Skip to main content


MCH8532 : Understanding Academic and Applied Research in Museum/Gallery/Heritage Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of this module is to provide students with:

A thorough understanding of the principal theories, methodologies and methods used in academic and applied research in the Museum/Gallery/Heritage sector.

A comprehensive understanding of how these research theoretical approaches and methods operate in practice.

The techniques and skills required to undertake a major research dissertation, or vocationally-oriented research project.

Knowledge of the principal ways of identifying and collecting research information, evidence or data and the specific forms of qualitative and quantitative approaches used to analyse this material in relation to Museum/Gallery/Heritage venues.

An understanding of the retrieval of information, location of evidence, analysis, interpretation and synthesis of materials, critical thought and evaluation, questioning of assumptions and, where appropriate, the ability to relate theory and practice.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module introduces students to a range of theories, methodologies and techniques used in academic and applied research projects in Museum/Gallery/Heritage Studies to: identify and collect information/evidence/data; analyse this material; and, synthesise results. Indicative topics include: understanding research in Museum/Gallery/Heritage Studies; research ethics; critical discourse analysis; visual and display analysis; using a case study research approach; qualitative research methods; quantitative research methods; questionnaire design and analysis; digital research methods; visitor studies.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion145:0045:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials181:0018:00Non-synchronous online: lecture materials (theory & intro to problems)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading62:0012:00Non-synchronous directed reading: pre-reading for reading groups (theory and intro to problems)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching32:006:00On-campus theory reading group seminars. (These can be delivered on-line if necessary.)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching33:009:00On-campus group workshops. (These can be delivered on-line if necessary.)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00On-campus or in cultural venue - Group workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops41:306:00On-campus practical skills seminars. (These can be delivered on-line if necessary.)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study199:0099:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00On campus Assessment Briefing & Module Wrap-up. (These can be delivered on-line if necessary.)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00On-campus or in cultural venue. Introduction to module (This can be delivered on-line if necessary.)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Module talk: This teaching method will be used to introduce the module and brief students about assessment.

Lecture materials: Delivered non-synchronously on-line. This is the core teaching methods to achieve the knowledge learning outcomes.

Small-group teaching. This teaching methods is used through three small-group methods (reading groups, practical seminars and group workshops). These methods are intended to allow students to consolidate knowledge learning outcomes (primarily via the reading groups) and to meet the skill outcomes (through the practical seminars and through applying their new knowledge in the group workshops). These methods (particularly the group workshops) also allow students to practice the skillsets relevant to the Graduate Skills Framework.

Structured reading and reading activities: This teaching method will further enable students to consolidate knowledge learning outcomes from the lecture materials and enable students to independently deepen knowledge outcomes. It will also provide opportunity to apply cognitive/intellecture, self-management and interaction skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2A70Critical invidual report by each student on the rationale behind their group work. 2500 words
Oral Examination2M30Assessed group presentation. Max duration per group: 30 mins.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students are required to give a group presentation and write an individual report in which they assess the strengths and weaknesses of the project outline that they will have developed in the course of the final group workshop. The group presentation can be delivered in person or online, synchronous or pre-recorded. This allows students to familiarise themselves not only with the range of problems and issues raised by conducting independent research but also with the relationship between theory and method in answering a research question.

Reading Lists