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Museum Studies in Australia

Macquarie University Australia

The Division of Environmental and Life Sciences offers an degree program of study as a combined BSc with a BA in Natural History, Cultural and Museum Studies.

The program combines a scientific and arts education with added undergraduate experience in museum studies and exposure to museum practice. The 4-year program of study leading to a BSc with BA is offered in specialty areas of particular interest to most national, state and regional museums and for which Macquarie has a high reputation: Australian history, ancient history, archaeology, palaeontology, biology, geology, heritage, early childhood studies and indigenous studies. No university within Australia offers such an undergraduate program. This interdisciplinary degree is designed to:

  1. enable students to qualify with coherencies (majors) in at least three segments of study, i.e. palaeontology, history, human geography, indigenous studies, early childhood studies, biology or geology, and
  2. provide students with a modern background for the field of Museum Studies.

To qualify for the interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science with Bachelor of Arts in Natural History, Cultural and Museum Studies, students must include in their program a number of common core units:

  • A 100-level computing unit or equivalent
  • ELS202 Information Management and Museum Practice
  • HIST309 History, Culture and Museum Studies

The compulsory units introduce students to information technology management issues in the twenty-first century. These issues are applied through a focus the knowledge of the science and technology utilized by museums. The units also explore ethical, legal, aesthetic and economic issues of relevance to museum collection management and associated museum programs. ELS202 also provides practical experience in museum practice.

Students must complete a coherency in Palaeontology (Science) plus two more of the listed coherencies; at least one of which must be an Arts coherency (i.e. additional to the Palaeontology coherency you may choose 2 Arts coherencies, or one Arts and one Science coherency:

  • Ancient Mediterranean Cultures (Arts),
  • Biology (Science)
  • Australian History (Arts)
  • Geology (Science)
  • Indigenous Studies (Arts)
  • Environmental and Cultural Geography (Arts),
  • Early Childhood Studies (Arts)

    Note: Other coherencies for the program are presently under negotiation.
    For details of the units included in the coherencies, visit the web at
    http: //


Qualified students may undertake a fifth year to obtain the degree of Bachelor of Science with Bachelor of Arts in Natural History, Cultural and Museum Studies (Honours). Students in the Honours program will undertake a research project in the Department of their choice: History, Human Geography, Biology, Education, Earth and Planetary Sciences or Indigenous Studies. In conjunction with a museum (on campus or externally) students will create an exhibit or display (static or digital) on the topic researched, or instigate another significant museum-based program commensurate with their research focus. In addition, up to 8 credit points of relevant units may be completed.

Students who have already completed an appropriate BA or BSc undergraduate program of studies either at Macquarie or another university will be considered for enrolment in an Honours in Museum Studies.


Higher degree studies include MSc (2-3 years) and PhD (3-5 years) research programs, A Graduate Diploma in Museums Studies (1 year) and a Masters in Museum Studies (1.5 years). It is also possible for international students to include one or two semesters of the Masters in Museums Studies in an MSc they may be undertaking at their home university. Professional Doctorates in Museum Studies are being negotiated.

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Telephone: 61 2 9850 7111


Postal address:

Macquarie University

Sydney, NSW 2109



A/Prof Ruth Mawson

Telephone: 61 2 9850 8336

Fax: 61 2 9850 6053

Dr Andrew Simpson

Environmental and Life Sciences

Macquarie University

NSW, 2109

Telephone: 61 2 9850 8183


Freecall in Australia:

1800 1818 28

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General Enquiries:

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Fax: 61 2 9850 7733


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Macquarie International

Macquarie University

New South Wales, 2109