University of Sussex

Degree level: Postgraduate

Art History and Museum Curating (Taught)

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

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Course summary

This course positions you to speak and write confidently about museums and curatorship, and to think about the future of museums and how you can contribute to that future, and equips you with some key skills to support you in doing so. Teaching on this course is strongly informed by the Department of Art History’s cutting-edge research, and delivers a sound introduction to a series of curatorial topics that include: Curatorial scholarship and its methodologies (including conservation-led research and technical art history); the histories of museums and their collections; the ethical and legal frameworks within which curators and museums work; the nature and politics of museum displays. You take 2 core modules and 2 options, and also undertake a work placement in a museum or gallery. You visit a number of museums in Sussex and several of the national museums in London, allowing you to learn first-hand about institutional histories, collections, permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions. You are taught and supported in your studies by a rich combination of Sussex tutors and external specialists who have, in the past, included senior staff from the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, the VandA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Throughout the course, you are encouraged to participate actively in the taught sessions and museum visits and to debate, with your tutors and classmates, a range of ethical concerns facing museum curators. You will also develop your own research interests through the dissertation. Teaching is mainly seminar- and museum-based, with some more formal lectures from visiting specialists.Gain the skills to join the exciting world of museums, galleries and the cultural heritage sector. You’ll work with academics who have relationships with museums across the UK, and direct experience of curating exhibitions and permanent collections in the museums and galleries sector. Our long-standing partnerships with local and national museums and collections include:

  • the British Museum
  • Historic Royal Palaces
  • the National Trust
  • Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
  • Charleston.
  • You’ll also learn from museum professionals. In the past this has included senior staff from the V&A, Tate and Towner Art Gallery.
You’ll explore the history, theory and politics of art institutions and build a critical framework for the practice of curating. You visit museums in Sussex and in London, allowing you to learn first-hand about institutional histories, collections, permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions. You’ll have the choice of combining museum curating with either the study of art history or the history of photography.

Course details


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Assessment method

Assessed work includes term papers, several practical assignments, a learning journal (written during the placement as a reflection on that experience) and a 12,000-word dissertation.

Entry requirements

You should normally have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above. Your qualification should be in art history or another relevant humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

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Art History and Museum Curating at University of Sussex - UCAS