MA Curating addresses the local need for academic training in curating and at the same time offers a unique programme of study internationally to foster the transference of skills in curating to broader interdisciplinary contexts.

Description of the master's program

MA Curating addresses the perceived local need for academic training in curating in Denmark and at the same time offers a unique programme of study internationally. Its distinctive features include an interdisciplinary and internationalist approach, and a special focus on the influence of technology. The programme is closely associated with the research project. The Contemporary Condition, has working partnerships with ARoS and Kunsthal Aarhus, and will actively contribute to the artistic programme of Aarhus 2017.

MA Curating promotes broad competences in cultural analysis, communications, management and enterprise allowing students to operate within and across a range of contemporary institutions that organize, manage, administer and disseminate displays and events to audiences. As such the programme supports the development of those that ‘curate’ in its widest interpretation and aims to further develop curating as a new knowledge domain.

MA Curating is designed to be flexible to allow for ease of participation whilst working, as well as to significantly enhance career opportunities through exposure to new ideas, techniques and networks. Internationalism is central to this – both as a response to the globalized contemporary cultural field, but most significantly in response to the perceived need for institutions to internationalise their practice. For this reason the programme places special emphasis on external partners and ongoing collaborative professional relationships between the cultural and academic sectors both in Denmark and further afield. Underpinning this ambition is our partnership with Liverpool John Moores University’s MA Exhibition Studies that has further close links to Liverpool Biennial, FACT, RIBA North and Tate Liverpool.

Who should take this programme?

The programme is unique in Denmark and offers national and international candidates a high level Master’s degree in response to the increased importance of curatorial work in the wider creative economy. Applicants are required to possess both traditional academic experience as well as practical experience in related areas of work.

Admission requirements

  • A relevant bachelor's or master's degree, for example in the social sciences or humanities (e.g. Art History or Aesthetics and Culture), or
  • A relevant professional or vocational higher education (e.g. school teacher or educator), or
  • A relevant diploma (e.g. Diploma in Management - Arts and Culture), and
  • The applicant must have at least B level in English, and
  • Applicants must have at least two years of relevant work experience after completing the degree programme on which admission is based

English level

All applicants with a non-Danish qualifying degree must document English language qualifications comparable to an 'English B level' in the Danish upper secondary school ('gymnasium').

English language qualifications comparable to an 'English B level' in Denmark can be documented as follows:

  • TOEFL: English B – Test result of at least 560 (paper-based) or 83 (internet-based) Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. The Aarhus University TOEFL code is 8935.
  • IELTS: English B – Test result of at least 6.5 point
    Cambridge ESOL examinations
  • English B – Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or First Certificate with grade A as a minimum.
     Applicants must upload their Confirmation of Entry stating candidate ID number and candidate secret number, which are not stated on the test result itself.
  • CEFR validated English language course
    English B – C1 level

For further information please read the description English Language Requirements.


MA Curating is delivered through four equally weighted modules of 15 ECTS that can be taken individually or sequentially across 2 years or more of part time study. The courses are entitled Curatorial Theories, Curatorial Practice, Curatorial Knowledge, and Curatorial Project (the Master's Project).

Courses examine the theory and practice of curating from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives drawing on the staff team’s research expertise, and are delivered through lectures, seminars, group work, self-study, and peer-learning, further supported online. The core teaching is delivered through intensive blocks of contact in Aarhus and at other partner institutions (see Partners below).  

All courses are taught in English. Discussions, assignments and exams will also be in English.

Content and structure

Curatorial Theories / 15 ECTS / 1st semester

The course establishes the trans-disciplinary field of curatorial studies by building on the student group’s previous academic and professional experience, and then introduces some formative theoretical ideas from cultural theory, art history, digital aesthetics, cultural policy and education theory, taking a thematic focus on key issues: contemporaneity, participation and collaboration.

Curatorial Practice / 15 ECTS / 2nd semester

The course includes visits to relevant institutions and projects, from which a report is prepared that examines practical aspects of curatorial work (including the ways that decisions are arrived at, schedules are developed, problems identified and solved, and compromises agreed in order to balance the competing agendas of the various actors involved). It is expected that the report will include documentation, and supporting materials (such as interviews) and this aspect of the course is supported by a number of workshops that introduce students to technical and communication skills (e.g. using social and internet technologies, interview techniques).

