MA Programme Description
Curatorial Thinking is a core unit of the CCA programme that introduces students to current and dominant positions and histories within curatorial studies, whilst exploring how the curatorial may be understood as a broader cultural phenomenon, as well as an approach to critically engaging with our contemporary moment. Understanding the curatorial to be a notional territory sited at the intersection of exhibition-making, cultural and political organisation, contemporary art, cultural and critical theory and knowledge production, this unit asks students to consider what curating might mean as a practice, approach and way of thinking in and of our time.
Curatorial Practice runs throughout the first year of study and is a foundational unit in curatorial skills and in the current curatorial field, focusing on working relationships with artists, curators, arts organisations, institutions, collections, archives and public space through practices of programming, commissioning and collaboration. It is designed to enable students to establish a comprehensive awareness and understanding of the complex range of practical skills needed in the contemporary art field by those working in the curatorial mode.
Research in Practice is both a continuation of the exploration of the concerns discussed in Curatorial Thinking and a bringing together of critical writing and curating through an understanding of the various roles of and approaches to research that may exist across both practices
Considering topics, such as the relationship between method and content, structure and argument, and position and voice, archive and history, each session of the unit will explore different notions of research and knowledge production, while putting different methods into practice. Following an understanding, that form, method and knowledge are indissociable from each other, the unit will explore how objects and subjects are constructed through narrative forms, research methods and processes of knowledge production.
The Curatorial Graduate Project provides an opportunity for students to develop and apply their curatorial skills working in collaborative project groups towards the realisation of live, public curatorial projects in conjunction with partner organisations.
Project partners will evolve and change as programme interests and specialisms develop. Recent partners have included: Delfina Foundation, Gasworks, Nine Elms Development (Culture Programme), Beaconsfield and RCA Fine Art (Sculpture).
Learn more about recent Graduate Projects.
The Dissertation unit provides the opportunity to develop a sustained piece of individual and independent research and writing to help consolidate thinking on the unit and to provide future opportunities to develop research and enquiry in academia and the wider cultural sphere.
The dissertation is an independently conducted piece of work that follows on from the Research in Practice unit. Students will be substantively supported throughout the process through individual and class tutorials, following the process of research planning, literature review, thesis structure and final drafting.