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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Ms Nuala Morse

Research Postgraduate (PhD) in the Department of Geography
Telephone: 41815 / 41817
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: 601

Contact Ms Nuala Morse (email at


2010-2013: PhD Geography, Durham University (ESRC funded CASE studentship with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums)

2008-2009: MA Cultural Heritage Management, University of York

2005-2008: BA (Hons) Geography with Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham

Doctoral Research

Title (provisional): Museums and Community Engagement: Investigating understandings and practices of engagement across a complex museum organisation.

This PhD research is an ESRC CASE studentship in parnership with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

The main aim of the research is to examine how the concept of community engagement is managed across a museum's institutional culture. In particular, it seeks to understand how notions of engagement/participation, and audience/community are constructed within different museum departments (Outreach, Learning, Management, Marketing, etc.) and how these intepretations mediate the forms and processes of community engagement practice on the ground.

There are four key objectives to this research. First, to examine the organisational development of TWAM and its practice of community engagement, and how this development might reveal changing ideological understandings of the social role and responsibilities of museums. This will be examined in relation to recent cultural policy. Second, working closely with staff, to examine how professionals across different museum departments interpret the terminology of communtity engagement and how they carry out that meaning in their practice. Third, to assess the forms of engagement attempted, and the strategies, processes and decision making involved. It includes investigating the different features of outreach and engagement programmes with community groups (including mental health services, dementia partnerships, and substance use/misuse charities).

The research uses a participatory methodology to ensure that this knowledge is co-produced with (and not 'on') museum staff.The final objective of the research responds to the wider political, financial and policy context to explore how museums can develop resilient cultures and strategies of engagement in a time of change.


Journal papers: academic

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