Course information




2 years full-time; or 4 years part-time

Course overview

MFA Curating is designed for students who wish to take up the challenge of artistic, social and critical curating with a contemporary approach to the subject. It also helps students to develop their professional practice.

  • In the MFA Curating at Goldsmiths, you’ll get to explore curating from a contemporary perspective. We’ll cover the subject from many different angles, including aesthetic, social, political and philosophical enquiries, practices and discourses relevant to present-day culture.
  • You’ll learn about the history of curation through the study of the genealogies of curating as a discipline, but this degree is firmly focused on contemporary practices and the future of curation.
  • This degree provides a practice-led research context for aspiring curators, cultural organisers and producers. It’s also open to creative practitioners at an early stage of their professional development, and professionals looking to take a different route in their career in the arts sector.
  • As a two-part programme, MFA Curating gives you the freedom to experiment and innovate in the expanded and interdisciplinary field of curatorial practice through your Independent Research Project.
  • Teaching on this programme is dynamic. You’ll expand your artistic and curatorial knowledge through ongoing conversations in the form of seminars, collective research and presentations, tutorials and reading groups.
  • You’ll gain a practical understanding from site visits and writing classes in year one. In year two you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students through knowledge-sharing workshops.
  • The MFA Curating is interdisciplinary and promotes the principles of critical thinking, listening and collaboration. This will help you develop the style and area of curatorial practice that you want to pursue. Whether exhibition-making, public programming, commissioning social or public projects, or working with artists and practitioners from other disciplines, this degree will give you the skills and confidence to take your next steps into the professional world of curating.
  • Based in our world-renowned Department of Art, this degree allows for dialogue and potential collaborations with emerging practitioners about contemporary and future practice, and the most pressing concerns of our day.
  • The MFA Curating is a leading programme in its field. It’s recognised worldwide for producing highly qualified curators and arts professionals, as well as those pursuing further academic study at the PhD level.
  • Our graduates find employment in a range of leading arts-based organisations and sectors. Recent graduates have gone on to work in international museums, commercial galleries, art fairs, magazines, alternative spaces and not-for-profit organisations. Others choose employment as artists’ studio managers, arts education programmers, museum public talks and events organisers, gallery archivists, editors, and registrars.
  • As well as being taught by leading academics from the Department of Art, you’ll also learn from some of the art world’s most influential professionals through our visiting lecture and guest speaker programmes. Recent speakers include independent curators, artists, and professionals from galleries such as the Tate Modern.
  • This MFA gives you the chance to develop your practice. You’ll have the opportunity to work with organisations like Chisenhale Studios, Kunstraum London, and Cubitt Artists to develop curatorial projects. Placement opportunities and internships with the likes of Tate Modern will underpin your learning and give you the practical skills you need for your future career.
  • Students of MFA curating also have the unique opportunity to engage with Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art on their public events programme.
  • Upon graduation, graduates are eligible for one of three Junior Fellowships, designed to further their professional development. Currently, we offer one fellowship to work with the MFA Curating courses itself, taking part in the delivery of an academic programme, and two fellowships based at Goldsmiths CCA, supporting the delivery of exhibitions and public programmes.
  • Why not visit one of our Postgraduate Art Open Days? You can also visit our Exhibitions and Events Archive.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Simon Sheikh or Anna Colin or Helena Reckitt.

What you'll study

In year one, you’ll develop an Independent Research Project (IRP) with the guidance of tutors. You’ll also be introduced to current curatorial concepts and practices through group critique and guided research. You’ll explore significant ideas in curatorial history, contemporary art and curating, philosophy and cultural theory to help students think broadly about their own practice.

In year two, you’ll develop a second IRP and continue to receive individual tutorials. In this year, teaching is mainly delivered in the form of monthly intensive student-led workshops, which look in depth at current artistic and cultural themes drawn from students’ interests.

Detailed information about each year of study can be found in the module lists below.

Year one

Module title Credits
Curatorial Practice n/a
Critical Studies n/a
Review Sessions n/a

Year two

Module title Credits
Curatorial Practice II n/a
Critical Studies Year 2 N/A

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

What our students say

Laura Bruni

During the second year of the programme, I was lucky enough to be able to start working as Assistant Curator at Tate Modern

Experience with the most renowned art institutions in London

I chose the program because I’ve heard about it from a former graduate whose curatorial work I deeply admired, but at the end I was drawn to Goldsmiths because I was eager to explore further the intellectual implications of exhibition making and how it informs everyday life more broadly. As I already had some curatorial experience when I enrolled, having previously worked at the Philadelphia Museum, I was particularly drawn to the practice-led approach of the programme and the opportunity offered to the students to be engaged with some of the most renowned art institutions in London.

