The Museum and Change

Module code: MU7012

Module co-ordinator: Dr Sheila Watson

Museums and Change will broaden and develop many of the key themes that you encountered in the first week of Developing Expertise, sketching out the social and cultural landscapes within which museums are located. This will help you to develop detailed understandings of the place of museums across the globe, in diverse societies, and their relationships to other institutions and agencies. In this module you will consider and discuss different histories and discourses concerning museums and galleries, and assess how wider agendas, policy formulation and current museology are impacting on these institutions. This module will also introduce you to concepts of museum ethics and will encourage you to engage in critical assessments of the role that museums have played in the construction of knowledge, meaning-making and representation. This module then looks out from the museum, to consider the external environment upon which it impacts and that, in turn, impacts upon it.

Topics covered

  • Museums in social and cultural landscapes
  • Museum histories
  • Museums and politics
  • Museum ethics
  • Knowledge, meaning-making, representation


Learning is through a combination of lectures, seminars, practicals/workshops, tutorials, fieldwork and individual study.


  • Essay (or equivalent), 3,500-4,000 words (100%)