AIM736 - Museums, Heritage and Society

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Trimester 2: Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Virginie Rey
Trimester 2: Virginie Rey


Incompatible with: AIM701, AIM721
Typical study commitment:

Students should plan to spend around 8-10 hours per week on the combined activities of reading, working through the exercises, library research and preparing assignments.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

4 x 2.5-hour lectures/practical experience (field trips) and 4 x 2-hour online seminars during the trimester

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including 4 scheduled online seminars


The use of the past in the present has become a key debate within contemporary society. Contestations over representations of the past by/in museums, critiques of the power of heritage to legitimate particular word views, debates about multiculturalism and social inclusion, all bring concerns over social/communal identity to the fore. Through concepts such as text, representation, and performance, the unit aims to explore the history and contemporary nature of heritage practices and institutions showing how we can apply theoretical concerns to the understanding and management of museums and cultural heritage. It introduces key definitions and ideas, many of which are explored in more detail in other units of the program. Central is the concept that 'cultural heritage' may apply to objects, places and traditions, whether managed by museums, national parks, urban planning schemes, tourism attractions or a host of other environments.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the history of museum and heritage institutions

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Critically analyse the politics and poetics of representations and apply these with creativity in professional practice, and communicate using digital technologies

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO5: Problem solving


Critically analyse and evaluate key concepts that reflect the interdisciplinary of the field

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking


Critically reflect on the varied contexts in which heritage practices occur and the varied communities whom they represent

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global citizenship


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1: Essay 2000 words 40% Week 6
Assessment 2: Presentation 3000 words 60% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via AIM736 
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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