Boost your digital skills for work in the museum, heritage and cultural sectors.

Join our online course in Digital Museum Practice and build your digital confidence. Study part-time with our experts and gain experience in this important part of contemporary professional practice.

In light of COVID-19, many museums have increased the rate at which they provide digital resources, online collections, 360-degree tours and more. You’ll learn to use these technologies with confidence, and explore:

  • accessibility, care of information, and data usage
  • the practical and philosophical questions of preserving and caring for artefacts in the Digital Age
  • how digital and computing technologies have been impacting museum practice for the past six decades.

Who is this online museum studies course for?

This online course is ideal if you’re an emerging professional or early-career practitioner looking to:

  • increase your digital confidence
  • access postgraduate training in this field without committing to the time and cost of a Masters degree
  • open up opportunities for your professional development.

This part-time online course is designed to fit around full-time work. So you can enhance your skills and CV without putting life on hold.

What you’ll study

You’ll cover topics including:

Digital confidence – what is it, and why does it matter?

The history of museum computing – from early computerised catalogues of the 1960s, to the online social world of the present day

Digital policy and discourse – how digital technology has become an inherent part of cultural policy, and what that means for museums

Digital design – strategies and concepts including the Fit Triangle, Human-Computer Interaction, VX design, and Design Thinking

Display technologies – the history and use of display technologies, including interactives, VR/AR, and online

Digital ethics – what the growth of digital technology means for the ethical and moral behaviours and codes of museum institutions

Social justice and digital – the role of technology in social justice action through activism, repatriation/preservation, and accessibility

Digital objects – what happens to our basic idea of the material world when objects become digital?

Digital maturity and post-digitality – concepts of digital advancement and modes of measuring, including the Digital Culture Charter, Digital Maturity Index, and the idea of digital normativity.

There’ll be regular ‘Tech of the Week’ topics for you to explore.

You’ll also complete:

  • a presentation focused on a digital intervention at the University of Aberdeen’s Museums and Special Collections, and
  • an independent critical evaluation of the digital offer of a museum of your choice.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to...

  • Identify and describe the variety of digital technologies available for museums to use.
  • Drawing on relevant literature, describe and evaluate how museums communicate and interact with their audiences through digital means.
  • Discuss critically, in written and verbal form, current issues and applications of technology in museums.
  • Critically evaluate museum websites and other digital media used by museums.
  • Prepare material for leading and participating in seminar discussions. 
  • Demonstrate evidence of independent research. 

How you’ll study

Our Digital Museum Practice course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

This course is taught at Masters level.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • videos and video lectures to stream or download
  • podcasts
  • online tutorials
  • projects
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Access to Special Collections

You’ll be given access to the online catalogues of our Special Collections and Museums. You’ll also have access to material from our museum staff, including policy documents.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from experienced tutors from our School of Social Science. Your main tutor will be Dr Jen Walklate, a Lecturer and Curatorial Fellow in Museum Studies. She’s been working in the field since 2005, professionally and academically. Jen’s research focuses on the experience and ethics of spatial and temporal design in museums, carnivalesque practice, anxiety and unease.

Your course coordinator

Where this will take you


You’ll leave this museum skills course with experience and understanding of museum digitality, an important area of work in the field.

You’ll gain skills, confidence, and expertise that can help you progress in a career in the:

  • museum
  • heritage, or
  • cultural sectors.

It will give you experience in studying at Masters level. And you’ll gain transferable skills in presentation and research, so useful in many areas of work.

Museum professional development

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for continuing professional development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Entry requirements

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level of teaching, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject including, but not limited to: anthropology, history, art history, media studies, cultural studies, digital heritage, archaeology, geography, environmental sciences, biology, ecology or science communication, or
  • alternative equivalent qualifications, or
  • substantive work experience within the sector.

Apply for this course

Start date
24 January 2022
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