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Postgraduate taught

MA International Contemporary Art: Curation and Business

UCAS code None
Duration 1 year full time
Entry year 2021

Programme Director Professor Tom Trevor
Web: Enquire online
Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

Entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree

View full entry requirements

Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Creative Industries


  • Expand your understanding of the social, cultural and economic issues that surround the international contemporary art world
  • Develop a range of subject specific, academic and transferable skills, including high order conceptual and visual literacy and communication skills for the arts sector and beyond
  • Gain access to expert guest tutors and lecturers, international art fairs, London Field trips and professional placements that will give your career an edge
  • Benefit from teaching in an international gallery space in term two in central London, in close proximity to the fine art sector
Apply for Sept 2021 entry Apply for Jan 2021 entry

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Fast track (current Exeter students)

Open days and visiting us

Develop transferable skills, specialist knowledge and professional experience through interdisciplinary teaching

Focus on commercial and business management aspects of Creative Arts and Humanities

Industry placement options

Opportunities for study in the field

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum 2:1 Honours degree, or international equivalent, in a subject that includes some coverage of Art History, Business Studies, Drama, English, Cultural Studies and History.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

  • Pearson

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

Course content

The programme is divided into units of study called modules which are assigned a number of 'credits'. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2021/22 entry

UK fees per year:

£14,100 full-time

International fees per year:

£22,800 full-time


January 2021 entry

UK/EU fees per year:

£13,600 full-time

International fees per year:

£22,000 full-time




The University of Exeter is offering scholarships to the value of over £4 million for students starting with us in September 2021. Details of scholarships, including our Global Excellence scholarships for international fee paying students, can be found on our dedicated funding page.

Learning and teaching

Our lecturers are at the cutting edge of art, historical and visual culture research. Key members of staff specialise in the history of art and architecture, from the Renaissance to the present, the history, theory and practice of museums and collections, aspects of performance, installation, photography and video arts and visual culture from antiquity to the present day.


The MA International Contemporary Art: Curation and Business will be taught in Exeter (Term 1) and London (Term 2), giving you access to world-class resources.

The MA offers a unique combination of academic research-based modules and more practical, hands-on experience.

Distinctive aspects of the MA are:

  • A working relationship with a host institution in London for teaching in Term 2. This will be an internationally focused contemporary art collection and venue at the centre of contemporary art in the world, and adjacent to galleries, studios and excellent transport links.
  • A three term MA programme, structured around four taught modules (delivered in terms 1 and 2), including a work placement, in addition to a dissertation (term 3).
  • Delivery of term 2 structured to support students choosing to remain in Exeter for the duration of the MA as well as those relocating to London following term 1.
  • Subsidised opportunities for students to visit collections/exhibitions frequently. This includes participation and on-site teaching at a major international art Biennale in term 1.
  • Extensive and appropriate use of invited museum/gallery professionals as guest speakers to contribute lectures to the taught modules as appropriate.


A partnership-based approach to support opportunities for work placements in prestigious museums and galleries (public or commercial). Planning for placements will focus on venues in the SW, London and abroad.

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Tom Trevor is Director of the new MA International Contemporary Art: Curation and Business, within Art History and Visual Culture. He has twenty-five years’ experience as a curator and writer on contemporary art, including fourteen as Director of leading UK arts institutions. 

During this time he has curated more than 100 exhibitions, placing a particular emphasis upon experimental emerging practice and context-led projects. Since 2013, after eight years as Director of Arnolfini, in Bristol, he has focused on curating international biennials and large-scale visual arts projects, working in India, Korea, Denmark, Japan, UAE and the UK. Over the course of his career, he has produced, edited or contributed texts to over 40 publications, and lectured widely.

Read more from Professor Tom Trevor

Professor Tom Trevor

Programme Director


This programme will prepare you for graduate level employment by developing a number of the skills and attributes that are valued by employers.

  • engage imaginatively in the process of understanding and analysing contemporary international arts, and acquire the analytical tools necessary for an understanding of them.
  • promote a sense of the complex social, cultural, and institutional interactions between the production and reception of contemporary art and acquire the critical tools necessary to reflect upon these interactions.
  • engage critically with theoretical perspectives, major debates, and intellectual paradigms in the fields of art history, visual culture and arts criticism, and to encourage comparative reflection on the shared and contested knowledge produced therein.
  • understand the historical evolution of key concepts and procedures, in arts practice, art criticism and curatorship, and to consider the distinct and shared ways in which these concepts and procedures have developed within and beyond particular national traditions as well as different institutional contexts.
  • to develop a comparative understanding of the ways in which aesthetic judgements are constructed and aesthetic processes are experienced with regards to contemporary art.
  • acquire a sense of the distinctive social and cultural importance of the contemporary arts through an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and studying.
  • develop the basis for further study in art history, gallery studies, or related disciplines.
  • develop a range of subject specific, academic and transferable skills, including high order conceptual and visual literacy and communication skills of value in graduate employment.


The MA will provide you with the opportunity to undertake a placement or research project with an organisation from the sector, enabling students to apply their knowledge in a business setting. A number of the University’s graduate attributes will be developed through study of the programme, including engaging as an active and committed global citizen.


The programme is international in its focus and encourages you to understand the social, cultural and economic issues that surround the contemporary art world. The skills you develop are therefore transferable into a broad range of employment contexts, both related to the arts sector and beyond. For example, the Art Writing module will equip you to: produce texts suitable for a variety of different platforms: including briefing documents, arts criticism, catalogue writing, exhibition texts, interpretation materials, podcasts and online content.

Potential career paths

  • Public galleries / museums
  • Curation
  • Commercial galleries and dealerships
  • Arts Investment and Wealth Management
  • Arts and Culture Policy
  • Heritage Management
  • Academia
  • Culture Management: Government Departments / Advisory Boards
  • Marketing, PR and Communications

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