CCHM1001: Contemporary Museum Management: Theory and Practices

Credits: 15


This module will provide critical knowledge needed for the managing of a museum, with a particular focus on Chinese cultural heritage in and outside of China. It critically examines contemporary practices of heritage management, which incorporates key concepts such as stewardship, community participation and sustainability. The module explores the management of diverse forms of cultural heritage e.g., cultural landscape management, traditional cultural heritage management practices employed in museums, galleries and other heritage organisations. Students shall learn to plan, manage and critically assess management issues such as visitor participation and interpretation of heritage, local community/public engagement and stewardship, carrying capacity, planning and legislation, and practical care of artefacts. Delivery methods include lectures, guest lectures, seminars, discussion, and field visit and study.

The module aims to:

  • Review traditional and contemporary methods of cultural heritage management employed by heritage organisations

  • Establish practical knowledge and skills with workshops hosted by partner organisations

  • Explore practical ways of caring for heritage, with an emphasis on Chinese heritage in the UK and overseas

  • Debate the importance of public engagement and critical evaluation of the different ways this can be achieved

  • Critically analyse the success of current cultural heritage management, new ideas for public engagement and local community participation and stewardship, and sustainable management



Have a comprehensive understanding of:

  • The different approaches in which heritage organisations manage both tangible and intangible heritage

  • The importance of making heritage accessible to the general public

  • The different management methods employed by heritage organisations in the UK and in China, Taiwan and other overseas Chinese communities

  • The methods employed in selecting which heritage to preserve


  • Ability to identify and critically analyse the most appropriate management plan, technique for any specific element of heritage

  • Ability to critically analyse the success of various management practices and methods currently employed by organisations and particularly throughout various

  • Chinese communities globally, and provide creative suggestions for improvements

  • Ability to design a sustainable management plan for any heritage, and to critically assess issues regarding visitors’ participation and interpretation, public engagement, carrying capacity, planning and legislation, and practical care of artefacts


  • Introduction to cultural heritage management (different types of heritage organisations)

  • Cultural heritage management techniques and practices including practical care of cultural heritage artefacts

  • Management of heritage sites e.g. UNESCO, English Heritage

  • Collection policies – who decides what heritage is worth preserving?

  • Communities and heritage in the UK

  • Western methods, Chinese collections - Issues facing the management of Chinese cultural heritage

  • Managing intangible heritage, the methods employed in China, Taiwan and in other overseas Chinese communities

  • Museums’ education materials

  • Introduction on museums’ law practices (art law, legal title, import/export of culture objects in the UK and China)

  • The future of cultural heritage management


Students will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, guest lectures, workshops and visits.


Coursework 1 (40%) & Coursework 2 (60%)

Total: 100 %