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An international leader in the field

Key details

Programme details

  • 240 credits
  • 2 year programme
  • Full-time study

Next open day

Application deadline

  • 13 Nov 2019

Commission, curate and programme with London-based and national arts organisations.

We have a commitment to collaborative group project-based work that integrates theory and practice. We approach the field critically and theoretically, ensuring that the knowledge and understanding of these practices is grounded in the context of public audiences, urbanisation and the digital. Our research-led and practice-led teaching by staff and visiting tutors ensures the curatorial and artistic significance, intellectual value and critical vitality of the programme.

We offer practice-based learning and research-led teaching, through collaborative and project-based work. You’ll undertake a graduate project with external high-profile partners as well as an independent research-based dissertation. You’ll gain an awareness of wider social, political and economic contexts and an understanding of transnational contexts and issues of diversity and inclusion.


  • Ollie_Harrop_CCA Graduate Show 2018l.jpg

    Libita Clayton, I’m not my. My…..my injuries are healed now, but I still don’t remember things. - (Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler, 2005), spoken words and a gutteral performance traced into a collaborative soundscape with Chris Boyd, The Dyson Gallery, London, 2018 Photographer: Ollie Harrop

    CCA Graduate Show 2018 with LUX

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    Fragmented Follies by Sam Jacob Studio © Thierry Bal

    CCA Graduate Show 2019 with the The Pump House Gallery

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    4717. Installation shot.

    CCA Graduate Show 2018 with LUX

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    Re: Over everything which exists under the sky. Installation shot. Photographer: Keying Chen

    CCA Graduate Show 2019 with Gasworks


Professor Victoria Walsh

Professor Victoria Walsh

Head of Programme

Victoria is a curator and active researcher whose projects span from the post-war period to the contemporary.

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The School of Arts & Humanities is located across our Battersea and Kensington sites.

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You'll benefit from being part of a vibrant art and design school environment. There are a number of bookable seminar and project spaces across the site available to all Arts & Humanities students.

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    Curating Contemporary Art seminar. Photograph: Richard Haughton

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    Battersea computer room. Photograph: Richard Haughton


More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.

What you'll cover

In addition to regular core unit lectures and seminars by tutors, your first year will include a wide range of talks by visiting curators, critics, artists, gallerists and academics. These will provide you with knowledge of specific case studies, exhibition histories, curatorial positions and artist perspectives from a wide range of national and international visiting practitioners.

You’ll also be part of off-site visits to practitioner studios, museums, galleries and areas of urban development to ensure situated, grounded and spatial knowledge acquisition.

Your first year will also include the college-wide Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) seminars taught over Term 1.

Your second year is comparatively more self-directed and will have a greater focus on peer-led learning, building on the skills and knowledge that have been developed throughout the first two terms of the first year.

Curating Contemporary Art Unit 4 (Graduate Project) will be taught through occasional lectures based on core production skills, while elective project groups will develop projects through bi-weekly meetings with project tutor and partners, and alternate week self-directed group workshops.

Curating Contemporary Art Unit 5 (Dissertation) will be taught through group and one-to-one tutorials.

Your second year will also include the school-wide unit taught over one week in Term 1.


What you need to know before you apply

Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process will consider creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high MA standards overall.

You are generally expected to have a good undergraduate degree from an arts or humanities background.If your undergraduate degree is not arts or humanities-based you should be able to articulate its relevance, or how it informs your aim to study Curating Contemporary Art. You also need to be able to demonstrate an active interest in contemporary art and its presentation and mediation, and have some practical experience of working within the visual arts or cultural sector that is relevant to the field of curatorial practice.

As a student on this programme you will help to develop the multi-, interdisciplinary and exploratory nature of contemporary curatorial practice and the future of curating. One of the primary aims of this programme is that you develop the skills and confidence to work effectively within this field, to act as an innovative and responsible practitioner, and that you contribute to the valuing of art and culture in your future work.

What's needed from you

Your portfolio is a showcase of your work as an artist or designer and can be made up of images, videos or writing examples. Your portfolio helps us to better understand your application and allows you to show evidence of your ability and motivation to undertake a given programme.

Generally, we’re looking for you to demonstrate your:

  • Creativity, imagination and innovation
  • Ability to articulate the intentions of the work
  • Intellectual engagement in areas relevant to the work
  • Technical skills appropriate to the work
  • Potential to benefit from the programme

Each programme is looking for different things in a portfolio. Each Head of Programme provides specific advice on portfolio requirements in the online application system. We advise you to consider these requirements carefully before submitting your application.

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need the equivalent of an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with a 6.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE). Students achieving a grade of at least 6.0, with a grade of 5.5 in the Test of Written English, may be eligible to take the College’s English for Academic Purposes course to enable them to reach the required standard.

You are exempt from this requirement if you have received a 2.1 degree or above from a university in a majority English-speaking nation within the last two years.

If you need a Tier 4 visa to study at the RCA, you will also need to meet the Home Office’s minimum requirements for entry clearance.

Find out more about English-language requirements

Fees & funding

For this programme

Fees for new students

You'll find tuition fees for 2019/20 entry below. These are likely to go up roughly in line with inflation for 2020/21 entry. Fees will be confirmed by 1 December 2019.

Home and EU
£9,500 per year
£19,000 total cost*
Channel Islands and Isle of Man
£14,200 per year
£28,400 total cost*
£28,400 per year
£56,800 total cost*


New entrants to the College for MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD degrees will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to secure their place. This will be offset against the tuition fees for the first year of study.

Home and EU

* Total cost is based on the assumption that the programme is completed in the timeframe stated in the programme details. Additional study time may incur additional charges.



Scholarships are awarded for a specific programme and entry point and cannot be deferred without consent from the academic Programme and scholarships panel.

More information

External funding

There are many funding sources, with some students securing scholarships and others saving money from working. It is impossible to list all the potential funding sources; however, the following information could be useful.


Tuition fees are due on the first day of the academic year and students are sent an invoice prior to beginning their studies. Payments can be made in advance, on registration or in two instalments.

Ask a question

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more or have any questions.

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