Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum

MOOC, 6 weeks

This is for you if... you are interested in how modern museums seek to impact our contemporary world and how they aim to engage new audiences.

Course Description

  • Next start date: 18 January 2016

The University of Leicester is a world leader in the field of museum studies. Take this course and you will learn how visitors respond emotionally to museum objects and spaces, and how museums can play a role in the pursuit of social justice, human rights and health and wellbeing.

The course looks at:

  • How we can understand museums in the 21st century.
  • Who makes the decisions about what to put in them and whose stories they tell.
  • Who museums are for and how/why they are working to engage new audiences.
  • How we as visitors respond emotionally to museum objects and spaces.
  • How today's museums can play a role in the pursuit of social justice, human rights, and health and wellbeing.

Created by leading academic researchers and museum professionals, this course is a collaboration between our internationally renowned School of Museum Studies and National Museums Liverpool. Each week, you will be taught by a different member of staff, who will bring their own view and understanding of what a modern museum does ‘behind the scenes’. You will contribute to the course through a range of discussions and activities.

As with all our MOOCs, there are no entry requirements. Anyone, of any age or experience, anywhere in the world, can sign up for this course. You may want to take this course for general interest, or you can use it as a ‘taster’ for further academic study. Our School of Museum Studies offers a range of Masters Degrees which can be studied on campus or from home.

How a MOOC works

MOOCs are flexible courses which allow you to participate at your own pace. Once a course has started you can study the week’s material at a time that suits you. You do not need to be online at the same time as the other students. There is no requirement to visit Leicester - although you would always be very welcome if you want to come and have a look around campus.

If you want to leave your course at any point you may do so, whether or not it has already begun. You can sign up for the same course when it runs again if you want to have another go at it. There is no limit on the number of MOOCs you can take: if you think you have the time to do several simultaneously, that's fine.

If you have any questions about this course, join us for a live online chat with academic tutors and admissions staff.

Key Facts
Department
Museum Studies
Contact

Please address all enquiries to FutureLearn.

Why Leicester?

The School of Museum Studies develops leading edge research and teaching which aims to shape the field of museum studies, inform practice in the sector and directly benefit contemporary society.

Our School of Museum Studies department, who developed this course in partnership with Futurelearn, is a world-leading hub for research, teaching, thinking, debate and practice.

The University of Leicester is one of the UK's leading research and teaching universities with over 25 years' experience of offering high quality distance learning courses.

Course Structure

Week 1

Week 1

Building a 21st Century Museum

In this first week, we will think about what it means to be a 21st century museum. This will include an exploration of issues such as architecture and design, community collaboration and how a museum can use digital technology to reach out to people beyond the physical walls of the museum.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 2

Week 2

Engaging People with Museums

During the course of this week we will look at the research of colleagues at the School of Museum Studies into the barriers that people face when it comes to visiting or engaging with museums, and look at some potential solutions. We will also see case studies from National Museums Liverpool, which show how the Walker Art Gallery sought to engage with one under-represented audience group.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 3

Week 3

The Emotional Museum

This week we will explore the ‘emotional museum’. We will think about how people respond emotionally to particular objects and exhibitions, whether it is always right for museums to set out to shock or provoke, or elicit particular emotional responses, and what ethical considerations a museum might make when it does so. We will assert that it is these emotional responses to objects, displays and stories that make museums well placed to tackle some of society’s most difficult issues.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 4

Week 4

Museums, Social Justice and Human Rights

This week we build on previous thinking as we look at some leading-edge research and work in the area of museums, social justice and human rights. We will consider what areas of work in this field it is appropriate for museums to engage in (racism and hate crime, disability discrimination, homo- and transphobia and more) through a variety of rich and inspiring case studies.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 5

Week 5

Museums, Health and Wellbeing

This week we continue our exploration by thinking about the health problems faced by today’s society and how museums might be able to support the health and wellbeing of their communities. We will offer lots of background information on health and wellbeing, a framework to help us understand how museums might be able to become involved in this work and some case studies of work that is currently going on in this field.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Week 6

Week 6

Museums and Me

This week we will explore behind the scenes of the museum even further, by looking at how we approach objects as museum practitioners and audiences, and interpret them. We will also meet some of the people that shape the 21st century museum today and open up some conversations about how you might be able to get more involved with museums in many different ways.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Teaching and Assessment

At the end of each week of the course there is normally a set of multiple choice questions to test your understanding of what you have learned, and this will count towards your overall course score. Please note that this is a FutureLearn score, and is not valid as credit for other courses at the University of Leicester - although a MOOC is a great 'taster' for university learning.

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements for the current range of MOOCs available from the University of Leicester. You simply need an internet connection and a computer or tablet device. Some other courses may specify expected levels of understanding or experience in certain areas but this will be made clear before signing up for the course.

English Language Requirements

There are no specific English language requirements for our MOOCs. However, to get the most out of this course you should have a reasonable command of written English.

Fees and Funding

  • Enjoy this course for free - there are no fees for any of our MOOCs.

  • Enjoy this course for free - there are no fees for any of our MOOCs.

Career Opportunities

If this is a subject that fascinates you, why not consider some of our postgraduate courses in Museum Studies?

Campus based

Distance Learning

Careers
Course Duration Availability
Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum 6 weeks Apply Now
Course
Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum
Duration
6 weeks
Availability

Not what you're looking for?