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Study plan for KURATOR Curatorial Practice, Master's, 2 years, fall 2019

Study Plan

1. THE PROFILE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY PROGRAMME

The Master's Programme in Curatorial Practice is an interdisciplinary programme that prepares students for independent work as curators in a complex field of art and culture. The programme's target group includes artists and other professionals with a background in related subjects such as art history, media studies and theatre studies. The master's degree is experience-based and has a scope of 90 credits in total. Students are required to have at least two years relevant work experience. This is a two-year part-time programme that admits new students every two years.

The programme is based on mandatory seminars that focus on communal discussions, oral presentations and critical reflection. The communal discussions generate the study progression, and a minimum of 80 % attendance and participation is required. The core of the programme is the development of the students¿ own curatorial practices in a master's project. The students' own practices and individual project work are supported by individual tutoring, group tutoring and a contextual programme throughout the two years. The master's projects are the foundation of the programme and will be crucial to the shared reflection.

A key objective of the programme is to advance and establish a professional discourse, thereby encouraging a continuous evaluation of one's own and other's curatorial practice. Graduates from the master's programme work as curators, either independently or within institutions, as directors, writers, editors, critics, producers, educators and artists.

KMD offers a stimulating and challenging learning environment for motivated students. The master's students will be included in KMD's artistic research community, which consists of the academic staff and research fellows.

1.1. Learning outcomes

  • On completing the master's degree, students are expected to:
  • Demonstrate knowledges, skills and competences required for curatorial practice ¿
  • Develop and carry out a major independent curatorial project and present it in a public context ¿
  • Identify and consider conceptual, aesthetic and ethical challenges ¿
  • Communicate relevant discursive problematics in written and oral form, to both general publics and art experts ¿
  • Establish, maintain, manage and present a curatorial practice ¿
  • Assess their own work as curators and take responsibility for their own academic and professional development ¿
  • Negotiate and cooperate efficiently with others in order to initiate and implement curatorial projects ¿
  • Analyse and attend to the different roles of the curator in professional contexts

2. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS ¿

The master's programme is based on a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art or other relevant study programmes with a scope of 180 credits. In addition, at least two years relevant work experience is required. ¿

Applicants are assessed on the basis of an application that includes a project description, documentation of diplomas/certificates, relevant practice, work (portfolio, publications) and an interview. ¿

    1. Requirements relating to the application and project description ¿

It must include a brief description of:

  • Why the applicant wants to be admitted to KMD's Master's Programme in Curatorial Practice, and what expectations they have of the master's degree programme at KMD ¿
  • What kind of curatorial project the applicant aims to realise during the programme ¿
  • What topics or issues the project would explore, and how the applicant plans to realise the project. ¿

2.2 Portfolio requirements

The portfolio should contain documentation of relevant practice that demonstrates that the applicant is qualified to carry out an independent master's project.

2.3 Language requirements

In order to participate in the programme, the applicant must be proficient in English at the start of the study programme. The working languages are Norwegian and English. Tutoring is offered in both languages.

3. CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

The duration of the master's programme is four semesters. The nominal scope of work is 22.5 credits per semester. Master's Degree in Curatorial Practice is awarded to students who complete and pass the study programme. The master's degree allows the candidate to apply for admission to the PhD in Artistic Research Programme.

3.1 The main elements of the programme¿

3.1.1 A master's project must be developed and realised by the student during the course of the programme. It must be an independently executed curatorial project that demonstrates the student's ability to implement a project and that reflects a discursive understanding. The ability to reflect on one's own and the work of others is also emphasised. The student will be responsible for all aspects of the project, including its funding.

The time frame for the project is the duration of the programme. It is a requirement that the project is publicly accessible.

The main tutor and external tutors will provide individual tutoring during the programme. The main tutor will be appointed by KMD. The external tutor must have relevant expertise to the individual student¿s development and help to build relationships and networks in the field. This tutor is proposed by the student and approved by the Head of Institute. There is a minimum of 2 main tutorials per course, one of which is a group tutorial. The external tutor is provided with 20 working hours for preparations, tutorials and follow-up work during the duration of the full study programme, of which minimum 10 hours should be individual tutorials.

The project consists of three parts: a pre-project to be approved in the second semester, the realised project, and documentation and written reflection presented for final assessment in the last semester. The following four points must be addressed in the pre-project:¿

  • Intention: An account of the project's key issue(s) and aims, with a description of the professional contexts the project relates to
  • Work schedule: A plan for development and implementation of the project
  • Budget: An overview of required resources and sources of funding to enable a realistic assessment of how the project can be implemented
  • Presentation: An indication of how, where and in which format the project is to be realised

3.1.2 The seminars are an important shared professional platform for the students, where the development of their individual master's projects is a recurring topic of discussion and where in-depth studies of contexts for curatorial practice happen. The seminars will alternate between lectures and workshops including exhibition histories, writing and textual analysis, the role of the curator, legal issues, as well as project management and production. Different ways of staging exhibitions and other spaces for art and topics pertaining installation are also discussed in plenary sessions.

