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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Collections: Theories, Practices and Methods (HIAR11093)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course combines advanced research training and practical skills development relating to the field of curatorship and collections.
Course description Aligned with the MSc by Research in Collections and Curating Practices, this course is designed to prepare you for independent research, enable you to develop an in-depth understanding of the critical issues, debates and histories that shape the field of curatorship, and offer introductory practical training in skills relevant to the pursuit of a career in the museums and galleries sector. Each seminar is led by academics drawn from across the University as well as professionals from our partner institutions; National Museums Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland, Talbot Rice Gallery, The Fruitmarket Gallery, and the University of Edinburgh's own Special Collections. This rich pool of expertise enables us to cover a range of topics from Curating Research and Developing Collections through to Writing Interpretation and Digital Futures.

The course runs across Semesters 1 and 2, interleaving theoretical seminars with more practical sessions. While based in the University's Centre for Research Collections, many activities will take place across different institutional sites giving you the opportunity to work behind the scenes in archives and storage facilities. All seminars will encourage active participation and a range of formats will be employed including roundtable discussions, debates, site visits and workshops. 'Collections: Theories, Practices, Methods' is open to all postgraduate research students and can be taken for credit as a research methods course. As places are limited please contact the Course Organiser for approval. It is not possible to audit this course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking The Cultures and Politics of Display (HIAR11038)
Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Assessment for this course will focus on a hypothetical group curatorial project
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment for this course will focus on a hypothetical group curatorial project. You will work collaboratively in groups of three to develop an exhibition proposal, notionally for one of the partner institutions in the MSc by Research programme, attending to relevant collections and exhibition programming. Together you will write an essay (1,500 words), adopting the form of an exhibition catalogue introduction, which will be notionally aimed at the institution¿s audience (worth 30% of total mark, with each student in the group receiving the same mark for this component). You will then work individually to ¿curate¿ a particular space/room elaborating a particular theme that aligns and contributes to the overarching premise. A 3,000-word research essay will interrogate critically the theme and the chosen works/materials (worth 70% of total mark).

This project is designed to enable you to demonstrate skills in research, writing, critical analysis, working with others, time management and engagement with innovative approaches to curation
Feedback There will be a formative assessment opportunity in the early stages of the course, which will consist of a short essay. Students will be given feedback on this in written form supported by one-to-one tutorials. Regular verbal feedback on presentations and on points of discussion will be given in seminars.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of curatorial practices, concepts, research paradigms and research findings
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the applications and implications of curatorial theories and research
  3. Identify, conceptualise and offer creative insights into key issues in the field of collections and curatorial practices, including the future shape of the field
  4. Plan and manage a programme of research
  5. Communicate with peers and with professionals in the same and other disciplines about your research in both written and verbal forms and using IT as appropriate
Reading List
Terry Smith, Thinking Contemporary Curating, New York, 2012
Stephen Rand and Heather Kouris, Cautionary Tales: Critical Curating, New York, 2007
Thea Carolee, On Curating: Interviews with Ten International Curators, New York, 2009
Paul O'Neill and Mick Wilson, Curating Research, London 2015
Susan M Pearce, On Collecting: an investigation into collecting in the European Tradition, London, 1995
Jas Elsner and Roger Cardinal, The Cultures of Collecting, London, 1994
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will offer valuable opportunities to build transferable professional knowledge and skills, including advanced critical and analytical skills. Peer-to-peer communication, including working closely and creatively to deliver a project, is a key skill. Graduates will have a strong sense of autonomy and be prepared to establish or focus their careers in the creative, cultural and heritage industries. They will also be equipped to undertake further postgraduate research, such as a PhD, which is now essential to many curatorial and collections management career pathways.
Course organiserDr Alina Sinelnyk
Course secretaryMiss Chloe Hancock
Tel: (0131 6)50 4124
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