Taught course

Contemporary Curating

Manchester Metropolitan University · Manchester School of Art

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.

Months of entry


Course content

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.


  • You will be supported to develop student-led projects and encouraged to engage in creative and critical dialogue, collaborative mind-mapping, ideas exchange processes. These practices are integrated by providing students with access to our dedicated Pavement Gallery which acts as a hub for all curatorial activities and a space to generate ideas. Pavement Gallery runs on an associate model to provide MA Contemporary Curating students with the opportunity to develop their practical skills
  • Opportunity to work on The Holden Gallery’s Curatorial Collective programme. The Curatorial Collective is a group of Manchester School of Art students who contribute to shaping and developing The Holden Gallery’s exhibitions and events programme that includes participating in the evaluation and selection process for the annual Plaque Prize. The Holden Gallery has a fully curated exhibitions programme that focuses exclusively on recent developments in international contemporary visual art, exploring thematic ideas through the work of key established and mid-career artists
  • The course offers an international Fellowships opportunity through the Curators of Tomorrow initiative. This unique initiative is to support an understanding of transdisciplinary contexts of the MA/MFA Contemporary Curating programme. This is designed mainly for our current students who are about to engage with the professional practice stage of their studies. Selected participants of the Curators of Tomorrow collaboration are given the opportunity to live and work for the period of one month in one of the Q21 studios at MuseumsQuartier Wien in Vienna
  • You will benefit from the rich programme of events which includes Curator talks and seminars from a range of galleries and programmes, such as Liverpool Biennial, Manchester Art Gallery, Open Eye, Tate Liverpool, The Whitworth Gallery and more.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Course Enquiries Team
+44 (0) 161 247 6969