Museum Studies Postgraduate Apprenticeships
students from the internationally acclaimed University of Leicester Department
of Museum Studies have been particularly successful in a pioneering national
Postgraduate Apprenticeship initiative to develop Graduate and Postgraduate
Apprenticeships in England.
The Leicester department is one of five
higher education institutions in England to take part in this pilot project,
which was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the
Department for Education and Skills.
Twenty-four students, working in museums
and cultural organisations from across England were registered either for the
part-time or distance learning courses. While
they will complete a masters degree or postgraduate diploma in Museum Studies in
the usual two years, during the first year of study they have also undertaken
work-based learning linked to National Vocational Qualifications and Key Skills.
Nine of the students were formally
assessed for the NVQ unit through the Lincoln University Assessment Centre.
The evaluation of the project has contributed to two publications by the
Cultural Heritage National Training Organisation, which co-ordinated the
project: Postgraduate and Graduate Apprenticeship Framework for England and Guidance
on the Development and Operation of Postgraduate and Graduate Apprenticeships in
Three students from the University of
Leicester Alisa Smith, Ian Wall and Clare Wilson - all feature as case
studies in the guidance document.
Ian Wall, Project Manager with the
Creswell Heritage Trust, commented: The PGA provided the opportunity to begin
a huge on-site development programme by reflecting on work practices and
improving activities we need to keep up the momentum that it provided.
Claire Wilson, Gallery Assistant at The
Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, added: The NVQ and Key Skills
were a lot of work at the beginning, getting all the evidence together, but the
knowledge acquired, experience and contacts gained and the doors it has
opened mean that the benefits outweigh the negatives.
I am not just seen as a Gallery Assistant.
Alisa Smith, Museum Services Officer at
the Museum of Cannock Chase said: It
exceeded my expectations. It is important
for people like me who come from different backgrounds and types of jobs to
access learning and professional qualifications whilst working.
Her manager, Adrienne Whitehouse, said
the Museum has benefited by updating the way that they did things, and that it
had put the Museum on a more stable footing for the future.
For the University of Leicester
Department of Museum Studies, too, the project has had positive results,
including increased contact with sector SMEs and the opportunities to explore
more fully the combination of academic study and skills based learning.
It aims to look at ways to develop the
Postgraduate Apprenticeship framework through work placements, incorporating
skills units within academic modules and the availability of a full PGA package
for full-time and distance learning courses.
OPPORTUNITY: Tuesday, February 4, 2003, 10.30am, Department of Museum Studies,
105 Princess Road East, Leicester, when students from the Postgraduate
Apprenticeship scheme will return to the University of Leicester.
Further information is available from
Heather Lomas, Project Manager, University of Leicester Department of Museum
Studies, telephone 0116 252 3970, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.