Shape the creative and cultural landscape of the future.
The Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership (MCCL) is designed for graduates and career professionals who aim to play a leading role in shaping the creative and cultural landscape of the future.
Degree: Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership
Duration: 1-2 years depending on prior qualifications and experience (full-time, or part-time equivalent)
Commencing Terms: Term 1 (February), Term 2 (June), Term 3 (September)
- Program Overview
- Program Structure
- Professional Experience
- Career Opportunities
- Admission Requirements
Contemporary curating is a dynamic profession that plays a key role in setting cultural agendas and discovering new ground. Designed to create connections between curating, audience engagement, policy, management, critical writing, promotion, production and new roles emerging in contemporary digital culture, the program fosters a vision of leadership that is deeply diverse and non-hierarchical.
Building on UNSW Art & Design’s experience of delivering leading postgraduate education for arts and cultural professionals, this program is designed with extensive industry engagement and consultation. We deliver our curriculum in close collaboration with our on-campus UNSW Galleries and with a broad range of Australian and international creative industries partners.
The Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership offers a customisable structure with flexible entry points and incorporates both full-time and part-time options. A core curriculum is supported by diverse electives to guide progression through the three key stages of the degree:
- Students entering the 2 year program (96UOC) will be introduced to the field in their first term through a grounding in art and cultural history, theory and policy as well as writing skills;
- Students entering the 1.5 year program (72UOC) 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;
- Students entering the 1 year program (48UOC) 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.
In the final year all Masters students undertake an internship tailored to develop their skills, build their professional network and open up future employment opportunities.
Students with an interest in and demonstrated capacity for high-level research complete a supervised major research paper, allowing them to deeply investigate a pressing issue or topic. 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.
This core sequence is complemented by numerous specialisation options (see Studios and Areas of Study).
Throughout the program, students 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.
Students can also benefit from numerous professional experience opportunities as part of the program, including:
- Undertaking an industry placement, including paid internships.
- The Freedman Curatorial Scholarship, an annual $5000 competitive scholarship for a curatorial intern within the program.
- The International Visiting Curators Program which, in collaboration with Artspace, brings two to three prominent international curators to Sydney each year to conduct research and work with students in the MCCL.
- 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.
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.
Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership graduates secure roles in institutional, private and public contexts including:
- 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
The Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership makes provision for three entry points depending on the level and nature of prior qualifications.
2 year program (96UOC)
Applicants who have a completed Bachelor’s degree in any field (related or unrelated) with record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) are 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 (72UOC)
Applicants with a completed Bachelor’s degree in a related field* with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) will be granted admission into the 1.5 year program.
1 year program (48UOC)
Applicants with a completed Honours degree in a related field* will be granted admission into the 1 year advanced disciplinary component of program.
*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).
Those applying without a Bachelor’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree completed more than 10 years ago can be admitted into the Graduate Certificate of Cultural Leadership through a request for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Students who complete the requirements for the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma with a record of achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) are eligible for admission into the Master’s program with full credit for courses already completed.
Entry Score Calculator
Applicants who are uncertain whether they have the equivalent to a UNSW credit average 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.
The following Scholarships are available to Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership students, including the prestigious Nick Waterlow Scholarship in Curating and Cultural Leadership which supports one exceptional student each year to undertake the Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership program.
- The UNSW Art & Design International Scholarship - Coursework
- The Nick Waterlow Curatorial Scholarship
- Freedman Curatorial Scholarship
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or would like to speak with one of our advisors, please don’t hesitate to contact us