Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Museums in the 21st Century
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Project  2500 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Report  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Project  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Report  2500 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Outline the development of museums in the UK.

2. Discuss and analyse the changing nature of the field and the impact on services.

3. Outline the nature of museum artefacts and explain their value to society.

4. Describe the functions of a museum service and the work of a professional museum curator.

5. Identify and use a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources to support written work.

Brief description

This module explores the nature of the UK’s museums, the skills required to understand and interpret the objects found within them, and the role and responsibilities of those who care for them.


This module divides into two parts, as follows:

1. The nature of museums
The British Museum was established in London in 1753 and was the first in the world to provide access to all. This module will survey the development of museum services in the UK before focusing on the nature of their contents. Consideration will be given to the way in which exhibitions are planned and designed to provide access to artefacts and other items found within museums.

2. Museum services
The module will focus on the role of museum services in the UK and professional curators. Key themes which will be explored include acquisition, preservation and conservation, as well as access and outreach. A visit to a local museum service will take place in order to reinforce how theory is translated into practice.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Effective academic writing skills will be assessed in the report element. The project develops appropriate professional presentation skills
Improving own Learning and Performance Reflection upon learning and information skills will be encouraged, and assignment feedback will facilitate further reflection.
Information Technology Appropriate use of IT to identify relevant primary and secondary sources, including appraisal of online museum content in order to contribute to assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning Consideration of the skills developed in the module will be explored in relation to career options.
Problem solving Assignment and seminar work will require identifying, evaluating and using appropriate primary and secondary source material in terms of relevance to the scope of the assignment or seminar issue.
Research skills Through identification and critical analysis of appropriate source material.
Subject Specific Skills Developing and understanding of academic subject and the relationship to professional issues.
Team work This will be developed in preparing for seminars and through seminar exercises.


This module is at CQFW Level 5