Study at the World's number one ranked art and design university for five consecutive years (2015-2019) in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

About the Programme

Established 25 years ago and led by Professor Victoria Walsh, the MA Curating Contemporary Art (CCA) programme is recognised both as an international leader in its field and for its commitment to collaborative group project-based work that integrates theory and practice throughout the two years of the curriculum. New areas of focus in response to the expanded field of curating and the widening professional opportunities for curatorial practice and research in a global context include:

Exhibitions and Programming practice focus on curating, commissioning and programming within the physical and defined setting of the gallery/museum space providing a critical, theoretical and practical understanding of the histories and opportunities within this form of curatorial practice.

Urban practice focuses on curating and commissioning within the urban context of the global city, with particular emphasis on the expanded role curators plays bringing together architects, designers, urbanists, and public and private organisations with communities and artist practitioners to create new spaces of creative opportunity, encounter and public value.

Digital practice focuses on the expanded field of artistic and curatorial practice that is rooted in and defined by digital media, online production and networked distribution. It will examine the differences and commonalities between digital and analogue forms of artistic production and curating, and experiment with new curatorial models that bridge on and offline networked cultures and audiences.

The CCA programme approaches the field critically, theoretically and through best practice in commissioning, curating, and programming with London-based and national arts organisations and spaces ensuring that the knowledge and understanding of these practices are grounded in the context of public audiences, urbanisation and the digital. In the increasingly complex cultural environment in which curating takes place, our research-led and practice-led teaching by staff and visiting tutors ensures the curatorial and artistic significance, intellectual value and critical vitality of the MA programme.

MA Entrance Requirements

Candidates for all MA courses are assessed on their existing qualities as demonstrated in their work and in their interview, as well as on their potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve MA standards overall. The assessment will consider creativity, imagination and innovation evident in the work; ability to articulate the intentions of the work; intellectual engagement in relevant areas; appropriate technical skills; overall interview performance, including the oral use of English.

You should have a good undergraduate degree in history of art or fine art or other appropriate areas of the humanities.

You will most likely have some relevant practical experience having worked in a paid or unpaid capacity within the visual arts and can demonstrate an existing commitment to curating through having already organised one or more exhibitions.

You must demonstrate a strong interest in contemporary art.

As a student on this programme, you will help to develop the multi-, interdisciplinary and exploratory nature of contemporary curatorial practice and the future of curating. One of the primary aims of this programme is that you develop the skills and confidence to work effectively within this field, to act as an innovative and responsible practitioner and that you contribute to the valuing of art and culture in your future work.

To this end, our aim is to produce students who are:

  • highly invested in contemporary art and curatorial practice.
  • proactive and highly motivated to contribute to the development of curating and the curatorial field.
  • confident to experiment and innovate through creative risk, critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • able to communicate with clarity and authority and can formulate arguments and articulate position.
  • socially, culturally and politically aware and critically self-reflexive with a view towards ethical practice.
  • professionally fit with a flexible skill-set for employment in a variety of contexts, organisations and funding situations.

Online Applications

All online applications should be submitted with a CV and two pieces of writing:

  • A brief (500 word) critical appraisal of a recent exhibition of contemporary art. This is required to provide evidence of your knowledge of and critical engagement with post-war and contemporary art and so to assist with shortlisting for interview.
  • A proposal for an exhibition you would like to curate and/or evidence of previously curated exhibitions (no more than four sides of A4).

You should answer carefully the questions in the application form concerning your aptitude for a study of curating to give the interview board a sense of your commitment and engagement.

Please do not submit portfolios, as these are not required.

Program taught in:

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Last updated March 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
19,000 GBP
Tuition fees in 2018/19 - Overseas: £28,400 per annum (£56,800 total fee); UK/EU: £9,500 per annum (£19,000 total fee); Channel Islands and Isle of Man £14,200 (£28,400 total fee).
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