Learn how modern museums can improve social awareness, human rights and health

Posted by ap507 at May 06, 2015 04:47 PM |
Free world-first online course offered to members of the public by University of Leicester starting 1 June

Issued by the University of Leicester's Press Office on 6 May 2015

A video of Dr Suzanne Macleod describing the benefits of the Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum MOOC is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7wZLfe816Y

The world’s first ‘Massive Open Online Course’ (MOOC) in Museum Studies is to be launched by the University of Leicester, providing people with the opportunity to learn about how the modern 21st century museum can contribute to agendas such as social justice, human rights and health and wellbeing.

The MOOC, Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum, has been developed by the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and FutureLearn.

Starting on 1 June, the MOOC is free of charge and enables anyone to enjoy learning wherever they are, and whether they are enrolled at a university or not.

Speaking about the course, Dr Suzanne MacLeod, Director and Head of the School of Museum studies said: “This course is a new departure for the school but something that we were very keen to do. The ways in which people want to learn are changing and we wanted to understand more about that.”

Learners will explore what it is to be, to create and work in a 21st century museum, drawing on world class research from the School of Museum Studies and cutting edge case studies from National Museums Liverpool, the largest national museum service based wholly outside of London.

The course will cover areas including the significance of museum architecture and design, developing and engaging visitors and audiences, how people emotionally engage with museums, objects and stories and how museums can help tackle difficult issues.

It will also explore how museums contribute to agendas such as social justice, human rights and health and wellbeing.

Learners will experience a media-rich, social learning platform with the opportunity to discuss issues with thousands of other learners, and will be inspired through lots of newly created visual and audio content.

The course is ideal for people thinking about studying Museum Studies, people in the museum sector looking to undertake CPD, museum volunteers and anyone who is simply interested in museums and what they do.

Director of National Museums Liverpool, Dr David Fleming added:

“This will open up for lots of people, and especially an international audience, how modern museums operate – which is very different from how it used to be, in terms of their social responsibility and their diversity.

“The University of Leicester runs the world’s leading postgraduate museum studies course, and it’s very encouraging that the University wanted to work with National Museums Liverpool on this, as we are committed to behaving in a socially responsible manner, and have proved, with our massive audience development, that such an approach works.”

The online course lasts six weeks, there are no entry requirements, and it will entail about two hours of study per week.

To register for the course, or find out more, visit www.futurelearn.com/courses/museum

The University of Leicester has already developed two MOOCs, including one about Richard III and one about Forensic Science and Criminal Justice. In late June, the University will launch its fourth MOOC, ‘Real World Calculus: How Maths Drives Formula One and Launches Angry Birds’.


Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact Robin Clarke at: rc293@le.ac.uk

About FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a social learning platform based in the UK and providing free, online courses from world-class universities. The FutureLearn course experience centres on social interaction, whereby people learn by engaging in conversations around the learning material. A partnership of higher and specialist education institutions from around the world joins three cultural organisations – the British Library, British Council and the British Museum – to offer quality, higher education courses to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. FutureLearn is wholly owned by The Open University, which has over 40 years’ experience in distance and online learning. For more information, visit www.futurelearn.com.  

For more information about FutureLearn contact Harriet Otoo, PR Manager at: harriet.otoo@futurelearn.com

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic.

We attract 2.7m visitors every year. Our venues are the International Slavery Museum, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Sudley House, Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered, Walker Art Gallery and World Museum.    

For more information about National Museums Liverpool contact Lucy Cattell, Communications Manager at lucy.cattell@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

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