Professor Jocelyn Dodd

Jocelyn Dodd








Tel: +44 (0) 116 252 3995

Personal details

  • Co-Director, RCMG

As Co-Director of RCMG, I am responsible for the strategic direction and development of the research centre and the delivery of externally funded team based research. This research is either commissioned or initiated by RCMG.

My work involves securing external funding, research design, as well as directing, managing and contributing to research projects, including their dissemination – nationally and internationally – and through contributions to teaching programmes, e.g. Learning and Visitor Studies Winter School.

I facilitate professional development programmes, e.g. Community Engagement in Museums Training programme for Northern Ireland Museums Council and National Museums Northern Ireland (2013).

I also facilitate change-management initiatives within the cultural sector, e.g. developing a New Walk Museum Vision (2013).

Before joining RCMG, I trained as a teacher and taught history (1979-84).

I worked in museums for a number of years including for Stevenage Museums (1985-89) and Nottingham City Museums and Galleries (1989 – 2000) initially as Head of Education and Outreach, later as the Service Manager (Director).

I gained extensive experience of:

  • museum education
  • community engagement
  • consultation
  • exhibition development
  • museum management

During this time, I played a key role in modernising the service, creating a more socially-focused organisation.

I joined the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester in 2000 and was appointed Director in 2006.

Research projects range in scale, scope and focus, but are designed to support museums to become more dynamic and socially purposeful. Themes include:

  • the social role, impact and agency of museums
  • learning
  • disability
  • representation
  • visitor engagement
  • ethics

Central to the ethos of this research is its potential significance in shaping and improving museum practice, through providing evidence, by informing policy and by developing reflective practice.

I have disseminated research findings extensively, both nationally and internationally including including in the USA, Sweden, Taiwan, and Brazil. I have also collaborated with National Museum of History and National Taipei University of Education Taiwan to plan and deliver the international conference The Socially Purposeful Museum (2012).

Collaboration is central to my work as all RCMG research projects are team-based. I bring together specific groups of collaborators for each piece of research, including academic colleagues, professional consultants and practitioners as well as researchers recruited for their skills in specific areas, e.g. in disability studies.

I worked closely with Professor Eilean Hooper-Greenhill (the founding Director of RCMG) developing the Generic Learning Outcomes (GLOs) and many studies around the impact of learning in museums and with Professor Richard Sandell on the overarching theme of the social role of museums.

I have collaborated with a number of major national and regional museums including:

  • Imperial War Museum
  • Historic Royal Palaces
  • Glasgow Museums
  • Hackney Museum

I have also worked with national strategic bodies such as:

  • the Arts Council
  • The Collections Trust
  • The Association of Danish Museums
  • The Museums Association
  • Museums Libraries and Archives Council
  • a number of UK government departments

Some of my work goes beyond the Museum sector - I have worked with other cultural organisations including botanic gardens.

I have advised the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on Museum Education (1999), Social inclusion (2001) and the working party on museums and identity (2007). In 2000, I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).


Chapters in books and journals

In press: Marstine, J., Dodd, J. & Jones, C.   “Twenty-first century museum ethics: a view from the field.” In Conal McCarthy (ed.) International Handbook of Museum Studies: Volume 4: Museum Practice: Critical Debates in the Museum Sector. General  editors Helen Rees Leahy and Sharon Macdonald. Malden and Oxford:  Blackwell.

In press: Sandell, R., Dodd, J. & Jones, C. ‘Trading Zones: Collaborative ventures in disability history’ in Gardner, J et al (eds) Oxford Public History Handbook, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

In press: Dodd, J. and Jones, C. ‘Museums and Galleries for All, Capturing Their Impact: Using the Generic Learning Outcomes’ in Kunibert Beringet al (eds)   Visual Learning: Positionen im internationalen Vergleich Athena, Oberhausen

Dodd, J., Jones, C., Sawyer, A. and Tseliou, M., 2012, Voices from the Museum: Qualitative research conducted in Europe’s National Museums, EuNaMus Report No. 6, Linköping, Linköping University. Available online

Dodd, J. & Jones, C. 2011 Towards a new social purpose- the role of botanic gardens in the 21st century.Roots Botanic Gardens Conservation International Education Review Volume 8 no 1 April 2011

Sandell, R. Dodd, J. Garland –Thomson, R. (Eds.) 2010 Re-presenting disability: activism and agency in the museum –Routledge. Sandell, R. Dodd,J. Archivist Practice  Chapter 1(page 3-22).Dodd,J. Jones,C. Jolly,D. & Sandell, R. Disability reframed: challenging visitor perceptions in the museum Chapter 7(pages 92-111)

 Dodd, J., &  Jones, C. 2009 "The Generic Learning Outcomes: a conceptual framework for demonstrating the impact of learning in museums" in Tetradia Mouseiologias, issue 6, September 2009, pp. 10ff (in Greek, translated by Sotiris Lappas and Alexandra Nikiforidou), Athens: Kaleidoskopio Publications.

