VA7011 - Cultural Heritage and Museums

What will I learn on this module?

This module explores the principles, policies, institutions and practices of heritage management. You will be encouraged to critically evaluate current discourses and debate in the museums and heritage sectors relevant to your developing professional practice as cultural heritage managers. Through seminars, site visits and expert guests, you will develop your knowledge of the context and practices of museums, historic houses, monuments and archaeological sites. You will engage with contemporary issues and challenges within the museums and heritage sector, encountering and analysing the different ways that heritage and culture are perceived, studied and communicated in different institutions and environments. You will analyse and put into practice some of the important skills required in this sector, such as policy review, communications/marketing and programming/education, helping to develop your employability and enterprise skills.

How will I learn on this module?

This module encourages self-directed learning, supported and guided by the teaching team of active academics. Lectures and seminars introduce the breadth and depth of ideas in the subject area and foster curiosity and analytical skills, alongside experiential activities, visits and field experiences in the NewcastleGateshead region where diverse approaches to practice offer a foundation for ongoing development of management skills. We also focus on technology-enhanced, small-group and one-on-one approaches to teaching and learning, emphasising student-centred and practical activities and debates. Technology is central to this process as a tool supporting the everyday learning activities (through audio and visual materials, discussion boards, collaborations, blogs and student websites), which offers equal opportunities for both campus and distance students.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your module tutor will play an active role in guiding you through module sessions, e-learning interactive activities and one-on-one electronic and academic tutorial support. Seminars, tutorials and on-site institutional and industry trips (in-person or through audio and video sessions) will offer additional opportunities to experience processes and issues, and ask to questions. All course materials will be made available on the relevant module e-Learning Portal sites.

At Department and Faculty level, the Student Administration and Support Centre (SASC) provides a place to ask questions (e.g. regarding timetables, late submissions and personal extenuating circumstances). SASC will refer you to the correct university service if it cannot directly help you.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critical understanding of contemporary policies, trends and debates in the museum and heritage sector environments, as related to the practical and professional considerations of heritage managers

2. Ability to critically evaluate the processes and effectiveness of museum and heritage management through observed practice, and advanced knowledge related to the what, why and how of cultural heritage management

Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities:
3. Demonstrated ability to engage with public policy, institutional systems, partnerships, consultations and other strategic processes required in the field.

4. Demonstrate the cognitive and intellectual skills required to reflect on, engage with and communicate effectively in museum and heritage working environments

Personal Values Attributes:
5. Gain an awareness of strategic visioning, employability and enterprise opportunities in relation to professional development by demonstrating confidence in public heritage communications

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be carried out throughout the seminar sessions where students will discuss literature, issues and themes; undertake problem-orientated tasks; and complete weekly e-tivities relating to a wider range of issues pertinent to cultural and creative industries. Peer and tutor feedback, and self-reflection, will encourage personal values attributes of sensitivity, ethics and curiosity. Formative assessment will also be carried out through the briefing and development sessions in relation to the summative assessment.

The summative assessment will be a 4000 word essay demonstrating students' understanding of policies, debates and practices in the museum and heritage sector, using specific practice-oriented case studies (80%), plus an online/in-class seminar presentation on a weekly session topic of 1000 words (20%). Both will require students to demonstrate and elaborate the synthesis of theory to practice.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time
1 other options available

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy