Are you fascinated by visual culture and exhibition practice?
Do you want to pursue a career in the gallery and arts sectors?
The MA in Art History and Curating is one of the few postgraduate programmes in the country that offers you the opportunity to work in a team with academic and museum professionals to curate an art exhibition in a public gallery. This will take place in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts on campus or at Grand Union in Birmingham city centre.
We are also delighted to announce a new partnership with Royal Collection Trust. Students co-curating the exhibition at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts will have the exceptional opportunity of working with objects from the Royal Collection.
Please note: Places on this programme are limited due to the placement and curatorial experience, so early applications are encouraged and deadlines apply. See 'How to apply' in course details for more information.
This unique programme enables you to develop the knowledge and skills to conduct original research into art objects, to understand at first hand the history, theory and contemporary practice of their curation, to co-curate a public art exhibition and complete a 15,000-word dissertation.
The core components of the programme include the double module ‘Curatorial Practices’ that provides you with a range of skills to curate an exhibition and the opportunity to put those skills into practice, and two single modules, 'Postgraduate Research Training and Methods,' which will help you to develop essential research skills, and 'Criticism and Methods in the History of Art and Visual Culture,' which provides a theoretical foundation for your studies.
The programme also offers you the flexibility to select a further two options from a range of complementary practical, theoretical and historical modules. These include: a placement with a local gallery or other arts organisation set up on your behalf; the history and theory of exhibitions; aesthetics and the philosophy of art. As a result, this unique programme will provide you with the knowledge, experience and employability skills invaluable to the museum, commercial and academic sectors whilst enabling you to establish professional networks in both.
Your modules will be assessed by a range of written and oral assessments. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation, supported through one-to-one tutorials with your academic supervisor. Your dissertation topic is chosen by you, with close guidance from academic staff. Recent subjects have included topics relating to art history and/or gallery practices, such as: art forgery; art interpretation; art dealers; films and aesthetic theory; art historiography; artist and exhibition case studies; fashion plates and art journals.
The teaching on the MA programme mainly takes place in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which houses the Barber Institute Gallery, and is used by members of staff on a regular basis as part of your learning.
The Gallery features an excellent and representative collection of post-medieval European art, including paintings, engravings and drawings by artists such as Rembrandt, Turner, Van Dyck, Veronese and Vigée-LeBrun, as well as a major collection of 19th- and 20th-century works by artists such as Degas, Gauguin, Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, Manet, Miró, Picasso and Whistler.
The Barber Institute is home to an on-site research library which, in conjunction with the holdings of the University Main Library and the Special Collections of the Cadbury Research Library, makes Birmingham one of the best resourced Departments of History of Art in Britain.
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).
Founded on a strong dynamic between students and staff, the Fine Art MA is for disciplined artists who want to develop their work both through personal tutorials and interaction within an informed, ambitious peer group.
The course is taught by a group of experienced and well-connected artists and curators. You follow a highly personalised programme of study and contribute to the overall group experience in a weekly series of lectures, seminars and crits.
You will have the opportunity to exhibit your work and curate group exhibitions, while also completing an extended essay and slide presentation for your assessment and as the basis of your future professional practice.
The Fine Art MA is well respected for cultivating skilled and thoughtful artists.
The course runs for 12 months full-time and 24 months part-time.
Regular seminars, tutorials and crits take place each Tuesday and Wednesday. Most students are part-time and attend each Tuesday in Year 1 and each Wednesday (plus Tuesday evening) in Year 2. Full-time students attend group activities on both of these days and spend the rest of the week either researching or working in our shared studios.
Part-time students research and make work in their own studios outside the university and use College facilities (such as workshops or libraries) for practical and presentation purposes. All students have access to the Postgraduate Project Space to install and exhibit work.
Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through our applicant portal.
The course is split into two main sections. Both involve elements of theory and practice – together with portfolio and visual documentation preparation – and culminate in assessed exhibitions.
The first section (one year part-time or six months full-time) concentrates on the identification and development of your chosen mode of practice, with a degree of re-evaluation and experimentation being the norm.
You will display and discuss your work within a group to form a social and professional bond with your fellow students. You will also attend lectures and seminars given by the regular staff team and visiting guest speakers.
The second section prepares you for the final assessment exhibition. This involves regular crits and group meetings. You will present a seminar linked to your work, develop your professional practice and networking skills, and receive tutorials on the extended essay that you write during the summer vacation.
As well as going on to become practising fine artists, our graduates take up jobs in galleries including Fabrica Gallery, Chrysalides House Art School and Gallery, and Pallant House Gallery.
Many go on to lecturer and research positions at universities including University of the Arts London, University College Falmouth, Northbrook Metropolitan College, and the Malta College of Fine Art and Technology.
This Research Master's programme in Media, Art and Performance Studies is an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented research-based programme which offers an advanced training in academic research skills appropriate for today's highly dynamic and interdisciplinary field of media, visual arts and performance.
