production
Skip to Content

AH3001: CURATION: THEORY AND PRACTICE (2021-2022)

Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05


Course Overview

This course focuses on the theory and practice of curation, making use of the internationally renowned University Museums and Special collections, which include artworks and material culture from the earliest times to the present day. The course comprises a series of seminars covering topics, including museum and exhibition history, object selection, exhibition texts and education, which prepare the ground for student curatorial teams to design an exhibition proposal. The course is assessed by portfolio work, a presentation and a position paper. It is co-taught by Art History and Museums and Special Collections. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Joanne Anderson

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 3

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

Yes

One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.


Course Description

This course focuses on the theory and practice of curation, making specific use of the internationally renowned University Museums and Special collections. These collections include artworks and material culture from the earliest times to the present day. The course comprises a series of six seminars covering formative topics, including museum and exhibition history, object selection, exhibition texts and education, which prepare the ground for student curatorial teams to design an exhibition proposal. The teams will work within a series of constraints, including number of objects, range of objects and time in which to complete the task.   

The course is continuously assessed by portfolio work undertaken during the preparation of the exhibition proposal, a presentation of the proposal by each curatorial team which will be assessed under real life conditions by a panel of experts, and a position paper concerning the future development of the proposal. Convincing proposals may be considered for realisation the following year. The course is co-taught by staff of the Art History department and Museums and Special Collections, with their joint expertise covering art history and material culture, curatorship and collection management, exhibition design and education. 

Curation: Theory and Practice is an ideal follow on from Art History’s Level 2 courses, Object Lessons and Art Matters, which focus on how to ask questions of art objects and to determine the cultural logics of materials and techniques. Students will be able to apply and develop their skills in research and writing in the context of a public-facing event (the exhibition) that relies on collaborative work. With its emphasis on vocational training, this course will help students take initial steps towards careers in the arts, culture and heritage sectors. 

This honours-level course comprises a series of 2-hour seminars run twice a week, supported by online resources in MyAberdeen, and the development of exhibition proposals by curatorial teams of three to four students. The exhibition proposals are based on a pre-determined list of objects drawn from the University Museums and Special Collections. The teaching block represents six weeks of targeted seminars with additional support clinics run throughout the semester to support the production of the exhibition proposals and in the writing of the assignments. Students will engage with the challenges of selecting and displaying historic objects in online space, researching and writing labels and thematic panels, and audience, amongst other considerations.  

Seminars will be conducted in classrooms (physical or in Collaborate) and in museum spaces (where and when possible), with supplementary visits to relevant display spaces and exhibitions to raise critical awareness of themes, hangs, object interrelations, sight lines and aesthetics. Teaching will be supported by online recordings and resources on MyAberdeen. Students are encouraged to visit exhibitions (physical and online) as part of self-directed research, taking notes on themes, design and communication – i.e. looking at labels, panels and catalogues/guidebooks/leaflets. 

The principal outcome is an exhibition proposal per student curatorial team. Consultation with teaching staff will be maintained throughout the course to address technical, theoretical and practical issues.


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

  • 2 Tutorials during University weeks 9 - 19

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

Reflective Report

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks 13 Feedback Weeks 15

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Written and verbal feedback 

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualApplyGaining of theoretical and practical skills in curation by working with the University Museums and Special Collections
ProceduralApplyDemonstrate confidence in organising and delivering written and oral academic work in a group presentation on the exhibition proposal and an individual reflective report.
ProceduralEvaluateApply knowledge of material, visual and textual sources related to objects selected for the exhibition proposal and evaluate the challenges they pose to their organisation and display
ReflectionCreateDevelop skills in collaborative and independent work in the making of an exhibition proposal, and reflect critically on these modes of working in assignments

Oral Presentation: Group

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks 12 Feedback Weeks 13

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Written and verbal feedback.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualApplyGaining of theoretical and practical skills in curation by working with the University Museums and Special Collections
ProceduralApplyDemonstrate confidence in organising and delivering written and oral academic work in a group presentation on the exhibition proposal and an individual reflective report.
ProceduralEvaluateApply knowledge of material, visual and textual sources related to objects selected for the exhibition proposal and evaluate the challenges they pose to their organisation and display
ReflectionCreateDevelop skills in collaborative and independent work in the making of an exhibition proposal, and reflect critically on these modes of working in assignments

Portfolio

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Portfolios will be moderated by the course coordinator throughout the course to maintain engagement and completion.  

Feedback will be written and verbal. 

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualApplyGaining of theoretical and practical skills in curation by working with the University Museums and Special Collections
ProceduralApplyDemonstrate confidence in organising and delivering written and oral academic work in a group presentation on the exhibition proposal and an individual reflective report.
ProceduralEvaluateApply knowledge of material, visual and textual sources related to objects selected for the exhibition proposal and evaluate the challenges they pose to their organisation and display
ReflectionCreateDevelop skills in collaborative and independent work in the making of an exhibition proposal, and reflect critically on these modes of working in assignments

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Exhibition review

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

1000 word exhibition review

Written and verbal feedback

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 70
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Essay - 3000 words

Written and verbal feedback.

Word Count 3000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralEvaluateApply knowledge of material, visual and textual sources related to objects selected for the exhibition proposal and evaluate the challenges they pose to their organisation and display
ConceptualApplyGaining of theoretical and practical skills in curation by working with the University Museums and Special Collections
ReflectionCreateDevelop skills in collaborative and independent work in the making of an exhibition proposal, and reflect critically on these modes of working in assignments
ProceduralApplyDemonstrate confidence in organising and delivering written and oral academic work in a group presentation on the exhibition proposal and an individual reflective report.

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.