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University of Glasgow: Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) (in conjunction with The Glasgow School of Art)

Institution University of Glasgow View institution profile
Department School of Culture & Creative Arts
Study type Taught


This programme is aimed at graduates wishing to develop a curatorial career within the field of contemporary visual arts. It enables you to pursue independent and self-directed working, and to lay the practical, intellectual and professional foundations for working in future curatorial roles or contexts.

  • The programme is run in conjunction with The Glasgow School of Art, which is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s foremost art schools for teaching and research in fine art, design and architecture.
  • This programme offers students the opportunity to study curatorial practice in Glasgow, a city with one of the most vibrant and distinctive art scenes in Europe. The programme is embedded within the city, drawing on its community of artists, curators, institutions and international connections, and guides students to undertake curatorial work and develop approaches to practice which stem from a strong awareness of context and participation within it.
  • Throughout the course students are introduced to various working contexts, ranging from the gallery and the archive to site-specific contexts and artist-led activity. Students will work on live projects, gaining the most engaged and professionally focused experience possible. This includes the possibility of undertaking a placement tailored to their interests either within the city or further afield.
  • The programme offers links with external institutions in Glasgow, including CCA - the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow International, GoMA, Tramway, The Common Guild and The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.

The programme will provide you with access to highly-regarded and experienced professional curators and practitioners, and enable you to acquire key skill sets and attributes as well as forge the peer networks that are vital to the profession at all levels.

Semester 1

  • Core course: CURATORIAL PRACTICE 1 (40 credits)
  • Core course: Research Methods and Methodologies in Practice (20 credits) (delivered by The Glasgow School of Art)

Semester 2

  • Core course: Curatorial Practice 2 (40 credits)
  • Optional course: (20 credits) (options available across The Glasgow School of Art and The University of Glasgow)

Semester 3

Select one of the following:

  • Master’s Project in Curatorial Practice 1 (60 credits)
  • Master’s Project in Curatorial Practice 2 (60 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 Credits)

The core courses have been designed in such a way as to place your engagement in independent and self-directed exploration, your acquisition of practical skills and professional attributes, and your contact with experienced professionals at the core of the programme.

In Semesters 1 and 2, Curatorial Practice 1 and Curatorial Practice 2 have a flexible structure, which could respond to particular programming or specific project or exhibition opportunities that arise within any one academic year.

Alongside these, you are required to take Research Methods and Methodologies in Practice (20 credits, GSA) in semester 1 and an elective course in Semester 2. You can select from a list of available postgraduate elective options at GSA and the College of Arts, which may change from year to year.

In Semester 3 you can choose from three possible routes towards submission for final assessment. These are either:

  • Master’s project option 1 (100% curatorial project)
  • Master’s project option 2 (50% curatorial project and 50% extended essay), or
  • Dissertation (100%).

Whether pursuing a Master’s project or a dissertation, it is expected that your work will conform to the growing canon of the field of curating.

Optional course

In the second semester, you will undertake an optional course, choosing from a range offered across the subject areas within the School of Culture & Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow or electives courses offered by The Glasgow School of Art. This offering changes slightly each year.


Peer and staff review, formative and summative assessment, with continuous feedback from tutorials. Courses are assessed by essay, critical review and practice-based coursework.

The programme will develop your knowledge and expertise in the field of contemporary curatorial practice, and you will acquire a core body of skills and attributes that are attractive to employers, including:

  • critical enquiry
  • research capacity
  • project-planning
  • project administration
  • budgeting
  • practical problem solving
  • professional working


University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is one of the UK’s most prestigious seats of learning, and the fourth oldest university in the English speaking world. Established in 1451 and recognised for its world-changing research and teaching, the University has inspired thinkers from eminent scientist Lord Kelvin and the father of economics Adam Smith, to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 


The University:

  • is ranked 81st in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2023
  • is in the top 100 in the world: Times Higher World University Rankings 2023
  • 95.9% of students in employment or further study 6 months after graduation …
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