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Central Saint Martins

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MA Culture, Criticism and Curation

College
CSM
Start date
January 2020
Course length
Full time (45 weeks)

Course summary

Established in 2013, MA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins works with two distinctive approaches: allying itself to culture as a broad-based field and treating intellectual and practical work as a joined-up form of enquiry.

We see theory and research as foundational to project work, and learning through doing is fundamental to the development of curatorial practice.

This course is part of the Culture and Enterprise Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • Curating and critical writing are critical and creative practices with potential to be applicable to institutions and to independent or alternative practices. Students are taught how to act with agency within complex and changing environments
  • We emphasise interdisciplinary thinking and enquiry. Multiple subject backgrounds and a distinctively international cohort enrich the experience by placing a diversity of experiences and views in dialogue with one another. We seek to engage with social and political issues and position research-led curation as a potent agent of change
  • The Course has strong links with Central Saint Martins’ Museum and Study Collection and the University’s Archives and Special Collections Centre, providing students on the course with project work and access to specialist knowledge integral to their field of study
  • Projects are realised through group work, through which collaboration is discussed, tested and reflected upon. These make use of the college’s excellent resources as well as links with external organisations. They lead to partnerships with organisations both internal and external to the University, providing opportunities for students to build their individual practice, professional capacity and research interests. Our projects are of a very high standard and public profile
  • We are situated in the heart of London and in the heart of the world’s leading arts university. You will join an exciting community of people integrating research and practice in our Culture and Enterprise Programme, as well as the other postgraduate programmes on curatorial practice across University of the Arts London
  • UAL is a top 5 research university in its peer group and first in the Power ranking in the category of Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory. 83% of our research was graded as world leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

Open days


Friday, 24 May at 5pm
Friday, 21 June at 5pm
Friday, 12 July at 5pm
Wednesday, 18 September at 3pm
Friday, 25 October at 5pm
Friday, 15 November at 5pm

The next round of open days will take place from April to November 2019, please check back here by mid March 2019 to book.

Scholarships, awards and funding

Jane Rapley Scholarships

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International

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.

UAL International Postgraduate £25,000 plus International Student House (ISH) Scholarships

Course events

MA Culture, Criticism and Curation Final Projects

Meet Course Leader Alison Green and MA Culture Criticism and Curation students
Culture, Criticism and Curation students discuss the value of arts education.

Gallery

MA Culture, Criticism and Curation stories

Altered Realities

The Lethaby Gallery presents creative responses to the current times with its exhibition Altered Realities For the exhibition – which brings together installation and video work with virtual reality pieces […]

Normal to Dissent.

2018 marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which extended voting rights to women who met certain, limited criteria, but left 60% of the female population […]

Eduardo Paolozzi: Past and Present

In the early 1950s, Eduardo Paolozzi could be found working into the small hours in the textile and print workshops at the Central School. Alongside the current Whitechapel Gallery retrospective, […]

Course details

Raymond Williams described culture as one of the most difficult words in the English language. It crosses disciplines and holds multiple meanings. It designates things and processes. Historically culture meant ‘civilisation’; more recently the meaning has shifted towards the entertainment and education sector, but importantly this has been accompanied by an ongoing negotiation about what might constitute the objects, activities, agents and interpretations of cultural production.

Through critical writing and expanded forms of curating, MA Culture, Criticism and Curation offers a framework for engaging with the history and present scenarios of culture. Taking advantage of its location in an art school, MA CCC integrates theoretical issues and practical skills, interrogating history and working critically and creatively to consider how potential new knowledge can be presented in the public realm. The Course aims to teach students to be strong researchers and innovative practitioners, with the skills to communicate with specialist and general audiences alike.

The Course makes use of London’s many collections, archives and creative practitioners, staging the teaching in relation to ‘live’ resources. Key focuses of the Course are collections and archives, including those that are institutional, personal and/or produced in the context of creative art practices, which you will address from both theoretical and practical standpoints.

With these critical and historical frameworks you will work on ‘live’ projects, led by students and facilitated by tutors. The projects are different each year in form and content, with students addressing the complex of issues surrounding the presentation of culture in public and social spaces. As a group, you will learn how to collaborate effectively, to use the project as a testing-ground, and make individual skills and ideas contribute to a collective end.

