Skip to main content

Unit information: Independent Study Unit: Curating a Collection in 2021/22

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Independent Study Unit: Curating a Collection
Unit code HARTM0039
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Ann Matchette
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The University of Bristol Theatre Collection is an accredited museum and research centre dedicated to the study of British Theatre History. It holds a vast collection of original documents, photographs, film footage and artefacts from theatres, actors, performers, designers and theatre historians. Students taking this unit would work collaboratively to curate a scholarly exhibition drawn from the rich and diverse holdings of the Collection. They would develop a theme for the exhibition, choose and research the objects, write the display texts and catalogue, and manage the publicity.


The unit aims to give MA students extra curatorial experience, which is particularly important for those wanting to go on to work in museums and galleries. It will prepare them for independent research on the dissertation, while allowing them to collaborate on a project which combines scholarship with a concern for the display and dissemination of ideas and materials. It will contribute to knowledge about a major archive, thus facilitating other scholarly projects.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will acquire practical experience of curatorial processes, and expert knowledge of the subject-matter of the exhibition. They will develop techniques of independent research as well as enhancing their ability to work in a team. The task of preparing texts for the catalogue and display will enhance their research and writing skills.

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities including work toward an exhibition. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed work with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

One project portfolio (100%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HARTM0039).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.