MSc Multimedia Systems for Cultural Heritage seeks to provide an academic, creative and professional experience of both a theoretical and practical nature in the area of museology and interactive multimedia and draws together theory and knowledge from the disciplines of information and computer science, art and graphic design and museum studies. This broad understanding is stimulated by the course's strategy of accepting students from a wide range of archaeology, media and information and computer science disciplines and by organising the curriculum so that there is a provision for diverse range of experiences, skills, and critical debate to expose students to new disciplines as well as to allow them to apply their own expertise in a new medium or discipline. Based on these premises the content of the course is organised around three major themes:
Interaction design and multimedia systems The complexity of multimedia applications stresses the capabilities of all the components of a computer system and researchers within a range of computer science disciplines are working to transform existing technologies, or develop new technologies for multimedia. Students are exposed to the software, hardware and network advances related to the development and use of multimedia applications and technical issues and limitations are discussed.
The students are also introduced to the theories of Interaction Design and techniques of Human Computer Interaction. Theory includes defining and understanding the user, including cognitive processes and individual differences. Techniques include ways of requirements gathering and evaluating multimedia systems.
Heritage Computing Heritage Computing introduces the students to both the theoretical framework and practical considerations related to the use of Information and Communication Technologies in Museums, Libraries and Archives. The social and political context of heritage computing and the use of ICT for managing collections in cultural heritage institutions and for communicating of related information to different audiences are examined.
Digitisation of collections and content management The modules under this theme introduce the students to the content and methods of digitisation in museums and other institutions that host collections. The collections of cultural organisations will be discussed in terms of content and management processes. The methodologies and technologies of digitization are examined. The use of digitized collections and the methods and reasons they can be used to enhance the understanding and use of collections in a broad area of cultural institutions are presented.
Teaching and Assessment
The course brings together two institutions the Harrow School of Computer Science (HSCS), the University of Westminster and the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication (DCTC), the University of the Aegean. HSCS has been recognised as a centre of excellence for advanced IT by the Department of Trade and Industry and offers an extensive portfolio of courses covering artificial intelligence, creative multimedia/business applications, computer games, music informatics, business computing, computer networks and communications. The DCTC is placed in the area between the Social and Technological Sciences and with the courses and the research programs it is running it promotes the synthesis (combination) of Cultural Studies with the technologies of design, production, promotion and administration of cultural products and services. The unique feature of the course is that it draws specialised experts from both Universities to provide students with an understanding of the issues involved in the design and implementation of virtual museums and libraries taking into consideration both technical and conceptual issues.
Students following the accredited partnership programme will study partly at the University of Westminster and partly at the University of the Aegean, Greece. Both institutions will contribute modules that they already experience in delivering in other MSc courses they currently host.