How to make a museum work: a different Postgraduate course

Postgraduate and Masters Degree courses have been proliferating in an almost vertiginous way in recent years. Training is always a key element, but in times of economic recession it probably is more so. However, between the knowledge acquired in academic training and the necessary requirements and skills for developing professional practice there is often a gap that is difficult to fill. That’s what we intend to do through this Postgraduate course.

How are the loans of works managed? What is done on the day the museums are closed each week? What preventive measures are adopted to preserve the collections? How is a strategic plan produced? How does the storage work? How are the laws that affect museums? How can you attract visitors and, above all, participants? How is the digitisation of the collection done? What opportunities are opened up by the social web or web 2.0? What best practices can be found in museums round the world? The list can go on, but this should give a notion of what we propose to cover.

Restoration Studio Unpaking, Kees Van Dongen
Restoration studio | Unpack works of the exhibition “Kees van Dongen”

The course is organised in 8 modules that combine a theoretical background and a solid practical approach:

1. The Museum: museological and museum practice concepts
2. Managing the collection: Conservation and research
3. Exhibitions: from the idea to taking down. Step by step of the process
4. Public programmes: matching the needs and expectations of the public with the aims of the museum.
5. Communication: connecting with the audience.
6. Legislation
7. Administration
8. Museums in the digital age: onsite vs. (vs?) online

The detailed programme can be consulted online. More than commenting on its content, I would like to point out the specificities:

  • It has an eminently practical focus, of applied museography.
  • It is the only academic offer co-created and co-directed between a university and a museum.
  • The professors are mostly actively working in museums, and at the same time have a wide teaching experience. There will be a theoretical base, essential, but the majority the sessions will be given by museum directors and staff from museums and heritage centres.
  • It counts on a wide range of participating museums, not only art museums, and not only local museums, but also from the rest of the state and international, be they in the form of case studies, as visits or as professors.
  • Among the participative tools of the course, as well as debates, cases studies and presentations, a relevant role will also be given to the 2.0 tools or social networks, which will facilitate the interactivity between the students and the professors.
Louvre, tickets Louvre, virtual reality
Tickets and virtual reality (Louvre, Paris)

To sum up, an integral vision of the museum, quality of learning, innovation in the methodology, a focus on the museum practice, participation of the students inside and outside the classroom – these are some of the strengths around which this postgraduate course has been built. A different perspective to view museums, from the inside, and a new approach in the way of managing them.

The course will be delivered in Spanish mainly, plus some sessions by invited Professors in English. More detailed information and enrolment form

Conxa Rodà
Projects manager
Academic coordinator of the postgraduate course

What do you think about this postgraduate course? Would you recommend it to a friend? Is there any aspect or case study that you consider should be included?

  • Toni
    May 19, 2010

    per fi! menys classes magistrals i més tocar la realitat. Sovint en el pas de teoria universitària a pràctica laboral ens clavem cada batacada (almenys els de “lletres”).

  • Jordi G
    May 28, 2010

    Pinta interessant i és veritat que planteja un enfoc diferent. Si em puc combinar horaris de feina, penso que m’hi apuntaré. A l’estiu repassaré anglès q dieu q algunes sessions seran in English…

  • Nina Simon
    July 30, 2010

    I’m thrilled to be joining the faculty for this course as a visiting professor in November! I have learned so much from Conxa’s thoughtful approach to innovation at Museu Picasso. From my perspective, the practical nature of the course is always the most useful to understand and be inspired by the potential of museum work.

  • Museu Picasso
    July 31, 2010

    Many thanks, Nina!
    With you on board and other brilliant Professors, this Course promises to be an exciting experience both for our students and for us, organizers.
    All the best,

  • Yolanda
    June 1, 2010

    me parece un programa muy interesante. Hace 2 años hice un Postgrado que prometía pero fue un tostón. Un acierto que los profes sean profesionales de museos.
    Lo de las prácticas ¿cómo funcionará?

  • Conxa Rodà
    November 30, -0001

    Yolanda, gracias por tu interés. Las prácticas se ofrecen como un complemento del Postgrado a aquellos alumnos que hayan manifestado su interés en el formulario de inscripción. La adjudicación estará supeditada tanto al perfil de cada estudiante como a las necesidades o disponibilidad de los museos.

    En el caso de que haya más demanda que oferta, se procederá a una selección en función de cv, capacidades, motivación, etc. del alumno para adecuarlos a las plazas de prácticas.

    En todos los casos es del máximo interés de la dirección de este Postgrado garantizar que sea una experiencia enriquecedora para el alumno de prácticas y para el centro que lo acoge.

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