Enriching experiences, graduate prospects, and an inspiring course.

My overall experience of the course was positive and, in the end, incredibly enriching, but challenging sometimes. The course made me rethink deeply the way I had previously approached art history. I found the content of the classes stimulating and on many occasions, I felt pushed to be out of my comfort zone as a curator, which at the end helped me to find my own voice in my curatorial practice.

During my time at Goldsmiths, I found particularly inspiring the interdisciplinary nature of the course. It made me re-evaluate what it means to be a curator, either when working independently or as part of a larger curatorial team. More importantly, it made me realise how crucial it is to conceive innovative, visually coherent projects which are both rigorous but also relevant to a contemporary audience.

Because of the less prescriptive nature of the course, I also had the chance to create my own opportunities and during my second year I started to work as Assistant Curator at Tate Modern. This role not only gave me some financial security but also truly spring-boarded my career in the UK.

Goldsmiths and the Tate Modern

As mentioned, during the second year of the programme, I was lucky enough to be able to start working as Assistant Curator at Tate Modern and even though it was quite of a challenge to balance my course commitments with my responsibilities at work, the experience was highly rewarding. Since 2018, I have been working at Tate Liverpool, where I devise collection displays, temporary exhibitions, and new commissions. It is a wonderful experience as I have had the chance to work with the Tate collection but also with tribalizing artists as Theaster Gates, Lamin Fofana and Candice Breitz.

MFA Curating teaches many different frameworks and outlooks on what curation is

The course played a huge role in shaping the kind of curator I have become. The course made me reconsider what curation is and how important is to frame the exhibition-making withing a larger theoretical framework, which may encompass historical, political, or economic issues.

Advice for MFA Curating students

Find your own voice and meet and reach out to as many curators, peers, professionals, researchers and artists as possible. Forge your own network opportunities and see as many exhibitions as you can. Goldsmiths and London are still an incomparable hub for new and ground-breaking ideas. Apply for the opportunities which resonate with your own curatorial profile and let things grow organically.

Anca Rujoiu

As the course is not prescriptive in terms of what curating is and in what format research can be articulated, it allowed me to find my voice.

Why did you choose this programme?

I knew a bit about the programme from a former graduate, I was aware of Goldsmiths’s history and politics. At the time I applied, however, what spoke strongly to me was the fact that the programme was within the art department and curating sat alongside fine art. This close proximity was the deciding factor in my choice.

What was your overall experience of the course?

Goldsmiths was a formative journey. If I put all the pieces together, this journey would take in my imagination the shape of a bildungsroman. The course was part of the larger experience of relocating to a new country, forming new and enduring friendships, discovering the city of London through its thriving cultural scene, but also struggling to pay the tuition and the monthly rent.

What made the course special and valuable to me was its peer orientation. We were there to learn from each other. My peers (and we were all women in that graduating cohort) hailed from different parts of Europe and the Americas: Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. We were seeing exhibitions together, we were discussing texts and writers, we were cooking together, we were sharing thoughts, fears, and ideals trying to make sense of this collective journey. The programme was structured in a way to allow exchanges to take place inside and outside the seminar room. We were encouraged by the teaching staff to shape the discussions, and with this independence came the responsibility to make the exchanges relevant and in-depth.

As part of the course, we had different opportunities to put ideas into practice and work together, such as the collaboration with the Swiss Church in London or the David Roberts Art Foundation. We also took initiative and worked closely with our colleagues from the fine art programme, for instance in a collaboration with the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Imperial College in London or on the hallway of one of Goldsmiths’s cafés. There was no prerequisite from the programme for such exchanges, but for some of us, this happened organically. Getting to know the students in the fine art programme, their concerns and practices made my experience so much richer.

Being in London is part of the course. One piece of advice we received stuck with me: own a good pair of shoes so you can walk and see as much as possible. London has such a layered art scene, from independent spaces, short-lived initiatives, to good galleries, museums, and art schools. Seeing exhibitions, meeting and talking to artists was an essential part of my learning process at Goldsmiths.

I enrolled in the course in 2009. One year later, the plan to raise substantially the tuition fees in the United Kingdom was approved by the government, despite the student protests which some of us joined as well as Goldsmiths faculty. I was fortunate enough to be part of the last three generations before the tuition raise. At Goldsmiths I was allowed to pay my tuition in several instalments, while other universities would request upfront payment. This flexible instalment plan, a lower tuition fee, and a small scholarship made it easier for me to attend the course. I hope that Goldsmiths will strengthen its support through more scholarship opportunities and tuition-fee subsidies for students from a diversity of backgrounds, including low income. This can be a lasting contribution to a more inclusive art world.

