Dr Nuala Morse

Lecturer in Museum Studies

School/Department: Museum Studies School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3975



I am a social geographer and museum studies scholar. My research interests draw together human geography, museums and heritage studies, the medical humanities and organisational studies.

I joined the School in September 2017 as a Lecturer in Museum Studies and I am a member of the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries.

My main research focus is on museum work and care as ethics and practice.

Within this I have a particular interest in the role of museums as spaces of social care and in understanding the 'social work' of culture professionals. This includes a focus on community engagement practice in museums heritage and art galleries. A related aspect of this work explores the links between cultural participation and health, well-being and recovery. My monograph The Museum as a Space of Social Care explores these related themes.

Another strand of my research is focused on museum careers, workforce development and organisational change. Recent work was published in a report for the Museums Association: Becoming a change-maker in museums: experiences, opportunities and challenges. Reflections on the Museums Association's Transformers workforce development initiative 


My research is collaborative working closely with culture sector professionals.

Recent funded projects include: 'Change-makers in the creative economy: the role of front-line museum professionals in organisational change' funded by the ESRC Creative Economy Engagement Fellowship and CSSAH Research Development Fund. In collaboration with the Museums Association this project explored the reach and impact of the MA’s workforce initiative for innovation and diversity 'Transformers: Radical Change in Museums' with Dr Mercy McCann. Our recently published report 'Becoming a Change-Maker in Museums' is part of sector-facing conversations around future workforce development and organisational change strategies for the sector.

I previously held a postdoctoral position at the University of Manchester and UCL on a project investigating the health and wellbeing benefits of taking part in museum activities for stroke rehabilitation patients people living with dementia and adults mental health service users in partnership with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and Manchester Museums Partnerships.


Morse N. (2020) The Museum as a Space of Social Care. Routledge Morse N (2020) Care-ful Cultural Work and Health Inequalities. What Roles for Museums? A UK Perspective. Special issue Museums in the Pandemic: A Survey of Responses on the Current Crisis Museum Worlds 8(1) pp.111-134. DOI:10.3167/armw.2020.080109

Thomson, L.J, Morse, N., Elsden, E., and Chatterjee, H.J. (2020) Art nature and mental health: assessing the biopsychosocial effects of a ‘creative green prescription’ museum programme involving horticulture artmaking and collections. Perspectives in Public Health

Morse, N., Thomson, L.J., and Chatterjee, H.J. (2020). The Role of Co-production Methods in Developing an Observational Tool for Museums in Health Research for People Living With Dementia. Sage Methods paper .

Morse, N. and McCann, M. 2019. Becoming a Change-Maker in Museums: experiences opportunities and challenges-Reflections on the Museums Association’s Transformers workforce development initiative. Leicester: School of Museum Studies University of Leicester

Morse N. (2018). Patterns of accountability: an organizational approach to community engagement in museums. museum and society 16 (2) p. 171-186 Morse N. Rex B. and Richardson S. H. (eds) (2018). Special Issue: Methodologies for Researching the Museum as Organization museum and society 16 (2) p. 112-123

Morse, N. and Munro, E. (2015) ‘Museums’ community engagement schemes austerity and practices of care in two local museum services’. Social and Cultural Geography Online First. and part of the Special Issue: Placing Care in Times of Austerity

Morse, N., Thomson, L., and Brown, Z. and Chatterjee H.J. (2015) ‘Effects of museum outreach sessions on measures of confidence sociability and wellbeing for mental health and addiction recovery service users’ Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research Policy and Practice 7 (3) p. 231-246.

Morse, N., Macpherson, M., and Robinson, S. (2013) ‘Developing dialogue in youth-led exhibitions: between rhetoric intentions and realities.’ Museum Management and Curatorship 28 (1) p. 91-106.


I am interested in supervising students in the following areas:

  • The emotional and therapeutic role of museum spaces and objects in well-being health and recovery
  • Theories of change in museums in particular professionals' experiences as 'change-makers'
  • Community engagement and participatory practice in museums heritage and arts practice
  • Participatory action research or organisational studies methodologies in museum studies
  • Sustainable and equitable cultural careers 


I am currently the Programme Director for the MA/MSc Museum Studies by Distance Learning Programme.

I teach on the following modules for the campus-based MA/MSc Museum Studies

MU7012 ‘Contemporary Museum Contexts’ MU7017 'Engaging Audiences (Module Lead)

MU7020 'Specialisms' (Module Lead for 'Education' specialism).

I also contribute teaching to the following Distance Learning modules:  MU7750 'The Museum and Change', MU7553 'Engaging Audiences', MU7554 'Lifelong Learning',  MU7562 'Ethical Practice: Access Liberation and Organisational Change'

Press and media

Press and media topics: health and wellbeing benefits of cultural participation


I am a Managing Editor for museum and society journal and a member of the Editorial Board for Museums & Social Issues. 

I am a member of the Royal Geographical Society's Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group and the Association of Critical Heritage Studies


I have presented at numerous national and international conferences including The Association of Critical Heritage Studies international conference - The Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) annual international conference - The Culture Health and Wellbeing International conference - The American Association of Geographers (AAG) international conference 
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