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MCH8551 : Curating Art in the Gallery

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Alistair Robinson
  • Lecturer: Dr Gayle Meikle, Dr Emma Coffield
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of the module are to provide students with:

• A practical introduction to the logics of curatorial and educational practices in art’s institutions and

• Practical experience of understanding how to design and realise a public project by working with artworks and
artists, with institutions, audiences, and stakeholders.

• The ability to design and deliver a public project from research and conception to realisation.

• The ability to articulate, discuss and critically evaluate competing logics of practice in art museum and
gallery professions, and to measure and evaluate their practical, ethical, and professional consequences

Outline Of Syllabus

This module enables students to understand professional practice in art museums and galleries. It provides students with an introduction to the practical and philosophical problems of curating art by designing a real-time exhibition project.

The first section of the project examines the problems of curating and reinterpreting artworks, with reference to collections and/or works of art.

The second section examines the nature of problems of display, interpretation, communication, and promotion of works of art and artists.

The third section examines problems of documentation, legacy, and evaluation of curated projects.

The module has been organised in order to:

1) introduce students to working with artists, artworks, institutions, and audiences.

2) enable students to develop an understanding of practices in art curating in relation to professional debates and wider issues and problems within the sector

3) allow students to respond to challenges and problems in the sector through practical activities, group discussions and individual reflection.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion170:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical22:004:00Hands on sessions linked to a specific task.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical24:008:00Hands on sessions linked to a specific task – slightly longer to reflect the complexity of tasks
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:301:30Small group on campus teaching sessions usually a follow up to a lecture, workshop or centred around a specific issue and/or readings
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:301:30Sessions where students are able to put into practice specific ideas and develop associated skills.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops51:005:00Sessions where students are able to put into practice specific ideas and develop associated skills
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Sessions where students are able to put into practice specific ideas and develop associated skills – slightly longer to reflect more time intensive/complex tasks.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study156:3056:30N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk10:300:30Assignment Briefing
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to the Module
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module employs a combination of Scheduled Learning and Teaching and Guided Independent Study, with the methods used as follows:

Module talk: This teaching method will be used to introduce the module and brief students about the assessment.

Lecture: This is a core teaching method, used to achieve the knowledge learning outcomes.

Workshops & practicals: This is a core teaching method, used to allow students to put key knowledge and skills outcomes into practice in a broader context (e.g., in relation to their own experiences and practices and not set tasks).

Seminar: This is a core teaching method, used to allow students to consolidate knowledge (e.g., the learning outcomes) and to meet the skills outcomes via set opportunities and task that encourage students to critically apply knowledge outcomes.

Directed research and reading: This teaching method allows students to independently complete set reading/other tasks to support the seminars, workshops and fieldwork, and to deepen knowledge outcomes.

Guided Independent study: This teaching method enables students to deepen knowledge and skill outcomes, as well as to apply self-management skills.

Assessment preparation and completion: This teaching method allows students to prepare for and complete their assignments.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A70Individual annotated portfolio on the project process/product (2500 words).
Report2A30Self-reflective individual report on personal and professional development (1000 words).
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module is designed to allow students, working in one or more teams, to complete small-scale interpretive, curatorial and audience engagement projects relevant to the museums sector. The project is normally developed in collaboration with a public cultural venue.

The final summative module assessment is divided between an individual annotated portfolio that critically discusses the project process/product (70%) and an individual reflective report on the personal/professional learning developed during the practice-based component of the module (30%).

Formative assessment: there are multiple opportunities for the students to give and receive feedback during the project process. Formative feedback will be provided through small-group teaching by academic staff and Great North Museum: Hatton practitioners.

Reading Lists