Postgraduate taught 

Museum Studies MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Managing and Using Collections INFOST5021

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will introduce the principles of working with collections, from the perspective of both cultural organisations and users. The course is delivered through blended learning via Moodle and is taught through a combination of online and face-to-face activities. Practical skills in collections management will be delivered via site visits and workshops with cultural heritage professionals, while technical topics such as legal requirements and introduction to databases will be delivered via online lectures, tutorials and workbooks, enabling students to learn at their own pace. Students will be supported to undertake these self-directed activities through drop-in lab sessions and online discussion groups with staff and peers. Assessment is through project-based learning, with an emphasis on developing students' skills in working with collections management systems.


5 x 1.5-3 hour workshops/fieldtrips across 11 weeks, as scheduled on MyCampus, supported by online lectures, tutorials and activities

Excluded Courses





Portfolio (3000 words) - comprising project outputs (40%) and Reflective Learning Record, demonstrating achievement of at least two individual course learning outcomes and related Graduate Attributes (60%) - 100%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Develop subject specialist knowledge relating to the theoretical and practical understanding of the relationships between objects, collections and information

■ Introduce the key principles, policies and procedures of Collections Management within the international cultural heritage sector

■ Encourage a critical understanding of the use of collections and collections data, including the online user experience

■ Facilitate reflective learning to enable students to identify their skills and support continuing professional development

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Identify the relevant standards, conventions, legal and ethical principles relating to museums collections in an international context, including Spectrum procedures

■ Use collections management systems to record, retrieve and research museum objects

■ Develop appropriate strategies for addressing environmental requirements and safeguard the preservation of museum collections

■ Analyse the theoretical and practical issues relating to collections access for diverse users, particularly in the digital environment.

■ Identify how collections management processes relate to key functions and strategies across cultural heritage organisations

■ Analyse the theoretical and practical issues relating to collections in cultural heritage policy.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.