MA Curating the Art Museum (programme paused for 2024 entry)

Course Overview


Applications closed for 2024 entry. Applications for 2025 entry will open in autumn 2024.


Vernon Square Kings Cross, London WC1X 9EP (during The Courtauld Connects project)


12 months, full time. October – September

Awarding body

University of London


12 students per year

Please note this programme is paused for 24/25.

Applications will open for 25/26 in Autumn 2024.

Archived information: This programme is an excellent entry point for a career in museums and galleries. It puts the physical object at the heart of curatorial training whilst placing specialist knowledge firmly within the context of the contemporary museum. The course offers a wide range of learning environments and exercises, from taught seminars to group projects and hands-on work experience, and encourages a wide range of expression, written and oral, from academic writing to public debates and gallery talks.

This broad-based programme, which has run since 2007, attracts students with a range of interests, across all periods and media, with a strong focus on contemporary and innovative approaches to curating in public museums and galleries. The programme’s teaching draws widely on the expertise of the art history faculty, the conservation department and the staff of The Courtauld Gallery, and benefits from close relations and excellent connections with museums and galleries across London and the UK, and internationally. Curators and other professionals in museums are actively involved in the programme, leading practical exercises such as the Virtual Display. Individual placements are arranged for each student with museums and galleries in London: students work closely with mentors in a range of national museums, public galleries and other organisations in London, one/two days a week over a six-month period. There is a strong emphasis on collaborative working, in taught sessions and in the organisation of museum debates; field trips, in the UK and Europe, may be organised across the year (conditions permitting) to ensure the widest contact with curators, museum professionals and artists, as well as with exhibitions, displays and museum spaces. The programme culminates in a collaborative exhibition project, and the mounting of a public exhibition and related public events.

MA Curating the Art Museum aims to address a wide range of interests and equip students with the expertise, research and professional skills for an equally wide range of career paths.

Entry Requirements

UK qualifications: Students will normally have achieved a good 2.1 in their Bachelor’s degree, considered to be an overall average 65% or above.

Overseas qualification: Equivalent to a good 2.1 in a UK first degree (e.g. US applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above).

Personal Statement: You will be asked to provide a statement of up to 500 words detailing your reasons for applying for the course, supplying any information and experiences relevant to your application.

Interviews: Selected applicants will be asked for interview before offers are made.

English language requirements: If your first language is not English, we require proof of English language proficiency –please see the English Language Requirements page.

Teaching and Programme Structure

Semester 1

  • Introductory sessions to the Programme, The Courtauld’s collections and the various programme elements.
  • History and Theory of Museums (eight sessions, seminars and museum visits; essay).
  • Virtual Display exercise: four sessions, a practical exercise with a museum professional curator
  • Contemporary Approaches to the Museum (eight seminars, museum visits or presentations from external curators, museum professionals and artists; essay).
  • Ethics and practice of Conservation (four seminars and a studio visit).
  • Individual work placement in a London museum or gallery, begins, 1 or 2 days per week.

Semester 2

  • Development and delivery of a public exhibition Project.
  • Language and Interpretation (10 sessions, seminars, visits and group exercises).
  • Two student-organised public Museum Debates.
  • Leadership session with a prominent museum director or curator.
  • Individual work placements continue until Easter.


  • 10,000-word Dissertation on a curatorial or museological subject (submission in September).

Please note that this is subject to change, and applicants will be informed if there are any change to the programme.


The MA Curating the Art Museum is formally assessed on:

  • Two 4,000 word essays (one each in semesters 1 and 2)
  • Exhibition project
  • A 10,000-word dissertation
  • Placements are assessed pass/fail based on mentor’s report following self-reflective report written by the student

Careers and Employability

The programme aims to address a wide range of interests and equip students with the expertise, research and professional skills for an equally wide range of career paths.

Over 150 students have graduated from the programme to date; around 90% of them have progressed within the museum and gallery sector, in a variety of curatorial and management roles as well as in Public programmes, marketing and development; some enter private galleries or practice independently, while others go on to further research in the fields of curating or art history.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees can be found here.

Financial support for your studies:

Postgraduate Master’s Loan: Please visit the Student Finance England website for further information and to apply online.

Courtauld Institute of Art Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merits. The average postgraduate scholarship is £6,000. Applications are welcomed from Home, EU and Overseas applicants and students. Find out more about our scholarships.

Alumni Loyalty Scheme: This scheme is open to any graduate of The Courtauld Institute of Art admitted to a taught postgraduate programme of study. Recipients will receive a 10% loyalty discount off their tuition fee for the duration of the course.

Further information about loans, grants, and bursaries to support you during your studies at The Courtauld can be found here.


To support you through the degree, we offer:

Wellbeing: We have a dedicated Wellbeing team, with counsellors and advisors.

Academic Skills: The academic skills tutor offers group and one-to-one help to develop the skills and confidence you need to succeed on the degree. We also have two Royal Literary Fund fellows who will help you with your writing skills – concentrating on how to structure and improve your writing.

MA Curating the Art Museum Virtual Open Day

Studying at The Courtauld 2023/24: an overview