This course provides opportunities to work on live company projects, to volunteer, take work placements, go on field visits and be supported by professional industry mentors.
Museum and Heritage Development is a progressive, interdisciplinary course that combines the academic interrogation of museums and heritage as ideas, organisations and experiences with creative, practice-based approaches to their ongoing development in the 21st Century.
This course is designed and delivered through collaboration with the museum and heritage sector and in partnership with a number of institutions, sites and agencies reflecting the diversity of the sector, including: Museum Development East Midlands, East Midlands Museums Service, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, Museum of the Mercian Regiment, The Canalside Heritage Centre, National Justice Museum, the National Videogame Arcade, and Barker Langham.
The course encourages and supports you to re-think and re-imagine museums and heritage through critical engagement and reflection and experimentation and creative practice; to develop the confidence and courage to see yourself as a scholar-practitioner leading the field. In doing so the course integrates academic and professional practice of what is an increasingly international, interdisciplinary field with the intention of establishing a new benchmark in postgraduate provision.
How you're taught
Assessment includes creative, practice-based work such as photography, film, exhibitions, programmes and events, live projects, presentations, a professional portfolio, essays, reports and a thesis reflecting the professional expertise in the field. There are no written examinations.
Resources and facilities:
- dedicated seminar room;
- additional computing facilities; and
- online support.
The MA offers the opportunity to undertake a written thesis or piece of practice-based research.
Completion of a suitable work placement and report are compulsory elements of the professional development module of the programme. The placement at a museum, country house, historic site or other heritage organisation is additional to any ongoing voluntary work and lasts approximately 20 days (four weeks equivalent). The placement block is normally after the Easter break each year.
The University has a long track record in facilitating work placements across the heritage sector, which are successful both for students and placement hosts. Some students have gone on to gain employment with their hosts and many of those students, who are then employed, go on to offer placements to students in their workplace. Our academic staff will discuss your needs during the course and will help you to secure a placement of benefit to you.
You can also carry out voluntary work with a local heritage organisation one day per week throughout the course.
Roles and activities
There is no set pattern to placement work. Past roles (see below) have been as diverse as the host organisations themselves. Whether the placement has clearly defined objectives and tasks, or if there is an open remit to assist with many activities, emphasis is placed on flexibility, professionalism and good communication. There is the opportunity for hosts to comment on the placement via an evaluation form. A placement visit by a staff member is also planned, where possible.
The placement report is formally structured. It reflects the student's experiences during the placement and should contain information, evidence and evaluation relating to the assessment criteria:
- demonstrated ability to work in the museum and heritage industry by successful completion of a work-based placement in a heritage organisation
- presentation, assessment and evaluation of objectives set for the placement and for professional development
- research and evaluation of the host institution
- demonstrated ability to apply theoretical and underpinning knowledge to the placement experience
- document and discuss activities undertaken and provide supporting evidence
- core transferable and professional skills are identified and evaluated and supporting evidence provided
- challenges specific to the individual are identified and evaluated and supporting evidence provided
- assess impact on future strategy for career development
- health and safety issues are discussed and evaluated.
Learn a new language
Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.
Learning a new language can: enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.
Careers and employability
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.
Recent graduates (of our previous course, MA Museum and Heritage Management) have gone on to work 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; and
- local authorities and independent museums.