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MCH8516 : Museum, Gallery, Heritage Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 5
Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of the module are:

To provide students with the opportunity to experience work in the museum, gallery and heritage sector;

To put into practice the skills, knowledge and understanding gained in other modules on the course; and

To increase student employability, by providing students with the opportunity to develop the high-level skills, knowledge and understanding required by potential employers.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module comprises a series of module briefings and seminars to help the students navigate the process of selecting a preferred placement, and to prepare them for the placement. The main body of the module is the work placement that takes place within a museum, gallery or heritage organisation (either in person or via remote working).

The aim of the placement is to give students an opportunity to put into practice much of the learning (theory and practice) acquired from previous modules on the course. It will also provide them with the experience of working within a museum, gallery or heritage organisation, and a greater understanding of how such organisations in the sector function.

An important potential benefit of the placement is that it allows students to become known to prospective employers, which may be of help when they are applying for jobs. Students may even be able to begin to form their own network of professional contacts.

The precise contents of each placement are not defined by the University but we invite potential hosts to offer placements. This ensures a wide range of placements which can then be matched up with the diversity of student interests and/or career aspirations. During the placement, the University will expect students to be conscientious in their approach – remembering that they are an ambassador for the course. Flexibility is essential and students should be prepared to undertake any reasonable tasks that they are asked to do by the host organisation. Students on placement will be supported by a mentor in the host organisation. We hope that students will be able to make a significant and lasting contribution to their host organisation. Many organisations offer placements out of a genuine wish to help those who wish to make a career in museums, galleries or heritage.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning119:0099:00Conducted in person (but could be carried out online if necessary)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00On-campus (but could be carried out online if necessary)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00On-campus (but could be carried out online if necessary)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:0021:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time31:003:00Drop-in group surgery live online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00On-campus (but could be carried out online if necessary)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk12:002:00On-campus (but could be carried out online if necessary)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Module talk: To help the students through the process of choosing a preferred placement, prepare them for the placement experience, and introduce the assessment.

Small-group teaching: This learning method helps to practically prepare students for the placement experience, and test out ideas (potentially including reflective skills exercise, CV workshop, reflective work diary).

Employer-based learning: A 10-day placement either in a museum, gallery or heritage site (plus one day of meeting hosts/ negotiating placement content/ projects) to take place either in person or remotely.

Scheduled online contact time / Drop-in group surgery: This learning method helps students raise questions/concerns about the placement and/or assessment. It is scheduled online to accommodate participation from students who carry out placements away from Newcastle.

Directed research and reading: Set reading and research tasks to support students before/during the placements.

Independent study: Independent study enable student to consolidate their practical experience with insights from relevant academic literature and pursue their own interests in topics connected to their employer-based learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2A1003500-word reflective report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment takes the form of a 3500-word reflective report (100%).

The module is designed to support students to put into practice knowledge and skills built up over the course, as well as to develop a deep understanding of work in a particular museum, gallery or heritage site. As such, the reflective report asks students to analyse the host organisation (e.g. in terms of its own mission statement and policies) as well as reflect on the their own learning and progress throughout the placement. The assessment is thus an opportunity for students to deepen their engagement and understanding of the host site, tests their awareness of key working practices, and is an opportunity to critically explore their own learning and experiences - all in relation to relevant literature and supporting material.

Reading Lists