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MA Curating

Description of the Master's programme

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.

Video: What the students say

Relevance and admission

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.

Admission requirements

  • A relevant Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, for example in the social sciences or humanities, 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
  • At least B level in English, and
  • At least two years of relevant work experience after completing the study 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 points. Cambridge ESOL examinations.
  • English B – Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or First Certificate with a grade A as a minimum. Applicants must upload their Confirmation of Entry stating candidate ID number and candidate secret number, which are not indicated on the test result itself.
  • CEFR-validated English language course. English B – C1 level.

For further information, please read the description English Language Requirements.

Content and structure

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 /15 ECTS /1st semester

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/15 ECTS/2nd semester

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/15 ECTS/3rd semester

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

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.

Time and place

Seminar dates for 2020 fall semester:

Seminar #1: September 11-13 (Aarhus)

Seminar #2: October 23-25 (Aarhus or Copenhagen tba)

Seminar #3: November 27-29 (Aarhus or Copenhagen tba)

 

Staff and partners (2018-2020)

Coordinator:

  • Trine Friis Sørensen, PhD, Lecturer, Art History, Aesthetics & Culture and Museology, Aarhus University

Below is a list of the staff and partners that contributed to the 2018-2020 programme. Many of them will return for the 2020-22 programme

Institutional partners:

  • ARoS Aarhus Art Museum (DK), Chief Curator Lise Pennington
  • Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg (SE), Curator & Head of Research Louise Wolthers
  • Kunsthal Aarhus (DK), Artistic Director Jacob Fabricius
  • Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Lab, in partnership with Liverpool Biennial (UK), Professor Joasia Krysa
  • Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (DK), Curator and Head of Research Marie Laurberg
  • Moderna Museet, Stockholm (SE), Adjunct Curator Lars Bang Larsen
  • Transmediale – Festival for Art & Digital Culture, Berlin (DE)

External Teachers:

  • Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, PhD, Graphic Designer, Writer, Editor, The Serving Library
  • Rhea Dall, Curator & Director, UKS – Young Artists’ Society, Oslo and PhD Fellow, University of Copenhagen
  • Clémentine Deliss, Independent Curator & Professor of Theory and History, University of Fine Arts, Hamburg
  • Kjeld Kjeldsen, Curator, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
  • Anders Kold, Curator, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
  • Lars Bang Larsen, PhD, Adjunct Curator, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
  • Celia Lury, Director, Centre of Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick
  • Sidsel Nelund, PhD, Independent Researcher
  • Corina Oprea, PhD, Lecturer, Valand Academy
  • Kasia Redzisz, Senior Curator, Tate Liverpool
  • Olga von Schubert, Research Consultant, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
  • Judith Schwarzbart, Rector, The Jutland Art Academy, Aarhus
  • Sarah Tuck, Post-doctoral Researcher/Lecturer, Valand Academy/Gothenburg University/Hasselblad Foundation
  • Kim West, Critic & Researcher

Internal Teachers, Aarhus University:

  • Helga Just Christoffersen, PhD Fellow, Aesthetics & Culture / Director, Art Hub Copenhagen
  • Geoff Cox, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Digital Design (AU), Associate Professor & Co-Director, Centre for the Study of the Networked Image (CSNI), London South Bank University
  • Stacey Cozart, Chief Consultant, Centre for Teaching Development & Digital Media
  • Birgit Eriksson, Professor, Aesthetics & Culture
  • Martin Guldberg, Teaching Associate Professor, Musicology
  • Jacob Lund, Associate Professor, Aesthetics & Culture
  • Johanne Løgstrup, Curator & PhD Fellow, Aesthetics & Culture
  • Esben Bjerggaard Nielsen, Associate Professor, Rhetorics
  • Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen, Associate Professor, Mathematics/Science Studies
  • Jan Løhmann Stephensen, Associate Professor, Aesthetics & Culture
  • Trine Friis Sørensen, Curator & Postdoc, Aesthetics & Culture and Kunsthal Aarhus
  • Mette-Marie Zacher Sørensen, Assistant Professor, Aesthetics & Culture
  • Magdalena Tyżlik-Carver, Assistant Professor, Digital Design and Information Studies

Advisory Board:

  • Jacob Lund, Associate Professor, Aesthetics & Culture, AU (chair)
  • Morten Kyndrup, Professor, Aesthetics and Culture, AU
  • Camilla Paldam, Associate Professor & Head of Department, Art History, Aesthetics & Culture and Museology, AU
  • Lise Skytte Jakobsen, Associate Professor, Art History, Aarhus University
  • Judith Schwarzbart, Rector, The Jutland Art Academy, Aarhus

The programme was founded on the initiative of Jacob Lund, Geoff Cox and Jette Gejl Kristensen.

Academic regulations

Costs

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. 

FAQs

When and where will the seminars take place?

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.

When and where will the oral exams take place?

Oral exams take place at Aarhus University, so semesters that include an oral exam will require students to make an additional trip to Aarhus.

How much time should I expect to spend on the programme (including teaching and exams)?

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.

How much time do I have to finish the programme/modules?

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.

Where can I stay in Aarhus during seminars?

Affordable accommodation in Aarhus includes Wake Up AarhusCity Sleep-in  and Cabinn Aarhus

If you have other questions about the programme, please feel free to contact coordinator Trine Friis Sørensen (trinefs@cc.au.dk)

DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR A RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR DENMARK?

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 .

Contact

Questions regarding application, enrolment and invoicing

Continuing Education, Arts
Faculty of Arts
Tåsingegade 3, building 1443, 2nd floor
8000 Aarhus C
Phone: +45 87 16 10 97
E-mail: evu.arts@au.dk

Questions regarding academic content

Programme coordinator, Trine Friis Sørensen (trinefs@cc.au.dk)