MA Curating is a two-year, part-time, low-residency, seminar-based, international and interdisciplinary study programme at Aarhus University. The programme is designed for curators, artists and cultural workers who wish to develop their professional curatorial practice and expand their interdisciplinary understanding of curating in contemporary society. Today, curating is not just concerned with visual arts: it is a cultural practice that spans numerous disciplines and cultural fields. MA Curating reflects this diversity by promoting an interdisciplinary approach to curating, providing you with broad competences in cultural analysis, critical thinking and communication.
Building on the experiences and practices of the enrolled students, MA Curating focuses on the close relationship between practice and theory, doing and thinking, and experience and reflection. The programme enables you to reflect critically on your own curatorial practice and to operate within and across a range of contemporary institutions and platforms that organise, manage and administer exhibitions and public events.
MA Curating provides a challenging, international study environment that draws on the expertise of researchers across departments at Aarhus University such as Art History, Aesthetics & Culture, Museology, Science Studies, Anthropology, Rhetoric, Musicology, Digital Design and Information Studies, as well as involving visiting scholars and curators. The programme also has partnerships with a number of prominent art and cultural institutions that we visit and engage with throughout the two years (see list below).
The programme enhances your career opportunities by presenting you with new ideas, techniques and networks, and is designed in a way that allows you to maintain a full-time job while studying. MA Curating students (2018-20) work in art and cultural institutions, project spaces, municipalities, design companies and creative studios, city and rural development and higher education, as well as in freelance, self-organised and project-based endeavours.
MA Curating is associated with the AU research programme Contemporary Aesthetics and Technology and draws on the outcomes of AU research projects such as The Contemporary Condition and Cultural Transformations
Image: Simon Roy Christensen, score for sucking stones. Performance in Otobong Nkanga, Taste of a Stone. IKO, 2017. Photo: Kåre Viemose. Courtesy of Kunsthal Aarhus.
The programme is designed for curators, artists and cultural workers who wish to develop their professional practice in an international and interdisciplinary environment. It is relevant for anyone working in (or wanting to work in) cultural institutions in the broadest sense, including but not limited to galleries, museums, archives, festivals, events, publishing companies and online platforms.
Applicants must have an appropriate educational background, a minimum of two years of relevant, practical experience, and English proficiency according to the specifications below.
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:
For further information, please read the description English Language Requirements.
MA Curating comprises four modules of 15 ECTS each that can be taken sequentially over two years of part-time study or as individual modules. The four modules examine the theory and practice of curating from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives. The teaching includes lectures, seminars, discussions, group work, independent study, peer-learning, individual supervision and peer feedback, and is supported online by AU’s digital learning platform.
All the courses are taught in English. Discussions, assignments and exams are also in English.
Curatorial Theories introduces a range of theoretical positions in order to establish an understanding of curatorial studies as an interdisciplinary field. The course provides a common ground for the diverse student group by introducing formative theoretical ideas from fields such as cultural theory, aesthetics and art history, and encourages students to use this foundation to share and examine their own experiences and perspectives. Topics include contemporaneity, participation, biennials and exhibition formats. The course also includes an introduction to academic writing.
Curatorial Practice examines practical aspects of curatorial work and explores the relationship between practice and theory. The course focuses on topics such as display and installation, institutional structures, economy and precarity, and includes workshops that introduce students to practical research and communication formats, from studio visits to wall labels. The course is concluded with a case study report in which students engage with a practice-based problem identified during visits to relevant institutions or projects.
Curatorial Knowledge focuses on planning and conducting an international symposium. Students are expected to take an active role in panels, papers and the organisational aspects of the event. Thematic strands will arise from the concerns of the group and the interdisciplinary discourse around curating and research, with a particular focus on the core distinction between curating and the curatorial as a new knowledge domain. Read about the 2020 MA Curating symposium The Curator has Left the Building.
Curatorial Project focuses on the production of a documented curated project understood in its broadest sense (e.g. an exhibition, performance, symposium, book, online project), accompanied by the production of a fully referenced written paper. Students work individually or in groups and draw upon the previous three semesters as they develop their enquiries into a curatorial project of their own. The process is supported by individual supervision and peer feedback.
The Master's project is only available if you have completed modules 1-3.
Seminar dates for spring 2021
Due to Covid-19, we are streaming our live seminars to accommodate students who are unable to travel. The 2021 spring seminars take place February 19-21 and March 19-21, both in Aarhus, and April 23-25 in Berlin (insofar as travelling is possible).
Below is a list of the staff and partners that contributed to the 2018-2020 programme. Many of them will return for the 2020-2022 programme
The programme was founded on the initiative of Jacob Lund, Geoff Cox and Jette Gejl Kristensen.
The participation fee for the Master’s programme is DKK 78,000 for 60 ECTS credits (DKK 19,500 per module of 15 ECTS-credits).
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 several sessions will be arranged elsewhere in Europe. Visits to other events and institutions are considered to be an important part of the programme, both to share experiences and to extend networks.
All non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens (including students holding a British national overseas passport) are liable to pay an additional tuition fee of EUR 8,000 for 60 ECTS credits or EUR 2,000 for 15 ECTS credits.
The first three semesters consist of three intensive three-day seminars (Friday–Sunday). In the autumn semesters the seminars primarily take place in September, October and November; and in the spring semester in February, March and April. One seminar each semester will take place outside of Aarhus in relation to an international partner institution. Seminars in Aarhus begin at 11am on Fridays and end no later than 4 pm on Sundays. The fourth and final semester primarily consists of individual supervision and peer feedback, but workshops may also occur.
Oral exams take place at Aarhus University, so semesters that include an oral exam will require students to make an additional trip to Aarhus.
The workload is consistent with part-time (50%) studies, i.e. 18.5 hours per week with varying degrees of intensity. For instance, this might translate into studying two weeknights per week and one day each weekend during the semester.
The full programme must be completed within six years of enrolment. Students enrolled in single modules must finish no later than two years after enrolment.
If you have other questions about the programme, please feel free to contact coordinator Trine Friis Sørensen (email@example.com)
All visitors to Denmark must have a valid passport to enter the country. Visa and residence permit requirements to enter the country may vary and are always subject to change, so it is always wise to check with the Danish embassy or consulates in your area before finalising any travel plans. For more information about Visa and residence permit requirements, please visit the Danish Immigration website, New To Denmark .
Continuing Education, Arts
Faculty of Arts
Tåsingegade 3, building 1443, 2nd floor
8000 Aarhus C
Phone: +45 87 16 10 97