CAHA10010 Museums and Collections

Academic Year 2022/2023

This Stage 1 core module is only for students on the Classics, Art History and Archaeology BA Humanities pathway. It provides an introduction to the historical, social, and theoretical contexts of museums and collections, as well as to the interpretive methodologies applied to some of the main categories of artefacts from prehistory to the modern world. Topics covered in seminars include the influence of the Classical past on western culture, the ethics of collecting artefacts, the roles of digital technologies in heritage work, and communicating the past. Key artefact types such as pottery and paintings are introduced using the collections of the UCD Classical Museum and the National Gallery of Ireland. Assessments provide skills in a range of communication strategies to diverse audiences.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should:
- understand when, why and how diverse collections were developed and displayed
- recognise the main artefact types exhibited in museum/gallery contexts, their methods of analysis, and their contributions to our understanding of the past
- be able to communicate the stories of artefacts to a diverse audience using a variety of media
- be aware of contemporary issues in cultural heritage

Indicative Module Content:

- the Classical tradition
- ethics and collecting
- ceramics
- painting
- communicating the past
- experimental archaeology
- conservation
NB - these are indicative topics and are subject to change

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Seminars are delivered in a small group setting that encourages participation and discussion amongst students. Classes are led by the Curator of the UCD Classical Museum, and other members of the Schools of Classics, Art History and Archaeology. Some sessions include hands-on learning with artefacts in the Museum's collection, or visits to the conservation lab and the Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture, while others deal with more theoretical issues about museums and collections as illustrated through case studies. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Project: A 3 minute digital story based on a specific artefact. Training will be provided in use of technology, as well as storyboarding, etc. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Assignment: Short social media posting about a specific artefact. Week 7 n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Assignment: Museum catalogue entry (c. 500 words + images) Week 6 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual feedback will be provided for each student in Brightspace for each assessment within 20 working days of submission. Students are welcome to arrange a meeting with the module coordinator to discuss their grade/feedback on any assessment.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Alexander Thein Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Fri 12:00 - 13:50