BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation

With a focus spanning art, design, architecture, fashion, film, performance, literature and media, BA Culture, Criticism and Curation equips you for work in galleries, museums and collections, TV, radio and new media, theatre and cinema, teaching, and arts and events management.

This course is part of the: Culture & Enterprise Programme.

Scholarships and Awards available:

Charlotte and Dennis Stevenson Awards
Foundation for Essex Arts Scholarships
Mead Scholarships and Fellowships
Yat Malmgren Bursary

 

BA Culture, Criticism and Curation students discuss the value of arts education

BA Culture, Criticism and Curation students discuss the creation of their Degree Show 2016 project 'Crit Lounge'

Great reasons to apply

  • Take part in practical projects and academic writing in order to form a learning experience unlike any other. Critical thinking, research, intellectual rigour and creative problem solving are at the core of the course.
  • The course is not just delivered by historians and theoreticians but also by journalists, film makers, curators, arts market professionals, photographers and designers.
  • We maintain active collaborations with key cultural institutions and venues: current collaborations include projects with 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, Leighton House Museum and staff of The Evening Standard and The Guardian.
  • University of the Arts London is in the top 30 in UK’s latest higher education research audit. We rank among the top research universities with 83% of our research graded as world leading and internationally excellent, following the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF 2014).
  • UAL is in the top 30 UK research institutions for the quality of research submitted. It is a top 5 research university in its broader peer group and first in the Power ranking in the Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory category.
  • BA CCC alumni have gone on to further studies at Pratt, Columbia, New York University, Sothebys, Courtauld and University College London, amongst others. Other alumni have gained jobs at British Film Institute, Emin International, Sotheby’s (Mumbai), Burberry, Tom Ford and more.

Facts

Course Leader

Dr Michaela Giebelhausen

Course Location

King's Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years full time
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17).

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17).

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateMonday 25 September 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September - Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January – Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 16 April - Friday 22 June 2018
Application Route

UCAS

Application DeadlineApplications for 2017/18 entry will close on 15 January 2017.
UCAS CodeW294
University CodeU65

Content and structure

BA (Honours) Culture, Criticism and Curation is part of the Culture and Enterprise programme. It gives you a very wide-ranging, humanities-based arts education. Content spans the history and theory of art, design, architecture, fashion, film, popular culture, performance, media and literature.

Culture, criticism and curation refer to bodies of knowledge, skills, outcomes and opportunities within the arts. They are interrelated. Critical thinking, research, intellectual rigour and creative problem solving are at the core of the degree course.

Criticism relates to critical writing (the history and theory of arts criticism), as well as the critical thinking at the heart of cultural practices. Critical writing and thinking are key skills that help BA Criticism, Communication and Curation: Arts and Design students develop successful futures as organisers of, or commentators on, the arts, as writers and as teachers.

Communication refers to today's media, including television, radio, print journalism, publishing, the web and other technologies. It asks how different arts communicate in different contexts. To develop an approach to communication, you'll take practical courses in photography and web design, and in how to use these tools within your assignments. You'll be introduced to journalistic writing. And you'll consider how to communicate narratives and ideas to your audiences when curating exhibitions or planning public events. Personal communication skills - key to success in every professional field - are central to the degree course and developed within every unit.

Curation refers to the specific skills and knowledge needed to 'curate' exhibitions - for example, historical research and the contextualisation of art practice. It also takes in the wider meaning of curating as applied to arts events organisation, from planning film festivals to hosting local street events. Curation is linked to critical writing and to communication through publicity, journalistic reviewing and other activities.

BA Culture, Criticism and Curation runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels, (or Stages) each lasting 30 weeks. The whole course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level.

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).

There's a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.

If you're unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.

To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.

Course outline

BA Culture, Criticism and Curation has three distinct stages (years). Each stage consists of three 10-week terms. Knowledge and skills, history and theory are the threads running through the course.

Stage One provides a foundation in the histories and theories of western art and culture, and an introduction to skills appropriate for the degree course (e.g. journalism, photography, web design). During this stage we encourage you to begin to research, explore and develop your individual strengths and approaches to your subject.

Stage Two continues to explore criticism, communication and curation practices. You'll also begin to develop a variety of approaches that demand individual and experimental responses in order to complete an extended piece of research and writing. Through a combination of tutorial guidance, seminars, lectures, personal research, independent study and team projects, you'll explore the full reach of your subject and develop your individual talents in relation to it.

Stage Three focuses on developing and refining your independent approach while you complete your dissertation and London Project. You'll also engage in further formal study of a chosen topic (elective seminar) and work collaboratively with your year group towards the degree show, a major opportunity to curate an exhibition.