What have you done since graduating?

I continued to work with FormContent, a curatorial initiative, established in 2007 by three Goldsmiths graduates: Francesco Pedraglio, Caterina Riva, and Pieternel Vermoortel. FormContent nurtured in me an inclination to think creatively about curatorial and institutional processes and stretch the possibilities of how cultural production can be made public, experienced, discussed or written about. For one year, I worked at the Royal College of Art in London coordinating the visual culture lecture series, a learning experience to create bridges between practitioners and students within an academic environment. In 2013, I relocated to Singapore. As curator for exhibitions and later head of publications, I had the rare opportunity to join the team of a new institution, the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art founded by Ute Meta Bauer. Living and working in Southeast Asia made me much more aware of histories and concerns that have little visibility and resonance in Europe. Last year, I returned to Romania and curated together with Maria Lind the third edition of the Art Encounters Biennial in Timișoara.

In what ways do you think the course has influenced or fed into your practice?

As the course is not prescriptive in terms of what curating is and in what format research can be articulated, it allowed me to find my voice. It encouraged me to be self-reflective about the process of curating and to think about all the constitutive elements and forces that give shape to it. The course also encouraged me to make writing part of curatorial thinking. I remembered all the writing exercises we did, from exhibition reviews to analysis of a single artwork, they were so valuable to me. Writing close to artwork and an artistic process became part of my practice.

What advice would you offer current Goldsmiths MFA Curating students?

To take advantage of the conceptual liberty that the course offers and think outside the canon, and to make the most out of being in London.


Image: Mona Vatămanu and Florin Tudor, Le Monde et les Choses in Place.Labour.Capital, edited by Ute Meta Bauer and Anca Rujoiu, Mousse Publishing and NTU CCA Singapore, 2018. Photograph by Mousse Publishing. 

Francesca Altamura

The organization of the course mimicked the real-life enterprise of a curator—in having to constantly conceive innovative content that is both academically sound, relevant, and, hopefully, visually stimulating and provocative.

Why did you choose this programme?

One word: access. While living in London for two years, I had access to a great city with a thriving cultural landscape—famed public collections, dynamic institutions, and innovative nonprofit and project spaces. I knew I didn’t want to be isolated from the rest of the world, or the art world, during this time, and sought instead a programme that would bring me out from the library and into artists’ studios and galleries, and back again. I also wanted access to the very diverse and internationally-based student body who were attracted to Goldsmith’s program—I met fellow students who, I believe, will be life-long friends—from London, and also from places like Mexico City, Manila, Santa Fe, Arnis, and Kampala.

What was your overall experience of the course?

I was always challenged by the faculty, the guest speakers, the readings and the projects we were assigned. The organization of the course mimicked the real-life enterprise of a curator—in having to constantly conceive innovative content that is both academically sound, relevant, and, hopefully, visually stimulating and provocative. The faculty encouraged us to probe deeply into the socio-political and economic structures underpinning the art, theory, and narratives we were engaging with, and lead by the example with their own writings and programming. I thrived because of the healthy distribution of class time, coursework, and personal time for museum-going and socializing with the many colleagues—curators, artists, and other arts workers, who I’m friends with to this day. The course afforded me enough time that I was also to hold a part-time job at the non-profit art space Studio Voltaire, which was an economic plus that also afforded me additional professional experience.

What have you done since graduating?

For a few months after graduating, I spent my time between New York, Berlin, and Mexico City, pursuing independent projects with my Goldsmiths classmates, while applying for full-time curatorial work. Shortly thereafter, I was hired as a temporary Curatorial Assistant at the New Museum in New York, for the 2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage, co-curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari and Alex Gartenfeld. Ultimately, I was hired full-time and have been at the New Museum ever since. One of my proudest achievements to date, however, has been in organizing the New Museum Union, which formed in January 2019 with UAW-Local 2110. I served on the Bargaining Committee throughout the organizing process, and now represent my colleagues as Union Delegate. Advocating for a fair and equitable art world, while also helping to produce the timely and dynamic programming that the New Museum is known for, are two facets of my current practice which are indebted to my education at Goldsmiths, which prioritized political awareness and critical thinking.

In what ways do you think the course has influenced or fed into your practice?

I often debated with my former classmates and friends as to who got the most out of the MFA Curating course: the students who came with already developed practices and pre-conceived exhibition concepts waiting to be more fully developed; or someone like me, who arrived to class with less-well developed research interests and who was on a more open path of intellectual discovery throughout the program. The Goldsmiths course definitely taught me how to think and frame my perspectives, which has impacted both my work at the New Museum and my independent projects.

