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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Archaeology

ARCH55230: Museum Communication

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to V6K607 Museum and Artefact Studies

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • To enable students to:
  • Examine the concept of communication in relation to museum collections, archives and heritage.
  • Gain an understanding of contemporary principles and good practice relating to museum and heritage communication.
  • Develop curatorial and interpretative skills by creating a public exhibition, working to professional standards and as part of a team, and in collaboration with museum, archive and heritage staff.

Content

  • In this module, students examine the concept of 'communication' in relation to museum collections, and gain an understanding of contemporary principles and good practice relating to museum communication. They develop curatorial skills, working to professional standards and as part of a team, by creating a publically accessible exhibition over the summer with embedded learning and community engagement elements.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module students will possess a thorough and critical understanding of:
  • Contemporary principles, policies and good practice relating to museum and heritage communication.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • At the end of the module students will possess direct experience in and a competent ability to:
  • Plan, research, design, document, develop, manage, produce, publicise and evaluate, accurately and honestly, online activities engaging with museum collections and communities (e.g. educational activities / online exhibitions / online public interaction). This will include:
  • Selecting and using appropriate methods carefully, safely and accurately, and working to professional standards as a responsible team member, with reference to:
  • Developing the agreed topic / area of engagement from the brief provided;
  • Using reflective learning from professional engagement activities, evaluations and critical feedback;
  • Planning and managing available resources (including people, facilities, budgeted finances, information, artefacts as appropriate, equipment and time);
  • Understanding and working to relevant collection conservation needs as appropriate (e.g. light and RH); linking with learning in ARCH55230 Care of Collections;
  • Understanding and working to relevant, security needs of the artefacts;
  • Understanding and working to the host institution/s staff, policies and other functions;
  • Understanding and working to the requirements of current and potential users (including access, education and leisure), bearing in mind, equality, diversity and inclusion requirements and decolonisation commitments.
Key Skills:
  • At the end of the module students will possess direct experience in and a competent ability to:
  • Use computer and information technology (data management and design software).
  • Appropriately access library, museum, archive and World Wide Web resources.
  • Undertake advanced independent study, research and problem solving.
  • Participate responsibly in, and critically reflect upon, work in a defined role as a member of a team, both independently and alongside colleagues.
  • Communicate information and arguments effectively, in written, visual and computerised form, to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Take responsibility for personal, professional and ethical development within the museum and cultural heritage sector or within academia, responding actively to critical feedback.
  • Where relevant, assess relevant insurance and health and safety risks in the work-place, and comply with appropriate procedures.
  • Cope with contingencies and make decisions in complex and unpredictable contexts.
  • Manage group and individual time effectively, working to time-tables and meeting deadlines.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 Variable (see timetable) 1-2 hours (see timetable) 11.5
Tutorials 11 Variable (see timetable) 1-3.15 hours (see timetable) 14.75
Workshops 7 Variable (see timetable) )1-2 hours (see timetable) 13
Student Presentations 1 Once 1.5 hours 1.5
Preparation and Reading 259.25
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Group Project Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online publically accessible exhibition with embedded learning and community engagement elements using Durham University museum collections October - June 100%
Component: Individual Contribution to Group Work Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Teamwork, leadership, initiative, motivation and effort, completion of tasks within deadlines, active response to critical feedback October - June 100%
Component: Project Portfolio Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Project portfolio 2,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Group presentation of project, usually with a PowerPoint, accompanied by 1-page summary (2 sided) . The students are verbally briefed on the group presentation and how it supports the summative assignment. Following group discussion, a written summary of the feedback is given to the group.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University