Curatorial Knowledge / 15 ECTS / 3rd semester

The course is organized around the planning and delivery of an international symposium, produced in collaboration with similar curatorial initiatives and/or with other partner institutions. Students will be expected to take an active role in panels, papers, and the organizational aspects of the event. Thematic strands will arise from the concerns of the group and the interdisciplinary discourse around curating, with a particular focus on the core distinction between curating and the curatorial as a new knowledge domain.

Curatorial Project (Master's Project) / 15 ECTS / 4th semester

The course concentrates on the production of a documented curated project understood in its broadest sense (eg. an exhibition, performance, symposium, book, online project), supported by the production of a written paper (that is fully-referenced). Overall it draws upon aspects of the praxis of curating as developed through the overall study programme, including: conceptual development and planning, management and organization, selection of works, negotiations with artists/producers, and audience engagement, education and communication strategies, and so on.

When and Where will it take place?

The first course 'Curatorial Theories' will be delivered over three long weekend sessions. 

Precise times and locations for all courses will be advertised in the coming months. It is expected that this will involve other locations elsewhere in Europe (eg. Berlin Biennale, Documenta in Kassel/Athens, Liverpool Biennial, Venice Biennale). Visits to other events and institutions are considered to be an important part of the programme both to share experiences and extend networks.

Supporting blog and press

In its early stages of development, a blog for announcements and for student work can be found at:

A brief presentation on the programme by Geoff Cox can be found at, alongside other presentations as part of the co-organized Curators Talks Programme at Kunsthal Aarhus, April 2015.

An interview by Rikke Hansen can also be found at

Staff and partners

The core group of the programme are currently:

Geoff Cox, Associate Professor (Coordinator)
Jacob Lund, Associate Professor
Lotte Philipsen, Associate Professor
Jette Gejl Kristensen, Teaching Assistant Professor/Artist
Trine Friis Sorensen, Postdoc Researcher in Curating/Contemporary Art, Kunsthal Aarhus/Aarhus University, funded by Ny Carlsbergfondet

Associated external staff include:

Joasia Krysa, Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Biennial
Juliana Engberg, Programme Director Aarhus 2017
Lars Bang Larsen, Copenhagen University and Sao Paolo Biennial

Associated staff at AU:

Peter Ole Pedersen, Postdoc Researcher, Aarhus University
Lise Skytte Jakobsen, Postdoc Researcher, Aarhus University
Irene Campolmi, PhD Fellow, Aarhus University/Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Signe Meisner Christiansen, Zürich University of the Arts/Aarhus University

Visiting lecturers at AU of relevance to the programme during 2014/15 have been:

Franco Berardi, Accademia di belle Arti in Milano Ivet Ćurlin/What, How and For Whom/WHW, Zagreb
Knut Ebeling, Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee
Wolfgang Ernst, Humboldt University, Berlin
Brian Holmes, independent scholar, Chicago
Maria Lind, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm
Peter Osborne, Kingston University, London
Gertrud Sandqvist, Malmö Art Academy
Michael Schwab, Journal for Artistic Research, London
Terry Smith, University of Pittsburgh
Hito Steyerl, University of the Arts, Berlin

Key institutional partners include:

Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark
ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Liverpool Biennial, UK
Transmediale/art&digitalculture, Berlin, Germany
WRO Media Art Foundation, Wroclaw, Poland

Academic regulations


The participation fee is DKK 70 000 for the Master's Programme (DKK 17 500 per course/module).

The participation fee is charged per module and covers the classes in the relevant semester and three examination attempts per module.

In addition to the participation fee students will be expected to contribute to the costs of their studies when travelling to other locations as some sessions will be arranged elsewhere in Europe (such as Berlin Biennale, Documenta in Kassel/Athens, Liverpool Biennial, or Venice Biennale). Visits to other events and institutions are considered to be an important part of the programme both to share experiences and extend networks. More precise details of predicted costs will follow in the coming months.

All non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens (including students holding a British national overseas passport) are liable to pay tuition fees in addition to the standard participation fee. The tuition fee is 9100 EURO for the Master's programme ind total (2278 EURO per course/module).



Questions regarding application, enrolment and invoicing 

Department of Continuing Education, Arts Studier
Tlf.: 8716 1097

Questions regarding academic content 

Course coordinator, Associate Professor Geoff Cox