On MA Culture, Criticism and Curation, you will examine theoretical concepts in relation to organisations, events and the work of individual practitioners. Each year, the course makes use of relevant cultural events in London and beyond. Students work with external archives and collections, encouraging high-level organisational, communication, technical and professional skills from the outset.
On the course, critical writing spans academia, art criticism and journalism as well as project reports and evaluations. You will explore curatorial practices early in the course, leading up to a final group curatorial project. During your studies, you are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent reading and research. Lectures, reading lists and discussions will direct you towards key debates and theoretical issues. Alongside your own research, course discussions, essays and formal presents will help develop your critical skills.
MA Culture, Criticism and Curation is taught by a team of tutors who bridge academic research and practices of criticism, journalism, art, exhibition design, curation and collections management. They will support your acquisition of high-level critical and practical skills, enabling you to work in the field of art and culture or progress to a research degree.
Unit 1: Foundations
Unit 1 will introduce you to a range of practices and concepts within the fields of culture, criticism and curation. You will begin to research your dissertation in order to develop a proposal and also take part in a group curatorial project. Unit 1 is supported by a series of seminars, workshops, site visits, project meetings and activities. These will help you build knowledge, critical thinking and creativity in response to ideas, environments cultural objects and communities.
Unit 2: Testing
Unit 2 is a continuation of the activities undertaken in Unit 1. You will continue to develop your dissertation and present it as work-in-progress. You will be encouraged to develop a bespoke research direction. This unit requires you to focus on historical knowledge and ideas, considerations of audience, cultural policies, competing systems of representation, exhibition conventions, writing and oral presentations.
Unit 3: Articulating and Realising
Unit 3 is a culmination of the dissertation and group projects. The dissertation will contribute to the development of your research interests – whether these are aimed at employment, curatorial practice or PhD study. The unit is supported by a series of seminars, workshops, site visits, project meetings and activities. These will help you complete your projects and prepare for exiting the course.
Projects and professional partnerships
Working collaboratively with organisations – small and large, independent and well-established – is central to MA Culture, Criticism and Curation. Final projects are often undertaken in partnership with external organisations. Previous examples include The Guardian, Flat Time House, the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, David Roberts Art Foundation, the South London Gallery, the Archive Studio at the Southbank Centre and Artists Studio Company (ASC).
Mode of study
MA Culture, Criticism and Curation is offered in full-time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 12 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.
Credit and award requirements
The course is credit-rated at 180 credits.
On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only.
If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.