Launch your career in the dynamic profession of contemporary curating and play a key role in setting cultural agendas. The Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership forges connections between curating, audience engagement, policy, management, critical writing, promotion, production, and new roles emerging in contemporary digital culture. The degree fosters a vision of leadership that is deeply diverse and non-hierarchical, encouraging you to develop a unique philosophy underpinned by a robust and flexible skillset.

 

Faculty
Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 2, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
2 Year(s)

Overview

Building on UNSW Art & Design’s experience of delivering leading postgraduate education for arts and cultural professionals, the Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership (MCCL) is designed with extensive industry engagement and consultation. With an established and trusted history of producing graduates sought after for their vision, our graduates have secured roles in world-leading cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian, Carriageworks and MAAS.

This degree is for those interested in exploring a wide range of areas across curating and cultural leadership through industry engagement and professional experience with galleries, libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions. We deliver our curriculum in close collaboration with our on-campus UNSW Galleries and a broad range of Australian and international creative industries partners. These opportunities allow you to experience integrated, collaborative and diverse industry experiences throughout your postgraduate studies.

This degree provides pathways for both those with backgrounds in museums, galleries, arts organisations, art history and art practice and those who wish to enter curating or cultural leadership from other professional backgrounds.

Key features

Industry-engaged learning experiences
Throughout the program, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in curatorial studios and industry-engaged courses to produce and contribute to public cultural events in collaboration with different industry partners. Previous partners have included the Campbelltown Arts Centre, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, the Moran Foundation, the City of Sydney, the Biennale of Sydney, and Sydney Contemporary.

Capstone project
In your final year, you’ll undertake a capstone project to consolidate your skills and develop a strong identity as a professional in the cultural industries. You can undertake an internship or self-directed cultural project tailored to build your skills, professional network and open future employment opportunities. 

International perspectives
Each year the International Visiting Curators Program, in collaboration with Artspace, brings two to three prominent international curators to Sydney to conduct research and work with students in the MCCL. You can go overseas through our annual World Biennales course, which focuses on global art and takes a group of students on expertly guided trips to major exhibitions and cultural events.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • Be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive Arts, Design & Architecture community.
  • Learn through research-informed teaching and content co-created with industry and global experts
  • Join our School of Art & Design creative community with a dedicated campus in Paddington and cutting-edge facilities
  • Prioritise career success – UNSW won the Australian Financial Review’s Most Employable Students Award in 2020.
  • Benefit from strong industry links and partnerships
  • Access world class alumni connections
  • Join a global top 50 university (QS World University Rankings, 2021)
  • Join a community that’s part of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
Program Code
9318
CRICOS Code
082201A
Campus
Paddington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
96
Indicative Enrolments
167

Entry requirements

Depending on the level and nature of your prior qualifications, admission to the Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership has three entry points with different duration and units of credit (UOC) required for completion:

  • 2 year program (96 UOC)
    If you have completed a Bachelor’s degree in any field (related or unrelated) with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%), you’re eligible for admission into the full 2 year program. The 2 year program includes a foundational course component in Curating and Cultural Leadership.
  • 1.5 year program (72 UOC)
    If you have completed a Bachelor’s degree in a related field* with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) you’ll be granted admission into the 1.5 year program.
  • 1 year program (48 UOC)
    If you have completed an Honours degree in a related field*, you'll be granted admission into the 1 year advanced disciplinary component of the program.

If you’re applying without a Bachelor’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree completed more than 10 years ago, you can be admitted into the Graduate Certificate in Cultural Leadership through a request for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If you complete the requirements for the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma with a record of achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) you're then eligible for admission into the Master’s program with full credit for courses already completed.

Entry score calculator
If you’re uncertain whether you have the equivalent to a UNSW credit average, you can use the UNSW postgraduate entry score calculator to convert and scale other types of grading schemes into a percentage relatable to UNSW entry requirements.

 

*Related Bachelor’s degree programs include: Curatorial Studies, Librarianship and Information Management (FOE 0913), the Creative Arts (FOE 10, such as Fine Arts, Art History, Art Theory, Museum Studies, Visual Arts and Crafts, Performing Arts, Graphic and Design Studies, Communication and Media Studies), Studies in Human Society (FOE 0903, such as Sociology, Anthropology, History, Archaeology, Human Geography, Indigenous Studies, Gender Specific Studies), Political Science and Policy Studies (FOE 0901), Literature (FOE 091523), and Philosophy (FOE 091701).

Alternative entry pathways

Our suite of programs is designed to build a pathway that increases your capabilities and expands upon your hard-earned experience. We offer the following options to optimise your time while undertaking postgraduate study and provide alternative entry into further qualifications:

You can enter the Master of Curating & Cultural Leadership after completing the Graduate Certificate in Cultural Leadership with at least a credit average grade.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Depending on the level and nature of your prior qualifications, admission to the Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership has three entry points with different duration and units of credit (UOC) required for completion:

  • 2 year program (96 UOC)
    If you have completed a Bachelor’s degree in any field (related or unrelated) with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%), you’re eligible for admission into the full 2 year program. The 2 year program includes a foundational course component in Curating and Cultural Leadership.
  • 1.5 year program (72 UOC)
    If you have completed a Bachelor’s degree in a related field* with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) you’ll be granted admission into the 1.5 year program.
  • 1 year program (48 UOC)
    If you have completed an Honours degree in a related field*, you'll be granted admission into the 1 year advanced disciplinary component of the program.

If you’re applying without a Bachelor’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree completed more than 10 years ago, you can be admitted into the Graduate Certificate in Cultural Leadership through a request for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If you complete the requirements for the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma with a record of achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) you're then eligible for admission into the Master’s program with full credit for courses already completed.