Dodd, J. 2009 The Generic Learning Outcomes: A Conceptual Framework for Researching Learning in Informal Learning Environments, in Vavoula, G., Pachler, N., and Kukulska-Hulme, A. (Eds.) Researching Mobile Learning: Frameworks, methods and research designs. Peter Lang, Oxford

Dodd, J. & Jones, C. 2009 "The Generic Learning Outcomes: a conceptual framework for demonstrating the impact of learning in museums" in Tetradia Mouseiologias, issue 6, September 2009, pp. 10ff (in Greek, translated by Sotiris Lappas and Alexandra Nikiforidou), Athens: Kaleidoskopio Publications

Sandell, R., Delin, A., Dodd, J. and Gay, J 2005 ‘Beggars, freaks and heroes: museums and the hidden history of disability’. Journal of Management and Curatorship. Vol.20 (1):5-19

Dodd, J. 2002. 'Museums and the health of the community', in Sandell, R. (ed.), Museums, Society, Inequality, Routledge, London and New York

Dodd, J. 1994. 'Whose museum is it anyway: Museums education and the community', in Hooper-Greenhill, E. (ed.) The Educational Role of the Museum, Routledge

Professional publications

Dodd, J. Sandell, R. Jolly, D. and Jones, C 2008 Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries RCMG, University of Leicester

Dodd, J. and Sandell, R. 2001. Including Museums: Perspectives on Museums, Galleries and Social Inclusion, RCMG, University of Leicester

Dodd, J. Hooper-Greenhill, E, Sandell, R O’Riain, H 2002 A Catalyst for Change, the Impact of
Social Impact of the Open Museum HLF

Dodd, J. and Sandell, R. 1998. Building Bridges: Guidance for Museums and Galleries on Developing New Audiences, Museums and Galleries Commission, London

Research reports

MacLeod, S., Dodd,J. & Jones,C. 2013 Establishing a Vision: New Walk Museum and the Story of Leicester, , Leicester Museums and Galleries, RCMG, University of Leicester

Dodd, J. and Jones, C. 2013 The impact, success and significance of Mapping the Change: Evaluating Mapping the Change, Hackney Museum’s project for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Leicester: RCMG, University of Leicester

Dodd, J., Jones, C., Watson, S., Golding, V. & Kirk, E. 2011 An evaluation of the MLA Their Past Your Future 2 programme 2008-2010,

Dodd, J. & Jones, C. Redefining the Role of Botanic Gardens – Towards a new social Purpose, 2010 Botanic Gardens Conservation International & RCMG, Full report Summary:

Sandell, R., Dodd, J., & Jones, C. 2010 An evaluation of sh[OUT] – The social justice programme of the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow 2009-2010, Report: Appendix:

Dodd, J., &  Jones, C. 2009 An evaluation of the Process and Impact of Articulate 2 the National Gallery’s Secondary School Literacy Project 2008-2009 Full report:


Dodd, J.& Jones, C. 2009 An evaluation of the Process and Impact of Articulate 2 the National Gallery’s Secondary Literacy Project 2008- 2009 RCMG

Watson. , Dodd, J. and Jones, C. (2007) Engage, Learn, Achieve: The impact of Museum visits on the attainment of secondary pupils in the East of England 2006-2007, Renaissance East of England/RCMG

Hooper Greenhill, E., Dodd, J., Gibson. L., & Jones, C. 2007 The Madonna of the Pinks: Evaluation of the Education and Community strategy for the Madonna of the Pinks July 2004-September 2007 National Gallery

Hooper-Greenhill, Dodd. J, E., Creaser, C., Sandell, R., Jones, C. and Woodham, A., 2007 Inspiration, Identity, Learning: The Value of Museums, Second Study. An evaluation of the DCMS/DCSF National/Regional Museum Partnership Programme, DCMS/RCMG

Hooper-Greenhill, Dodd. J, Philips, M. Gibson, L. & Jones, C. 2006 What did you Learn at the Museum Today Second Study. An evaluation of the outcomes of learning through the implementation of the education program delivery plan across nine regional hubs (2005) MLA/RCMG

