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AT5526: THE MUSEUM IDEA (2020-2021)

Last modified: 24 Jun 2020 14:40

Course Overview

Why do human beings collect and what is the purpose of museums? ‘The Museum Idea’ examines these questions by focusing on the history and philosophy of museums and relating these to contemporary museum practice. The course will examine the role of museums in society through case studies of exhibitions and other museum projects in a variety of settings, including art, history and ethnographic museums.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Alison Brown

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

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Master of Letters in Museum Studies

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


Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 25 - 34, 38 - 40

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1 x 4000 word essay plus 10 non-graded discussion board submissions.


Resit (for students who took the course in Academic Year 2020/21):   

1 x 4000 word essay

Resit (for students who took the course in Academic Year 2019/20 or for C8 students):   

1 x 4000 word essay

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualUnderstandDrawing on relevant literature, students will be able to discuss critically, in written and verbal form, key topics within the field of Museum Studies.
ConceptualAnalyseStudents will critique interpretative and communication processes used by museums, both historically and in the present.
FactualEvaluateStudents will critically evaluate case study material drawn from museums and heritage organisations worldwide.
FactualUnderstandStudents will demonstrate an ability to prepare material for leading and participating in seminar discussions.
ConceptualCreateStudents will demonstrate evidence of independent research in course assessments.

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