Minor Museum Studies

Minor at Leuphana College

What are we collecting when we collect? What do we not exhibit? How do museological practices come to shape the understanding of the world we live in? The minor in Museum Studies at Leuphana answers such questions from multiple perspectives. It interweaves critical museology, transcultural art history, memory studies, provenance research, and concepts of cultural organization. It offers theoretical foundations for our contemporary and historical engagement with humanity’s tangible and intangible heritage. The program also provides insights into the practical aspects of this professional field through the involvement of museum and cultural heritage experts

The program addresses current challenges such as decolonization, restitution, memory, representation, participation, and accessibility, particularly evident in the museum sector. It is designed for students who are interested in museums as sites and agents of knowledge production, negotiation, and transformation and who want to learn about the role of culture in contemporary societies.

Whether it be museums, cultural organizations, exhibition spaces, galleries, private collections, memorial sites, or archival institutions – the cultural sector presents numerous career opportunities.

Unsettled Obejects, 1968/1969 ©Lothar Baumgarten
Lothar Baumgarten, Unsettled Objects, 1968/69, Slide projection, 81 35 mm slides, color, variable dimensions, Edition 3/5, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024, Photo: Axel Schneider

Studying Museum Studies

The BA minor in Museum Studies is the first of its kind in Germany to be taught entirely in English. Embedded in an international network, the minor is organized by professors with extensive experience in and with cultural institutions, including MARKK in Hamburg, Städel in Frankfurt, Brücke Museum in Berlin, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Among the instructors are professors Timon Beyes, Sven Kramer, Susanne Leeb, Lynn Rother, Beate Söntgen, and the incoming assistant professor for Transcultural Art History. Some seminars are organized at and with partners from the cultural heritage and exhibition sector, primarily in Berlin and Hamburg. 

The program focuses not only on art museums but also other kinds of museums and heritage sites. It takes a critical and interdisciplinary approach, which it shares with the Leuphana Cultural Studies program as a whole. The artistic project space, the Kunstraum, is an important and distinctive component of Leuphana University. It hosts numerous events and seminars within the Cultural Studies major and the Complementary Studies program, providing students the opportunity to collaborate with artists and curators. 

The English language minor in Museum Studies complements the new English language Culture, Organization and the Arts major, as well as the German language major in Cultural Studies (this major allows students to specialize in the following fields: Cultural and Social Theory; Art and Visual Culture; Cultural Organization and Society; Literary Cultures; Media Studies; Music and Auditive Cultures or the History of Knowledge elective), Studium Individuale, or a major in Economics, Business Administration,or Law

Course Content

In the minor, you first acquire the basis for understanding the multi-faceted relationship between different types of museums — e.g., ethnological, historical, natural history, fine arts — and the particular items they collect and exhibit. As places where cultural values are expressed, experienced, and negotiated, museums are pivotal for understanding cultural organization, a topic you will study in the third semester. Exhibitions play a central role in communicating culture and knowledge to various audiences and are, therefore, the subject of another more practice-oriented module. Theories, histories, and concepts related to the transcultural, to heritage and memory or to provenance and restitution complete the program to understand current challenges and discourses on museums, culture, and society.

Course Structure

The minor in Museum Studies is embedded in Leuphana’s interdisciplinary College study model made up of the  Leuphana Semester, a Major, and Complementary Studies. You start your Bachelor studies with the Leuphana Semester where you learn about the fundamentals of knowledge production and university life. The minor supplements your BA major. In Complementary Studies, you can pursue your thirst for knowledge through individualized study by immersing yourself in a different field of knowledge each semester.

Core Modules

Leuphana Semester

  • Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Humanities
  • Methods I
  • Methods II: Disciplinary Methods
  • Introduction to the Discipline (the content of your major)

2. Semester

  • Introducing Artifacts, Objects and Museums
  • 4 major modules
  • 1 Complementary Studies module

3. Semester

  • The Museum as Organization and Institution
  • 4 major modules
  • 1 Complementary Studies module

4. Semester

  • Concepts and Practices of Exhibiting
  • Theories and Practices of Memory and Heritage
  • 3 major modules
  • 1 Complementary Studies module

5. Semester

  • Transcultural Histories and Theories of Museums
  • Concepts and Practices of Collecting, Provenance and Restitution
  • 3 major modules
  • 1 Complementary Studies module

6. Semester

  • Bachelor dissertation
  • 1 major module
  • 2 Complementary Studies modules

Possible major Combinations

Business Information Systems (GER)
Cultural Studies (EN)
Cultural Studies (GER)
Digital Media (ENG)
Economics (ENG)
Engineering (GER)
Environmental Sciences (GER)
Global Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENG)
International Business Administration & Entrepreneurship (ENG)
Law (GER)
Political Science (GER)
Studium Individuale (ENG)

Profession and Career

The Bachelor’s degree represents a first professional qualification. Graduates can work in the following areas, for example: 

  • Curatorial, educational, communication, and similar departments in museums, memorial sites, or other cultural heritage and pedagogical institutions;
  • Foundations and NGOs with funding priorities and programs in the field of art and culture;
  • Media, press and publishers with a focus on cultural and humanities topics;
  • Art associations, auction houses, art galleries;
  • Cultural tourism offices or companies.

A completed Bachelor’s degree is also a prerequisite for admission to a Master’s degree. Graduates with a BA Museum Studies minor will be eligible for MA programs in Museum Studies and Cultural Studies as well as in areas including Art History, History, Memory Studies, Literature or Provenance Studies - depending on your Major. Graduates may well be interested in the Leuphana Cultural Studies MA programs in Cultural Studies: Culture and Organization (in English) or in Critical Studies: Arts, Theory, History (in German).

At a Glance

Final degree: the minor in Museum Studies can only be studied in combination with a major
Admission restriction: no
Study places: 35
Teaching and examination language: English

Events for prospective students

College Open Day

The next Online Open Day at Leuphana College is 31 May 2024. Find out more

Information material

Learn more about the interdisciplinary college study model. Order information material

Student counselling service

Clarify your questions in a personal conversation during the Open Advisory Service. You can take advantage of digital counselling at short notice without registering. The College study advisors will be happy to help you:

  • Wednesdays from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. (in person on campus)
  • Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. (digitally via Zoom)

Find out more

Counselling

Initial Information

Information Office (Infoportal)
Buil­ding 8, ground floor
Universitätsallee 1, 21335 Lüneburg
Phone +49.4131.677-2277
Fax +49.4131.677-1430
studierendenservice@leuphana.de
Opening hours
Term time & term break:
Mon - Thu 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fr 9 - 12 a.m.

Arrange an appointment

College's Student Counselling Service
Buil­ding 8, ground floor
Uni­ver­sitätsal­lee 1, 21335 Lüne­burg
Open Con­sul­ta­ti­on Hours
Wed  11 – 13 h (on campus)
Thu 16 – 18 h (via Zoom)

Programme Director

  • Prof. Dr. Lynn Rother