The original two-year practice-into-theory MA for students wanting to launch their careers in contemporary art, including an immersive work placement at the Whitechapel Gallery.

This is a professional course, devised and taught between London Metropolitan University and Whitechapel Gallery.

Through direct involvement in the life cycle of the gallery, students acquire the key skills and knowledge of curatorial practice as well as an informed understanding of public galleries and the contemporary visual arts.

Students also gain a broad range of transferable skills in communication, management, research and analysis.

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This partnership and programme is pioneering among courses of its type. It provides research-led, theory-intopractice education of a kind and quality that will be invaluable to those seeking future employment in the industry. As part of the course, students have had the opportunity to curate exhibitions in partner institutions such as the Korean Cultural Centre, the Government Art Collection, NHS practice, Mansion House, Mint Hotel, Rich Mix, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Valentine’s Mansion, the Zabludowicz Collection in London, and the ME-Collector’s Room / the Thomas Olbricht Collection, Berlin among others.


“A postgraduate programme unlike any other curatorial course in London. I found the two year degree invaluable due to its joined practical and theoretical nature. Since finishing a year ago, I have found work at the Serpentine Gallery, This is Tomorrow, MoMA PS1, and am now based at the School of Visual Arts in New York studying Modern Aesthetics.” 

Phoebe Bradford, alumna 2015

“The diverse programme combining theoretic and pragmatic knowledge, and the established affiliations with international art institutions distinguishes this course from others.”

Myrto Katsimicha, alumna 2015
Gallery Manager, State of Concept, Athens

Career Opportunities

This course aims to significantly widen career opportunities in the arts sector.

It opens up roles in exhibition curating, collections management, gallery education, fundraising, gallery management and administration, press and publicity, publishing, journalism, art criticism and as arts entrepreneurs in the creative economy.

Our graduates have found employment with major public spaces and commercial galleries in the UK and abroad.


Students are assessed via a variety of methods, including essays, project work, archival investigation and a major research project.

Assessment will also be based on evaluation of students’ individual contributions in the ‘live’ curatorial environment.

Core modules

Year 1:
History of Art and Critical Theory
Workplace Observation Module: Whitechapel Gallery
Critical Writing: Idioms and Audience

Year 2:
Research Methods and Project
Curatorial Practice & Mentoring
Professional Practice: Whitechapel Gallery
Critical Writing: Idioms and Audience

Course details

Location: Aldgate, London
Duration FT: 2 years
Start: September
For course fees, visit




Daniel F. Herrmann

Eisler Curator and Head of Curatorial Studies at the Whitechapel Gallery, London.

Having studied Art History and German Literature and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg, Germany, Herrmann worked as Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland, before joining the Whitechapel Gallery in 2010.

His recent exhibitions include Hannah Höch (2014); The Max Mara Art Prize for Women: Laure Provoust (2013), for which the artist was awarded the 2013 Turner Prize; Gillian Wearing (2012) and John Stezaker (2011), for which the artist was awarded the 2012 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

Nico de Oliviera-profile

Nicolas de Oliveira

Writer and curator

His books include Installation art, and Installation art in the New Millennium: Empire of the Senses, (Thames & Hudson, 1994 and 2003), two major international surveys of the practice.

Nico de Oliveira has co-written a series of artist's books and monographs on Hans Op de Beeck (Belgium), Stefan Brüggemann (Mexico) and Patrick Jolley (Ireland). He has contributed texts and conference papers to academic books as well as writing numerous essays for exhibition catalogues with Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon, Kunsternes Hus, Oslo,and Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Bergen.

He was a founding director of the Museum of Installation (1990-2003), curating over 200 individual and collective installation projects in London, Berlin, Brussels, Mexico City, Los Angeles and other locations. Currently he co-directs SE8, a London-based project focusing on curatorial methodologies, where he has presented exhibitions with artists such as Ian Kiaer, Andrea Büttner, Daniel Silver, Jamie Shovlin, Joao Onofre and Stefan Bruggemann.

Apply Today:

T: +44 (0)20 7133 4202


MA Curating the Contemporary - Whitechapel Gallery 2


Hear about the course from writer and curator Nicolas de Oliveira and Whitechapel Gallery Eisler Curator and Head of Curatorial Studies Daniel F. Herrmann.

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