As a rule, four seminars will be held per semester, at least three of which will be in-depth studies of contexts. The purpose is to be immersed in a local context to see different types of exhibitions, exhibition venues and institutions, and to meet curators and artists, as well as building networks. One seminar during the second semester is an individual study trip.

3.1.3 In-depth theory studies: The reading list comprises compulsory reading, recommended reading and literature relevant to the individual student¿s projects. The in-depth theory studies include work on different types of texts and approaches to writing about art and curatorial practice in a critical, reflective and analytical manner. In addition, the students must give two theory-based seminar presentations during the programme. The seminar presentations should relate to the common theory syllabus and discuss an exhibition, art installation, catalogue text or similar. The seminar presentations must be submitted in written form prior to the exam. The students will regularly present the different stages of their master's project. Active and critical involvement in and discussion of each other's projects are also considered part of the in-depth theory studies.

3.1.4 Documentation of the master's project must be in a relevant and reproducible format. Depending on the nature of the individual project, the documentation can be in the form of a catalogue, film, web-based presentation, photo, sound recording etc. The documentation must also include a written part (8.000-12.000 words), which must elaborate on the intentions and aims in the pre- project, describe the process and the resulting project. The project must also be contextualised and its theoretical foundation reviewed. The written part should be suitable for oral presentation supported by other material. The presentation and documentation material create the foundation for the final exam assessment, in which two external examiners will take part.

3.1.5 The mandatory components of the programme¿

  • Seminar attendance and participation ¿ at least 80%¿
  • Approved pre-project¿
  • Two seminar presentations¿
  • Participation in the planning and execution of a public teaching seminar
  • Exam: a presentation of a completed master's project with documentation

3.2 Semester overview and progress

The working and teaching methods used in the master's programme focus on curatorial practice: How to initiate and implement projects. Each student will give regular presentations on their own projects and participate in the plenary discussions of other students' projects. Specific assignments will also be given as homework to be worked on between seminars.

Relevant topics include:

  • Project management and management tools: organisation and progress, funding and finances, legal issues and examples of contracts
  • Mediation and writing, marketing, visibility, notions of target groups and audiences ¿
  • Staging and manifesting different curatorial concepts, including dramaturgy, solutions inside and outside the white cube, interactive art, online art, different physical manifestations using light, sound and spatial solutions

Master's students can also participate in courses, project periods and other forms of teaching offered at KMD, but this is not compulsory. Such elective activities must be in line with the individual student's academic needs and must be agreed upon with the staff members responsible for the programme.

Learning outcomes


On completion of the first semester, students are expected to be able to

  • cooperate with others on the analysis and critical discussion of ideas and concepts ¿
  • master and combine methods to explore and develop their own curatorial project
  • apply relevant approaches and methodologies in their curatorial research ¿

On completion of the second semester, students are expected to be able to ¿

  • develop a pre-project containing aims and objectives, a progress plan, budget and format of presentation ¿
  • critically assess their own and other's curatorial practice ¿
  • present different approaches to writing about art and curatorial practice in a reflected and¿analytical manner ¿

On completion of the third semester, students are expected to be able to

  • initiate and take personal responsibility for their independent practice, making decisions and managing their own time efficiently
  • assess and present their own practice in relation to a wider context of contemporary and/or historical practices
  • research and analyse a curatorial field and present the result in oral and written form

4. ASSESSMENT AND EXAMS

Towards the end of the first, second and third semesters, the students will be assessed in relation to the learning outcomes defined for each semester and the pertaining assessment criteria. The main tutor and an external professional appointed by the Head of Institute will carry out the assessment, which will consist of a conversation based on the documentation submitted and an oral account of the student's own learning and work effort. The semester assessment concludes with the students receiving structured feedback on their own work and progress. The grades pass and fail are used for semester assessments. A student who is awarded a pass grade has achieved the learning outcomes for the semester in question and has therefore also realised the learning goals as their actual learning outcome. Passing the semester assessment is a precondition for further studies in the master's programme and is worth 22.5 credits.

The assessment criteria and specific information about the assessment can be found in the document 'Assessment and exams in KMD's Master's Programme in Curatorial Practice' and Course Plan, which are available on the KMD website.

4.1. Exams

The master's programme concludes with an exam in the fourth semester. At the exam, students will be assessed according to the learning outcomes defined for the master's programme and the assessment criteria for the exam. The exam will be assessed by a commission comprising two external examiners and the student's main tutor. The exam takes the form of a conversation that includes a presentation and a critical assessment of the master's project and the project documentation. The grades pass and fail are used in connection with the exam. A student who is awarded a pass grade has achieved the learning goals for the study programme and has therefore also realised the learning goals as their actual learning outcomes.

The assessment criteria and specific information about the assessment can be found in the document 'Assessment and exams in KMD's Master's Programme in Curatorial Practice', which is available on KMD's website.

5.0 EVALUATION OF THE STUDY PROGRAMME

The KMD's Quality Enhancement Programme includes an overall evaluation of its study programmes and courses in a five-year cycle. In addition, students and staff participate in regular evaluations of the Faculty¿s courses and teaching. Such regular and systematic feedback is crucial to KMD's continuous work on developing the quality of education and the learning environment.