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Contemporary Curating

MA
Contemporary Curating
MA 1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)

MA Contemporary Curating explores the notion of curatorial practice in contemporary culture in addressing a number of inter-related fields of creative practice and theoretical approaches and situate them in a historical and critical context. The course explores different kinds of curatorial issues in addressing exhibition-forms and exhibition-making processes and how we conceive of spaces of production and curating as subjects with our integrated research and practice-led approach. 

The shifting relationship between artist-institution-curator-critic/writer forms a central element to the course with a special focus on the meaning the culture of curating, in which our perception of creativity has been transformed by curating and the discourses surrounding it. The course also explores the potential of seeing curating as something that can be applied to various forms of knowledge: publications, symposia, events and interventions. 

Features

  • MA Contemporary Curating is a dynamic programme for students who wish to develop the essential practical and critical thinking skills that is needed by contemporary curatorial practice. The course also enables you to experiment and study in a diverse range of the wider field and provides access to our dedicated Curating Base Room. This allows you to explore and plan collaborative ideas on an interdisciplinary basis and facilitates a sense of community.
  • You will be supported to develop student-led projects and encouraged to engage in creative and critical dialogue, collaborative mind-mapping and ideas exchange processes. 
  • We endeavour to provide you with external experiences that will support your practice. Past students have had the opportunity to take part in the British Council's Venice Fellowships, a programme that encourages students to utilise their trans-disciplinary skills and explore how to work internationally, and the Curators of Tomorrow, an initiative that offered students the opportunity to live and work for the period of one month in one of the Q21 studios at Museums Quartier Wien in Vienna.
  • You will benefit from the rich programme of events which includes Curator talks and seminars from a range of galleries and programmes, such as Liverpool Biennial, Manchester Art Gallery, Open Eye, Tate Liverpool, The Whitworth Gallery and more.

Course Content

In this course you will establish key theories and issues relating to Contemporary Curating, Design Cultures and Contemporary Visual Culture and then develop these into more complex approaches.

You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry.  

Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions (whatever means is appropriate to the work). You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.

Year 1 (MA Full-Time)

The MA Contemporary Curating is made up of five units totalling 180 credits.

Practice 1: Curating Spaces

The focus of the unit is on the framework of curatorial practice through the diverse spaces in which work is exhibited. There is a consideration of the institutional as a condition of influence on exhibition practices and the subsequent relationship to audience. This is further extended through the exploration of the diversity and difference within international contemporary art and curatorial practice.

Practice 2: Curatorial Process

The unit considers the nature of the ‘curatorial’ in terms of the processes associated with a contemporary exhibition programme, as well as related activities. In effect, it offers a more applied understanding of exhibition practices. The unit considers a range of approaches which might be useful in establishing an individual methodology. It also serves as preparation for the professional practice and the start of the development of an individual voice that is thoroughly grounded in research skills.

Practice 3: Major Project

The unit is designed to support work towards the development and production of a piece of work that provides a central focus on one area of curatorial practice. The work will provide a synthesis and application of the research in relation to curatorial practice, in order to develop a substantial project which reflects on the theoretical, conceptual, contextual and practical elements necessary for a curated project.

Professional Practices

This unit extends your understanding of the professional context of Contemporary Curating, contemporary Fine Art, and Painting practices. Through an examination of artworld institutions and structures you will be guided to consider a range of possible positions that the contemporary artist or curator can occupy in the professional domain. The unit will extend your experience into the professional sphere, either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner and/or peer group of students.

Art & Design: Culture & Context

This unit offers focussed opportunity for students to extend and enhance their practice by including working in a wider design research community. The study of the cultural and critical contexts of design practice is vital to any student of the creative disciplines, this unit will develop Master’s students’ abilities to contextualise their practice through a series of themes addressing contemporary issue in design.

Postgraduate Curating Platform

Our online Postgraduate Curating Platform is designed to encourage exchange and joint projects that facilitate an engagement in creative and critical dialogue and collaborative mind-mapping processes between students from different institutions worldwide.

More details

"Borders Unveiled: Navigating the Self" exhibition is co-curated by current MA Contemporary Curating students: Aoife Elston, Victoria Fox, Holly Hare, Grace Hill and Mila Januszova

For each open call, an international panel jurors participate in a crowd-sourced voting process...

Curating students participated in interactive student-led event: A Pop Up Think/Do Tank by CrAFt

Graduates

The programme would be of interest to those planning to pursue a career in the museum and gallery sector, as well as those interested in related cultural work, such as arts administration, publishing and events organisation. The programme also provides a suitable grounding for further study at doctorate level.

Making an Application

Entry Requirements

You will normally have an undergraduate UK honours degree, or international equivalent or equivalent UK qualification from an arts or humanities background in a subject that includes some coverage of Art History, Fine Art, or Cultural Studies at honours degree standard. Alternatively, if your undergraduate degree is not arts or humanities-based you should be able to adequately demonstrate its pertinence or articulate its relevance in your personal statement with reference to how it informs your aspiration to study master’s programme in the field of curating.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

How to Apply

Please apply online using the link below.

Apply Online

Fees 2024 Entry

UK and Channel Island Students

Full-time fee: £1834 per 30 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time fee: £1834 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

EU and Non-EU International Students

Full-time fee: £3417 per 30 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time fee: £3417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Eligible alumni receive a 20% discount on their postgraduate tuition fees. Find out more about our Alumni Loyalty Discount.

Also see Postgraduate funding and financial support.

Course Leader

  • Gulsen Bal
    Senior Lecturer
    Programme Leader in MA/MFA Contemporary Curating