The Course is taught by a team of tutors who bridge academic research and writing and professional practices of criticism, journalism, art, exhibition design, curating and collections management. They will support your acquisition of critical and practical skills enabling you to work in the field of art and culture or progress to a research degree (PhD).

About this course

  • MA Culture, Criticism and Curation lasts 45 weeks, arranged across one academic year – three terms of ten weeks – plus an additional 15 weeks of independent work
  • MA Culture, Criticism and Curation is credit rated at 180 credits and comprises three Units. All three units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from the mark for Unit Three only
  • We expect you to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your studies. This comprises 10-15 hours of taught and supervised sessions and 25-30 hours self-directed study
  • Your taught input will normally be scheduled over two - three fixed days per week, which we will detail at the start of each term and further in advance if possible. The course structure is intended to allow you to pursue your studies while also undertaking part-time work, internships or care responsibilities.

Projects and professional partnerships

The Culture and Enterprise Programme team has cultivated and delivered student projects in partnership with a range of external organisations including Camden Council, The Guardian, and EDF.

Working collaboratively with organisations, small and large, independent and well established, is central to our approach to practice. Final projects, whether curatorial, editorial or creative, are done in partnership with external organisations. The Course has done projects with The Guardian Newspaper, Flat Time House, The Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garrett, David Roberts Art Foundation, the South London Gallery, Camden Council and South Hampstead and Kilburn Community Project, the Archive Studio at the Southbank Centre and Artists Studio Company (ASC).

Read about a few recent student projects by MA Culture, Criticism and Curation students via the links below.

Dissertation subjects

Research and critical writing on MA Culture, Criticism and Curation is multi-disciplinary. We encourage innovative writing and/or students interested in practice-led research. Here are some examples of dissertation subjects:

  • Conceptual Art, White Cubes, Criticality: The Influence of Kanrasha Gallery in Japan from the 1980s Onward (Hayato Fujioka)
  • Capital/Country/Speed: Towards a Curatorial Project (and its Conceptual Foundations) (Barnaby Lewer)
  • Selfridges' Body Studio: A Case Study in Women, Consumer Culture and Questions of Identity (Ophelia Stimpson)
  • Cultural Logic of a Database (Špela Pipan)
  • Exhibition as Research (Annika Turkowski)
  • Collage in Community-Based Research, Art Education and Art Therapy (Yu-Wen Hung)
  • May 9th in Russian Political Mythmaking Today, in Memory: Memory, Film and the Russian Idea (Alexandra Sazonova)
  • The Seen and the Unseen: A Study of Bethlem Royal Hospital (Yusi Xiong)
  • Why You Should Invest 0% of Your Monies in Art (Bernard Tan)
  • Playing with History (Jake Charles Rees)
  • Turn and Face the Change. Digital Media and Museums in the 21st century. Case Study: Victoria and Albert Museum (Gili Yuval)
  • Applying Digital Media technology in museums in China (Yan Yu)
  • What's under the sun? A cultural engagement with the new (Eva Tyler)
  • Bad Bitches, Strip Clubs and Twerking. The Racial Analysis of Miley Cyrus Twerking at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (Rhianne Sinclair-Phillips)
  • The Good, The Bad and the Sexy. An approach to popularity, heritage and meaning in El Libro Vaquero (Marisol Rodriguez)
  • Can works of art stop being works of art? The case of the Miro collection (Eva Oddo)
  • Wide, Open Spaces: Institutional Critique as Artist Practice in the 21st Century (Janice Mitchell)
  • Obsession, Possession and Oppression; Collecting and Social Structures in French Art Deco 'Exoticism' Furniture (Cath Layton)
  • The Fictive Museum. Return to the Wunderkammer (Lisa Kim)
  • He'll Give Us What We Need, It May Not Be What We Want. Kanye West, Yeezus, and the Curatorial (Ross Jennings)
  • 'A DOWN': Decadence of Hunting Aesthetics in Film from Fred.B.Bear to 8 year old Will (Oscar Holloway)
  • From the Stars Group to the China/Avant-Garde Exhibition: Chinese Avant-Garde Art in Chinese Modern Society since 1979 (Siyi Chen)
  • The Hidden Treasure. Angelo Baldassarre's contemporary art collection (Fausta Maria Bolettieri)
  • Kettle's Yard: Unpicking the Burden of History. A Critical Assessment of the Kettle's Yard Identity (Natalie Baerselman le Gros)
  • Curating Art's Names: On the Possibility of Mapping Conceptual Investigations in to the Nature of Art Within a Curatorial Discourse (Ludovica Gilio)
  • Education without Learning; The Paradox of Staging Critical Discourse (Charlotte Rose Ram)

