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Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries


Course Description

In the 21st century, leading museums, galleries and heritage practice began to make use of socially engaged approaches. This course will examine the role of museums and practitioners in shaping society’s understandings of contemporary issues, upholding values of inclusivity and accessibility, and ensuring that museums benefit their communities. Choosing to study Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries will give you access to leading research and practice on the impact that museums and galleries can have on advocating for social justice and human rights, and how they might better explore and address the contemporary issues that face our societies.

This course is based on research that has been undertaken over the last 15 years by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at Leicester, and draws on broader global shifts in practice. It will introduce you to cutting-edge examples of socially-driven professional practice and challenge you to think deeply about the role of culture in society and the characteristics of socially purposeful museums and practices.

Over the course, you will engage critically and creatively with areas such as:

partnership working and participatory practices
learning and education
design and experience
visitor studies and audience research
leadership at all levels of an organisation
how socially engaged practice can be embedded into the work of museums and galleries

You will gain a deeper understanding of the historical, current and emerging debates, theories, issues, techniques and practice in order to effectively develop and advocate for socially engaged practice in museums, galleries, and similar organisations. The course offers a platform to explore and experiment with ways of maximising the impact that museums and galleries can have on the wellbeing of communities, on civil debates around controversial topics, and on the building of fairer and more equal societies.

The programme is delivered in a variety of ways, including online lectures, seminars, and tutorials, course readers which are posted to you, and discussion activities. There are also optional face-to-face sessions held each year. The programme is designed to fit around your existing commitments, and is sympathetically structured to allow you to break up the work into manageable chunks and focus on one assignment at a time.

Visit the Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries page on the University of Leicester website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Either a first class or second class degree, which can be in any subject area.Or be able to demonstrate equivalent skills and aptitudes through the possession of a professional or vocational qualification.

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