CAHA10020 Museums and Collections

Academic Year 2024/2025

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 ethics of collecting artefacts, the role of Classical heritage, and understanding conservation. Important artefact types such as pottery and paintings are introduced using the collections of the UCD and the National Gallery of Ireland. This module also provides training in key skills for a BA Humanities degree in UCD.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- recognise the main artefact types exhibited in museum/gallery contexts, their methods of analysis, and their contributions to our understanding of the past
- be aware of contemporary issues in cultural heritage
- be confident expressing opinions and ideas in class discussions and in reflective writing
- possess basic skills in cataloguing and digital story-telling
- understand how to effectively manage university-level learning

Indicative Module Content:

Classical heritage
Digital story-telling
Experimental archaeology

NB - this is an indicative list only and topics may 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, Archaeology, and Art History. 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. Assessments combine reflection on your learning journey with building skills in communicating about the past in diverse ways. General academic and organisational skills appropriate to Stage 1 will also be acquired. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

This module is only available to Stage 1 students on the Classics, Art History and Archaeology programme.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
CAHA10010 - Museums and Collections

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Reflective Assignment: A two-part reflective piece of writing, the second one building on and responding to the first. n/a Graded No


Group Work Assignment: In small groups, produce a short digital story about an artefact from the UCD Classical Museum. n/a Graded No


Assignment(Including Essay): Catalogue entry of c.500 words for a ceramic artefact from the UCD Classical Museum. 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, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, 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.