module specification

FA7040 - Curatorial Practice (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Curatorial Practice
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 80%   Curatorial Project
Coursework 20%   Exhibition Report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides students with the opportunity to complete and exhibit a ‘live’ curatorial project. In addition, they will complete an exhibition report.

In consultation with tutors, the group will plan and produce an exhibition to be mounted in one of the CASS’ Gallery spaces at the end of the module. The cohort shall be assigned duties and responsibilities, including fundraising, press and publicity, catalogue, interpretation, education and curation.

Students will be supported in the completion of their group exhibition projects by a series of seminars, group- and individual tutorials.

Module aims

The module aims are to:

  • Provide students with the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills within a project team and towards production and exhibition of a major, 'live', curatorial project.
  • Explore the relationships between theories of display and the practicalities of curating through participation in the realization a professional curatorial project.
  • Encourage critical development towards their own curatorial practice by developing a final report on the exhibition.


a)   Planning, conceptualization, division of responsibilities
b)   Independent project team working under specialist supervision towards completion of curatorial project;
c)   Group Seminars to examine methods and practices of display
d)   Tutorials to guide students’ projects through to completion/exhibition.

Learning and teaching

The module is taught through tutorials, project development, project supervision and guidance. The Learning and Teaching strategy for the module is to both inform students and actively engage them in a critical discussion related to the role of research for curation. This is achieved through:

Seminars – students will engage in critical discussion with peers that will enable them to share display approaches, ask questions and interrogate the role of development together.
Supervision – individual and group tutorials will be available to students on the module and support them to frame their curatorial project.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

  1. Apply conventions of professional curatorial practice within a project team and through completion of assigned specialist tasks and responsibilities.
  2. Demonstrate a developed understanding of the research methodologies, strategies of display and practicalities of curating.
  3. Demonstrate self-reflection and depth of critical understanding through the accompanying exhibition report.
  4. Evidence originality and critical awareness in situating their own curatorial practice within a contemporary context.

Assessment strategy

This module is designed to facilitate and test integrated knowledge and understanding of the discourses informing curatorial practice. The student will submit:

  1. Group Curatorial Project: Including exhibition, supporting research & development and production folder and participation in the conception, planning, development and realization of a 'curating the contemporary' project. (80%)
  2. Individual Exhibition Report (indicative word count 2000) to reflect upon the curatorial project/ exhibition (20%)

Work will be assessed against the learning outcomes in relation to the following criteria:

  • Subject knowledge and relevance
  • Quality of communication and presentation
  • Appropriate technical competence
  • Appropriate use of problem solving, testing and experimentation
  • Management of own learning and personal professional development
  • Effective collaborative and/or independent working methods


The following are indicative only. Refereed journals/articles and electronic resources: issued according to syllabus.

Andriesse, P. (ed.) (1996) Art Gallery Exhibiting: The Gallery as a Vehicle for Art, Van Abbemuseum.
Heiser, J. (2008) All of a Sudden: Things that Matter in Contemporary Art, Sternberf Press.
Marincola, P. (ed.) (2006) What makes a Great Exhibition? Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative & Reaktion Books.
O'Neill, P. (ed.) (2007) Curating Subjects, Open Editions.
Staple, P. et al (2007) Frieze Projects: Artists Commissions and Talks, Frieze Books.
Tannert, C. Tischler, U. (2004) Men in Black: Handbook of Practice, Revolver