MC3DD-Display Design, Planning and Creation: Project Module

Module Provider: The Museum of English Rural Life
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer / Autumn / Spring module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Rhi Smith


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Students will research, design, install, and market an exhibition around the campus. They will be assessed on a literature review regarding the subject matter of the exhibition, an exhibition diary, and a group mark regarding the final exhibition.


This module is the opportunity for students to put their experience from the 5 other Museum Studies modules into practice with a final exhibition. In the autumn term students will work as a group to outline and research a relevant theme across the University collections. In the spring term they will design and install an exhibition and marketing programme for the exhibition.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module students will be able:
•To plan, organise, and carry out a major piece of sustained museum work;
•To frame a problem and identify or design methods required for its solution;
•To work effectively as part of a team;
•To demonstrate critical self-awareness in reflecting up on their own role in the project;
•To identify, assemble, and organise information relating to accessioned heritage collections relevant to a specific public facing the me;
•To present their work in an accessible and engaging design and written style which reflects best practice in heritage interpretation.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop work-related skills such as time management and interpersonal skills through being part of a self-led workforce.

Outline content:

The University of Reading’s collections cover a wide range of topics, time periods, and media. This module challenges students to design an exhibition which will appeal to campus and surrounding communities. The students will identify a current and relevant topic which they will agree with professional staff. During the Autumn Term they will undertake research regarding the topic in order to create a draft exhibition brief for the project. In the Spring Term the group will design the te xt and visual design of the displays. They will also design an accompanying marketing strategy and supporting learning materials. With the supervision of professional staff the will pack, move and install the exhibition during Spring Term. The exhibition will be presented at a private view for academic staff, professional staff, and Museum Studies students from Part 1 and 2.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module relies on an enquiry-based learning model where learning is guided by students towards the solution of a real life ‘problem’. In order to support learning there are several supported learning opportunities spread out during Autumn and Spring term.

1.A 3 hour briefing session identifying a research theme (Summer Term)
2.An introductory two-hour seminar to introduce students to the module and the assessment tasks. (Week 2 Autumn Term)
3.A series of 2 hour to urs of collections around campus. These will include: The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology; The Museum of English Rural Life; The Cole Museum of Zoology; The Herbarium; The MERL and Special Collections archive; The MERL and Special Collections Library; The University Art Collection.
4.A 2 hour meeting every fortnight to be chaired by the students. The meetings will be minuted and added to exhibition diaries.
5.A 2 hour text writing workshop to evaluate draft labels.
6.A 2 hou r design workshop with museum staff drawing on case design at the recently re-displayed Museum of English Rural Life.
7.Supervised research within the collections (24 hours minimum)
8.A 2 hour training session on packing and secure installation.
9.Supervision of installation during Spring Term (24 hours over 3 days).

Otherwise the module consists of independent working in a museum or collection. A staff member in each museum will supervise students and a member of academic staff will be available to answer student queries regarding academic aspects of the assessment and coursework tasks. Students will be responsible for managing their own coursework.

This is a 40 credit module which means that it should take up 400 hours of time. During independent study time students will be expected to divide their time between the following activities:
•Visiting other museums and relevant collections
•Meeting with relevant staff to discu ss options
•Reading relevant literature
•Drafting labels
•Drafting designs for cases
•Preparing for assignments

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14 6
Project Supervision 34 34
Practicals classes and workshops 4 3
Supervised time in studio/workshop 24 24
Guided independent study: 128 129
Total hours by term 200 197 3
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Portfolio 30
Project output other than dissertation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Literature Review – 3000 words

Diary – 2000-2500 words

Formative assessment methods:
Students will report back and present draft materials in workshops to recieve feedback from module convenor, professional staff and peers.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of coursework in August/September

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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