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Presenting Archaeology and Heritage - ARC00090H

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Stella Basinyi
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

In this module you will design exhibition content using archaeological and heritage objects. In preparation for doing so, we will explore principles of good exhibition design, considering the key questions of WHY we are designing an exhibition, WHO it is for, WHAT we want to happen as a result and HOW we will deliver these outcomes for our audiences. This module will give you both practical skills and theoretical knowledge, equipping you to produce and evaluate engaging interpretive materials for archaeological and heritage.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Introduce principles of heritage interpretation and exhibition design
  • Introduce a range of interpretive media used for presenting archaeology and heritage
  • Provide hands-on experience in designing exhibition content
  • Introduce the importance of creativity in communicating the value of the past in the present

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module the students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the role of desk-based and archival research within the context of a wider archaeological or heritage project
  • Critically evaluate source materials and appreciate their relevance to research questions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to undertake desk-based and archival research
  • Have an appreciation of the principles of exhibition design
  • Apply the methods and techniques they have learned to develop audio or visual media that communicates information and ideas to both specialist and non-specialist audiences

Module content

This module will provide you with an understanding of the context within which interpretive work takes place in the profession, and the implications of this for how it is planned and carried out. In addition, it aims to develop your understanding of good interpretation design and exhibition planning. This includes understanding audiences, key messages and the use of different communicative media that might be deployed. We will also consider the ways interpretive material can be stored and shared in order to make all outputs accessible to future researchers and audiences, as well as the role of museums and their varied interpretative practice in the modern world.

Working in groups, the module will then provide hands-on experience in connection with an exhibition, introducing you to all aspects of interpretation planning, including desk-based research, working with objects and preparing interpretive media. We will produce a public-facing exhibition that will allow you to make a contribution to public understanding of the interconnectedness of the past, present and future.

Finally, the module will provide you with an appreciation of how the success of exhibitions can be evaluated and how the results of evaluation can be used in future exhibition planning.


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will work week by week towards their summative assessment during their activities in class.


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Pre-recorded presentation
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative: oral feedback from module leaders in class

Summative: written feedback within the University's turnaround policy

Indicative reading

Kidd, J. (2014) Museums in the New Mediascape: Transmedia, Participation, Ethics. Farnham: Ashgate.

Moshenska, G. (2017) Key Concepts in Public Archaeology. London: UCL.

Slack, S. (2020) Interpreting Heritage: A Guide to Planning and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.