Learning - Student engagement
The Great North Museum: Hancock is part of Newcastle University and supports student learning and research in lots of ways.
One of the things that we are passionate about is providing high quality placements to support career development through work experiences which aim to develop specialist skills to support graduate employment.
Here are some testimonials from past placement students about their experience working with the learning team at the Great North Museum: Hancock.
"I studied my degree at Newcastle in Archaeology and English. I did a placement at GNM: Hancock in my third year, having done a couple of modules in museums and heritage in my first year, and volunteered at museums during the summer vacations. The placement I did at GNM: Hancock helped me develop skills in research, organising volunteers and engaging with the public. It encouraged me to study for an MA in heritage and gave me invaluable experience in informal learning and working with visitors that has led me to become the Learning Officer for a museum in Warwickshire."
"I studied BA History and Archaeology at Newcastle University, and chose the final year Career Development Module as it balanced perfectly with my dissertation and other modules. I had already been volunteering a little at the museum, and gained experience in leading history workshops. Using the volunteering with the Career Development Module meant I could gain academic recognition for my role at the museum. I became more confident in working with young people and delivering content that related to collections at the GNM. Thanks to the placement, I was able to gain a casual paid position, which worked perfectly alongside my MA in History. I also felt more able to apply for jobs, such as Graduate Ambassador, that required public speaking and the development of material for use in schools."
"In the third year of my Ancient History degree, I did a few days’ work experience with the learning team at the GNM, to help me decide whether to do a Museum Studies MA. I loved the placement and decided to apply for the MA on a part-time basis. The GNM team also kindly agreed to let me volunteer weekly. I developed skills in; working with children and volunteers, researching and designing activities and public engagement. This led to me becoming a casual Assistant Learning Officer for TWAM and now I work in a range of museums across the city."
"My time spent volunteering at the Great North Museum as part of the career development module of my undergrad has proven invaluable to me. Not only because I was able to gain experience in developing learning resources for school children, communicating science to visitors, and working as part of a team to develop exhibitions, but also because I have made friends with whom I remain in contact after almost 5 years. Currently I am a trainee science teacher, and many of the skills I discussed at interview that led me to success came from my time at the museum. I highly recommend taking advantage of their volunteer opportunities, whether for professional development, or simply enjoyment."
"While at Newcastle University I studied a BSc in Zoology. In the second year we undertook an employability skills module which involved a job placement; I was lucky enough to get one of the placements at the Great North Museum. I was looking to do something palaeontology-related, as this is where my interests lie, and the museum provided me with a position on the Learning Team making educational resources about fossils, evolution and prehistoric life – a dream come true!
The skills I learned in science communication, organisation, task management and educating others have been very useful, not least because it helps my CV stand out. I would recommend getting a placement in a museum if you are interested in palaeontology, or similar subjects around the natural world."