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Hear from a tutor and student about studying Museum and Heritage Studies at Liverpool Hope.
This newly-developed programme has been designed in close partnership with one of the world’s great museum organisations. National Museums Liverpool (NML) attracts 3.3 million visitors a year. Its collections are among the most varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from Titanic.
Through a series of guest seminars, practical training workshops and study visits embedded throughout the programme, the MA Museum and Heritage Studies offers students unparalleled access to NML’s professional expertise, world-class collections and outstanding venues. No other museum studies programme currently offers such close collaboration with a national museum service.
Inspired by Liverpool Hope University and NML’s shared commitment to social justice, our unique programme emphasises the new approaches being taken by museums to address social inequalities, from anti-racism workshops with local schools to global campaigns for human rights. Students explore the variety of methods and techniques employed by today’s museum professionals to develop socially-relevant collections, to produce inspiring and challenging exhibitions, and to engage communities on a local, national and international level.
The application of theoretical and ethical perspectives to real-world case studies enables students to develop a critical understanding of social justice in a museological context, preparing our graduates for a variety of professional roles in the contemporary museum or for further study at doctoral level.
Hope Park, L16 9JD
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Normally a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Degrees across a wide variety of academic disciplines including those new to the discipline of Museum and Heritage Studies.
Applications from students who do not hold a 1st or 2:1 Honours Degree (or equivalent) will be asked to demonstrate potential to achieve a Masters award via a sample of academic writing and interview before an offer is made.
The programme is taught in English. Students whose first language is not English are normally required to have an IELTS 6.5 (including...
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What you'll learn on the course
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<p>All Museum and Heritage students take a series of taught modules as follows:</p>
<p><strong><span style="font-size: 1.17em;">Museum Theory and Practice (30 credits)</span></strong></p>
<p><strong></strong>This module aims to provide a thorough introduction to the diverse field of museum studies and how this relates to the range of activities that make up contemporary museum and gallery practice – from collections and ownership to display and interpretation. The module will begin by focusing on the object, collections and collecting, drawing on examples from material and visual culture studies and using specific case studies. Shifting the focus from storerooms to galleries, the module will consider issues of display and interpretation. The module will draw on complementary theoretical approaches from both historical and artistic perspectives. </p>
<h3><strong>Heritage Theory and Practice (15 Credits)</strong></h3>
<p>This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the key themes and issues in the discipline of Heritage Studies. Students explore a diverse range of heritage practices, from the state-sanctioned preservation of historic landscapes, buildings and objects, to the collectively-performed cultural activities and social actions of contemporary life. The study of these practices is framed by scholarly theories and concepts of heritage, including critical debates surrounding: the rise of the ‘heritage industry’; history versus heritage; and the role of heritage in producing identity, community and human rights. Drawing on local case studies, including Liverpool’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, students critically assess the production, control and ownership of heritage on a local, national and global level. </p>
<h3><strong>Public Engagement: Inclusion, education and campaigns for social change (15 credits)</strong></h3>
<p>The distinctive collections and environments of museum and heritage organisations can provide unique opportunities to promote inclusion and equality, both within and beyond the sites on which they are located. This module explores the methods employed by museums to include the public in the creation of socially-relevant exhibitions and to engage the public in meaningful learning experiences. NML’s experienced curatorial and educational staff share their expertise in developing resources, events, environments and partnerships that address issues of social justice and human rights on a local and global level. Throughout the module, students acquire a comprehensive understanding of inclusion and education in a museological context, as well as the ability to critically assess the potential of museums and heritage organisations to act as agents for social and political change.</p>
<h3><strong>Safeguarding for the Future: Ethical practices of collection management (15 credits)</strong></h3>
<p>The management and care of collections is a practice that cuts across the many roles and activities of museums and heritage organisations. This module aims to provide the knowledge and skills required to work directly with collections of varying types, from fine art, through social history, to natural science. Through a series of intensive seminars, delivered by NML’s expert collections management staff, students gain practical experience of the full range of collections management activities including: acquisitions and disposals, security and access, documentation and labelling, loan procedures, handling packing and movement, display and storage, and environmental control. Throughout the module students are encouraged to reflect critically on these practices, by examining the legal and ethical aspects of collection management and exploring the challenges that these regulations can raise in the wider museum context.<strong> </strong></p>
<h3><strong>Sustainable Development: Public demand and public funding (15 credits)</strong></h3>
<p>Museums today are structurally complex organisations that draw on a variety of public, private and self-generated funding streams to sustain their collections, buildings, staff and other important resources. This module provides and introduction to these inter-related processes of income generation and resource development, focussing in particular on the processes and attendant responsibilities of public funding. NML’s professional team of development and communication staff contribute guest seminars exploring strategies of resource development including: funding sources and fundraising, visitor research and audience development, marketing and advocacy, temporary and touring exhibitions, and trading through catering and retail. These real-world case studies provide students with up-to-date knowledge of current practice in museum development, as well as the opportunity to explore critical issues, like ethical trading and shared values in funding partnerships.</p>
<p>In addition to taught modules, all students also undertake a 15-credit practical Learning Project with a museum or heritage organisation, providing valuable, hands-on experience of professional practice.</p>
<p>Students who wish to progress to the MA undertake the 15-credit Dissertation Preparation module, which focuses on the research methods and skills relevant to the museum and heritage discipline, and complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation (60 credits) on a research topic of their choice.</p>
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