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Curating Contemporary Design MA

Course Description


Run jointly with the Design Museum, this course is taught by leading curators and designers within the field. Through its projects at the Design Museum and with prestigious cultural organisations, including the British Council, Architecture Foundation, British Museum and the V&A, the course gives you the opportunity to curate live projects and build your own professional profile. Ambitious international projects are an integral part of the curriculum, and graduates have gone on to successful careers around the world.

Key features

As the course is taught in partnership with the Design Museum, London, you will benefit from the experience of studying at one of the world's best-known design museums.

Professional practice modules at the Design Museum underpin modules on the history and theory of curating design taught at Kingston University.

Work experience and study visits are an important part of the course.

What will you study?

You will gain a grounding in the professional aspects of curatorial practice as well as first-hand experience in planning and organising exhibitions. This practical experience will be supported by modules in history and theory, ensuring you have a thorough knowledge of the ideas and context underpinning the display and curating of contemporary designed objects. There is a strong emphasis on gaining key employability skills for the sector, ensuring a high level of professional development. We develop live projects with leading organisations such as the British Council, Crafts Council and V&A Museum.


Curatorial project briefs, seminar presentations, essays, and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.


Professional Practice
Interpreting Contemporary Design
Theory of the Object
Making of the Modern World
Final Project

What this course offers you

If you choose to study this course, here are some of the things you can expect from the course and how it will benefit you.

The Curating Contemporary Design MA trains professionals who can display, curate and communicate the values and ideas of design.
It is taught in partnership with the Design Museum, London, which means you benefit from the experience of studying at one of the world's best known design museums.
Professional practice modules at the Design Museum underpin modules on the history and theory of curating design taught at Kingston University. These modules offer you the opportunity to specialise in your chosen area of curating and help you develop your own area of curating practice.
You will be involved in aspects of planning and organising exhibitions, working on real briefs set by leading museums and organisations.
The dissertation allows you to build on this and research an area of curating contemporary design linked to your professional ambitions. This can be done through practice-based submissions or theory-based written work.
Work experience is also an important part of the course. Most students work on an aspect of the Design Museum's programme, but others have worked with leading art and design museums in London.
The course also offers advice and support for gaining employment including introductions to professionals in the field, one-to-one tuition and CV workshops.
Study visits, including an optional trip to New York, add an extra dimension to your learning. You also benefit from input from professionals - such as designers, architects, product designers, theorists and curators.
Alongside your academic studies, you hone your workplace skills in:
problem solving and organisation;
communication (oral, written and electronic);
time management; and
interdisciplinary teamwork.
Our teaching emphasises individual tutorials. We offer a part-time study option to help you fit your MA around other commitments.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Visit the Curating Contemporary Design MA page on the Kingston University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Matthew Turtle

"It has been very interesting to explore the anthropology behind the curator and the subtle changes the whole profession has undergone. As a history graduate, the whole question really appealed to me and I really enjoyed writing it. The course is very good at facilitating your own interests and specialisms – that's for sure. Since taking the course I have gone on to manage major London events including COLLECT at the Saatchi Gallery for the Crafts Council and Open House London weekend, London's largest architectural showcase."


Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a good BA(Hons) degree or equivalent qualification in an academic subject or creative practice field.We welcome applicants with relevant work experience, such as practitioners, museum staff and designers looking to extend their professional experience.You should be able to demonstrate an ability to work creatively and within a team.

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