Personal and Professional Development

From the beginning, BA Culture, Criticism and Curation addresses the need to prepare you for employment by supporting you in acquiring the key PPD skills that will enable you to take responsibility for your own learning and career development. The core study of BA (Hons) CCC also helps develop many of these transferable skills, which play their part in equipping you for a professional career and the generic activities of creative practice.

PPD is integral to BA Culture, Criticism and Curation and is embedded in many aspects of both the studio and cultural studies programmes as a planned part of their structure and learning content. PPD activities take place in all stages of the course and aim to improve your capacity to understand what and how you are learning and to help you to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning. A considerable number of the skills learned in the academic context of the course have a wider value and use in other areas of life. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers.

Staff

Course Leader: Dr Michaela Giebelhausen
Stage (1) Leader: Stephanie Dieckvoss
Stage (2) Leader: Dr Diane Silverthorne
Stage (3) Tutor: Andrew Marsh
Senior Lecturer: Dr Alison Green
Reader: Dr Roger Sabin
Programme Director: Dr Dominic Stone

Associate Lecturers:

Careers

BA Culture, Criticism and Curation develops your knowledge and skills to give you a wide choice of further education and career paths. You can go on to work in arts and heritage management and administration; in museums, collections and archives; as researchers within academic, commercial and not-for-profit organisations; in television, radio and new media; in theatre and cinema; and in teaching and arts entrepreneurship, in London and beyond. 

You might also want to pursue postgraduate study. Many BA Culture, Criticism and Curation students have taken MA courses in a range of fields, including curating contemporary art and design, art history, the theatre in London, business and the arts, cultural theory, and historicism.

BA Culture, Criticism and Curation alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of career paths undertaken by graduates of the course. We have previous graduates working with Bristol City Council, an architectural practice in Hatton Garden, an online fashion business and the British Library. Graduates have also gone on to study on MA programmes at Central Saint Martins as well as The Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmith’s and University College London.

Entry requirements

Selection to BA Culture, Criticism and Curation is determined by the quality of the application, meeting the minimum entry qualifications and how well the written work meets our criteria.

Typical successful applicants achieve A and B grades at A level in essay-based humanities subjects. After initial consideration of the application, applicants may be asked to submit examples of written work and be invited to interview.

Minimum entry requirements

  • Passes in 3 GCE A Levels (120 UCAS tariff points normally including one single award), two of which are in essay-based humanities subjects such as History, History of Art, English Literature, Philosophy, Government and Politics, Classical Studies.
  • Passes at GCSE level in 5 subjects (grade C or above

or

  • A Foundation Course in Art and Design
  • Passes in 2 GCE A Levels (80 UCAS tariff points normally including one single award), one of which is in an essay-based humanities.
    Passes at GCSE level or equivalent in 5 subjects (grade C or above) including 3 passes in academic subjects

You can demonstrate the required educational standard by possession of equivalent qualifications; e.g. International Baccalaureat or High School Diploma.

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 for the writing component, and 5.5 in the remaining three components. For further information visit the English Language requirements page. 

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

International applicants can download the International Application For Admission PDF below:

What we look for

We look for students who are passionate about the arts, from fine art, fashion, theatre and performance to graphics, design, architecture and film.

We look for students who may have studied GCSEs and A levels that included the history of art, English literature, history, classical civilisation as well as practice-based subjects and are thinking of taking degrees in history of art, design and architecture; film studies; media and cultural studies; history; English literature; American studies.

We look for students on foundation courses who decide not to pursue a practical art or design degree but who want to stay at a college offering art and design study.

Student selection criteria

We select applicants according to your potential and current ability to:

Work imaginatively and creatively with the written word and visual presentation

  • Engage with experimentation and invention
  • Show imagination and ambition in proposals for your work
  • Take informed risks

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities

  • Through examples of written work, demonstrate a range of approaches to writing, originated from personal experience or
  • Textural and visual research and progressed through logical stages to a finished outcome
  • Demonstrate an awareness of planning and time management skills

Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within your work

  • Demonstrate relevant research skills
  • Evidence ability to evaluate your achievements critically

Show cultural and historical awareness and/or contextual framework of your work

  • Evidence an interest in contemporary culture
  • Identify social, historical and/or cultural influences on your work

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly

  • Discuss your work in individual and group situations
  • Present your work, concepts and ideas appropriately and effectively

Demonstrate commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the course

  • Develop your own ideas and address both set and personal briefs
  • Show willingness to collaborate
  • Show initiative
  • Reflect your knowledge of this course

Interview advice

Both in terms of your writing and at interview we are interested in you as a creative and enquiring individual. Your personal interests, motivation, creativity and initiative in developing an awareness of art and design are what matter to us.

