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Study information


Module titleInternship
Module codeAHVM004
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Tom Trevor (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module is designed to give you the opportunity to work productively for a museum, gallery or comparable arts institution, including agencies and corporate bodies associated with the contemporary art world. It provides you with ‘hands on’ experiential learning while you benefit the partner’s operation in undertaking graduate-level activities on its behalf. You will acquire first-hand insights into the work of the museum and gallery sector and/or the corporate and institutional bodies that support contemporary artistic practice. The specific programme of work in each internship will be negotiated in advance between the University and the partner organisation in question. All placements are supervised and monitored by the University and the partner institution. Assessment will involve the mentor/supervisor from the partner institution.

The general form of the internship must be developed with the MA supervisor well in advance. You may work collectively with other students, as a group, to deliver an internship project, with pre-agreed delegated responsibilities, subject to approval at the outset. However, each student will be required to submit their portfolio of work undertaken and the associated critical essay individually, including a clear outline of their role within the internship team. If you work as a collective, your practical contribution to the internship will still be assessed individually, along with your portfolio and written text.

This module is not suitable for non-specialist students.

It is not recommended for interdisciplinary pathways.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to:

  • Provide practical experience of work in the arts and creative industries
  • Develop a better understanding of the host organisation and its participation in the contemporary art world
  • Foster your self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe and assess the participation in the contemporary art world of the designated internship organisation
  • 2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the practical and theoretical approaches to work in this organisation

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Apply knowledge of international contemporary art and curatorial practice to professional tasks assigned to you
  • 4. Employ appropriate critical / technical language and terminology, and knowledge of curatorial conventions, in oral and written communications associated with the professional tasks assigned to you

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Work effectively as part of a team in a vocational setting
  • 6. Demonstrate competence in undertaking professional tasks associated with the creative industries sector
  • 7. Evidence self-direction and reflection in reviewing the progress of the internship
  • 8. Show initiative and sustained participation in the internship

Syllabus plan

The selection of the host for each internship is dependent on the University’s partnership arrangements. You will be assigned placements on this basis, in consultation with your tutor and the host organisation.

  • An initial workshop will establish the working parameters of the internship in compliance with the host institution’s working policies and professional standards. The workshop will set out the duties, hours, management, health and safety policies etc. relevant to the internship and clarify any issues arising. Training in the specialist skills and behaviours required for the successful performance of the internship (e.g. object handling, house style for verbal communication, safety in the workplace) will be provided by the partner organisation.
  • A schedule of day to day activities on the internship will be determined by the partner organisation’s nominated mentor/supervisor, working in concert with the University’s tutor for this module. Attendance will be monitored.
  • Formal monitoring of the progress of the internship will be conducted via five one to one tutorials across the term, with particular reference to the student’s logbook and/or online blog as a basis for discussion. Informal meetings with the partner organisation’s nominated mentor/supervisor and/or the University’s tutor for this module may also be scheduled when necessary. Every student will also make a seminar presentation about their internship, addressing their peers and tutor(s). The logbook/online blog and seminar will be assessed (formative assessment).
  • For summative assessment the work produced during the internship will be assembled in a portfolio, including the logbook. This will be complemented by a critical essay evaluating and reflecting upon the experience of the internship.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 9One four-hour workshop and five one-hour supervision sessions
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 6Induction activities at partner organisation
Guided Independent Study250Research to support work undertaken on placement and preparation for seminar presentation
Guided Independent Study185To include reading and preparation for logbook, portfolio and critical essay
Placement150Activities undertaken on placement

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Logbook and/or online blog recording the progress of the internship3000 words 1-4, 6-8Written feedback will be provided by supervisor
Seminar presentation30-minute oral presentation (PowerPoint presentation and hand-outs used by individual/group in presentation submitted to tutor(s) at the end of presentation)1-7Oral feedback in class, written feedback from tutor(s)

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio of the work completed during the internship503500 words 1-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow up
Critical essay evaluating and reflecting upon the experience of the internship504000 words1-3, 6-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of the work completed during the internship3500-word (guideline) portfolio of the work completed during the internship1-8Referral/Deferral period
Critical essay evaluating and reflecting upon the experience of the internship4000-word essay evaluating and reflecting upon the experience of the internship1-3, 6-8Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Altshuler, B.(ed.) Collecting the New, Princeton University Press, 2005
  • Baverstock, A. How to Get a Job in a Museum or Art Gallery, A & C Black, 2010
  • Bhandari, H.D. and Melber, J. Art/Work: everything you need to know (and do) as you pursue your art career, Free Press, 2009
  • Bolton, J. Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development, Sage, 2014
  • Boud, D. et al. (eds.)  Reflection. Turning experience into learning, Routledge, 1985
  • Collins, H. Creative Research: The Theory and Practice of Research for the Creative Industries, AVA Publishing, 2010
  • Davies, R. Introducing the Creative Industries, Sage, 2013
  • Flew, T. The Creative Industries: Culture and Policy, Sage, 2011
  • George, A. The Curator's Handbook: Museums, Commercial Galleries, Independent Spaces, Thames and Hudson, 2015
  • Guillet de Monthoux, P. The Art Firm. Aesthetic Management and Metaphysical Marketing, Stanford University Press, 2004
  • Hartley, J. et al. Key Concepts in Creative Industries, Sage, 2012
  • Helyer, R. The Work-Based Learning Student Handbook, Palgrave, 2015
  • Kolb, D. A. Experiential Learning, Prentice Hall, 1984
  • Melber, L. Teaching the Museum: Careers in Museum Education, AAM Press, 2014
  • Stevens, G. & Luke, W. A Life in Museums: Managing Your Museum Career, AAM Press, 2012
  • Thornton, S. Seven Days in the Art World, Norton, 2009
  • Williams, K. Reflective Writing, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Contemporary art; visual art; art curator; curatorial practice; galleries; museums; art collections; collectors; art fairs; auction houses; biennials

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

AHVM001 and AHVM002 

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date