Contemporary media, art and performance increasingly play with and transcend disciplinary boundaries. Intermedial and performative practices both produce and critically investigate cultural transitions in today’s mediatized and performative culture. Such synergies invite to explore how emerging forms of media, art and performance – while historically and culturally embedded - interact with and relate to social and cultural transformations.
As a student of this programme, you will be introduced to and specialise in new research areas and methodologies, necessary for investigating emerging media, performance and contemporary art forms within today's rapidly changing culture. In relation to this you will also reflect on the role of the Humanities in both academic and public debates.
Central concerns in this programme are, amongst others:
We approach this broad field from a range of comparative and intermedial perspectives, focusing primarily on the dynamics of change and exchange between media, contemporary arts and performance within a culture and society in transition.
In this programme you will reflect on questions such as how media have developed from the time of early cinema up to current new media art; how the definition of 'live' has changed alongside these mediatised cultural forms. How has the performative turn changed the ways we think about audiences? How do media technologies facilitate new methods of self-staging and social performance? What is the influence of media and technology on way we curate and educate in museums and archives and other cultural institutions.
In this age of selfies, datafication, (self-) staging and re-staging, and playful learning, you will examine how various media, art forms, and performance have been used for critical analysis, civic engagement, entertainment and educational purposes. You will do this by asking how digital technologies, dramaturgical and artistic strategies alter ways of dealing with knowledge production and distribution, and how these transitions have contributed to and also ask for new methods of research.
This programme will train you as a researcher within the field of Media, Contemporary Art and Performance Studies, to either prepare you for a PhD position, or for research-oriented positions in professional contexts of cultural institutions such as archives, museums, art institutions, theatres, for education, (non-)governmental organisations, or in creative industries.
After completing the programme:
The Research Master’s is aimed at excellent students from both the Netherlands and overseas, who have a background in the history and theory of contemporary art, or media and performance studies with a focus on theatre, dance, film, television, and/or digital media.
Alumni of the Media, Art and Performance Studies Research Master’s have been successful in obtaining PhD positions in various prestigious international programmes. Graduates also find their way to other job markets. For example in the domain of curation, dramaturgy, or media consultancy. Read more about possible career prospects.
Address the image world, find out how images create meaning, and discover what you can do with what you see on this eclectic MA programme
If this degree were a film we’d be watching the beginning and the end. We think, like Walter Benjamin, that it’s in these moments – in their inception and their obsolescence – that you see the utopian possibilities of a form or social movement.
Are we in the midst of a beginning? What can we learn now from visual culture’s past? What’s happening to our bodies when we play a video game? What are the gestures involved in everyday life? How do our bodies relate to technology?
These are the kinds of topics we analyse on this MA. We want to go beyond the borders of a traditional film studies degree so we go back to the beginning of film history to explore what it meant to fashion yourself in an image, or for a society to see itself in an image. Then we explore how images gain meaning now, and where they’re going next.
We’re interested in the evolution of the image, but also image culture. As photographs and films constitute more and more of our communication, we encourage students to try to put their thought into audio-visual form for some modules.
For the MA’s Media Arts Pathway, you can make your own piece of work and submit it as part of the final project, the dissertation. Production values are not the focus for us. We’re interested in what you do with an idea.
We think learning is about trying to get hold of something you don’t know yet; wrestling with ideas you’re unsure of so as to work critically and imaginatively across multiple media forms. While we do look at films, we also investigate such things as contemporary gallery work, the city’s screens, computer and phone interactivity to reconsider our relationship to images.
We study our heritage of image taking and making not just to discover how that relationship has changed over time, but also to find jumping off points for own experimentation and try to create something new.
As part of the University of London you also have the chance to explore one option from the MA Film & Media programmes at other universities. Find out more on the Screen Studies Group website.
The MA offers two pathways:
MA Film and Screen Studies: Moving Image Studies Pathway
The moving image media today are a concentrated form of culture, ideas, socialisation, wealth and power. 21st-century globalisation, ecology, migration and activism fight over and through them. How have the media built on, distorted and abandoned their past? How are they trying to destroy, deny or build the future? This pathway explores new critical approaches that address the currency of moving image media in today's global context – their aesthetics, technology and politics. It seeks to extend the boundaries for studying moving images by considering a wider range of media and introducing students to a wider range of approaches for investigating moving images' past and present.
MA Film and Screen Studies: Media Arts Pathway
The most intense and extreme forms of media, experimental media arts, test to breaking point our established ideas and practices. From wild abstraction and surrealist visions to activist and community arts, they ask the profoundest questions about high art and popular culture, the individual and the social, meaning and beauty. This pathway explores these emerging experimental practices of image making and criticism. Students on this pathway are encouraged not just to study but to curate and critique past, present and future media arts by building exhibitions and visual essays of their own. Short practical workshops will enable students to make the most of the skills you bring into the course.