You don't need a portfolio to apply for this course. If you want to you can present a portfolio of relevant visual work to support your application at the interview.

Apply

2016/17 entry

Home / EU applicants

Apply to BA Culture, Criticism and Curation through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). From the UCAS home page go to 'Apply', where you’ll be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.

The University UCAS code is UAL. The University code is U65. The course code is W294 BA/CCCADa.

International applicants

If you are from outside the European Union, you have three options to apply for undergraduate courses:

  • Apply through UCAS
  • Apply directly to Central Saint Martins.‌ Choose this option if you are only applying to undergraduate courses at UAL. (Application form below)
  • Apply through one of our overseas representatives.

Visit the undergraduate application page for full details of these options.

If applying direct to Central Saint Martins, please complete the form below and sent it along with copies of supporting documents (such as previous qualifications / references) by mail to: International Office, Central Saint Martins, The Granary Building, Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA, UK.

International Undergraduate application form [PDF, 185 KB]

Study Abroad

For information on applying to Study Abroad please visit the Study Abroad section.

We're here to help

Our website includes all the information you need to successfully apply. However, if you still have unanswered questions about the admissions process, please fill out our course enquiry form.

The University has a dedicated team to help prepare you for your studies. For help on visa requirements, housing, tuition fees and language requirements visit the University's International section.

The Language Centre offers international students quality language training from qualified and experienced teachers. The Pre-sessional Academic English Programme is available to all international (non-EU) students who have been offered a place on a full time course at the University of the Arts. For further information visit the Language Centre website.

We also offer a number of short courses that enable students to improve their portfolios and English skills before applying to their chosen course. For further information visit our Short Course section.

Deferred entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

What happens next?

Home/EU and International applicants applying through UCAS

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed under What We Look For. Depending on the quality of your application, you may then be invited to attend an interview. In preparation for interview you’ll be expected to post in advance the following evidence of your writing ability:

  • A humanities-type essay from a course already done (A level history, literature etc)
  • A short piece, c.500 words: 'BA CCC aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to work in the arts, taking in museums and galleries, the heritage sector, the media and arts events, writing and postgraduate study. Why do you think the course is right for you? What differences might there be between study in a college of art and design like CSM and a 'traditional' university?'
  • A short piece: 'Describe in 200-300 words a cultural project that you have done or would like to do. This can be supplemented with images or any kind of media.'

If you can’t attend the interview please contact the College:

Home/EU applicants should contact the Student Administration, BA Culture, Criticism and Curation, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA

International applicants should contact the International Office, BA Culture, Criticism and Curation, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA

International applicants applying directly to Central Saint Martins

You will be asked to submit three pieces of written work as detailed above. This should be in the form of A4 printed sheets.

Please send your application form and written work to the International Office, BA Culture, Criticism and Curation, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA

Selection is conducted by two members of staff and offers of places are made on the basis of the selection criteria. Notes are kept in relation to decisions made following the interview process.

Receiving results of your application

  • If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS track.
  • If you made a direct application, the result will be emailed or sent by post.
  • If you applied through one of our overseas representatives, they will tell you the result of your application.

You’ll only receive further communication directly from the college if your application has been successful and this will be in the form of a full offer pack.

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value. 

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Student Perspectives

Exhibition layout sketches

We asked current student Rosanne about what drew her to the course. For Rosie it was the pull of a non traditional art history course, putting theory into practice:


For Unit 5, ‘Interrogating History’, we had the opportunity to work with the Foundling Museum. We proposed an exhibition that used the history of the museum to inspire new ways of exhibiting contemporary art within historical buildings and the challenges of doing this. Working directly with professionals from the museum, we gained an insight into exhibition practicalities and research institutions such as the London Metropolitan Archives to develop our concepts.

The project ran parallel to our lecture series within the unit, so it was great to put academic theory to work in a practical and creative way, edifying both the academic and curation aspects of the course. I think this is the unique thing about BA CCC and what drew me to it in the first place – as opposed to more traditional art history courses: it’s fundamentally theoretical, but what we learn in the lecture theater is applied through more vocational projects outside of it.

In an inspiring setting like CSM we bridge the gap between academic and creative study and have the opportunity to develop both faculties in order to figure out our place within the art world.

There’s room within the course structure for the many different skillsets of people from all over the world to be developed and celebrated, and I have enjoyed taking part in this. Working alongside my peers has broadened my own intellectual horizons and a wealth of new ideas and influences, developing me as a creative professional as well as an individual.

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.

Make an enquiry

2016 Degree Show Catalogue