Museum Learning Basics

The bookings for this course are now closed. Please get in touch if you wish to be added to the waiting list to join the next course.

This course is now closed for enrolment. 

Course dates: Mondays 20, 27 Feb, 6, 13, 20 March 2023 (3-4 pm)

This live virtual learning course provides practical examples of preparing and delivering museum learning prorgammes and is ideal for pre-career and early career museum professionals interested in delivering learning. Gain confidence in museum learning basics by sharing challenges and practical solutions with peers from other organisations and the course leader.

Who is it for?
This course is for pre-career and early career museum professionals, including:

  • students and early career professionals, trainees and apprentices;
  • museum professionals working outside of learning teams;
  • professionals working in archives, libraries, community centres and other cultural organisations. This course provides a great introduction to all aspects of museum learning;
  • refresher for museum learning professionals.

Museum Learning Basics course introduction video. A special thank you to Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village for providing the filming location. 

Who runs the course?

This five-week online course is run by Kara Wescombe Blackman, museum learning expert with over two decades of experience of working with collections, exhibitions and museums. With responsibility for learning, public programmes and visitor services for a number of prestigious museums in different settings, she has wide-ranging insights and practical experience to share, from engaging new audiences to creating new museum and learning spaces.

When & where is it?

This virtual course will take place over five weeks and will be run online through a series of virtual lectures. There will also be a possibility to engage with the recorded sessions afterwards.

Course Structure


Explore different ways to engage audiences with collections, whether you work with an art collection or heritage buildings collection. Find out about GEM core competencies, learning theories and interpretation strategies you could research further and use in your work and professional development.


Understand why knowing and building your audiences is core to a successful and sustainable learning programme. Look at how to conduct and use evaluation and audience research in your planning, funding, programme development and professional practice. Understand the barriers for some audiences and how you can develop inclusive and accessible programmes, resources and experiences.


Looking at case studies, see how different museums increased engagement through new programmes for schools, families, young people and communities and think about what you could do to grow and diversify audiences at your current museum or in your future practice. Gain familiarity with marketing and communication strategies and timescales, whether you work with a marketing team or have responsibility for this yourself.


Gain tips on managing budgets, volunteers and freelance contributors to your programmes. Think about all the resources available to you in your role including museum spaces, colleagues, collections and learning resources and how you can use and manage these. Discover museum sector resources you can access for professional development and how to grow a network of peers to help you reflect on and grow in your practice.


Discover and share ways of ensuring your groups have a positive visitor experience from onsite visits to online and offsite/outreach. This session will look at templates for programming a season or specific event including timing your event administration, ticketing and booking, partnership agreements, safety management (risk assessments and child protection), learning spaces, parking, lighting, lifts and more.

Course Fee:

£125 – GEM Members

£160 – Non-members

Please note that a £25 fee applies if you cancel your booking.


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