Sandell, R., Delin, A., Dodd, J. and Gay, J (2004) Buried in the Footnotes: the representation of disabled people in museums and gallery collections

Hooper- Greenhill, E., Dodd, J., Philips. M., O’Riain, H., Jones, C. & Woodward, J. (2004) What did you learn at the museum today? The evaluation of the impact of the Renaissance in the Regions Educations Programme 2003 MLA

Hooper- Greenhill, E., Dodd, J., Moussouri,T., Jones, C., Pickford, C., Herman, C., Morrison., Vincent, J. & Toon, R. (2003) Measuring the Outcomes and Impact of Learning in Museums Archives and Libraries. The Learning Impact Research Project End of Project Paper

Hooper Greenhill, E. Dodd, J., O’Riain,H., Selfridge, L.,Clarke, A., Swift. F. (2002) Learning Through Culture- The DfES Museum and Galleries Education Programme: a guide to good practice. DfES London.

Hooper Greenhill, E. Dodd, J (2002) Seeing the Museum through the visitors’ eyes – The evaluation of the Education Challenge Fund. Resource/ RCMG


Key themes and projects

Learning in museums, and learning impact, have been key and recurring research themes, with a number of studies of major national programmes like the DfES Museums and Galleries Education Programme Learning Through Culture (2002).

However, the development of the Generic Learning Outcomes (led by Professor Eilean Hooper Greenhill) as part of the MLA’s Inspiring Learning for All and the subsequent use of the Generic Learning Outcomes, established a new way to report on and categorise learning in museums.

Four of our major studies:

still provide a unique evidence base from which we begin to better understand the nature of learning in museums.
More recent studies have built on this, e.g. Engage, Learn, Achieve: The impact of museum visits on the attainment of secondary pupils in the East of England (2007) explored the richness of the learning experiences gained outside the classroom, along with the stimulus and motivation, this gives young people to improve their attainment.

The GLOs underpin many of these research projects and are used extensively to report on learning. The interest and use of the GLOs is integral to my practice, but are also extensively used nationally and internationally, as the report RCMG commissioned by Jo Graham, 'Evidencing the impact of the GLOs 2008-13' demonstrates.

In 2013, my work on learning impact in museums has been of interest to the AHRC Cultural Value project. Disability representation in museums is another key research theme. I am co-directer of 'Stories of a Different Kind 2012-14' with Professor Richard Sandell, a collaborative action research project funded by the Wellcome Trust which uses medical collections in museums to engage the public in challenging debates concerning how society thinks about, talks about and responds to difference.

The project will create a new artistic work by well-known artist and performer, Mat Fraser, consisting of a live performance featuring museum objects and object histories, with elements of drama, comedy, dance and cabaret. The performance will generate original, stimulating and ethically-informed ways of seeing disability to enrich, nuance and critique existing narratives in three museums.

Stories of a Different Kind grows out of 'Rethinking Disability Presentation 2006-08', a project which examined the role that museums and galleries play in challenging prejudice on the basis of disability, by informing the ways in which people think about the nature of disability and understand disabled people’s lives. Funded through Heritage Lottery Fund and NESTA, the project worked with nine museums across the UK plus a think-tank of disabled activists, artists and cultural practitioners to develop new approaches to the interpretation and display of collections linked to disability. The project grew out of the findings of an earlier, related project called 'Buried in the Footnotes'.

Contemporary issues - resent research projects have focused in various different ways on key challenging contemporary issues which span both learning and the social role of museums, archives, libraries and botanic gardens.How National Museums shape visitors identity in a European context was explored in Voices from the Museums: Qualitative Research Conducted in Europe’s National Museums (2012).

It looks at the connections between national, European and minority identities and how these frame very different experiences of national museums. This research was part of  a three-year research programme, ' EuMaMus European National Museums: Identity Politics, the uses of the past and the European Citizen'.

'Mapping the Change (2012) the Evaluation of Hackney Museum's contribution to the Cultural Olympiad', focuses on the local and the global and how local communities processed the impact of a global event in the midst of their community. Showing what a key role museum can play in empowering communities to co create collections for the future.

The impact of war and conflict is the key theme behind an evaluation commissioned by MLA of their BIG Lottery funded programme 'Their past your future (2008-2010)' and the contemporary resonance of this is increasingly pertinent. The projects demonstrate new ways in which historical collections, memories, lived experiences and inter-generational interactions can impact on the way people - especially young people - consider the impact of war and conflict.

