EL5029 - Literature in the Museum: Working in the Heritage Sector

What will I learn on this module?

This module aims to broaden your awareness of the professional opportunities in the Arts and Heritage sectors open to those with a degree in English literature, drawing upon departmental expertise in working within the professional cultural and heritage sectors. The module will provide a solid grounding in the interdisciplinary nature of literary studies, and instruct you in the practical application of literary knowledge in a professional environment. It will teach key organisational skills involved in managing a project which you will be able to draw on in writing your third-year dissertation. Over the course of the academic year you will be introduced to key theoretical ideas involved in working on literature-related projects in the culture and heritage sectors; the relationship between literature & the visual arts, literature & place/heritage sites and literature & archives/collections/digital resources.

How will I learn on this module?

1 x weekly 90 minute session

This module is delivered through a combination of class-room based discussion and site visits that put into practice the transferable skills accrued whilst undertaking a degree in English Literature. You are provided with a module reader that provides overview for the year and breakdown of the module into weekly reading and practical tasks that lay the ground work for seminar discussion and the site visits. The seminars and tasks for this module will develop your academic skills as you engage with practical tasks and theoretical materials to allow you to attain the module learning outcomes.
In addition to learning during contact hours with the module tutors, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars where you will be expected to contribute to discussion. Informal presentations will be used as well as group work to facilitate student engagement.
Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, the consolidation of seminar notes, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module handbook provides details of seminars, reading lists and assessment criteria; the e-learning portal contains a large range of resources relating to the heritage sector and will give you access to current thinking and debates as to what actually constitutes heritage, who it belongs to and best curatorial practice. The module tutors will be available in seminars, as well as in office hours and are contactable by email to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Moreover, feedback on the non-assessed work and the first piece of assessed work will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module. In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes:
• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)
You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress. The Guidance Booklet, which you receive at the start of your first year, includes structured materials designed to help you develop your self-reflection skills. These materials underpin the academic side of the regular Guidance meetings, helping you to learn how to best use the feedback you receive on your assignments, how to build on your strengths, and improve in the areas where you could perform better.

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate an appreciation for the varied approaches in heritage display practices, and an awareness of the relationship between literature and the heritage industry

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. Identify the nature and practical application of transferable skills accrued whilst studying English literature.

3. Demonstrate reflective practice and develop the ability to communicate ideas effectively and fluently.

4. Acquire key organisational skills involved in managing a project which you will be able to draw on in writing your third-year dissertation.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Be able to provide evidence of competence in transferable skills and attributes required for graduate employment in addition to a degree.

How will I be assessed?

Formative (practice) assessment
i) One page essay plan.
You will receive feedback and reflection in one-to-one meetings to discuss the submitted plan., MLO1.

ii) A presentation/pitch of your ideas for your individual project (second summative assessment). The pitch will be structured alongside a set form with different sections designed to replicate bid/proposal forms in the heritage industry.
This formative assessment will demonstrate the transferable nature of the skills acquired in the pursuit of a degree in English Literature and the project, such as developing a rationale in an articulate and engaging manner whilst demonstrating the academic underpinning of the chosen content or relationship with the site. MLO4

Summative (graded) Assessments
i) 2500 word essay (40%)
The essay will develop your awareness of literature’s broader relationship to culture, and its uses and applications in the Arts and Heritage sectors. MLOs 1, 3.

ii) Exhibition portfolio (60%)
You will develop an individual project using digital resources to create a virtual display/exhibition for a gallery, museum or site-specific space. This assessed work will be submitted alongside a 1,500 word reflective commentary on the ideas and decisions taken in developing the display. This project will test your ability to put their theoretical knowledge into practice, providing them with project management skills and an awareness of the practicalities of digital heritage display. MLOs 2,4,5.
Feedback will be provided using the Departmental template and comments on the script.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code Q320

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

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.


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