The MA consists of:
The MA is assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. It will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.
Our graduates go on to work in areas such as programming and curating, film and video distribution, and film and television criticism, but many also create their own careers. Twenty per cent of our graduates pursue PhD degrees.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
A two-year international course providing a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical training, equipping you to manage and curate the digital information and digital assets of organisations across public and private sectors. Students study for one year at King’s and one year at Humboldt University Berlin, and choose from an exceptional range of options covering different aspects of digital curation.
Reasons you should consider the MA in Digital Curation are:
This King’s-Humboldt joint MA in Digital Curation is a two-year course involving one academic year of study at each institution. It offers you access to the combined talents of two world-class departments.
Digital content and digital technologies are a defining feature of our age. Digital data, information and knowledge are an asset for cultural heritage, memory institutions, industry, commerce and government. They are fundamental for research and practice in fields such as the law and medicine. As individuals we increasingly communicate and record our lives and our memories in digital form. But digital information is fragile and complex and requires ongoing and active curation as we seek to ensure its longevity and innovate in its use, and exploit its social, cultural and commercial value.
This course will give you the core skills, knowledge and competencies you need to become a leader in the rapidly expanding field of digital curation. You will study a wide range of subjects including metadata, preservation, knowledge representation, digital libraries, ethics and rights management, and new digital technologies and methods, including cloud and crowd-sourcing technologies. You will also have an opportunity to undertake an internship to gain workplace experience. We want you to acquire a great deal of practical knowledge, but even more we want you to develop your critical and reflective capacities, and to acquire an understanding of the inter-dependence of developments in digital processes, technology and curatorial practice. This MA will also provide an excellent grounding if you are interested in going on to a PhD in Digital Curation or a related area.
The MA in Digital Curation is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in organisations and enterprises with significant volumes of digital information and knowledge. The course responds to the increasing demand for digitally literate professionals to work in education and heritage institutions, as well as wider industry by equipping students with a range of strategic, technical and practical skills to provide direction and leadership in the curation of digital information and assets.
Take a look at Humboldt info here
Find out more info about preparing for your stay in Germany
Info about what you need to submit to enrol at Humboldt
In your first year, Humboldt University will provide 300 hours of teaching through lectures and seminars, and they will expect you to undertake 1,200 hours of independent study.
In your second year we will provide you with 110 hours of teaching through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 984 hours of independent study.
You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and exams.
Students spend four semesters over the course of two years on the programme: two consecutive semesters at Humboldt and two semesters at King's, beginning the programme at Humboldt in all cases.
All teaching will be in English.
More information about the Digital Curation programme at Humboldt.
Designed for students interested in new ways of exploring and understanding the social world through the use of visual, sensory and other experimental approaches, this programme allows you to study sociological issues alongside innovative methods.
The MA will enable you to examine, represent and intervene in the social world. You will develop the ability to undertake empirical research and present it publicly in a variety of media and materials. You will engage with sociology as an inventive research practice, deploying creative research methods to address classic and changing sociological problems.
The MA in Visual Sociology provides an introduction to the range of debates in visual research, encouraging you to build on these by using visual, sensory and inventive methodological practices to carry out critical social research in your areas of interest, whether this is science and technology, contemporary capitalism, gender and sexual cultures, race, human rights, globalisation, or other aspects of social life.
The programme combines lectures and seminars with practical sessions and workshop-based projects in which you develop a hands-on approach to sociological research, providing a skills base in methods which could be used in public sector contexts, art/media research, design or commercial application.
As well as presenting your ideas through writing, during the MA you will have the opportunity to produce different outputs, including film/video, photography, sound and multi-media pieces. You will also organise and curate some of this work in an exhibition. Critical feedback sessions function as a testing ground for individual projects, and themed projects allow you to further develop a portfolio of research outputs geared to a variety of audiences.
Throughout the programme is a concern with the research process, and you will have the opportunity to design and reflect on your own research projects. The dissertation allows you to undertake a substantive research project on your individual interests, supporting by one-to-one supervision with a member of staff. You will have access to the Visual Media Lab, which offers post-production and editing stations, as well as equipment for photography and video. Students can also borrow equipment from the Media Equipment Centre.
The MA is based in the Department of Sociology, home of the The Methods Lab and at the forefront of research using live methods. It is taught by staff with a wide range of experience in both sociology and interdisciplinary research, including visual and experimental approaches. The course is suitable for applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including art, design, anthropology, media and communications, cultural studies, geography, and sociology.
In the first part of the course you will take ‘Empirical Social Research’, a module that takes you through the empirical research cycle in the context of the transformation of sociology in the age of visual, digital and other empirical methods. The module Theories and Debates in Visual Research' enables you to address debates within visual sociology, and also encompasses more recent issues surrounding the notions of media, interdisciplinarity and translation which become significant if sociology works with visual and other sensory materials. Assessment of these modules is by essay.
