Taught course

Curating the Contemporary

London Metropolitan University · Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Media and Design

Entry requirements

There is no official closing date for this course, but you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only consider your application if there are places available on the course. The course offers 12 places in each of its two years and has a single intake each year in September. Candidates will typically need: A relevant upper second-class Honours degree in a cognate discipline. Professional Qualifications from accredited Museums and Public Galleries may also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

Course overview
This is a professional course, devised and taught with our partner, the internationally renowned Whitechapel Gallery. Through direct involvement in the life cycle of the gallery, students will acquire the key skills and knowledge of curatorial practice as well as an informed understanding of the contemporary visual arts. Students will also gain a broad range of transferable skills in communication, management, research and analysis.
The MA Curating the Contemporary partnership and programme is unique among courses of its type. It provides theory into practice experiential learning of a kind and quality that will be invaluable to students seeking future employment in the industry.
Course structure

The course is designed to facilitate an integration of academic elements and work done through on-site curatorial practice. The course comprises lectures, seminars and tutorials at the University with appropriate training, mentoring and professional development at Whitechapel Gallery.

Curating students also undertake 2 major exhibition projects featuring national and international artists. These are developed with our external exhibition partners and supervised by teaching staff. Partners past and present include: ME-Collector’s Room in Berlin, Government Art Collection (GAC) London, David Roberts Foundation in London, Nomas Foundation in Rome, Kadist Foundation in Paris, among others. Students also have access to the CASS Gallery at the University.

Core modules include:

Year 1:

  • History of Art and Critical Theory
  • Workplace Observation Module: Whitechapel Gallery
  • Critical Writing: Idioms and Audience

Year 2:

  • Research Methods and Project
  • Curatorial Practice and Mentoring
  • Professional Practice: Whitechapel Gallery


You will be assessed via a variety of methods, including project work (exhibitions), essays, archival investigation and a major research project. Assessment will also be based on evaluation of students' individual contributions in the 'live' curatorial environment.

Career opportunities
Successful completion of this course offers significantly improved career opportunities in the arts sector including roles in exhibition curating, collections management, gallery education, fundraising, gallery management and administration, press and publicity, publishing, journalism, art criticism and as arts entrepreneurs in the creative economy.
Our graduates have found employment with major public spaces and commercial galleries in the UK and abroad.

Information for international students

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Fees and funding

UK students
£11,250 per year
International students
£14,400 per year

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Office
020 7133 4202