Entry score calculator
If you’re uncertain whether you have the equivalent to a UNSW credit average, you can use the UNSW postgraduate entry score calculator to convert and scale other types of grading schemes into a percentage relatable to UNSW entry requirements.

 

*Related Bachelor’s degree programs include: Curatorial Studies, Librarianship and Information Management (FOE 0913), the Creative Arts (FOE 10, such as Fine Arts, Art History, Art Theory, Museum Studies, Visual Arts and Crafts, Performing Arts, Graphic and Design Studies, Communication and Media Studies), Studies in Human Society (FOE 0903, such as Sociology, Anthropology, History, Archaeology, Human Geography, Indigenous Studies, Gender Specific Studies), Political Science and Policy Studies (FOE 0901), Literature (FOE 091523), and Philosophy (FOE 091701).

Pathway programs

Our suite of programs is designed to build a pathway that increases your capabilities and expands upon your hard-earned experience. We offer the following options to optimise your time while undertaking postgraduate study and provide alternative entry into further qualifications:

You can enter the Master of Design after completing the Graduate Certificate in Design with at least a credit average grade.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Program structure

The Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership offers a customisable structure with flexible entry and exit points and offers full-time and part-time study options.

Depending on the length of your program, you’ll complete the following courses:

2-year program (96 UOC)

  • 11 Core courses
  • 5 Prescribed electives

1.5-year program (72 UOC)

  • 8 Core courses
  • 4 Prescribed electives

1-year program (48 UOC)

  • 5 Core courses
  • 3 Prescribed electives

Full program structure

Each university year at UNSW has three terms and an optional summer study period.

Some courses need to be studied in your first year, so you’re prepared for courses that can only be studied in later years. You can study full-time or part-time. Depending on how you plan your study load, you can fit two or three courses into a term and one course in a summer term.

Diverse electives support a core curriculum to guide your progression through the three key stages of the degree. Depending on where you enter the degree, you’ll be learning the following:

  • 2 year program (96UOC) - You’ll be introduced to the field in your first term through a grounding in art and cultural history, theory and policy as well as writing skills;
  • 1.5 year program (72UOC) - You’ll join at the intermediate level, with a core focus on developing research skills and building a sophisticated knowledge of the forces shaping the Australian and international cultural landscape;
  • 1 year program (48UOC) - You’ll join the program at the advanced level, with a core focus on high-level writing and research skills, ethics and legal considerations and advanced theory in curating and cultural leadership.

Through core courses and electives, you’ll explore topics such as curatorial practice, exhibiting and visual culture, cultural studies, the history of art, communication, art writing and publishing and more. The degree focuses on two key areas of study:

  • Curating focuses on contemporary curating as a diverse and dynamic profession that plays a key role in setting cultural agendas and discovering new ground. The curatorial strand emphasises experimentation and developing a strong independent practice through curatorial studios and live public projects.
  • Cultural Leadership includes museum management, public programming and engagement, education, policy, critical writing, promotion, production, and new emerging roles. It emphasises the fluid boundaries between all these activities and promotes a collaborative approach. This strand fosters a vision of leadership that is diverse and limited by neither age nor status. It educates students to develop a unique individual philosophy underpinned by a robust and flexible skillset.

Capstone project
All students undertake a capstone project that enables them to employ and extend the skills and knowledge they have gained during the program through developing and delivering an independent or collaborative cultural initiative. You'll undertake an internship or self-directed cultural project tailored to develop your skills, build your professional network and open future employment opportunities.

If you're interested in and demonstrate a capacity for high-level research, you can complete a supervised major research paper, allowing you to investigate a pressing issue or topic deeply. 

Below is an example of what you could study in the two-year program (96 UOC):

First year

  • 5 Core courses
  • 1 Contemporary Art History course
  • 2 Prescribed electives

Second year

  • 1 Capstone project
  • 4 Core courses
  • 3 Prescribed electives

Future careers

You'll graduate from the Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership prepared to be an independent professional, able to undertake leadership, research and innovation across a wide range of curating, exhibition, arts policy and management contexts.

Sought after for their vision of transforming cultural agendas, our graduates bring integrated, collaborative and diverse solutions to the sector. Our alumni are found in leadership roles across arts, cultural, events, entertainment, media and technology industries. These industries are critical drivers of growth in the contemporary global economy, recognised by governments for their contribution to cultural diversity, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and technological advancement.

Potential careers

Our Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership graduates have successful careers in institutional, private and public contexts. Career opportunities include:

  •  Arts and cultural leadership, management, policy making and administration 

  • Curatorship, festival, program, event and museum management 

  • Art Dealing, advising and sales  

  • Directors of cultural organisations and institutions 

  • Creative direction, planning and production 

  • Art and design criticism, communications, marketing and journalism

  • Cultural and creative research and scholarship 

  • Arts and cultural publishing, broadcasting and distribution

  • Design thinking and management 

  • Public programming and engagement

  • Art Education and training  

  • Entrepreneurship, strategy, creative social enterprise and start-ups

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to apply?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to apply?

Fees & Scholarships

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$30,960*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$62,160*

^There is a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places available for this degree. The indicative tuition fee for domestic postgraduate students shown is for fee paying students, not students in Commonwealth Supported Places. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year). Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$37,200*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$76,880*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships

Our scholarships help you achieve your potential and enhance the experience of individuals who might otherwise struggle financially to maintain a place at university. The scholarships reward excellence, and encourage international mobility, diversity and equity.

Featured scholarships

The following scholarships have been established to support Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership students:

Featured scholarships

The following scholarships have been established to support Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership students: