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Last modified: 27 Jul 2020 13:15

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 First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Alison Brown

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

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

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

  • 2 Seminars during University weeks 10, 12, 14, 16 - 18
  • 1 Seminar during University week19
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 8 - 9, 11, 13, 15

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

Artefact Study (100%): 

- 1 journal entry (500 words) - 10%

- 1 journal entry (1000 words) - 20%

- Blog Post (1500 words) - 70%

Alternative Resit Arrangements

If required the resit would be a second attempt at whatever part of the assignment the student/s fail.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberNot Available

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