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MA-PGCert-PGDip Museum and Heritage Management

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  • Objectives
    There is a need for multi-skilled, quality staff who combine a broad vision of the field in which they are working with practical expertise in the care and presentation of heritage. Our postgraduate, heritage management courses combine the conceptual framework necessary to develop this vision with the knowledge and practical understanding required from professionals in this field.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements The standard admission requirements are normally a first degree or equivalent, plus recent practical experience with a professionally run heritage site or organisation. Candidates for a Masters would normally be expected to hold at least a 2.1 degree qualification or equivalent. The course team encourages applications from candidates without the standard academic qualifications, if they can demonstrate substantial relevant professional experience. Overseas students are welcome and will be required to demonstrate that they fulfil the relevant entry criteria, including English language competency to a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.
  • Academic Title
    MA/PGCert/PGDip Museum and Heritage Management
  • Course description
    Course content

    Professional practice
    These are two year-long modules, taught for a day per week each, which provide a practical, skills-based framework for obtaining employment in the heritage field. They are supported in turn by a practice module, combining a placement and placement report with the use of a portfolio to record evidence of personal development throughout the course.

    Professional development
    In this module students will gain an introduction to the process of professional development and the skills required to gain employment in the museums and heritage profession. The module introduces the concepts of planning, evaluating and reviewing professional development through the use of an individual development plan (IDP).

    Students will gain skills in setting personal goals and identifying strategies to achieve these targets. They will identify and develop key transferable skills. Students will also demonstrate their abilities through the collection and recording of evidence and the process of planning, review and evaluation of their IDP. Students will also complete a work placement in order to apply and further develop the skills they gained during the taught course.

    The module is divided into two elements: the portfolio and the placement. The two elements are interlinked and are supported by the portfolio handbook.

    Heritage resource management
    In this module students gain an introduction to the main issues and the skills required to effectively manage the heritage resources. The module provides a historical framework for the heritage resource and examines the main national, international and regional strategies and policies affecting the heritage industry. Students gain academic underpinning and should develop the practical skills and knowledge required to manage the heritage resource, organisations and collections.

    Presentation management
    This module examines all aspects of presenting heritage to the public. There is a detailed exploration of the nature, needs and expectations of the heritage audiences. This links to issues associated with audience development, from the establishment of marketing strategies to the positive role of heritage within social inclusion policies.

    The importance of quality in front-of-house management is stressed. At the heart of the module is an emphasis on interpretation and education - ways of engaging audiences fully and supporting lifelong learning.

    Academic underpinning
    Theoretical debates
    This module involves students directly in current debates about heritage, and the theoretical positions underpinning the study of heritage. It provides a framework within which students will develop their own basis for the subject in an inter-disciplinary context. It will help establish critical parameters for the definition of heritage studies and provides an appropriate underpinning for professional practice.

    Academic options
    The heritage of the country house
    The country house is one of England's major contributions to international culture. The course will look at the development of the country house, both in terms of its architecture and decorative arts. It will locate the development of these houses within political, social and economic contexts. It will also analyse the role, management and presentation of country houses today. The module gives students the historical, theoretical and practical background to be able to assess, analyse and criticise country house heritage values, sites and interpretations.

    Cultural tourism in the UK
    This module considers the use and abuse of heritage in the production and consumption of tourism in the UK and examines the development of the industry to the major activity we see today. This will involve an analysis of the process of production, the audience and the significance of consumption for the future of heritage conservation. Consideration will be given to how heritage tourism influences the conservation of historic towns, the way heritage is used within development projects and the manipulation of resources within the local, regional and national economy.

    Space, identity and power

    The module aims to equip students with appropriate techniques, methods and theoretical frameworks to assess, evaluate and criticise heritage sites and presentations that relate directly or indirectly to power and identity, for example, nationalisms, war and remembrance, social inequalities, slavery and cultural property. It will use regional, national and international examples as case studies.

    The thesis provides an opportunity to achieve academic independence and pursue an aspect of the course in depth. In line with the overall aims of the course, a thesis will offer a synthesis of theoretical and practical elements drawn from the course as a whole. Students will be expected to produce a detailed research proposal, an annotated bibliography and a final text of 12-15,000 words.

    Graduates from this course are employed in varied activities such as curating, exhibition design, marketing and management, education, administration and retail, throughout the heritage sector.

    Continuous assessment will include essays, individual and group projects, reports, presentations, an exhibition and portfolio, and a thesis reflecting the professional expertise in the field. There are no written examinations.

    Resources and facilities
    Dedicated seminar room; additional computing facilities; online support.

    Study routes
    -MA full-time: 12 months
    -MA part-time: 24 months

    -Pg Dip full-time: 12 months
    -Pg Dip part-time: 24 months

    -Pg Cert part-time: 9 months

    Special benefits
    You will receive vocational training from active practitioners and specialist outside speakers. Students also attend study visits to relevant sites and are involved in the professional activities of the Centre for Museum and Heritage Management. You will reap the benefits of a small class size, which will enable you to gain individual support. The School also has close links with the Galleries of Justice.

    Research opportunities
    The MA offers the opportunity to undertake a thesis.

    Professional recognition
    Museums Association
    Creative and Cultural Industries Sector Skills Council

    Professional development
    Development of a professional portfolio; voluntary work and work placement.

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