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Postgraduate

MA Curating and Collections

Objects from the Camberwell ILEA collection.
Objects from the Camberwell ILEA collection.
College
Chelsea College of Arts
Start date
October 2021
Course length
15 months (full time)

MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts gives you hands-on experience of organising exhibitions and developing curatorial projects.

An introduction to MA Curating and Collections

MA Curating and Collections Stories

Course overview

You will work alongside curators, learning how to handle art and design objects. Professionals in the curatorial team at Chelsea Space will guide your curating of artefacts. Your exhibition skills will be underpinned by curatorial knowledge, enhanced by study visits to major institutions.

Curators from among the university’s professors or readers, will also offer you unique perspectives on their work. Where necessary, other invited speakers, will lead discussions on exhibition practice. By combining practical engagement with historical understanding, the course builds the skills needed for a successful career.

What to expect

  • Practical skills that will sit alongside critical reflection to help you develop a balanced approach to curating
  • Learn curatorial methods, such as exhibition design, concept development, marketing, press releases, audience engagement, artist liaison and budgeting
  • Explore current critical debates, staying up to date on issues, such as the formation of publics, dissemination of exhibition content, as well as objects and their interpretation
  • The course will help build your confidence in handling a range of materials, such as: moving image, paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, garments, textiles, ceramics and glassware
  • Receive support from the curatorial team at Chelsea Space who will provide training within an active and supportive curatorial environment so that you can skilfully engage with the best examples of contemporary practice

Mode of study 

MA Curating and Collections is offered in full-time mode and runs for 45 weeks over 12 months. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Please note this course will be moving to a 15 month mode of study from 2021/22.

Course units

Unit 1 - Introduction to curatorial practices, concepts and collections

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

  • To provide a grounding for you to understand your key research concerns, through discussion and reflection
  • To develop your knowledge of key issues in the curatorial field
  • To gain hands-on experience of curating, through practice-based approaches to learning
  • To develop your communication skills, through written work and oral presentations
  • To understand curating as a means of reinterpreting objects and practices

Unit 2 - Methodology and techniques

This unit will deepen your practice through engagement with collections research alongside curatorial activity.

  • To establish connections with curatorial networks to help you progress your research interests
  • To gain a critical perspective on institutional practices, through a detailed knowledge of the curatorial contexts
  • To plan and implement a collections-based display
  • To increase communication skills, through written work and oral presentations.
  • To evaluate curatorial methods used to reinterpret objects and practices.

Unit 3 - Synthesis: Exhibition project and self-directed study

In this unit you will reflect upon current curatorial practice and develop your own professional practice utilising Chelsea Space as a venue.

  • To develop a critical understanding of work that challenges existing practice
  • To articulate your own position in respect of key curatorial debates.
  • To plan and implement an exhibition as part of a postgraduate show
  • To finesse communication skills, through written work and oral presentations
  • To analyse curatorial methods used to reinterpret objects and practices

Throughout the 3 units of the course, you will study in the following ways:

  • Exhibition studio workshop - practical sessions focusing on exhibition-building skills
  • Curatorial studies - sessions focusing on historical and theoretical framing of curatorial practice
  • Collections visits - engagement with museums, events, exhibitions and displays
  • Guest speakers sessions led by professors, readers and other invited speakers

During the course, you will have individual and group tutorials developing your skills through the taught sessions alongside the professional practice activity with staff at Chelsea Space.

Individual research will be guided to help you make the most of the Special Collections, as well as, library and learning resources across UAL.

The UAL collections include:

  • Chelsea's Special Collections, which have a strong emphasis on modern and contemporary art and design
  • Camberwell's ILEA collection of ceramics and glassware
  • Central Saint Martins' Museum and Study Collection, which include early printed books, prints, illuminated manuscripts, embroideries, 1920s German film posters, textiles and garments

Note: 120 Credits must be passed before the final unit is undertaken.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Collaborative work with peers
  • Gallery, museum and other visits
  • Guest speaker talks
  • Practice demonstrations
  • Presentations and crits
  • Self-directed study and research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment methods

  • Critical writing
  • Presentations and crits
  • Project portfolios

Staff

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 minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • BA (Hons) degree in a related subject or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Personal statement
  • Study plan

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your personal statement and study plan.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. 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
  • 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

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

We look for: 

  • The ambition and commitment to develop and challenge work in curation and collections at Master level
  • An awareness of current debates and practices in curation and collections
  • The potential to devise and develop a self-directed programme of curatorial practice and related research
  • The ability to analyse and evaluate in both visual and oral terms
  • The ability to develop and contextualise work in written form
  • An eagerness to engage in the critical debate surrounding contemporary and historical practices as well as to develop a critical framework for their practice
  • The potential to develop a range of skills and competencies to a professional level

Making your application

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience

Study Plan

The study plan is a statement of approximately 800 words describing your current practice and an opportunity for you to explore potential areas that you want to develop in your studies.

The plan is the starting point for discussions about your postgraduate studies and will evolve during the time you study with us.

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

However, you should be able to:

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

How to structure a study plan

You should include links to referenced text or images where appropriate.

Each of the following sections should be approximately 200 words.

Introduction

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

Development

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

Methods

How will you go about exploring your area of interest?

Are there particular methods you will use? For example - drawing, model making, photography.

Resources

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

Apply

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Please add ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to book an online Interview selection event.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback please email ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, our course teams will review it closely. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Please add ccw.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to book an online Interview selection event.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback please email ccw.international@arts.ac.uk.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, our course teams will review it closely. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,220 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020  or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.  For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Many MA Curating and Collections 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.

MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea provides students with the critical, historical and contextual studies needed to advance their careers.

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.