhibitions, objects, finances, and people.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to...

  • Describe the UNESCO SDGs and how they apply to museums.
  • Debate philosophies and approaches to sustainable practice.
  • Assess the sustainability of museum institutions.
  • Design sustainable solutions for museum institutions.
  • Discuss important issues in museums and sustainability practice.

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance learning Museums and Sustainable Futures course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world, with no need for a study visa, and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at Masters level.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • videos and video lectures to stream or download
  • podcasts
  • online tutorials
  • projects
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Access to Special Collections

You’ll be given access to the online catalogues of our Special Collections and Museums. You’ll also have access to material from our museum staff, including policy documents.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from experienced tutors from our School of Social Science.

Your main tutor will be Dr Jen Walklate, a Lecturer and Curatorial Fellow in Museum Studies. She’s been working in the field since 2005, professionally and academically. Jen’s research focuses on the experience and ethics of spatial and temporal design in museums, carnivalesque practice, anxiety and unease.

Your course coordinator

Where this will take you


You’ll add sought-after experience and understanding of museum sustainability to your CV with this course. This is an important area of work in the field.

You’ll acquire new skills, confidence, and expertise that will help you to progress in or towards a career in the:

  • museum
  • heritage, or
  • cultural sector.

You’ll also gain experience in studying at Masters level, and strengthen your presentation and research skills.

Professional development for the museum sector

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for continuing professional development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Build your learning

Take your expertise in museum studies further and earn more postgraduate credits with our related online course:

Entry requirements

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level of teaching, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject including, but not limited to: anthropology, history, art history, media studies, cultural studies, digital heritage, archaeology, geography, environmental sciences, biology, ecology or science communication, or
  • alternative equivalent qualifications, or
  • substantive work experience within the sector.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 September 2023
Added to your wishlist