Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Postgraduate Modules 2019/2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Department: Archaeology

ARCH54530: Museum Principles and Practice

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2019/20

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • Familirisation with principles of museological theory and practice.

Content

  • This module is intended to provide students with a sound understanding of the key contemporary principles, practice and debates relating to professional museum work - especially collection management and museum management. It encourages students to develp a critical perspective and to use it in the asessment of museums. It also helps students to develop relevant professional skills, through seminars, workshops and a 20-day Easter placement, undertaken at a local or national museum.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Developments, current issues and debates in professional principles, policies and good practice relating to the management of collections and museums, particularly in the UK but also abroad.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a museum or related institution, based upon a combination of personal experience and the application of subject-specific knowledge, with particular reference to policies and debates relating to present and future collections management and museum management in that institution.
Key Skills:
  • Use computer and information technology (e.g. word processing).
  • 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.
  • 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 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 & LEARNING METHODS
  • Lectures, comprising concise, accessible and interesting oral and visual presentations of key information, by tutors to the full programme cohort of students, supported by the extensive programme bibliography and summaries posted on the Durham University On-Line (DUO) intranet. Lectures enable learners to gain a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the full range of subject-specific knowledge.
  • Seminars, comprising structured oral and visual presentations and discussions of well-defined topics, by individual or groups of students to the rest of the full programme cohort and facilitated by tutors, supported by the programme bibliography and summaries posted on DUO. Seminars enable learners to deepen their knowledge and critical understanding of a wide range of subject-specific knowledge, to enhance subject-specific skills in working with museum- and artefact-related research information, and to enhance key skills in the use of computer and information technology, accessing information resources, undertaking advanced independent study, participating responsibly in team work, communicating effectively, and managing time effectively.
  • Practical class, involving demonstration and hands-on exercise, using materials, techniques and facilities relevant to museum work, undertaken in smaller sized student groups, with personal tuition from professionally trained and experienced tutors, and supported by resources posted on DUO where appropriate. Practical classes enable learners to gain direct experience and competence in a wide range of subject-specific skills pertaining to museum and artefact-based work, and in key skills involving computer and information technology.
  • 1 Field-trip, involving visiting, experiencing and discussing museums and galleries and their collections, undertaken in smaller sized student groups, led by tutors, and supported by background information posted on DUO. Field-trips enable learners to develop their knowledge and critical understanding of museums, including their study, development, context, nature, purposes, principles, policies, practices, discipline-specific issues, and approaches to communication.
  • Museum placement experience, comprising workplace experience in the professional working environment of a museum or related cultural heritage institution, with a degree of personal guidance and tuition from a knowledgeable member of staff employed by that institution. Museum placement experience enables learners to develop their knowledge and critical understanding of museums, including their development, context, nature, purposes, principles, policies, practices, discipline-specific issues, environmental factors, collections care, and approaches to communication, to gain direct experience and competence in subject-specific skills pertaining to the management of collections and of museums, and in the full range of key skills
  • Self-guided learning, comprising personal and group-based study, research, revision, problem-solving and evaluation associated with classes and assignments. Self-guided learning enables students to increase their knowledge and critical understanding of the full range of subject-specific knowledge, and to gain experience and competence in the full range of subject-specific skills and key skills.
  • ASSESSMENT METHODS
  • 1 Examination, through an unseen paper, under timed conditions, requiring written essays on collections management and museum management. The Examination ensures demonstration of the achievement of a sound knowledge and critical understanding of a range of subject-specific knowledge relating to museums, and the achievement of direct experience and competence in the key skills of communicating and managing time effectively.
  • 1 Portfolio, comprising 2000- to 2500-word knowledgeable and critical written evaluations of museum placement experience, which may be supported by clearly presented appendices of relevant data. The Portfolios ensure demonstration of the achievement of a sound knowledge and critical understanding of subject-specific knowledge relating to collections management and museum management in a specific type of museum and to museum communication, the achievement of direct experience and competence in subject-specific skills involving working with museum- and artefact-related research information, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a museum or related institution, and museum communication, and the achievement of direct experience and competence in the full range of key skills. Formative assessment, accompanied by written feedback from tutors, is regarded as an integral part of the learning process. It helps learners to consolidate knowledge and understanding and to explore and develop subject-specific and key skills. A range of formative assignments therefore precede a selection of summative assignments on all modules within the programme. These relate to specific learning outcomes, as well as a few additional learning outcomes not assessed summatively. The formative assignments include:
  • 1 Seminar Presentation, of between 10 and 50 minutes, help to consolidate knowledge and understanding of topics relating to museum studies, the management of collections and museums, artefact studies and museum communication, help to develop the subject-specific skill of working with research data, and help to develop a range of key skills, as well as helping to develop oral communication skills. Written feedback on seminar presentations deals with the following areas: choice of topic, including appropriateness of title; knowledge of the subject, including definition of its scope and key issues; clarity of explanations of key terms and concepts; clarity of structure; use of examples; use and clarity of appropriate visual materials; facilitation of discussion, including response to questions; presentation, including pace and tone of delivery, vocal clarity and projection; audience attention, including eye contact and audience response; and anxiety behaviour.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 12 Weekly 1-2 hours 24
Tutorials 1 Once 1 hour 1
Seminars 3 Every three weeks 2 hours 6
Practicals 1 Once 2 hours 2
Fieldwork 2 Twice 3 hours 6
Placement 1 Once 20 days
Preparation & Reading 261
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2,500 words 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2,5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two 20 minute seminar presentations


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


    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.