Accessibility statement

Objects in Focus (Curating) - HOA00011C

« Back to module search

  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. James Boaden
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

In this module, you will think through key questions of curatorial practice through the study of a discrete art historical topic in a sustained and cumulative way, through a combination of lectures, seminars, research, and close looking at objects.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

In this module, you will think through some of the key questions around curatorial practice by way of a discrete art historical topic in a sustained and cumulative way, through a series of close-looking exercises and focused research. Through sustained engagement with a small group of images, objects, buildings, exhibitions, or films, you will develop a multi-faceted, rich understanding that will inflect the way you think about curating. Where most of the modules in Stage 1 develop broad knowledge and skills that enable you to progress to further study, Objects in Focus directly introduces you to the more in-depth, research-intensive nature of the modules at Stages 2 and 3, which increasingly focus on specific topics that deepen your levels of knowledge and understanding. This module aims to also think about some of the key types of writing that are undertaken by curators and the ways in which complex art historical ideas can be communicated to broad audiences.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have acquired:

  • A detailed knowledge of a clearly defined art historical subject in relation to curatorial practice

  • A critical knowledge of its literature

  • Experience of the diverse and multifaceted nature of art historical enquiry

  • The ability to communicate the above to a wide variety of audiences through the key modes of curatorial writing


Task Length % of module mark
Objects in Focus (Curating) Essay 1500
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Objects in Focus (Curating) Essay 1500
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback on assessed work within the timeframes set out by the University - please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

The purpose of feedback is to help you to improve your future work. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further, you are warmly encouraged to meet your Supervisor during their Office Hours.

Indicative reading

  • Burnham, Rika and Elliott Kai-Kee. Teaching in the Art Museum. Los Angeles: Getty, 2011.
  • Drotner, Kirsten, Vince Dziekan, Ross Parry, and Kim Christian Schrøder. The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Media and Communication. London: Routledge, 2018.
  • Erdman, Sarah, Nguyen Nhi and Margaret Middleton. Welcoming Young Children into the Museum: a Practical Guide. London: Routledge, 2021.
  • Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean. Museums and Education: Purpose, Pedagogy, Performance. London: Routledge, 2007.
  • Mon, Lorri and Christie Koontz. Marketing and Social Media: A Guide for Libraries, Archives and Museums. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2021.
  • Pringle, Emily. Rethinking Research in the Art Museum. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2019.
  • Wallace, Margot. Writing for Museums: Communicating and Connecting with All Your Audiences. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2022.

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.