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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures


Year 1

In the first year you will be introduced to the identification of the various audiences that need to be addressed through different media and types of writing. Using examples from museum and gallery websites, blogs, on-line and print art magazines, review sections from newspapers and general-interest magazines, exhibition catalogues, promotional material, museum/gallery panels and object captions, you will learn to identify the particular requirements and features of a wide variety of writing styles, and develop the ability to deploy these – in conjunction with images – in an effective and appropriate way.

Year 2

The second year will allow you to develop technical and practical skills which go hand in hand with an awareness of the potential of digital methods to address research questions that cannot be answered without them. You may look at areas such as: the use of smartphones and free-to-access editing software in order to produce a high-concept film; the creation of high-resolution photorealistic 3D models of objects; using eye-tracking software to address questions relating to viewers’ interactions with art-work.

You will also acquire all the basic practical skills and concepts underpinning contemporary collection and display practices. These include ways of researching and handling objects; care of collections; documentation; display; cultural fundraising; cultural marketing; education and outreach. You will grapple with the challenges of working with diverse kinds of collections, such as Asian, Western, ethnographic, archaeological, and social-historical collections, all of which are well represented in Durham’s museums and special collections.

Year 3

In the final year you will have the opportunity to cover all aspects of curating and display, looking at topics including collections development (including object selection and acquisition); curation of collections (including documentation, conservation of objects and advanced object research); and the exhibition of collections (including developing an exhibition narrative, interpretation and planning the visual and spatial layout of exhibitions). Field trips will allow you to gain practical insights into the design of real exhibitions