MA Culture, Criticism and Curation

United Kingdom
Dates flexible
Course Type
Postgraduate Course
Course Fee

Course Overview

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.

Who should take this course

Anyone Interested.

Course content

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).

  • Artists Studio Company
  • Saving Southbank Centre's 60s buildings
  • Digital Exhibition Histories

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.

Fees & Funding:

  • Home/EU fee Tuition fees for this course that starts in January 2020

About Course Provider

University of the Arts London (UAL) is Europe’s largest specialist art and design university. Its unique creative community is made up of six renowned Colleges, each with its own world-class reputation: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts.

UAL is the world’s sixth best University for Art and Design in the QS World University Rankings 2018. Offering an extensive range of courses in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts, UAL is the main talent pipeline to the UK’s creative industries.

Home to a diverse community of over 18,000 students from 129 countries, UAL has a track record for launching and furthering careers. Our graduates can be found in every part and at every level of the creative and cultural sectors, from heads of global business to self-employed practitioners, and on shortlists for awards ranging from the Turner Prize to the Oscars.

Building on UAL’s association with some of the most original thinkers in the arts, students and staff are inspired to challenge convention, generate new ideas and nurture talent. Home to award-winning staff and students for more than a century, UAL’s Colleges are at the forefront of learning, creativity and practice in their specialist subjects. This close-knit College structure offers opportunities for learning and enquiry for people at all stages of their creative development.

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