Museum and Heritage Studies

Our Museum and Heritage Studies programme is the leading programme for museum and heritage research, postgraduate courses, and supervision in New Zealand.

Two students wearing white gloves examine an ancient object in the Classics Museum

Museum and Heritage Studies offers a range of flexible qualifications and courses, which balance taught classes and work experience, academic research and professional skills. You will acquire a broad grasp of this interdisciplinary field which combines history, theory, and practice with opportunities for independent research and workplace projects.

Situated in Wellington, this programme has strong relationships with national organisations such as Te Papa, the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, Heritage New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, Museums Aotearoa, and Creative New Zealand as well as with many smaller regional museums, art galleries, archives and other heritage organisations. Museum and Heritage Studies is staffed by two full time academics backed up by a group of highly qualified professionals drawn from the sector who have extensive input into the programme.


The qualifications offered within Museum and Heritage Studies are part of a tiered family, with each one counting towards the next step. This lets you choose the qualification that best suits your current situation and build on this later, should you wish.

Postgraduate Certificate in Museum and Heritage Practice

The Certificate consists of two core courses and is the ideal introduction to the Museum and Heritage sector.

Postgraduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Practice

The Diploma consists of four courses, comprising an introductory course, practicum and a further 60 points. It provides a flexible qualification for working professionals or graduate students seeking a career in the field.

Master of Museum and Heritage Practice (MMHP)

A postgraduate degree requiring four courses, plus an internship or project, and essay. The unique combination of theoretical and applied study at an advanced level prepares graduates for a career in museums, art galleries and a range of cultural and natural heritage organisations in New Zealand.

Master of Arts in Museum and Heritage Studies

The option to do a Master of Arts (MA) by thesis is also available if you want to focus on independent research. You may first need to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Practice. While completing the Diploma, you are best to do MHST 513 Research Methods as one of your chosen courses to help you develop your research skills and pick a thesis topic.

PhD in Museum and Heritage Studies

You normally need to have done an MA by thesis to apply to do a PhD. If you've done an MMHP, you can talk to the programme director to find out what extra study you'll need to do to qualify. Learn more about doing a PhD in the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.