The Evaluation of shOUT, an exhibition and programme promoting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) human rights part of the Social Justice Programme at Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. The evaluation assess the impact, quality and significance of GoMA’s practice in the field of contemporary art and human rights, in relation to the central aims of promoting human rights and providing a forum for visitor and community engagement and debate.

Research commissioned by Botanic Gardens Conservation International focused on another highly charged contemporary issue – climate change. In Redefining the Social Role of Botanic Gardens (2008-2010), the research investigated how Botanic Gardens can play a proactive role in addressing issues of climate change, but with the challenge of becoming more inclusive and engaging those people who traditionally have not seen the significance and relevance of plants to their lives.

'Mind Body Spirit: How museums impact health and wellbeing ( 2012-13)' shows how museums are well placed to respond to changes in public health in the UK, using their collections to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, to tackle health inequalities in their communities, and contribute positively to the goals of public health bodies.

Working in collaboration with Janet Martine, 'Developing a Research Network to Advance 21st Century Museum Ethics in Theory and Practice' was a different approach to thinking of  Museums and contemporary issues, the need for museum ethics to be embedded in all our practice so museums are  responsiveness to economic, social, political and technological forces is critical.

In very different ways, these pieces of research illustrate:

  • how cultural organisations have a key role to play in contemporary issues
  • how they can engage audiences in new debates using historic and contemporary collections
  • how they can be inclusive, challenge prejudice, inspire learning and be relevant in contemporary society as well as reflect on the working practices of museums

Conferences and seminars

I have spoken at many international and UK conferences and seminars. Recurring themes include learning impact in museums and specifically the Generic Learning Outcomes (GLOs).

Selected presentations include:

  • American Association of Museums (AAM) New Orleans 2004
  • a keynote at the Annual Visitor Studies Conference, National Science and Technology Museum, Taiwan, 2007
  • the Heritage Learning Conference
  • The Nordic Centre for Cultural Heritage Learning, Ostersund, Sweden, 2007 and 2009
  • a keynote ‘Museums, Inspiration, Creativity, Learning’ at the ICOM/CECA conference, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2009.
  • Learning in Museums at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany 2010
  • the use of the GLOs at the Reinwardt Academy, Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2010
  • a keynote at the International Symposium on the Museum Education 'Learning Innovation' National Folk Museum of Korea, 2011
  • a keynote at the Association of Swedish Museums Annual Conference, Stockholm, March 2011
I was also invited to present the GLOs at the AHRC Seminar Methodologies for evidencing the value of culture: taking on the challenge Cultural Value, Birkbeck, University of London 2013.

The representation of disabled people in museums is another key theme. I presented

  • Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries at the Difficult Subjects in the Museum Conference, Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, Norway, 2010
  • Representing disability: activist practice in the museum at the Professional Development Programme for Taiwanese Museums (funded through the Ministry of Culture) Human Rights and the Museum Conference, Museum of Labour, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 2010
  • at the Making Inclusion Possible Conference organised by the National Development team for inclusion - People, Lives and Communities- in Bristol, ‘Promoting community engagement in cultural settings’, 2009

I spoke at the 4th Biennial Disability Studies Conference, Lancaster University 2008 ‘Absence and Attitude’.

I was keynote at the 13th Congress of the European Association of Museums of the History of Medicine, Riga, Latvia, 2006, giving a paper ‘Buried in the Footnotes: the representation of disabled people in museum and gallery collections.

Socially purposeful organisations is another recurring theme both within museums and beyond. I developed a professional development training workshop ‘The Socially Purposeful Museum’ for  Association of Danish Museums, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013.

In 2012, I presented a keynote and co- organised an international conference ‘The Socially Purposeful Museum’ at National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan a collaboration between National Taipei University of Education, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, National Museums Liverpool and the National Museum of History, Taipei.

In 2010, I presented ‘Redefining the Role of Botanic Gardens: towards a new social purpose’ at the fourth Botanic Gardens World Congress, BGCI and National Botanic Gardens of Ireland and in 2011 to the Gardens Education Network BGEN Conference, Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Harlow Carr Harrogate.

Also part of the socially purposeful theme, but looking at more specific areas are:

  • ‘Mind, body, spirit: How museums impact health and wellbeing’ presented at the East Midlands Museums Service AGM in Leicester 2013
  • ‘The impact of war and conflict; using museum collections, personal experiences and intergenerational practice to develop young peoples’ understanding’ at the Making Military History in Museums Conference at the National Army Museum, September 2013

Share this page: