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Undergraduate study
Art & Design

Curating* BA (Hons)

Working as a curator you develop exhibitions and facilitate creativity through, festivals, screenings, digital platforms and more. You engage with the social and political world around you and respond to and engage with the wider public.


Course overview

You are taught by leading curators, artists and thinkers who are at the forefront of curatorial research around social issues such as the environment, the climate emergency, diversity and equity. This course combines a strong grounding in real world experiences and contemporary curatorial methods and techniques, with the development of conceptual and theoretical understandings of curatorial programming.

You study at our School of Arts & Creative Industries, led by Teesside University and MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), an international contemporary museum and gallery.

You study curatorial practice and engage with MIMA’s local, national and international communities. You examine and develop local exhibitions with gallery partners and work directly with the MIMA collection, exploring the ethics and process behind the maintenance and conservation of a collection.

As well as engaging with a rich and vibrant artist and gallery community in the Tees Valley, there are lots of opportunities to benefit from a network of art organisations, with some of the teaching delivered through external gallery visits at regional cities including Newcastle, Leeds and York.

Teesside is ranked joint 17th out of 73 institutions for Design & Crafts in the Guardian University Guide 2021. (121 institutions participated.)

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* Subject to University approval


Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Curatorial Methods

You are introduced to curatorial practice and approaches to forming curatorial displays. Through sessions in the MIMA classroom, you explore methods of curatorial research, considering different styles of producing an exhibition format. You reflect on exhibition histories, inclusive of multiple voices, and develop knowledge of contemporary curatorial practices as well as artist-led curation. You work with the MIMA programme team through exhibition tours and conversations about gallery hangs and interpretation approaches.

Introduction to Curation

You are introduced to the concepts of curatorial practice, its histories and its contemporary purpose. You explore the rich history of curatorial processes and are introduced to models and processes in the 21st-century including equity, diversity and inclusion, and access contexts.

Methodology and Technique

Through practical sessions, you explore the journey of creating a public display/event. From logistical, practical and technical means of display, to the role of the curator as facilitator, exploring initial understandings of gallery access and interpretation.

MIMA History of Art, Design & Architecture

You are introduced to key art, design, architectural and cultural histories that are central to studying a creative subject. You explore a range of contexts and influences including art historical, ecological, critical theory, industrial, technological change, social and political movements, examining the changing face of art and design and informing your future research.

Visual Perspectives

We live in a visual culture. This modules explores how we see and take meaning from images across a range of media platforms including television, cinema, the press and the visual arts.

Working in the Creative Industries

You are introduced to the opportunities available in the creative industries sector, how to start a career path and vital employability skills including networking and digital presence. You learn about the structure of the sector and how it operates locally, nationally and globally, debating the role of policy and the importance of sustainability.


Year 2 core modules

Art and Place

You combine theory and practice to examine the challenges facing contemporary societies, and undertake small-scale projects that explore social, political and ecological changes around us. You develop the aims and forms in negotiation with module tutors. The outcome could be a collaborative project that explores the process of making work in a wider context such as: shopping centres, schools, outdoor parks, and other social settings.

Career Context

You develop your understanding of building a career in the creative industries through key skills in creative leadership, collaborative entrepreneurship and sustainability. You start with a theoretical introduction to these concepts and then work collaboratively on a group project to establish a creative business. You present your project and submit an individual reflective portfolio on your research and project experiences.

Digital Curation

The role of online and experiences beyond the gallery has never been more important. You develop a digital based experience/event/exhibition and gain knowledge of what it means to curate in the digital age. This is underpinned by a historical contextual lecture series on new media and net art practices.

Global Future Contexts

You investigate a range of contemporary social, environmental, technological and ethical issues that inform all types of art and design practice. You broaden your awareness of using creativity as a form of contemporary social discussion – exploring issues through the development, production and presentation of potential future scenarios.

Learning and Participation

The role of learning is integral to gallery display and experience, it is central to a curatorial experience. You explore key learning concepts and forms of meaningful participation in gallery experiences.

Working with the MIMA Collection

Using the MIMA collection, you question the role of collecting and responding to historical narratives of artmaking. Through conversations with the MIMA curatorial team and sessions in the MIMA classroom, you examine ideas of display, mediation and presentation. You question the ways in which narrative, interpretation and experiences beyond the gallery can help the curatorial experience and consider the categorisation of objects both materially and contextually.


Final-year core modules

Art, Theory and Context

You examine approaches to written and visual communication that present key ideas and concepts underpinning a practice-based research project. You establish and investigate a research question through relevant research methods – the outcome is a critical text and small artifact, to demonstrate appropriate skills in academic and reflective writing as well as practice-based research methods. The essay and artifact, not limited to any specific medium or research area, must demonstrate a progression in focus and explore relevant artists and ideas to current debates in contemporary art theory and practice. The written element must also consider the placement and curatorial context of the artifact.

Critical Curatorial Practice

You start to develop your independent curatorial voice by responding to a set of questions/provocations. You explore the practical, analytical and conceptual requirements of developing a public display in response to those questions. This could be from any theoretical standpoint, considering the role of the work/artists within the event/exhibition/display.

Final Research Project: Curatorial Presentation (Exhibition)

A self-directed module exploring your own theme agreed through a negotiated study plan with the module tutor. The project develops a curatorial venture to an advanced standard, including demonstrations of proposals, artist communication, development and planning charts, budgets, and timeframes. This presentation is alongside an Arts Council England draft application and a written 5,000 word essay examining and exploring the key concepts of the show.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You work on individual and group projects, building your knowledge and experience together.

Lectures deliver theoretical content and concepts, practical demonstrations and interactive exercises, while seminars and studio time allow you to work on your own original projects. You also learn through enquiry-based active learning, research and discussion-based sessions, client/user-facing activities, and critiques.

You are taught by professors and lecturers, and MIMA gallery curatorial teams who all have established curatorial practices.

How you are assessed

The modules are generally project based and assessed through a portfolio of designed work, sometimes accompanied by a verbal presentation. Creative projects are normally assessed on the final communication and visualisation of the work but also the development process of research and evidencing the analytical journey towards your final project. Verbal feedback is given during the studio sessions on work in progress with written feedback on the final submission.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry
96-112 points from any combination of recognised Level 3 qualifications. Consideration is also given to students without formal qualifications but with evidence of curating experience at an appropriate level. Applicants may be invited to share a portfolio where applicable to show skills in curating.

Applicants are invited join us on campus for an applicant day, enabling you to see our curating facilities at MIMA gallery, meet staff and students and learn more about studying at Teesside University.

English language and maths requirement
Normally GCSE English language at grade C, or 4 under the new grading system. Alternative equivalent qualifications may be considered.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements.

Helping you meet the entry requirements
We may be able to help you meet the requirements for admission by offering you the opportunity to study one or more Summer University modules, some of which can be studied by distance learning.

Alternative degree with integrated foundation year
If you are unable to achieve the minimum admission requirements for Year 1 entry you could, subject to eligibility, join one of our degree courses with an integrated foundation year.

Direct entry to later years
If you have previously studied at higher education level (for example, a foundation degree, HNC, HND or one or more years at degree level at another institution) you may request direct entry to Year 2 or year 3 of this degree.

Mature applicants
We welcome applications from mature students (aged over 21) who can demonstrate, through portfolio/written work and relevant experience, that they have developed cognitive and technical skills through their life experiences.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

There are a wide range of career opportunities including curator, gallery education, working in heritage and conservation, archivist, collection care, public engagement roles, directors, creative producers, marketing, technical managers, and teaching.


Information for international applicants


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Entry to 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

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Fee for international applicants
£14,000 a year

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What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 points

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2022/23 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

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Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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