My name is Kate Byford. I graduated several years ago with a degree and masters in English literature, and since then have worked a variety of jobs in the public and charity sectors. I have always been fascinated by stories and narratives – stories in books and novels, storytelling, the stories that are called ‘history’ and ‘art’ and ‘ideologies’ and the way we tell these stories to each other and to ourselves, and how those stories shape the world. Museums fascinate me as places that have to attempt to both capture, tell, and lead these narratives through their choices about what and how to display their collections. And, increasingly, how museums engage communities in the telling of stories. !
I have always loved museums and cultural spaces and I am keen to explore how I can recontextualise the skills in project management and public engagement I have gained through my career, and to explore and gain new skills and experiences. I grew up near Birmingham so many of the Birmingham Trust sites are childhood memories for me, and I’m looking forward to gaining a new perspective on them.
I don’t know exactly where I’m going to be and what I will want to do at the end of this year, but I’m looking forward to flinging out!
Hi ! My name is Charlotte and I have always wanted to work in the heritage sector. I have always been passionate about history, more so ancient and medieval, hence have a degree in it was always the plan. Although it didn’t really pan out as it expected, I wasn’t presented with the experience in the heritage sector of which I sorely desired and assumed. After not really knowing what to do with my career for two years after graduating, I came across an advert for an MA whilst browsing the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. From not knowing how to obtain the knowledge I needed for it to be given to me (over the course of this following year of course) was and is an exciting prospect. Whilst waiting to begin I did a few months of volunteer work with Sarehole Mill and that was a great experience to top it all off. I finally feel as if I am heading in the right direction of one day being a History Curator or even Collections Manager.
Over the past year since graduating from my studies at the University of Birmingham in 2016 I have been planning a career in the museum sector. I have discovered a passion for museums over the last year after starting my job as a museum enabler at the Thinktank science museum in Birmingham, one of the BMT sites. This job has sparked a renewed life long love for museums and since then I have become more determined to pursue a career in this field. What fascinates me the most about museums is how they can take us back in time to discover more about the people of the past. The Masters run by BCU and BMT gives me the opportunity to not only study stunning objects, but also gain an insight into all aspects of daily life across a wide variety of museum and heritage sites. Currently my career goals are broad ranging and the opportunity to explore all of my interests is the most appealing element of the masters course. In addition the chance to work across nine different museum and heritage sites will provide me with a spectrum of knowledge and experience which no other masters course can provide.
Hello my name is Rune Williams and I come from a small little village on the border of South Wales, I have spent the last three years studying fine art and animation within the city of Worcester. I also studied illustration within this time, I have learnt a lot from every practice throughout studying my BA course. The one thing that I took away from my studies was my willingness to gather resources that led me to develop an interest in visiting museums, I remember going to various different parts of the UK gathering photos and information of the various museums that I had visited and making a work book. I even brought this book with me to my interview for this exact course.
My deciding factor on this course was the different opportunities that is given towards the students and as I have seen from this week. I am more than excited to continue this practice, in just the last few days there have been some great opportunities. The first opportunity being that I got to see the amazing artwork of Willard Wigan, I didn’t even know that art like this was even possible. The second opportunity within Think Tank, I got to hold a baby chick, which was just adorable.
Visiting museums of all kinds has been a great source of learning and enjoyment for me since childhood. Some of my happiest early memories are of exploring Harvington Hall, Oak House, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and the Alcazaba of Malaga.
After graduating in BA (Hons) Fine Art a number of year ago and returning home to the West Midlands, I proceeded to expand my internet business I had started at Falmouth. I have always had an enterprising nature, fascination with new technology and where our civilisation is heading. I am now seeking a career change that amalgamates my abilities in the Arts, Business & Technology with my passion for Cultural Heritage.
