MCH8516 : Museum, Gallery, Heritage Practice

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of the module are:

To provide students with the opportunity to experience working within the creative or cultural heritage sectors;

To put into practice the skills, knowledge and understanding gained on the taught part of 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 Placement Module comprises a series of preparatory lectures to help the students through the process of choosing their preferred placements and to prepare them for the placement experience itself. The main body of the Module is the work placement that takes place within a heritage context, gallery or museum

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.

The aim of work experience is to give students an opportunity to put into practice much of the theory that they have learnt during the taught part of the course. It will also provide them with the experience of working within a heritage environment, gallery or museum, and a greater understanding of how various organisations, sites and museums work. An important potential benefit of this 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. 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. Most organisations are very happy to take students on a placement, even though it can mean considerable effort on the part of a mentor. They are aware of the benefits that it brings to the 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
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning139:00117:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity114:0014:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

3 preparatory lectures spread over Semesters 1 & 2. These help the students through the process of choosing their preferred placements and to prepare them for the placement experience itself.

A 12 day placement either in a heritage organisation, gallery or museum (Plus one day of meeting hosts/ negotiating placement content/ projects).

Placement activity: to develop subject specific, professional and cognitive skills
Private Study: to facilitate intended knowledge outcomes, and to develop both cognitive skills and key skills (as above)

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M802500 words
Reflective log2M20This consists of an analysis of your role in your placement organisation in relation to your Key Skills
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MCV
Prof skill assessmnt2MPersonal Skills Audit
Reflective log2MDaily journal
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment of the Work Placement is in 2 parts:

Part 1 - A Reflective Log, which carries 20% of the total mark. Students are asked to select four learning experiences from your placement and consider them in detail, by filling in four Reflective Log Sheets (a pro-forma provided in the Work Placement Workbook).

Assessment of the Reflective Logs is based on the student’s ability to demonstrate a thoughtful analysis of the situations described and there show evidence of critical self-reflection. The pro-forma asks the students to suggest subsequent actions to address issues raised in their reflections on the learning experiences. Assessment is based on the realism and achievability of the actions in the context of the placement. It is also expected that the Log will be extremely well written and make good use of the framework provided.

Other elements of the Reflective Log are included to encourage the process of personal reflection. These are a Personal Skills Audit (to be completed before the start of the placement) and a Daily Diary. These are not assessed but they are compulsory components of the Reflective Log.

Part 2 – A Report

This is an assessment of the student’s placement host organisation. This option is intended for students registered for the Museum Studies, Heritage Education & Interpretation, Heritage Management, Art Museum & Gallery Studies and Art Museum & Gallery Education programmes.

The organisational assessment carries 80% of the total mark. Students are asked to analyse the performance of the organisation hosting their placement in terms of its own mission statement and policies. Students are expected to draw on their experiences whilst working in that organisation as well as drawing on the organisation’s strategy documents and any relevant strategy documents.

Assessment of the Organisational Assessment is based on the student’s ability to demonstrate a thoughtful consideration of the host organisation’s practices with reference to its history and policies. If appropriate, the work will also show a critical understanding of the broader context in which the organisation is working and how that impinges on the organisations practices.

It will demonstrate critical analysis, independence of mind, initiative and intellectual rigour. Where appropriate, comparisons will be made between different contexts demonstrating an excellent level of conceptual analysis. The work will make good use of relevant academic literature, the organisation’s policies and any relevant strategic documents. Evidence gathered during the placement will be used with care showing an awareness of its anecdotal nature (if appropriate).

The assignment has a limit of 2,500 words.

Of the 20% of the total mark for the Learning Logs: 20% will be allocated for Knowledge and Understanding, 80% for evidence of Self-Reflection and 20% for Execution.
Of the 80% of the total mark for the Organisation Assessment: 40% will be allocated for Knowledge and Understanding, 40% for Argument and Critical Thinking and 20% for Execution.

Reading Lists