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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

ARCH55230: Museum Communication

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

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 visit and evaluate a variety of museums and galleries in the north-east of England. They also develop curatorial skills, working to professional standards and as part of a team, by creating a public exhibition over the summer. This work is accompanied by evaluations, the production of a catalogue, and educational events.

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, either a new exhibition and catalogue of artefacts, information, interactive activities and events, or an on-line exhibition, schools trail and visitor guide, selecting and using appropriate methods carefully, safely and accurately, and working to professional standards as a responsible team member, with reference to: an agreed exhibition theme; lessons learnt from previous exhibitions, evaluations and critical feedback; available resources (including people, budgeted finances, information, artefacts, equipment, site access and time); the conservation and security needs of the artefacts; the host institution (including its staff, policies and other functions); and the requirements of current and potential users (including access, education and leisure).
Key Skills:
  • At the end of the module students will possess direct experience in and a competent ability to:
  • Use computer and information technology (e.g. word processing and web-site design).
  • 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 Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 1 1 week 1 hour 1
Tutorials 12 weekly 1 hour 12
Seminars 8 weekly 2 hours 16
Fieldwork 4 4 weeks 3 hours 12
Preparation and Reading 259
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Group Project Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Display, catalogue, educational events and evaluation 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:

20 minute seminar presentation on exhibition idea. Revised Exhibit proposal (1,000 words). List of photographic images. List of Exhibition items/objects.


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.