MA Fine Art (Curatorial Practice) – Bath Spa University

Fine Art (Curatorial Practice)


Postgraduate degree

    Key facts

    MA Fine Art (Curatorial Practice)
    Bath School of Art
    Campus or location
    Sion Hill and Locksbrook
    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:

    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.

    Due to Covid-19, we have made some changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year: we have blended high-quality virtual engagement with in-person teaching on campus when possible. Blended learning will continue to some extent in the 2021-22 academic year and we will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. If you’re planning on joining us in September 2021 we will communicate with you about specific details of how your course is taught nearer the time.

    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.

    What you'll learn


    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.

    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.


    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.


    When permitted, Bath School of Art 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.

    Facilities and resources

    Where the subject is taught

    Our Art and Design courses are based at our Locksbrook and Sion Hill campuses.

    You’ll benefit from access to:

    Locksbrook campus

    Locksbrook Campus is truly a unique and inspirational space, providing a state-of-the-art learning environment for you to flourish. Located next to the River Avon in Bath city centre, the open-plan building has technical workshops surrounded by open, flexible studio spaces, as well as large, open social areas.


    Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.

    UK students full time

    Course fees
    2021/22 entry £8,405
    2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022
    2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023

    International students full time

    Course fees
    2021/22 entry £15,685
    2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022
    2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023

    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 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

    Postgraduate Coordinator: Conor Wilson

    Locksbrook Campus image credits: Chris Wakefield, Crescent Photography

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