Postgraduate PgCert

Digital Curation

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology


Distance Learning


Eight month

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

With the likes of Google’s digital art museum tours and online art exhibitions being widely embraced over the world, there’s never been a better time for postgraduate study in digital curation and contemporary art

On this 8-month course, you’ll explore the career potential for digital curators and develop your skills. You’ll learn new technical skills and gain a solid understanding of best practices, shaping your own approach to digital curation.

We’ll work with you to develop a bespoke project in which you’ll be supported by and have the opportunity to connect with a wide range of cultural organisations. You’ll work with their art collections and/or archives, looking at the ways they’re preserved and presented in digital contexts.

You’ll also have access to professional practice surgeries, in which you’ll gain an understanding of legal, ethical, and safeguarding frameworks, as well as develop your professional profile with a live brief on a project designed for public consumption during or shortly after the course.

You’ll have the opportunity to share your ideas and showcase your work during and beyond your studies on relevant public or sector-facing platforms. This includes the opportunity to participate in a curatorial team on a contemporary art exhibition or contribute to long-term digital preservation projects.

Want to know more about our PGCert in Digital Curation and Contemporary Art? Come along to an Open Day or contact our programme leader: Toni Sant.

You will:

  • Develop career-enhancing theoretical knowledge and practical skills in digital curation
  • Undertake a profile-raising practice-based curatorial residency and showcase your work with a contemporary art organisation
  • Validate and enhance your curatorial practice within an online international network
  • Build a portfolio of work that can be shared with potential employers as you progress your career

students accepted



You’re an active curator who would like to expand your knowledge and skills into digital contexts


You’d like to develop a theoretical understanding of digital curation while gaining technical skills through live projects


You want to enhance your career prospects and employability as a curator

Course details

All about the course

This PGCert in Digital Curation course is designed for emerging and established curators who’d like to update and expand their knowledge of digital curation, as well as anybody who wants to gain a deeper understanding of digital curation in the context of contemporary art.

Throughout the 8 months of distance learning, you’ll be guided through the advanced aspects of digital curation and the role it plays in presenting and preserving artworks.

You’ll gain valuable technical skills, learn creative approaches to digital curation and benefit from a theoretical overview of the subject. You’ll also have the opportunity to experiment with innovative ways of presenting, documenting, and preserving contemporary art in a digital format.

In your sessions, you’ll cover subjects such as ‘what is digital curation?’, both in and out of the context of contemporary art, understanding metadata and paradata, as well as looking at practical ways of curating art in digital environments.

You’ll have the opportunity to work with external cultural organisations on a live brief project that will be available to the public during or soon after the course.

To find out what you’ll be covering in each module, take a look at the full course breakdown below.


Digital Curation and Contemporary Art: Curating in Context

What is digital curation? Attempts to answer this core question are at the heart of this module, which provides different perspectives from tutors who have professional experience as digital curators, art curators, museum curators, archivists, and digital preservation specialists. With this broad view on digital curation, you will then work on a specific curatorial project through individually designed 1-to-1 tutorials to apply some of the proposed models for digital curation, engaging some of the curatorial tools available for digital preservation and/or online exhibition.

Digital Curation and Contemporary Art: Collecting and Archiving

What are the differences and similarities between collections and archives? How do collections differ from archives? How do documents become collections that can be archived? And how are documents and documentation different concepts in this context? Working through these questions with a range of digital curation professionals you will acquire an advanced understanding of the processes and terminology involved in digital curation through archival techniques. With this specific approach to digital curation processes you will then work on a specific curatorial project through individually designed 1-to-1 tutorials to apply this through some of the curatorial tools available for digital preservation and archiving.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What Will I be Doing?


Practical projects/exhibitions


Reflective writing and essays


As part of this PGCert in Digital Curation, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests.
Your classes will be held online as this is a distance learning course.

This course will take place over a period of  8 months with weekly sessions which will also be available live online through the university’s Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard). The first six sessions on each module will be delivered by specialists in the field of digital curation, while the following six sessions will consist of tutorials in small groups or on a one-to-one basis, depending on the project devised for the assessment. You’ll also engage in directed independent work outside the online contact hours with tutors, in direct relation to course assessment.

This teaching setting aims to develop an environment that allows you to progressively take ownership and direction of your learning so that you may develop as an independent, life-long learner. Throughout this process, you’ll be encouraged to critically reflect on your learning and projects. This is achieved in part by the development of self-directed projects where you’ll be able to negotiate your learning and assessment requirements.


Assessment on this course will include a body of work and contextual research (e.g. action research/publication/exhibition etc.), as well as a project report/reflective journal


All our Art and Design courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.

Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


Studying on this PGCERT digital curation and contemporary art postgraduate course is designed to enhance your career prospects. You may decide to work in the gallery or arts sectors, developing programmes that engage with digital curation. As part of this course, you’ll gain a clear understanding of the roles available to you upon graduating, from digital curator to collection manager.

After successfully completing this course, you may choose to develop your specialist knowledge in a specific setting and/or work with specific collections. You’ll have opportunities during the course to look at specific routes that will allow you to take a step into your chosen area.

One of the benefits of studying on this masters in art curation is that you’ll have first-hand exposure to the industry, as well as external organisations within it, helping you to build your professional network as you look to take the next step in your career.

You’ll also be in the perfect position to undertake practice-based research, supported by MPhil/PhD courses at the University of Salford.


Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further academic research path through our doctoral (PhD) programmes on a full-time or part-time basis.

A taste of what you could become

A contemporary arts curator

A digital archivist

An art collection manager

And more...

Career Links

This course will give you the opportunity to develop your digital curation practice through the University of Salford’s Art Collection, and other contemporary art spaces and organisations in the North West area, including Open Eye Gallery, Science and Industry Museum, Center for Contemporary Chinese Art (CFCCA) and Castlefield Gallery.

International connections include Spazju Kreattiv, Malta’s national centre for creativity and one of the key public cultural organisations affiliated with Arts Council Malta. The centre delivers a year-round programme of exhibitions, collaborative projects, events and activities, supporting contemporary arts and hosting exhibitions in its gallery spaces, theatre, and industry-standard digital cinema. Spazju Kreattiv also runs a long-standing artists’ residency programme and works with national and international partners.


What you need to know


Are you already an established or early-career curator but want to gain an up-to-date understanding of digital curation? Would you like to enhance your career prospects and gain valuable industry experience?

If so, our contemporary art curating PgCert may be a fantastic choice for you. We’re looking for active curators who are interested in applying their knowledge and understanding of curation to digital formats. You’ll need some experience of curation, whether you’re already a working professional or have studied it through undergraduate study.

We’d also like to see that you have some understanding of how digital processes relate to curation. Ideally, we’re looking for applicants who are highly interested in this and are eager to explore the topic further, as well as want to gain essential technical skills required to work in this industry.




Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A first degree in an art subject and/or experience with curating art exhibitions and/or collection management is essential.

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully



International students

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2023/24 £2,850per year
Full-time international 2023/24 £5,250per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

The Digital Preservation Coalition are offering a scholarship for this programme, which covers half of the course fee - this is open to applications from both home and international students. Visit the DPC website for further information. 

Scholarships for International Students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2023

January 2024

September 2024