MA Curating & Collections

MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts focuses on developing the skills needed to curate a range of art and design objects within the context of public and private collections.


Course Leader

Dr David Dibosa

Course Location

Chelsea College of Arts, John Islip Street

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year
Home/EU Fee

£8,250 per year (2016/17).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost.

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost.

Start DateOctober 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 9 October - Friday 22 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January - Friday 23 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 9 April - Friday 14 September 2018
Application DeadlineHome / EU - Monday 31 July 2017.
International - No deadline, but students are advised to apply as early as possible

Content and structure

Content: what students can expect

  • Practical skills to sit alongside critical reflection that helps our students develop a balanced approach to curatorial methods
  • A course that focuses on working with contemporary and historic collections, exhibition design, concept development, marketing, press releases and budgeting
  • To explore current critical debates, keeping up to date on issues such as participation, the artist-curator dynamic and thinking about the public realm
  • Our curatorial team at Chelsea Space to provide training within an active and supportive curatorial environment, engaging students with the best examples of contemporary practice
  • To have access to the Chelsea library Special Collections, which have a strong emphasis on modern and contemporary art and design


  • Phase 1: Analysis of curatorial practices
  • Phase 2: Methods of curatorial display
  • Phase 3: Enacting curatorial strategies

Throughout the three assessed units of the course, you will study in the following ways:

  • Exhibition studio workshop: practical sessions focusing on exhibition-making
  • Curatorial studies: ‘think-tank’ sessions focusing on historical and theoretical framing of curatorial practice
  • Collections visits: engagement with museums, events, exhibitions and displays
  • Lecture programme: lectures from professors, readers and other invited speakers

During the course, students participate in individual and group tutorials developing their skills through the taught sessions alongside the professional practice activity with staff at Chelsea Space. Individual research will be guided to help students make the most of the Special Collections, as well as, library and learning resources across UAL.


Dr David Dibosa - Course Leader

Dr. David Dibosa is co-author of Post-Critical Museology: Theory and Practice in the Art Museum (Routledge, 2013). He trained as a curator, after receiving his first degree from Girton College, Cambridge. 

He was awarded his PhD in Art History from Goldsmiths, University of London, for a thesis titled, Reclaiming Remembrance: Art, Shame and Commemoration. 

During the 1990s, he curated public art projects, including In Sight In View, a billboard project in Birmingham, England, as well as a sculpture park in the West Midlands. 

From 2004-2008, he was Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory at Wimbledon College of Arts.

View Dr David Dibosa's research profile


Donald Smith - Director of Exhibitions, Chelsea Space

Chelsea Space is a public exhibition space where invited art and design professionals are encouraged to work on experimental curatorial projects. Smith has programmed over 50 exhibitions in Chelsea Space's nine year history. He is also a practicing artist.

Chelsea Space

Lynton Talbot - Lecturer

Lynton Talbot is an independent curator based in London, working collaboratively with Hana Noorali. 

Together they have started project spaces in both London and Berlin and curated over 30 exhibitions in commercial galleries, public institutions and project spaces across London and internationally. Most recently, ‘DM/1978 Talks to DM/2010’ was staged at Chelsea Space, London in April 2016 and ‘The boys the girls and the political’, an exhibition of 10 international, emerging artists at Lisson Gallery, London in July 2015. 

Talbot studied Fine Art at undergraduate level at Chelsea College of Arts and later Architecture and the Built Environment at The University of Westminster. He is a current PhD student and researcher at Chelsea, working towards a thesis that examines the possibility of the curator as an autonomous cultural producer. 

He is a regular contributor to Art Monthly and Art Review and has published essays in exhibition catalogues and artist monographs. Talbot has developed and taught seminars at The School of the Damned, London, The Architectural Association, London and for the Graduate Diploma in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts. He has also delivered short courses for UAL on The Art Market, Art Handling and Curating Contemporary Art in London and in the Middle East. 


Many MA Curating graduates go on to work as curators either, independently or within galleries, museums or other art and design organisations. Some of our course alumni develop public programmes, while others choose further study and research exhibitionary practice and typically focus on collections research, exhibitions history and curatorial practice.

Entry requirements

  • BA (Hons) degree in a related subject or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Study proposal
  • IELTS level 6.5 or above if English isn’t their first language, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our English Language requirements)


Use UAL’s scholarship search to find out what funding may be available to you.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

How to apply

Online application for 2017 entry will open in November 2016.

Home / EU deadline is Monday 31 July 2017.

There is no deadline for international applications, but students are advised to apply as early as possible.

You can apply for this course using our online application form. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two references).

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit a study proposal.

The study proposal is a statement of approximately 1,000 words describing your current practice. You should include links to referenced text or images where appropriate. It should also describe how you will develop a self-directed programme of work and related research whilst at Chelsea College of Arts.

When writing your proposal you are not expected to have complete answers to all your questions.

However, you should be able to:

  • Examine your knowledge and experience in relation to your proposed project
  • Identify questions and areas that you do not know about
  • Demonstrate how you intend to tackle these questions and areas

How to structure a study proposal

Each of the following sections should be approximately 250 words.


  • Briefly describe your work
  • Outline recent developments
  • Identify those aspects you would like to take further at MA level


Describe specific areas, issues and critical ideas that are central to your area of interest.


  • How will you go about researching your area of interest?  
  • Are there particular methods you will use? For example - drawing, model making, photography etc.


Are there resources or equipment that you need to access in order for you to successfully engage in your research?

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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