BA (Hons) Art History and Curating

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Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

The contemporary world of galleries and art museums involves a strong link between art history and curating. Art historians work with galleries and museums, while curators use their knowledge of art history to organise exhibitions. This course combines the study of art between 1800 and the present day with the study of curatorial practices during the same period, together with the essential practical skills and critical perspectives necessary to the contemporary curator.

The programme addresses a diverse range of artists, movements, exhibitions and display spaces as well as theoretical approaches to art history and curating. You will be encouraged to engage in independent research and professional development using the many galleries of Manchester and the North West. The staff team delivering the course has expertise and research interests in curatorship and art history in the modern and contemporary periods.

Find out more about this course, including staff profiles and read the course blog at www.art.mmu.ac.uk/arthistorycurating

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

This course is appropriate for careers in a range of cultural roles e.g. gallery/museum curator, archivist, art historian, arts manager, cultural event organiser, art writer/journalist, as well as being appropriate for postgraduate study.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2018 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2019 academic year. Please check back for further details.

UCAS tariff points/grades required

112-120

Minimum 112 - 120 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate points

26

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

BA (Hons) Art History and Curating combines the study of Art between 1800 and the present day with the study of curatorial practices during the same period, together with the essential practical skills and critical perspectives necessary to the contemporary curator. The programme addresses a diverse range of artists, movements, exhibitions and display spaces as well as theoretical approaches to art history and curating.

In Year 1 you will study the art of the modern period (1850 – 1950), which will include an examination of the practices of display, collecting and exhibition making during this period.  You will consider the meanings of images and objects and how meanings are created through exhibitions.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Unit X

At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities. 

Art History and Curating 1: Modern Art and Curatorial History: 1800-1950

The unit aims to introduce students to the history of art during the modern period (c.1800-1950), together with key ideas surrounding practices of display, collecting and exhibition making during this period. The unit will cover ideas and movements such as: romanticism, realism, and modernism; relationships between modern art and urban modernity; theories of modernism and the avant-garde; relationships between modern art and other spaces such as the rural; relationships between modern art and identity; specific movements such as Impressionism, expressionism, futurism, cubism, dada; cultures of collecting; practices of display; development of art galleries and museums; power and exhibition making.

Art History and Curating 2: Interpreting and Curating

The unit provides an introduction to art historical approaches and other interpretational theories and practices through the exploration of examples of art and other cultural artefacts, and their use and display.

Option Units

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice. The 15 credit option is taken when you opt to do a 15 credit Uniwide languages unit as well (mmu.ac.uk/uniwide).

Contextualising Practice 1

30 credit unit. You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice.

In Year 2 you will explore the spaces of art production and display between 1950-2000, examining social and political conditions of the time and their relationship to art. You will look at how art has been and continues to be interpreted from key theoretical positions and how interpretation takes place in gallery settings through designing an education programme or event for a gallery or museum.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the University and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Post-War Art and Curatorial History 1950-2000

This unit explores art and spaces of art production and display c.1950-2000 in different geographical locations, considering approaches to art historical study and curatorial practice. The unit addresses the historical conditions and art historical and curatorial issues arising from the assemblage of art during the late-modern and post-modern period. Movements in art practice and its relationship to different types of art institution and space will be interrogated chronologically and via gallery visits, whilst focusing on the surrounding social and political factors.

Interpretations: Theories of Art History and Curating

The unit addresses key approaches, methods, and theories relevant to the interpretation of art, visual/material culture, and sites of display during the period c. 1800 to the present. The unit - forming two concurrent elements - examines the way that art and visual/material culture can be interpreted, both theoretically and curatorially. In the first element of the unit, interpretive strategies for the analysis of art and space include, for example, iconography and iconology, semiotics, phenomenology, Marxist approaches to cultural production and consumption, the social history of art and identity politics, feminist approaches to art and design, post-colonial theory, picture theory, cultural geography and psychoanalysis. The second element of the unit focuses on interpretive strategies employed by museums and galleries to engage different audiences including, for example, case studies of educative programmes, artists' responses to collections and digital projects.

Option Units

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

In Year 3 you will examine the work of contemporary artists and curators, looking at how the range of media and art practices adopted by contemporary artists has generated new approaches to curating exhibitions in both local and global environments. You will develop curatorial projects informed by these debates.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Contemporary Art and Curating: 2000-the Present

The unit will consider contemporary art practices and art spaces (2000-present) in relation to the areas of painting, sculpture, public art, installation and site-specific work, lens-based practices, digital art, participation, relational aesthetics, activist art, commercial galleries, biennials / mega-events, National Portfolio Organisations, R & D labs and pop-up spaces. The aim of the unit is to explore the curatorial, technical and aesthetic forms of these practices as well as their discursive, institutional, professional, political, global, and ethical contexts and ramifications.

Framings: The Contexts of Art

This unit deals with the different contexts within which art (both historical and contemporary) is produced, seen, interpreted and circulated. This subject will be approached from historical, theoretical and practical perspectives, examining for example, developments in the arts funding system, interpretation and education in gallery contexts, the role of art criticism and critical communities and arts marketing strategies.

Option Units

Contextualising Practice with a Language 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.
Contextualising Practice 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

Study
Assessment

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.

More about the department

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.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

Tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are still being finalised for all courses. Please see our general guide to our standard undergraduate tuition fees.

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students often choose to buy their own laptop in their first year (costs approximately £200-£800). However there are computer facilities on campus.

Placement Costs

Educational visits to European centres during each year. These are optional and if related to a unit of study, local alternatives are identified.

Professional Costs

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

Other Costs

£150

Books and digitised readings are available from the library. However, you will be required to purchase a small number of core books. There will also be some costs associated with printing (core and optional). Materials (core and optional) relating to the practice of curating and the staging exhibitions.

Funding

For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:

Bursaries and scholarships

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

8N73

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

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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