Skip to Content


Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Research and interpreting artefacts is core to many aspects of museum work. This course gives students experience of working directly with the collections of the University Museums. By preparing an in-depth study of one artefact, students will develop skills in close observation of artefacts and of sourcing archival and secondary information. They will also learn how to apply current approaches to working with material culture, drawn from anthropology, history and museum studies, to museum collections.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Alison Brown

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course gives students direct experience of working with museum collections and documentation. Students will work with one object selected from the University collections and will undertake research into its meanings and history using both primary and secondary sources. They will also learn about safe handling of objects and about the processes museums use to generate information about collections. In addition to practical work with collections, students will participate in seminars addressing theoretical approaches to material culture, and will be expected to apply these approaches to the study of their chosen artefact.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

One artefact study of 3500 words excluding bibliography (100%); Oral presentation (0%).

Resit: oOne essay of 3500 words, excluding bibliography.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Informal oral feedback will be given on the artefact studies during class presentations. Written feedback will be given to students on summative assessments in line with the University's guidelines.

Course Learning Outcomes


Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.