PhD Studentship - Cardiff University and the National Museum of Wales


Applications are being sought for a prestigious, full-time ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP) PhD Studentship to be based in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, to begin in October 2017.

This is a collaborative doctoral award, which is being supported by the Doctoral Training Partnership in conjunction with the National Museum of Wales (Amgueddfa Cymru). The Museum is providing benefits-in-kind to support the studentship, including access to data archives, documents, staff expertise and museum spaces and equipment. The student will therefore benefit from unique experience of, access to, and involvement in one of the foremost cultural institutions in Wales.

This studentship will examine the role of sociological knowledge and methods in the museum sector's relationship with their audiences. The context for this is a general 'social turn' in the museums field. In the past, museums used to pay scant attention to their audiences, whilst in the 1990s they began to think of them more actively in terms of styles of 'learning' and diverse visitor experiences. More recently, however, museums have been defining their contribution at a more societal level. They are increasingly now using the language of 'social impacts' and aiming to become more 'activist' in society.

Are you interested in why these changes are happening? Are you also interested in what makes sociology distinctive as a discipline? And would you like to explore these questions through a piece of applied research in the National Museum of Wales? This is an opportunity to study at first hand, using appropriate methodology and theory, what kinds of assumptions underpin this new social language that museums are using.

As a holder of this studentship, you will critically examine these trends and seek to understand their provenance and place in the field of cultural policy and museology. You will work closely with supervisors in the university and in the museum to undertake both desk-based enquiry and more practical types of study. You will also benefit from unique access to museum spaces, policies, data and archives.

The studentship would suit someone interested in critical cultural policy from within sociological perspectives. The candidate will be keen to engage in both theoretical and methodological analysis, as well as conducting some original empirical research in a selected museum setting.

Application Deadline: 1st February 2017

For more information:

Or contact: Corinda Perkins

Yujie Zhu