IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
3 years full-time
Do you want to advance your knowledge of contemporary art and pursue a professional career in the field of curatorial practice?
Curating refers to a wide range of activities including the care of collections and the development of exhibitions, festivals, screenings, digital platforms and more. Curators engage with historical knowledge and respond to urgent social issues, staging culture as a way of bringing together multiple publics.
Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths has been at the forefront of curatorial research for well over a decade, helping to redefine the profession. Drawing from this research, taught by leading curators and researchers, BA Curating combines a strong grounding in art history and contemporary cultural theory with the development of practical know-how and industry experience. To find out more about BA Curating watch Dr. Janna Graham, programme leader talk about this programme.
Alongside compulsory modules on the history, theory and practice of curating, you will be able to choose additional modules in art history, fashion, technology and performance, allowing you to focus your interests and get the most out of your degree. You will gain a good understanding of both the history of art and the history of exhibitions, learning how curatorial work shapes our understanding of visual culture.
The course will support you in developing a wide set of curatorial skills. Over three years you will work on a variety of assignments closely mentored by course staff and practising curators. This will allow you to become a more critical thinker and confident researcher, able to shape your curatorial projects successfully and communicate your work to a wide variety of audiences.
Students become familiar with the dynamics of different professional settings, from large museums to volunteer-run organisations and digital spaces through both visits and on-site project experience. A core component of the course is a placement within an arts organisation during the second year. In the past, students have worked with The Wellcome Collection, the Sir John Soane’s Museum, Cubitt, The Women’s Art Library, Bethlem Gallery, The Showroom, Gasworks, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Queens Museum (NY) and charities such as Single Housing Project. In their third year, students collaborate to organise a public exhibition with partner institutions, which further develops their skills in planning, programming and publicising exhibitions and events.
Fostering collaboration and peer support is a crucial aspect of the course. BA Curating students benefit from their own dedicated room, which they can use to stage work-in-progress, organise events and socialise around their course commitments. They are encouraged to initiate their own projects or join some of the existing ones, like The Art Columnist journal. They can also enjoy a rich programme of public events within the Visual Cultures department and the wider Goldsmiths community as well as the world-class exhibitions at the newly opened Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art. Our London location means that there are lots of opportunities to benefit from a rich network of art organisations, with some of the teaching delivered through gallery visits.
Why study BA Curating at Goldsmiths?
- Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths is internationally renowned for its research on Curatorial Practice and you will be learning from leading theorists and practitioners.
- You will study compulsory modules on curatorial history, theory and practice alongside option modules in art history and visual culture that allow you to focus on your particular interests.
- You will be mentored to develop the know-how and practical skills necessary to practice as a contemporary art curator through a number of practical assignments as well as an industry placement in your second year.
- You will develop your ability to work collaboratively and will work with your peers in your third year towards your degree show.
- You will be supported to develop student-led projects and will have access to our dedicated Curating Room to host your events.
- You will benefit from the rich programme of events at Goldsmiths as well from world-class exhibitions at the newly opened Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art.
- Our London location means you’ll never run out of galleries, events, museums and visual culture to explore in the capital.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Janna Graham.
What you'll study
For 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
Year 1 (compulsory level 4)
You take the following compulsory modules:
|Year 1 compulsory modules||Module title||Credits|
|Curating and the Public Sphere||30 credits|
|Art, Artifacts and Archives||30 credits|
You also choose one option module from the following list:
|Year 1 option modules||Module title||Credits|
|Seeing and Showing||30 credits|
|Space and Time||30 credits|
|Beyond Boundaries||30 credits|
Year 2 (credit level 5)
In your second year, you will study the following compulsory modules:
|Year 2 compulsory modules||Module title||Credits|
|Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions: Unpacking the Field I||15 credits|
|Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions: Unpacking the Field II||15 credits|
|Curating, Education, and Research||60 credits|
You will also choose 30 credits of modules offered by the Department of Visual Cultures.
Year 3 (credit level 6)
In Year 3 you will complete a dissertation and study the following compulsory module:
|Curating the Contemporary||60 credits|
You will also choose 60 credits worth of special subjects. Options include:
|The Truth in Painting||30 credits|
|Sexual Poetics||15 credits|
|Philosophy and...||30 credits|
|Film Fables||15 credits|
|Archive and Spectacle||15 credits|
|Animating Architecture||15 credits|
|Patterns of Perception: Part 1||15 credits|
|Fashion as a Dialectical Image||30 Credits|
|The Fact of Blackness I||15 credits|
|Beckett & Aesthetics: Bodies and Identity||15 credits|
|Counter Forensics||15 credits|
|Research Architecture||15 credits|
|Visual Cultures as Public Practice||15 credits|
This programme is taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures and seminars. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.
The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 19% scheduled learning, 81% independent learning
- Year 2 - 11% scheduled learning, 66% independent learning, 33% placement
- Year 3 - 9% scheduled learning, 91% independent learning
How you’ll be assessed
You’ll be assessed mostly through coursework. Normally this consists of essays, sometimes accompanied by creative projects, group projects, multi-media projects, presentations, symposia, reviews, and studio work.
The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 93% coursework, 8% practical
- Year 2 - 95% coursework, 5% practical
- Year 3 - 80% coursework, 20% practical
*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2019/20. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.
Credits and levels of learning
An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
We accept the following qualifications:
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2
We also 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 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
Fees & funding
Annual tuition fees
These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.
From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.
- Home - full-time: £9250
- International - full-time: £17370
It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. 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.
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.
BA Curating graduates gain a good knowledge of contemporary art and culture as well as strong research skills and the ability to think critically. Through practical assignments and industry experience, they also develop a number of attributes and skills that equip them to work in the cultural sector and beyond.
Graduates are proactive and agile, learning to get new projects off the ground and making things happen with others, often under tight deadlines and small budgets. Through the course, students use curatorial work as a mode of storytelling and learn the value of communicating one’s work through presentations, digital platforms and others. As a result, our graduates are able to showcase their abilities successfully and confidently. By remaining attentive to the different audiences their work seeks to address, graduates learn to foster new connections between people and create new opportunities for collaboration. A critical understanding of the opportunities and challenges of cultural sector work in today’s economic climate makes our graduates more resilient and resourceful.
BA Curating is a great platform from which to launch a career in the cultural sector and it provides a solid foundation should you wish to progress on to further study in the humanities, including in Art History, Curating, Museum Studies or Cultural Management. You can find out more about the career options open to you after you graduate on our Visual Cultures careers page.