Course units

Staff

Alison  Green

Alison Green

Programme Director (Cover), Culture and Enterprise;Course Leader, MA Culture, Criticism and Curation

Ben  Bethell

Ben Bethell

Tutor, MA Culture, Criticism and Curation and BA Culture, Criticism and Curation

Caroline  Dakers

Caroline Dakers

Professor of Cultural History

Michaela  Giebelhausen

Michaela Giebelhausen

Course Leader, BA Culture, Criticism and Curation

Course Tutor: Dr Caterina Albano
Course Tutor: Dr Louise Garrett
Course Tutor: Nathalie Khan
Course Tutor: Nick Kimberley
Course Tutor:
Andrew Marsh
Course Tutor: Dr Colin Perry
Course Tutor: Professor Roger Sabin
Course Tutor: James Swinson
Course Tutor: Judy Willcocks, Director, CSM Museum and Study Collection

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree in a relevant field: history; art history; culture, communications or media studies; fine art or design; fashion (history & theory or design); multimedia or interactive design; curatorial, gallery, archive or museum work; research; collections management or interpretation; journalism – digital, broadcast, press and radio; art criticism or publishing; marketing and PR; retail or business, if culturally related OR
  • An equivalent EU / international qualification

AND at least one year of relevant professional experience.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 7.0 or above, with at least 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English Language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • Evidence of interest in and understanding of history, culture, and /or arts and design
  • Evidence of critical thinking and research abilities, particularly in written work
  • Experience of collaborative work
  • Evidence of self-motivation and ambition

Making your application

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course. (Write no more than 300 words.)

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • Do you have any relevant experience?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

Study Proposal

The Project Proposal should provide a rationale and outline for a cultural project based upon an archive or collection. It should demonstrate your critical engagement and creative thinking within the cultural field, your interests and your ability to conceptualise and plan project work. It does not need to have happened; you only need to propose an idea, but it should be realisable.  The Project Proposal:

  • Helps you to position your interests academically and professionally
  • Reflects your personal interests and direction at this stage and prepares you for collaborative and practical projects during the programme
  • Should be between 800 and 1,000 words, and include images or other media as needed.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of October to avoid disappointment.   We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

There are two ways international students can apply:

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course. (Write no more than 300 words.)

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • Do you have any relevant experience?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

Study Proposal

The Project Proposal should provide a rationale and outline for a cultural project based upon an archive or collection. It should demonstrate your critical engagement and creative thinking within the cultural field, your interests and your ability to conceptualise and plan project work. It does not need to have happened; you only need to propose an idea, but it should be realisable.  The Project Proposal:

  • Helps you to position your interests academically and professionally
  • Reflects your personal interests and direction at this stage and prepares you for collaborative and practical projects during the programme
  • Should be between 800 and 1,000 words, and include images or other media as needed.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of October to avoid disappointment.   We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.


Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for this course that starts in January 2020: £10,890.

£1,000 discount for Home/EU students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

International fee

Tuition fees for this course that starts in January 2020: £19,930.

£1,000 discount for students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

Additional costs

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.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

The course will prepare graduates to work in the creative and cultural industries and/ or for doctoral work in Humanities subjects.

Within the cultural and creative industries there is increasing demand for people who have curatorial, research and writing skills and can work within this interdisciplinary sector. Employers now expect that MA graduates will be able handle intellectual, creative and practical projects, and demonstrate an enquiring mind.

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