MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
The Digital Museum

Course unit fact file
Unit code SALC60902
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The Digital Museum module combines a critical and theoretical study of the role of digital media in museums, galleries and related arts and culture organisations. It reflects on current developments and challenges in the area of digital museology. The course aims to consider digital media in a holistic way, examining how they can be organically integrated in cultural work. It also aims to examine information and communication technologies from a museological point of view. Although the curriculum may seem technology-heavy, it is actually driven by core museological theories and ideas, such as the ‘post-museum’ of Hooper-Greenhill (from her book Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture), New Museology and the emerging field of Digital Museology that includes the theory and practice of digital media in museums, galleries and other cultural institutions for purposes of curation, interpretation, communication and learning. 

The course investigates the role, use and impact of digital, online and social media in arts and culture; the notion and manifestation of data cultures; the use of VR and augmented reality; and the implication of Artificial Intelligence for cultural practice.  


  • Develop a critical understanding of the theory and practice of using digital media in museums, galleries and other cultural institutions; 
  • Provide a broad and in-depth knowledge of the issues that arise by the use of digital media for purposes of curation, interpretation, communication and learning; 
  • Offer some practical knowledge and experience of using information and communication technologies and designing and producing digital content for museums and galleries; 
  • Provide a broad basis of generic theoretical and practical skills for museum professionals in the area of digital museology. 


Themes and content will include:   

  • Week 1: Introduction to Digital Museums 
  • Week 2: Digital Collecting
  • Week 3: Curating Digital Objects 
  • Week 4: Digital Audiences, Engagement and Participation
  • Week 5: Immersive Experiences
  • Week 6: Artificial Intelligence and Museums
  • Week 7: Essay Surgeries 
  • Week 8: Group Project Work 
  • Week 9: Group Project Work 
  • Week 10: Group Project Work 
  • Week 11: Group Project Work 
  • Week 12: Group Project Presentations 

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly three-hour seminars with directed learning and presentations to be prepared from week to week, including presentations by guest lectures. Students will be directed to conduct fieldwork in preparation for the class in specific weeks. 
The course will have a Blackboard site with all elements of the minimum specification including: 
1. Aims, Objectives, Timetable and Mode of Assessment 
2. Course Materials 
3. Reading lists 
4. Guidance on assessment 
5. Group project discussion board 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of the roles that digital media can have in museums, galleries and other cultural organisations.
  • Describe, analyse and evaluate digital policies and strategies in cultural organisations and the various stages for the design and production of digital content; .
  • Have critical knowledge of the various issues that emerge from the use of particular technological applications (such as websites, social media platforms and mobile media) in curation, interpretation, communication and learning.

Intellectual skills

  • Undertake self-directed learning and skills acquisition. 
  • Conduct independent, critical fieldwork. 
  • Develop appropriate methodological and analytical skills.
  • Apply skills and ideas learned in one institutional context to another, while remaining aware of the complexity of the issues.

Practical skills

  • Initiate practical and creative solutions to specific criteria. 
  • Communicate complex research findings through clear written and verbal articulation, supported by appropriate technological tools. 
  • Achieve an advanced and critically informed level of group work. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Retrieve, select and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources, including libraries, archives, and the internet. 
  • Orchestrate group work in disciplinary and multi-disciplinary contexts, and work constructively within a team. 
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively in a professional, as well as an academic, environment. 
  • Critically evaluate personal performance through monitoring and analytical reflection. 
  • Demonstrate independent learning ability suitable for continuing study and professional development. 

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Generate ideas and think laterally
Project management
Manage time efficiently. Map career directions and trajectories
Oral communication
Communicate the value and applicability of digital thinking into organisational practice. Articulate clearly key challenges related to digital museums
Get digital literacy skills required in digital museum professional practice

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

  • Formative : Essay Proposal surgery and written comments 
  • Formative: Academic advisor meeting
  • Summative : Turnitin

Recommended reading

Arvanitis, K. and Pavlovskyte, E. (2023) Simulated, Stimulated, and Emulated Presence in 3D Digital Museums in Museums and Technologies of Presence, Shehade, M. & Stylianou-Lambert, T. (eds.), p. 33-54, London: Routledge.

Cameron, F. And S. Kenderdine. 2007. Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage. A Critical Discourse, Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: The MIT Press.  

Cook, S. and B. Graham (eds) 2010. A Brief History of Curating New Media Art: Conversations with Curators. The Green box.  

Galani A, Mason R, Arrigoni G, ed. 2019 European Heritage, Dialogue and Digital Practices. Abingdon: Routledge.

Geismar, H. 2018. Museum Object Lessons for the Digital Age. London: UCL Press.

Groppel-Wegener, A. and Kidd, J. 2019. Critical encounters with immersive storytelling. London and New York: Routledge.

Henning, M. 2006. Museums, Media and Cultural Theory. Open University Press.  

Kalay, Y. E., T. Kvan and J. Afflect (eds). 2008. New Heritage. New Media and Cultural Heritage. London and New York: Routledge.

Kidd, J. 2019. With New Eyes I See: embodiment, empathy and silence in digital heritage interpretation. International journal of heritage studies : IJHS. 25(1), pp.54–66.

Kidd, J. 2014. Museums in the new mediascape: transmedia, participation, ethics. Farnham: Ashgate.

Marty, Paul. F. and Katherine Burton (eds) 2008. Museum informatics : people, information, and technology in museums. New York: Routledge.

Mihelj, S., Leguina, A., & Downey, J. (2019). Culture is digital: Cultural participation, diversity and the digital divide. New Media & Society, 21(7), 1465-1485.

Parry, Ross (ed). 2010. Museums in a Digital Age, London and New York: Routledge.  

Parry, Ross. 2007. Recoding the Museum. Digital heritage and the technologies of change. London: Routledge.  

Parry, Ross. 2005. ‘Digital heritage and the rise of theory in museum computing’. Museum Management and Curatorship, 20, pp. 333-348.  

Tallon, L. and K. Walker. 2008. Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media. AltaMira Press  

Villaespesa, E. and Wowkowych, S. 2020. “Ephemeral Storytelling with Social Media: Snapchat and Instagram Stories at the Brooklyn Museum”, Social Media + Society, January-March, 1-13.  


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 9
Seminars 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 123

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Konstantinos Arvanitis Unit coordinator

Return to course details