This pioneering new Masters course is just the spring board I need. It will provide me with a thorough insight into professional museum practice with the ability to live test research. During the Fourth Industrial Revolution museums can act as unique platforms for learning, shared success, wellbeing and social cohesion like no other. Now is an exciting time to enter the Cultural Heritage sector, by the end of the course I hope to have a clearer vision of my unique role.
I am Ryan and I recently graduated from a history degree undertaken at Nottingham Trent University. I gained an interest to study on a museum and heritage course through modules taken via my degree, of which I was very successful on. Being from around the Coventry area, and wanting to study more locally, I felt Birmingham City University was the ideal place to study, especially due to its close relations with the Birmingham Museums Trust. Being a student of history I am particularly interested in the social aspects regarding objects and artefacts and how they can be displayed to the public in both an understandable and relatable way. I feel local and social history go hand in hand, and the display of local history is something museums under the Birmingham Museums Trust do very well, so I feel I am at the perfect place to study. My overall goals of my future career plans directly involve me wanting to work within the museum and heritage industry. Obviously the close ties the university has with the BMT will be of benefit in forging relationships with people already working in the sector as well as asking on any potential career advice and recommendations for my future. I am excited for the year ahead and am looking forward to see what the future holds.
My name is Matin Abbassi and I’m from Afghanistan, I call England home as I have spent most of my teenage and all my adult life here. The Love of art, history, cultures and languages made me choose all my work experiences and studies around these subjects.
I would like to work for international organisation such as British Council (Turquoise Mountain), UNISCO or USAID who are actively working towards safeguarding of cultural heritage of Afghanistan which undoubtedly holds a great importance for strengthening the sense of national identity of all the ethnic groups in the country. Also, all my friends are here in England and all my family is there in Afghanistan, this MA course will allow me to work and live around my friends and family.
It also teaches me the necessary knowledge to be able to document, preserve, organise exhibitions and setup galleries for minerals, jewellery, arts and artefacts of Afghanistan internationally and introduce a side of Afghanistan to the world which is not about war and terror. I believe having knowledge about the customer development and fundraising, managing historic properties and innovation programming in museum and galleries allows me to achieve the goals that I mentioned above.
A huge welcome to our new Cohort of students. We are all very excited as the new term and year has started with inductions and enrolment all completed. We have our first lecture this evening but please see the new students posts to find out about them and why they have chosen to study on the course.
The final weeks of my live project have involved writing a report recommending how BMT are able to improve their storage. My main conclusion is that there is opportunity to condense works which are currently stored within picture store 1, as a short term solution. It was originally thought that the stores are at full capacity, however the audit has shown that there is 35% rack space not currently being used. The report has identified that there is potential rack space which can be maximised through reorganising the objects in store. I have proposed that a rack plan system can be used to achieve this. By arranging works in similar sizes it means that objects will be able to fit in suitable available gaps, therefore minimising wasted space. Using museum standard paperwork, MoMP (Management of Museum Projects) I have developed a project proposal to plan how these recommendations can be put into action. This required proposing a budget, team structure, time line, risk, project aims and targets, as well as also thinking how this will impact BMT’s future developments in line with the overarching strategic aims.
I also attended the private view of the new exhibition, I Want, I want! which is part of the Arts Council Partner exhibitions. The exhibition is a temporary contemporary art exhibition exploring the relationship between art and technology- a theme which I have explored in my own practice as a fine artist. Works featured in this exhibition are drawn from the Arts Council Collection, public and private collections, along with Birmingham’s own permanent collection. It was great to see some of the objects I recognised from the store during the audit project out on display. For example, one of the works I recognised was Fiona Rae, Dark Star, which was previously in Picture Store 2. This work was acquired in 2001 by the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme, which worked to develop Birmingham’s collection of contemporary art painting.
I have enjoyed my time working in the collections department, alongside the conservation team. I have gained a real insight into how museum collection and storage function. I will use this knowledge to shape the rest of my research throughout the final term of my MA course, and I am sure that these professional skills will be invaluable.