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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF5253M Interpretations

15 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Helen Graham

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Module replaces

ARTF5680M & ARTF5801M

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Interpretations will support you to develop critically-engaged, reflexive and practical understandings of interpretive practice in art galleries, museums and heritage.Interpretations is an action learning module. You will work collaboratively with other students to respond to a professional brief. By the end of the 11 Week semester you will have developed, designed, marketed and launched your interpretative intervention.Through the module you will be supported through workshops focused on interpretative planning, audience development, writing text, interpretive design, marketing and visitor research. You will learn how to develop interpretative approaches, write accessibly for different audiences and build skills of collaboration and project management.As a way of creatively expanding your understandings of interpretation, you will critically engage with debates drawn from the academic fields of Museum Studies, Heritage Studies and Science and Technology Studies. Key questions will include: Who is able to take up the position of interpreter? What are the responsibilities generated by the desire to represent other times, other places and other people? What political and creative potentials are enabled and foreclosed by the interpretive stories that are told? What ideas of knowledge can be drawn on for creative interpretation?


Interpretations supports students to become critically-engaged and reflective practitioners of art gallery, museum and heritage interpretation. Students will encounter academic debates concerning dynamics of power, epistemology and representation while undertaking a practical action learning group interpretation project. By the end of the module, students will be able to draw up an interpretation strategy, develop interpretative approaches for specific audiences, communicate with different audiences visually and in writing, understand how to work with people from different backgrounds and be able to project manage and meet deadlines.

Learning outcomes
Students will be able to demonstrate that they can:
- Develop an interpretive project in response to a professional brief.
- Draw on current interpretive practice and academic debates and to identify and put into practice an interpretive strategy.
- Understand the issues raised by identifying audiences for interpretive projects and to make decisions about how to target and tailor interpretation for specific audiences.
- Develop a variety of different interpretative writing styles.
- Develop skills of visual communication and interpretive design.
- Use a digital blog space to develop and share their work.
- Draw on understandings of group dynamics and decision-making processes in order to work collaboratively with peers.
- Engage with the dynamics of power, knowledge and representation raised by interpretive practice in art galleries and museums and apply this to practical interpretive decision-making.
- Account for ethical and political implications of interpretive practice and recognise the responsibilities that emerge from seeking to interpret.
- Develop reflective approaches to practice.
- Project manage and meet deadlines.

Skills outcomes
- Skills necessary to undertake higher research degree and/or for employment in a higher capacity in an area of professional practice.
- Evaluating own achievement and that of others.
- Self-direction and effective decision-making.
- Independent learning.
- Use of methodologies and theoretical resources.


The syllabus for Interpretations is drawn from two strands of Museum Studies, Heritage Studies and Science and Technology Studies. The first is more practice-orientated and concerned with how to develop meaningful and engaged interpretation for specific audiences. This strand includes learning and pedagogic theory and insights generated by visitor studies. The second strand draws on critical debates concerned with dynamics of power, epistemology and representation. The module seeks to bring these different debates into creative and productive dialogue through a practical interpretation project.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group Project101.0010.00
Private study hours125.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

The core of this module is independent group work to deliver an interpretive intervention. Alongside 'key readings' preparation for the workshops, the bulk of the independent learning time will be focused on the group project.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Online blog space where formative feedback is given.
- Group presentation at the end of the module

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectInterpretative Intervention0.00
Reflective log3000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

All assessment components, including the Group Presentation, must be passed in order to pass the module overall.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 01/10/2020


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