The MPhil in Social Anthropology and Museums is a taught course in social anthropology examining artefact-based theory and anthropology in the context of museums, and the history and role of museums themselves.
Drawing on historical and cross-cultural comparisons, students are taught to look at the ways in which objects are collected, classified and displayed.
A central concern is the relationship between museums and the communities they represent. This includes understanding historical, ideological and legal frameworks for the movement of artefacts and other cultural property, as well as the political implications of cultural representation.
Students receive hands-on training in the care and handling of artefacts and are taught essential guidelines for preventative conservation and collections management. The course also discusses museum communication, education and exhibiting practices.