Vernon Square Kings Cross, London WC1X 9EP (during The Courtauld Connects project)
12 months, October – September
University of London
12 students per year
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 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 including Tate and the National Gallery 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 or 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.
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 practise independently, while others go on to further research in the fields of curating or art history.
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
- 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 in term 1).
- Virtual Display exercise: four sessions, with a professional curator, at the National Gallery or Tate Britain.
- Contemporary Approaches to the Museum (eight seminars, museum visits or presentations from external curators, architects or artists; essay in term 2).
- Individual work placement in a London museum or gallery, 1 or 2 days per week, from November to April (totalling around 25 days)
- Ethics and practice of Conservation (five sessions).
- Development of an Exhibition Project (from December).
- Language and Interpretation (10 sessions, seminars, visits and group exercises).
- Student-organised public Museum Debate.
Term 3 and summer
- Continuing development and delivery of the Exhibition Project (exhibition runs mid-June to mid-July).
- Leadership session with a prominent museum director or curator.
- Student-organised public Museum Debate.
- 10,000-word Dissertation on a curatorial or museological subject (from June; submission mid September).
The MA Curating the Art Museum is formally assessed on:
- Two 4,000 word essays (one each in terms 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 140 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 practise independently, while others go on to further research in the fields of curating or art history.
Fees and Funding
Fees are subject to change each academic year. 2020/21 fee information, including what qualifies as home, EU, and overseas 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 merit combined with financial need. The average postgraduate scholarship awarded in 2019/20 was £6,000. Applications are welcomed from Home, EU and Overseas students applying to or currently studying in 2020/21.
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.