What advice would you offer current Goldsmiths MFA Curating students?

I would share with them the necessity to work collaboratively, to serve the public, and to continue to fight for respect, pay equity, and fair conditions for ALL art workers—solidarity forever!

Image: Sydney Shen: Onion Master

See more profiles for this programme

Entry requirements

There's no preference for art/art history and students from a non-art background are welcome to apply. However, the course is run by the Department of Art, and students should consider themselves to be curating practitioners.

Applicants for Year One (Diploma stage): undergraduate degree of at least second class standard (or international equivalent) plus an element of professional experience (interning in a gallery or equivalent institution, curating own shows or degree shows etc).

Applicants for entry directly onto Year Two: full-time or part-time routes must show through interview and, where appropriate, portfolio that they have established a professional practice and have already completed and passed the coursework of one year for an equivalent Masters programme in Curating.  

Work experience is absolutely essential to demonstrate that you have a clear sense of current trends and activities in contemporary art. This should be demonstrated through your experience, and expanded upon in your personal statement.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2023/2024 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9720
  • Home - part-time: £4860
  • International - full-time: £23730

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

There are also funding opportunities available on our departmental awards page.


How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

If appropriate, your application can be accompanied by images showing examples of previous curatorial projects (it's not necessary to showcase your own art work). You can upload images or link to your online portfolio in your application. 

Make sure you refer to your work experience in your personal statement. If you have completed an internship, please be specific about what this entailed and how it is relevant to the programme. Also mention which curators/practioners have influenced you – we are looking for individuals with specific passions. It may be relevant to mention specific exhibitions or artworks that you have seen in person that were meaningful to you, and explain why, or discuss the art-specialist magazines or books that you have read. In summary, be prepared to discuss the specific elements (whether artworks, artists, art writing, philosophy, exhibitions, or more) that brought you to take a special interest in contemporary art curating.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

You can apply all year round but there is a deadline of 26 January for entry for the following September. Admissions interviews predominantly take place from January - April in the year of academic enrolment. In unusual circumstances, late or early applicants will be considered. Please contact the Department of Art for details.

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Find out more about applying.


Students studying this programme are based in dedicated postgraduate studio space in Lewisham Southwark College at Deptford Bridge.

Deptford is home to a burgeoning creative community with centres such as BEARSPACE, a gallery run by a former Goldsmiths student.

The postgraduate studios are a short walk from the art practice areas in New Cross. You may also choose to travel by bus between the two sites, which would incur a small travel cost.


Student work

Chris Lux: Sometimes I say, hey, hey Mark.
Exquisite Collapse, at Blip Blip Blip.
Viktor Timofeev: Proxyah (v2), at JupiterWoods.




Independent research and practice; public presentation; oral and written communication; project development; exhibition administration; concept development; collaboration; intellectual analysis; catalogue, essay and review writing; research organisation and presentation.


Graduates from the MFA Curating go on to work in galleries and museums; as managers and directors in commercial galleries; independent curators; cultural policymakers, teachers and academics; writers and critics.

Recent employers of our MFA Curating students and graduates include:

Public sector

  • Tate Britain, London
  • Tate Modern, London
  • Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • Documenta, Kassel
  • Venice Biennale
  • Athens Biennial
  • Sydney Biennale
  • Portikus, Frankfurt
  • Witte de With, Rotterdam
  • FRAC Lorraine
  • Hayward Gallery, London
  • Hayward Touring Exhibitions, London
  • Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna
  • Modern Art Oxford
  • London Olympic Park (art sector)
  • Artists Space, New York
  • Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
  • Art on the Underground, London
  • Art Space, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Austrian Cultural Foundation. London
  • Romanian Cultural Institute, London
  • Spike Island, Bristol
  • Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham

Private sector

  • 176 Gallery, Zabludowicz Collection, London
  • Bloomberg Space, London
  • Christie’s, Amsterdam
  • Deitch Projects, New York
  • Deste Foundation, Athens
  • Frith Street Gallery, London
  • Haunch of Venison, Berlin
  • Kadist Art Foundation, Paris
  • Kate MacGarry Gallery, London
  • Kurimanzutto, Mexico City
  • Lisson Gallery, London
  • Matt’s Gallery, London
  • David Roberts Collection, London
  • White Cube Gallery, London
  • Vienna Art Fair, Vienna


  • Artforum, New York
  • Frieze, London
  • Flash Art International, Milan

Some of our graduates have founded their own projects and galleries, among these:

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