MA/MFA Contemporary Curating

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Overview

MA/MFA Contemporary Curating explores the notion of exhibition practice in contemporary culture and considers curatorial methods and strategies in the context of the gallery and museum, as well as in projects such as biennials, public art works and commissions. The course considers ways in which different kinds of art works and projects are mediated through the exhibition process.

The shifting relationship between artist-institution-curator-critic/writer forms a central element to the course. The course also explores the potential of seeing curating as something that can be applied to different forms of knowledge: publications, symposia, events and interventions. 

Find out more about the course at www.art.mmu.ac.uk/ma-mfa-contemporarycurating

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

The programme would be of interest to those planning to pursue a career in the museum and gallery sector, as well as those interested in related cultural work, such as arts administration, publishing and events organisation. The programme also provides a suitable grounding for further study at doctorate level.

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Entry requirements

You will normally have an undergraduate UK honours degree or international equivalent or a degree-equivalent postgraduate diploma or a professional qualification. Alternatively, you may be admitted if you can demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at honours degree standard. 

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

You will establish key theories and issues relating to Contemporary Curating, Design Cultures and Contemporary Visual Culture and then develop these into more complex approaches.

You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry.  

Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions – whatever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.

If you choose to progress to MFA Contemporary Curating award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.

This award is focused on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material. 

The MA Contemporary Curating is made up of five units totalling 180 credits.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Practice 1: Curating Spaces

The focus of the unit is on the framework of curatorial practice through the diverse spaces in which work is exhibited. There is a consideration of the institutional as a condition of influence on exhibition practices and the subsequent relationship to audience. This is further extended through the exploration of the diversity and difference within international contemporary art and curatorial practice.

Practice 2: Curatorial Process

The unit considers the nature of the ‘curatorial’ in terms of the processes associated with a contemporary exhibition programme, as well as related activities. In effect, it offers a more applied understanding of exhibition practices. The unit considers a range of approaches which might be useful in establishing an individual methodology. It also serves as preparation for the professional practice and the start of the development of an individual voice that is thoroughly grounded in research skills.

Practice 3: Major Project

The unit is designed to support work towards the development and production of a piece of work that provides a central focus on one area of curatorial practice. The work will provide a synthesis and application of the research in relation to curatorial practice, in order to develop a substantial project which reflects on the theoretical, conceptual, contextual and practical elements necessary for a curated project.

Professional Practices

This unit extends your understanding of the professional context of Contemporary Curating, contemporary Fine Art, and Painting practices. Through an examination of artworld institutions and structures you will be guided to consider a range of possible positions that the contemporary artist or curator can occupy in the professional domain. The unit will extend your experience into the professional sphere, either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner and/or peer group of students.

Culture & Context

This unit offers focussed opportunity for you to extend and enhance your practice by including working in a wider art and design research community. The study of the cultural and critical contexts of art and design practice is vital to any student of the creative disciplines, this unit will develop your abilities to contextualise your practice through one of a series of themes addressing contemporary issue in art and design.

In previous years, themes have included:

  • Contested Territories
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Negotiated Study
  • Space & Context
  • Digital Futures
  • Writing Research & Funding Proposals
  • Images And Archives
  • Art & Science Stories

Theme options may vary each year.

The MFA Contemporary Curating continues with the following two units totalling 120 credits.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Practice 4: Contextualising

This unit is centred on continuation of a curatorial practice which is aligned to the research and selection of an appropriate public or professional venue or platforms through which to disseminate a significant curatorial project. The unit will help develop the necessary skills to engage fully with external organisations or other collaborating partners in order to realise an appropriate route for the dissemination of a curatorial project.

Practice 5: Realisation and Publication

The final unit towards the MFA award requires the realization of a significant body of work for a public audience in whatever form is most appropriate along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material. This unit builds upon practice and work initiated and developed in earlier units and as such will be used as the realization and publication of an ambitious final project. The work would acknowledge the ways in which it engages with a public/peers as part of the critical process.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

Additional information about this course

There are variations to the standard University Assessment Regulations on this course. Progression on to the MFA requires at least a 50% pass of the 180 credits of MA units that constitute the first 180 credits of the MFA award. There are also limitations on re-sits in the MFA units. The MFA units are assessed as Pass or Fail and do not count towards the final MFA Award classification.

Placement options

Placements can be arranged as an optional element. 

Manchester School of Art

Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.

Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.

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Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

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Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £1542 per 30 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1542 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £2834 per 30 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2834 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students follow an individualised programme of study in relation to their practice interests. Costs of materials will be dependant on the development of these personal practices and will vary dependant of materials necessary to realise ideas. There may also be some travel costs involved in pursuing personal lines of research. Students are not required to build a working toolbox from scratch, or to bring a camera or buy a laptop. The costs of materials may vary from expensive glass blowing to costless digital programming it depends on individual practice.

Placement Costs

The professional platforms unit may require some travel/subsistence costs should the student choose to take a placement that requires travel.

Professional Costs

There are no additional professional membership fees required for full qualification.

Other Costs

Some students may prefer to print and bind their written assessment material and would incur a cost of up to £100. Many students choose to submit written work and some portfolio work electronically at no cost.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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