Heritage and Exhibition Design MA

Explore the development of public spaces, civic amenities and heritage sites through applied principles of exhibition and display.


The MA Heritage and Exhibition Design will develop your understanding of core aspects of heritage, exhibition, and museum design, as well as site-specific interpretive installations in Scotland’s vibrant and extensive heritage sector.

Part of the MA/MFA Design Suite, the course benefits from bringing together designers from a range of disciplines into core modules, as well as modules specific to your chosen pathway including 'Interpretation & Design' and Design for Heritage & Culture'. 

All students complete the Live Project and you will study 'Thinking: Research for Creative Practice', which will help you to determine your Research Portfolio (MA) or Major Project (MFA) topics.

Typical entry point to this course is in September. Please enquire for more information.

To ensure there is sufficient time to process your application, we encourage you to submit your application by 30th June.
Malcom Innes looking at exhibition pieces to assemble.

Mode of Study:


(available as Full-time)


1 years

Start date:


Course details

The City of Edinburgh is the perfect location for the MA Heritage and Exhibition Design. Edinburgh is a UNESCO world heritage site, and arguably one of the most picturesque cities in the UK. Its world famous medieval Old Town has hundreds of historic sites, buildings, and monuments. The Regency New Town boasts some of the most import neo-classical buildings in the world. Beyond Edinburgh, we have access to Scotland’s extensive heritage industry with thousands of historic sites and buildings.

Developing exhibition, interpretative and lighting design skills, you will learn how to create user/visitor experiences and installations in key historic areas. With a strong sense of integrity, you will develop an understanding of and sensitivity to the authenticity and preservation of historic sites for visitors.

Members of the programme are actively engaged in research, knowledge exchange and/or consultancy work as part of the Art & Design Research Centre (ADRC), as well as professional practice. The programme is supported by the Edinburgh Napier design team with specialist input from Euan Winton , Malcolm Innes and Dr Kirstie Jamieson, as well as input from industry based specialists and partners.

Malcolm Innes is a world-renowned expert in lighting design education. Euan Winton has expertise in digital imaging and light art and projection. They have both worked on a variety of heritage projects, most notably at the city’s Botanic Gardens, and with Edinburgh World Heritage on the revitalisation of some of the “closes” (the old medieval thoroughfares) that criss-cross the Royal Mile. Malcolm has also worked with Historic Scotland, most recently at Elgin Cathedral.

Dr Kirstie Jamieson is currently working with the Deaf Heritage project on inclusion of deaf culture in Scottish public life provide.

You'll study a variety of subjects on the course, including:
  • Design for Heritage and Cultural Spaces 
  • Design Interpretation
  • Light Art and Projection
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    How you’ll be taught

    The programme uses practice-based learning, workshops, seminars, lectures, guest speakers and supported on-line learning in which core knowledge and understanding of design are developed and assessed in tandem with their specific application to your own individual projects.
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    Assessment is through studio modules where practice-based student output is collated as a portfolio presentation.
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    Work placement

    The programme offers two modules (Live Project in trimester 1, Research Projects and Entrepreneurship in trimesters 2) where you have the option of working with external partners, which may include some work-based learning.
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    All design programmes in the School of Arts & Creative Industries are delivered in studio learning environments.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Heritage and Exhibition Design?

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above in any discipline.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry. 

The University does not sponsor students to study on part-time programmes in the UK under the Student Visa route. International Applicants must therefore have other valid immigration leave to study on this programme.

Can I get admission into Heritage and Exhibition based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements. Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.


If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2024/25 2025/26
Stage 1 £3,940 £tba
Stage 2 £4,775 £tba
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Total - Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £8,715 £tba
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Stage 1 £8,450 £tba
Stage 2 £10,350 £tba
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Overseas and EU-Total Fee £18,800 £tba
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Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here


Graduates from this programme can pursue careers in: 

  • the heritage and museum sector
  • exhibition design
  • interpretation design
Black and white exhibition photography.