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Last modified: 26 Feb 2018 20:22

Course Overview

This course is organised around a series of seminars and visits to selected museums. The course is divided into two parts. The first addresses approaches in anthropology to the meanings of artefacts; the second considers contemporary curatorial practice. Assessment is based on an artefact study, which will involve original research utilising the collections of the University of Aberdeen, and an essay in which students reflect upon the course as a whole.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Alison Brown

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 4
  • One of AT1002 Introduction to Anthropology (Passed) or AT1003 Introduction to Anthropology: Peoples of the World (Passed) or AT1501 Introduction to Anthropology 2 (Passed) or AT1502 Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity (Passed) or BSc Medical Science (Medical Humanities)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • AT453A Anthropology, Museums and Society (Studied)
  • AT4545 Anthropology, Museums and Society (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Museums are often regarded as the public face of anthropology and have increasingly become viewed as contested places in today's world. This course provides an introduction to museums as a field site for anthropology. Using case studies and current debates within critical museology it draws attention to aspects of the culture, history and functions of museums, and to their emerging role within projects of cultural revitalization.
Themes to be covered may include how artefacts are defined and valued in different contexts; how meaning is negotiated in exhibitions; relationships between museums and indigenous peoples; digital technologies and 'knowledge repatriation'; traditional care and curation; ownership and appropriation.

Further Information & Notes

Available only to students in Programme year 4.

Details, including assessment, may be subject to change until 31 July 2022 for 1st half-session courses and 23 December 2022 for 2nd half-session courses.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessment, may be subject to change until 31 July 2022 for 1st half-session courses and 23 December 2022 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

  • One 3000-word artefact study (50%)
  • One 3000-word essay (50%)

Formative Assessment

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



Course Learning Outcomes


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