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MAMuseum and Heritage Development

Nottingham Trent University
United Kingdom, Nottingham
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Interested? To learn more about this study programme, entry requirements and application process, please contact one of our consultants in a country nearest to you.

Programme structure


Purpose, Planning and Development
This module explores the purpose of contemporary museums and related heritage organisations and the increasingly diverse and progressive roles they seek to perform. The module leads students both intellectually and practically through an innovative approach to museum planning and development whilst reflecting the diversity of museums and heritage as a cultural resource in the 21st century and the complexity of the sector in the UK and internationally.

Materiality and Memory
The material world lies at the heart of museum collections and cultural heritage. In the 21st century the primacy of tangible heritage is being supplemented by other ways of knowing and remembering and that recognise and embrace both western and non-western philosophies and frameworks as the hybridisation of practice accelerates. This module explores this expanded field of materiality, memory and experience through an international and interdisciplinary engagement with different ways of knowing and related practices of collecting, recording, making, showing, sharing and telling.

Interpretation 1: Fieldwork
Museums and related heritage organisations are centres of research; they are field-based cultural institutions that ask questions of material and immaterial worlds and create interpretations of them for, and increasingly with, diverse communities. This module explores interpretation as the defining research outcome of museum and heritage development within an innovative interdisciplinary and multifunctional framework that is international in scope. Interpretation takes place in the relationships curated and created between words, things, spaces, places, people and experience; it is the ongoing process of making and remaking museums and heritage.

Interpretation 2: Civil Engagement
All over the world museums and related heritage organisations are becoming more open and collaborative in how they curate and create content. As part of a wider effort to remain relevant cultural institutions the sector is also developing more active and activist roles in contemporary life. This module explores the possibility of these institutions as agents of civil engagement within local and global contexts. It does this by focusing on interpretation as their defining, and ever diversifying, research outcome that makes things happen and makes a difference for society and its development.

Working in Museums and Heritage
As workplaces, museums and heritage organisations are diverse, often complex professional environments requiring a flexible, creative and adaptable workforce, which includes both paid staff and in many instances, large numbers of volunteers. This module examines the character and diversity of the contemporary museum and heritage workforce and the wider, and increasingly global and mobile, heritage industry with a particular emphasis on entry-level and early career professional roles and the key skills needed at these levels. Central to the module is a four week (or equivalent 20 day commitment) work placement, where students are placed by the course team at a range of museum and heritage organisations. The module examines the contemporary museum and heritage workforce from different sectors and provides a practical introduction to key entry-level skills and competencies in audience development and collections development.

Museum and Heritage Futures
This module explores the future of museums and heritage and their development. Possible futures are examined through scenarios, case studies and the development of leading museums and related heritage and cultural organisations internationally. Scenarios consider political, social, technological and cultural trends both within the UK and globally. The module aims to provide a critical and creative platform from which students are able to imagine possible museum and heritage futures that may challenge convention and accepted ways of thinking and doing.

Research Project
The Research Project is the culmination of the MA, providing students with the opportunity to craft their own research project through critical-theoretical and/or practice-based work. The Research Project accommodates projects developed through a range of academic, professional, and geographical contexts depending on the motivation, interests and future ambitions of the student.

Taught elements of the module introduce students to understandings of research practice relevant to the field, and the potential use of the Research Project to academic and professional development after the MA. Aspects of research practice examined include: creative research and material thinking, positionality and situated knowledge, research ethics, critical thinking and reflective practice, research questions and contexts.

Career opportunities

The course, your placements and live projects will give you experience and skills that are highly valued by museums and the wider heritage industry employers.

Graduates find themselves working for a wide range of museums and authorities including:

The National Trust
English Heritage
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
Museum database software suppliers
Heritage Lottery Fund
local authorities and independent museums.

Apply now! Fall semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Please see the university profile or contact us for the deadlines that apply to you
Apply now! Fall semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Please see the university profile or contact us for the deadlines that apply to you