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Master of Letters in Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art)

Glasgow School of Art

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MLitt - Master of Letters

  • Location

    Glasgow School of Art

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

Programme Overview

This programme, established in 2014 and jointly run by The Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow, offers students the opportunity to study curatorial practice in Glasgow, a city with one of the most vibrant and distinctive art scenes globally. Throughout the year students are supported to identify and undertake individually motivated curatorial projects and research that will set the basis for the development of a self-sustaining practice, making this programme unique in its delivery.

During this intensive one-year programme, students work closely with artists and a wealth of organisations, as they consolidate and articulate their practice within an international context of theory and practice. There is an equal balance between theoretical exploration and critique, whereby the rigours of writing and concept-formation are challenged and honed by practical application and experimentation. There is the opportunity to work both individually and collaboratively at different stages in the year and the scope and breadth of output extends far beyond exhibition-as-form, to include performance-based work, publications, digital platforms and discursive modes of curation.

The curriculum is designed to support the development of students’ curatorial practice throughout the year. Stage 1 focuses on situating practice, guiding students to ground their research within the context Glasgow through connecting with curators, artists and publics in the city. Stage 2 encourages the development of local-international conversations and a deepening of students’ own curatorial positions, with some of the teaching responding to the specific research interests brought in every year by each cohort. In Stage 3 the focus shifts towards independent practice, as students undertake a substantial curatorial project, research piece, or a combination of both.

The programme proposes a dialogue between curating as an endeavour that is inextricably linked to visual arts practice, and its inter-disciplinary expansion through curatorial discourse. Teaching is a constellation of lectures, tutorials, practical workshops, and focused study days. There is also an emphasis on independent work and peer-critique, where the articulation and discussion of projects allows students to find their curatorial voice and have the opportunity to hone a methodology of working that they can take forward post-Masters.

It is appreciated that there will be multiple interests in the programme, and as such the programme fosters diverse ways of working curatorially and responds to the interests emerging from the cohort. For example, in previous years this has included residencies and support structures, writing-as-practice, feminist and queer projects, self-organised and collaborative work, and events operating outwith the conventional sphere of presentation. Equally, the programme offers students the chance to extend their practical and also academic skills, with support to refine work for PhD pathways – including practice-based.

It is expected that applicants have a strong understanding of contemporary art, gained through study and/or professional experience, upon which to build their curatorial projects and writing during the programme. During the year, students can expect visiting tutors/ lecturers who will lend an international and insightful understanding of the curatorial field and their practice, as well as on-going opportunities to participate in local networks.


Peer and staff review, formative and summative assessment, with continuous feedback from tutorials. Courses are assessed by essay, critical review, project proposal and practice-based coursework. Students will also achieve PgCert and PgDip exit awards during this course.

Application deadline

02 April 2021, 21 May 2021

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 19,980per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Glasgow School of Art

  • Campus address

    Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Glasgow, City Of, G3 6RQ, Scotland

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