Alongside these modules you will take a core practical component, ‘Visual and Inventive Practice A’, that offers the opportunity to gain skills in photography, sound and video and to develop materials that engage a sociological imagination. A central focus is on how to translate a research question into a variety of materials or media and to be able to critically discuss the selection and use of these.
In the second term you continue with a practical module in inventive sociology, ‘Social Research for Public Engagement’, in which you will work individually or in groups to respond to a theme to create a visual, sensory or experimental object or media to be exhibited to a particular public. Assessment of the practical work includes a diary of research process alongside documentation of work.
These core modules are taught in Sociology. In the second term you will also take an option that may be chosen from Sociology or may be taken from departments across Goldsmiths including the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, Politics and International Relations, Media and Communications, Educational Studies, Music, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.
In the summer term you will complete a dissertation involving a major practical project consisting of any media and addressing a specific sociological problem. You will meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staff. The dissertation is a substantive piece of research in which you develop a visual, inventive or experimental approach to a topic of your choice.
If you follow the MA part-time over two years, you will take ‘Empirical Social Research’, ‘Visual and Inventive Practice’ and ‘Social Research for Public Engagement’ in year 1, and ‘Theories and Debates in Visual Research’, the dissertation and an option in year 2.
You will chose an option module to the value of 30 credits from Sociology or from departments across the College including the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, Politics, Media and Communications, Music, Educational Studies, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.
Modules in Sociology address themes such as:
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
This programme attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds, including art and design, business, and the third sector, as well as those with social science degrees. This means the careers that they are interested in pursuing are wide and varied.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
The MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies is aimed at students wanting to start a career in museum or gallery work, or for those looking for a mid-career change. The part-time course is designed for museum and gallery employees or volunteers who wish to study while continuing with their work.
All Museum and Gallery Studies students take three compulsory modules over two semesters (or four semesters for part-time studies). The taught courses are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical sessions and visits to museums and galleries.
Class sizes typically range from 18 to 24 students, and exhibition teams range from 6 to 9 students. Students complete three assignments per module in a variety of formats including an essay, a documentation and database project, an object study, an exhibition or website review, a lesson plan and a management report.
The final three months of the course will be focused on writing the final assessment piece, a 15,000-word dissertation.
Substantial contributions to the course are made by the Scottish museums community which generously provides visiting lecturers and hosts class visits and individual student placements.
The Museum and Gallery Studies teaching staff are experienced museum curators who continue to be involved directly in museum work.
The part-time course runs every two years. The taught element is delivered at four week-long residential schools in January and June of each year. There is an opportunity for you to use your practical experience towards the coursework and write up your professional activities for assessment. The Graduate Diploma can be converted to an MLitt on production of a dissertation of 15,000 words, submitted five months after the formal end of the taught course.
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
In this new programme, you will explore the relationships between dance and society.
You will be encouraged to challenge your thinking about dance within a framework of conceptual, political and social ideas throughout dance history. Engaging in rich discussions with an international dance community, you will examine dance, dancers and dancing through sociological and political lenses. You will be introduced to a range of concerns about dance, dancing and performance: from the body in society, to issues of representation, and relations of power.
You will have the opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field of dance in our supportive teaching community and with students from all over the world. Our holistic teaching approach will help you gain a strong foundation in understanding of the political and sociological implications for how dance functions in society. You will also gain in-depth knowledge of dance and the dancer as a social and political construct. This programme also provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon your experiences and develop creative ideas to gain a critical perspective in practice and theory.
The Department is home to the internationally-recognised Centre for Dance Research, which foregrounds the research of dance as cultural and artistic expression beyond, and including, theatre performance. Through seminars, forums and conferences involving staff and international invited guests, the centre supports a compelling research culture.
We also have excellent links with dance companies and creative organisations. In easy reach of London’s vibrant dance scene, the campus has superb studios and a state-of-the-art theatre for dance students.
In this programme, you will take a compulsory research methods module, the programme core module of Politics Sociology and Dance and your Dissertation module. Flexibility is built into the programme, so you can also choose some of your modules to suit your interests and needs.
In the module Ways of Knowing, which is shared by all dance postgraduate taught programmes, you will be introduced to research methods including ethnography, analysis, and practice-as-research.
The module Politics and Sociology and Dance encompasses theoretical perspectives that engage with hegemonic and resistive issues relating to dance as a social and economic practice.
The module Dissertation is an individually tutored module that allows you to delve deeply into a research project that reflects your interests and experience in dance.
Here are examples of the modules:
After this course, graduates may become a community dance practitioner, produce and curate arts projects and events, lead in education and outreach programs for dance, teacher or continue studying within an MPhil or PhD level.