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Full time & Part time September MA

About the course

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 with which the Department has a long-standing relationship. This will take place in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts on campus or at Grand Union in Birmingham city centre. 

The exhibitions at the Barber Institute usually focus on a historical aspect, using objects from the collection of the Royal Collection Trust, our current partner, of which the Queen is the lender.

The exhibitions at Grand Union are contemporary art shows

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Entry Requirements

You will need an Honours degree in History of Art or a cognate Humanities subject, of an upper second-class standard or higher (or its academic equivalent). Candidates holding degrees in other disciplines (e.g. broader Arts subjects) will only be considered if they can demonstrate interest and experience in History of Art, e.g. through studying relevant modules and/or undertaking related work experience.

Where is University of Birmingham


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Student Perspective: MA Art History and Curat...
MA Art History and Curating

Student Profile(s)

Lily Cheetham

Why did you choose Art History and Curating at the University of Birmingham?

“Birmingham was the only university to offer this type of joint course, with the opportunity to curate your own exhibition and partake in a long-term placement in the field. I have a BA in Art History and found that this course naturally progressed my art historical knowledge whilst expanding my practical experience of curating exhibitions.”

What has been the highlight of your course?

“The best part of this course is the opportunity to curate your own exhibition in either a contemporary art space or traditional gallery. This year, the options were The Grand Union or The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in collaboration with The Royal Collection. I chose to work alongside the Barber, and curate an exhibition which got a five star review in the Guardian. Without this experience, I would have never achieved my current role or had the confidence to go for other roles within the museum and gallery industry.”

What have you learnt from your programme?

“The most valuable skills I learnt from this course were practical ones to do with exhibition planning and creation. I learnt everything from budgeting, loans administration and insurance to public programming, display and marketing. It provided me with an invaluable skill set for future curating projects that I will undertake.”


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Recipient: University of Birmingham

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