Curatorial Practice – MA – Bath Spa University

Key facts

Award
MA Fine Art (Curatorial Practice)
School/s
Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Campus or location
Locksbrook Campus and Newton Park
Course length
One year full-time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.

Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Study current practices and build your personal curatorial skills on our innovative Curatorial Practice Master’s.

  • Taught by curators, you'll work with a rich and diverse group of partner organisations in the sector.
  • Combine contemporary practice with an understanding of theory and history in a flexible approach.
  • This curating course highlights the roles of audiences, collections and new contexts.

The role of the curator is changing. This MA Curatorial Practice pathway explores curating as a contemporary practice, and approaches a wide range of curatorial strategies. You’ll engage with theory and history alongside current practice, and gain hands-on experience of curating and presenting work. You’ll be challenged and supported to develop an independent voice in curating.

We encourage you to move beyond traditional collection and exhibition-based curation to engage new audiences, situations and sites of encounter – ranging from art interventions in public spaces and projects in unexpected places to digital and web-based experiences.

Our students have capitalised on many opportunities to collaborate with galleries and museums, artists and curators, businesses and educational institutions. We want you, too, to gain the experience necessary to professionalise your practice.

"With the academic understanding and support I received, I feel equipped with theoretical knowledge and confidence in practice to embark on a curatorial future."

Jessica Mathews (Graduated 2014)

What you'll learn

Overview

MA Fine Art (Curatorial Practice) at Bath Spa is designed for students who wish to broaden their knowledge and experience of gallery practice, models of curating and the changing nature of the museum.

This Master's degree will challenge your assumptions and encourage you to explore ways to progress within and transform the field. It will also encourage you to build collaborative relationships with other professionals and develop transferable skills.

You’ll take a holistic approach, embedding theory, research, and historical and contemporary practice into your work.

Course structure

This MA in Curatorial Practice runs over one year and is divided into three trimesters.

Trimester one
You'll be introduced to a range of key issues in art and curatorial practice, allowing you to explore how your specialism relates to the wider field.

You’ll also start to develop your professional practice skills, such as understanding governance, proposal writing, collaborative processes, methods of display, contracts and team leadership. This will begin your critical analysis of current debates and the changing politics of curating, informed by research and practice.

Trimester two
Building on the work in the first trimester, you’ll maintain an experimental approach, but start to narrow your focus.

Academic staff will help you to evaluate your initial studio developments and to refine your working strategy. You’ll explore what curators need to consider when making live projects and presenting work in public contexts. Live projects might include exhibitions, displays, learning projects or residencies in appropriate settings, on campus, or with any of the School’s external partners. Technical staff will support you to bring your outputs to a finished level for exhibition at assessment.

Trimester three
You’ll establish a line of enquiry for your Master’s Project, working to a proposal of your devising, which contextualises your work within your specialist discipline appropriate to Master’s level and leading to your final Degree Show. You’ll work in the studio with increasing independence and demonstrate progress in establishing a professional practice.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the course handbook or definitive programme document for full details on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Research Methods
  • Theory and Professional Context
  • Practice 1
  • Research Practice
  • Theory and Professional Practices
  • Practice 2
  • Masters Project.

How will I be assessed?

Your progress is evaluated by formative assessment (throughout the duration of the course) and summative assessment (at the end of each trimester), through a mixture of exhibitions, verbal/visual presentations, research folders/blogs and written assignments.

How will I be taught?

You’ll learn through lectures, talks, taught sessions, individual and group tutorials, and studio critiques and seminars.

Visiting lecturers, and seminars with external professionals and internationally renowned designers and artists will help you determine where your current practice sits within the industry.

Our collaborative structure also means that you’ll learn from each other – for instance, Photography or Ceramics students might engage in debates with Curatorial Practice students.

Technical Demonstrators, who manage our workshop facilities, provide teaching and support across a wide range of subject specialisms. Your learning is also supported by specialist librarians.


Online gallery of student work

Check out some of our student work from both the MA Fine Art and MA Design programmes at Bath Spa.

Visit the online gallery


Opportunities

Study abroad

Exchange potential is global. Opportunities have been established in partnership with, amongst others, Hauser and Wirth, CAL Arts, Xian Academy of Fine Arts and the Freelands Foundation.

Fieldwork

When permitted, Bath School of Art, Film and Media offers field trips throughout the academic year. Past trips have included the British Ceramics Biennial, Jerwood Makers Prize, Collect, Ceramic Art London, V&A Museum, Hauser and Wirth (Somerset), Spike Island, Bristol; Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery; Salisbury Arts Centre; and National Museum Wales' sites in Cardiff.

2022/23 Academic Year

We’ve made some changes to how we deliver our courses in response to the ongoing COVID situation. This is to enable students to get the most out of their studies and university experience and to facilitate an engaging, participative and interactive learning environment, all while keeping our community safe.

We keep our programmes under constant review, and we’ll make sure to let applicants know if there are significant changes to your programme. You can find out more about how the University has adapted its approach on our COVID advice pages, where you’ll also find support and signposting to useful services.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As a postgraduate Fine Art (Curatorial Practice) student you’ll benefit from access to comprehensive digital workshops and specialist art and design facilities, including:

  • Our student service point at Locksbrook where you can purchase subsidised art and design materials, hire out equipment for free and collect Library resources
  • Access to our well-stocked Library at Newton Park
  • Specialist technical facilities across all of art and design
  • Access to studio space where you can work on projects and refine your practice and your research.

Locksbrook campus

Locksbrook Campus is a Grade II listed building designed by Nicholas Grimshaw in 1976. It has now been transformed into an innovative, open plan space, redesigned to meet 21st century environmental standards, with technical workshops surrounded by flexible studio spaces and large social areas.

Locksbrook has received both a RIBA South West Award 2021 and RIBA National Award 2021, recognising and celebrating what an amazingly inspirational space it is to come together to design, make, do, create and learn in.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

Course fees
2022/23 entry £8,700
2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023
2024/25 entry Published Jan 2024

International students full time

Course fees
2022/23 entry £16,235
2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023
2024/25 entry Published Jan 2024

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

You’ll need a good first degree in Fine Art or its equivalent in terms of learning or experience, and a good working knowledge of fine art contexts and methodologies.

Fundamentally, you’ll be selected on your potential to thrive on the course as demonstrated by your portfolio and interview.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

With your application form you should provide images of recent work, either in an attachment or through a link to an online resource. These should be clearly marked with size, date and medium. You should also write a short statement outlining why you want to study for an MA at Bath School of Art, Film and Media and what attracts you to the course. Find out more about submitting a portfolio.

We encourage you to come to Locksbrook, if possible, so that we can meet in person and show you the campus. At interview, you'd usually bring some examples of your work. We'll ask you about the artists you look at and exhibitions you've visited.

We'll discuss your work, how you hope to develop your ideas and the facilities you'll need. If it's not possible for you to attend in person, we offer online interviews, supported by a digital portfolio.

Want to apply for this year? 

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

Pathway leader: Ben Parry
Email: b.parry@bathspa.ac.uk

Postgraduate Coordinator: Conor Wilson
Email: c.wilson3@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk