Curatorial Practice MA

Work by Olivia Gray, MA Curatorial Practice
Falmouth Campus
1 year full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

Applications to MA Curatorial Practice are currently suspended while we review our postgraduate provision in this area. We will update these pages as the details are finalised. To register your interest in the subject area of curatorial practice, please contact our Admissions Team (above).

More information about The Falmouth School of Art and our current list of courses is available here

The dynamic interface between contemporary art and its audiences, curatorial practice combines critical thinking, theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Our highly regarded MA fosters these elements, putting dialogue with artists and exploration of the art world at the heart of the learning process.

Developed with curatorial professionals and built around a partnership with a national museum (Tate St Ives) and a publicly funded gallery (Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange), the course engages with the challenge of being local and operating globally. You'll test your ideas in real situations and develop your own curatorial position through practice. Cultivating your practical experience and theoretical knowledge, you'll graduate with an in-depth knowledge of the international contemporary art world, ready to engage effectively in an increasingly diverse range of curatorial activity.

Working closely with staff at our partner organisations and other respected art world professionals, the MA provides a context in which you'll develop and critique curatorial practice, whilst establishing networks and contacts relevant to your individual areas of interest.

Our two main partners – Tate St Ives and Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange – ensure you get first-hand experience of curatorial practice from day one. Through practical exhibitionmaking sessions, workshops and assignments – both on campus and on our partners' sites – you'll develop research and professional skills in relation to your own curatorial ideas.

Alongside this, challenging theory and contextual study will help you develop an advanced understanding of critical judgement, so you can apply imaginative, innovative and independent thought to your practice, enabling you to express your ideas through targeted curatorial communication.

Building professional experience

Industry-facing and created in collaboration with art organisations, MA Curatorial Practice is designed to foster professional skills and awareness from the outset. Through contact with our collaborating partners and a range of other national and international art world professionals – including artists, curators, educators and critics – the course provides you with opportunities to both develop and critique curatorial practice, and to establish networks and contacts relevant to your individual areas of interest.

How the course is taught

The MA is delivered through both taught and independent research modules, including your final MA project, which carries the highest credit rating. Although you'll be supported by tutors and art world professionals, a high level of independent study, collaborative engagement and commitment will be required throughout.

You'll engage with the course through individual and group tutorials, group critiques, peer-led research, exchange group seminars, lectures from the course team, partner staff and visiting speakers, and visits to artists' studios and galleries. Some recent contributors to the course include:

  • Miguel Amado, independent curator and critic
  • Katja Davar, artist
  • Charles Esche, Director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
  • Andy Harper, artist
  • Paula Orrell, independent curator
  • Zoe Shearman, independent curator and Founding Director of Relational

Course outline

This is a one-year, full-time course spanning 45 weeks.

Study Block 1

The first term is designed to help you develop research and professional skills in relation to your own curatorial ideas. You'll get an understanding of research and its position within personal practice, through visits to studios, galleries and curators as well as lectures and intensive study days. A series of tutor- and student-led seminars will introduce curatorial strategies and concepts, providing opportunity for peer group discussion.

Study Block 2

This term will give you direct experience of the professional curatorial process. Delivered in collaboration with staff at Tate St Ives, you'll devise a hypothetical display of contemporary art for the gallery, using Tate's collection, as well as curate a group exhibition project at Newlyn Art Gallery.

Study Block 3

In your final term, you'll complete an MA project allowing you to identify and explore an aspect of curatorial practice pertinent to your own interests and desired career path. Project options include curatorial dissertation, an extended arts-based essay, an independent exhibition project and a fully developed exhibition or curatorial project proposal.


  • Teaching takes place in historic Arwenack Avenue building
  • Access to Photography and Media Centres
  • Comprehensive library resources


  • Evaluation after the completion of each module
  • Written feedback to track your progress


Potential careers include:

  • Curator at a gallery or museum
  • Independent curator
  • Project manager
  • Further study and research
  • Teaching
  • Gallery educator/learning curator