Taught course

Curating Contemporary Design

Kingston University · Communication Design

Entry requirements

  • Applicants should have a good BA(Hons) degree or equivalent qualification in an academic subject or creative practice field
  • We welcome applicants with relevant work experience, such as practitioners, museum staff and designers looking to extend their professional experience
  • You should be able to demonstrate an ability to work creatively and within a team

Months of entry


Course content

This collaborative degree, between Kingston School of Art and the Design Museum, has grown into one of the world's foremost programmes for design curators.

Taught by leading curators and designers, the course engages critically and creatively with our fast-changing, complex world. You will have the opportunity to curate live projects and build your own professional profile, through the Design Museum and with institutions such as the Architectural Association, British Council, Gallery Fumi and the Royal Academy of Arts. Led by both research and practice, this course has taught aspiring curators for more than fifteen years.

The Kingston School of Art environment, which includes the Stanley Picker Gallery, Dorich House Museum and outstanding workshop facilities, encourages creativity and experimentation as responses to interrogations of contemporary conditions. To actively consider geopolitical, social and economic concerns, Curating Contemporary Design is taught within a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to develop responses to the complexity of the world today.

  • Professional practice modules at the Design Museum underpin modules on the history and theory of curating and design taught at Kingston School of Art.
  • A strong focus of the course is on project work with briefs set by leading curators, designers and critics, which address real world issues and ask for critical responses. The projects are designed to develop skills in research, analysis, experimentation, communication and presentation to peers, tutors, industry and collaborative partners, but most importantly the wider public.
  • The partnership with the Design Museum offers access to inspiring curators and experienced museum staff, and also to the Design Museum's collections, library, archives and a changing programme of exhibitions and events.
  • Optional study visits throughout the year bring you in contact with design and curatorial studio practice, museums, galleries and alternative curatorial spaces and formats in London. Students can also participate in an optional international study trip where previously students have visited New York, Berlin, Lisbon and Amsterdam.

Through a rigorous framework and practical experience students will engage with contemporary discourse that responses to the complexities and urgencies of today's world. Acknowledging design and curatorial history, you will engage with those contemporary concerns through transdisciplinary collaborations in theory and practice, and will develop stimulating creative interventions and critical writing.

Throughout the year, students will work on a major live project with external partners, which will allow you to gain first hand curatorial experience. The final presentation will be shared with the general public at the Design Museum. Students are currently working on a collaboration with Parsons The New School, New York and HEAD Geneva, which started with a symposium on Design and Film at Dorich House Museum.

The course is structured into five modules. Typically students must complete 180 credits and will gain 30 credits with each of the four core modules plus 60 credits in the Major Project.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12-24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details