Postgraduate PgCert

Digital Curation

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology


Distance Learning


Eight month

Next enrolment

January 2022


In a nutshell

The University of Salford will work with you to explore the unprecedented career potential for digital curation in the context of contemporary art. Combining the university’s academic rigor with the experience of facilitating a professional course for contemporary arts and creative expression in collaboration with cultural organisations you will have the opportunity to develop new skills, shaping your own methodologies based on knowledge and understanding around best practice and explore critical thinking and new creative collaboration.

We will work with you to develop bespoke projects supported by, and connecting with a range of cultural organisations, paying particular attention to their art collections and the ways these are preserved and presented in contemporary contexts to enhance your future career prospects.

You'll also benefit from professional practice surgeries, from understanding legal, ethical and safeguarding frameworks, to developing your professional profile with a live brief on a project meant for public consumption during or soon after the course. 

We will also work with you to share your ideas and showcase your work within and beyond academia on relevant public or sector facing platforms, including the opportunity to participate in a curatorial team on a contemporary art exhibition

You will:
  • Develop career-enhancing theoretical knowledge and practical skills in Digital Curation
  • Validate and enhance your curatorial practice within a bespoke online international network.
  • Undertake a profile-raising practice-based curatorial residency and showcase with a cultural organisation

students accepted

Course details

All about the course

This course is aimed at archivists and/or art curators who would like to update or expand their knowledge and understanding of digital curation, as well as anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the processes underpinning the practice of digital curation in the context of contemporary art, and the technical elements that inform its concepts, language and techniques.

You will be guided through the rudimental aspects of digital curation from the perspective of presenting and preserving contemporary art, to curating contemporary art work in digital environments.

As well as acquiring technical skills, you will learn creative approaches to digital curation, receive an advanced theoretical overview of the subject, and have the opportunity to experiment with the creative possibilities of presenting, documenting, and preserving contemporary art in digital contexts.

The sessions will include the following indicative content:

  • What is Digital Curation? What is an Art Collection?  What is a Digital Archive?

  • Understanding Metadata & Paradata

  • Practical Ways of Curating Art in Digital Environments (from technology in the gallery to video screenings and presenting art online)

  • Individual and/or small group tutorials on directed independent study

  • Sharing outcomes of practical work practical projects

Digital Curation and Contemporary Art: Collecting and Archiving

Digital Curation and Contemporary Art: Curating in Context

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


This course will take place online with live session and learning materials available on demand through the course’s Virtual Learning Environment. The module format will include sessions delivered to all students following the course over a period of three to four weeks, followed by tutorials in small groups or on a personal basis, depending on the project selected for assessment. Students will also need to engage in directed independent work outside the contact hours with tutors, in direct relation to course assessment.

The combined teaching setting aims is to develop an environment that allows students to progressively take ownership and direction of their learning so that they may develop as independent, life-long learners. The process of postgraduate level study, relating to an individual and independent arts practice, is one of dense critical self-reflection; this is achieved by including self-directed projects where students have the opportunity to negotiate their learning and assessment requirements.


You will be assessed throughout the course on:

  • Body of work and contextual research: e.g action research/publication/exhibition etc.
  • Reflective journals: blog or statement/critical writing/seminar or other presentation*  

All submissions are comprised of a body of practice plus a contextual and critical research portfolio, and reflective logs/journals and case studies, with presentations as needed.  

*You can negotiate the format of your submissions, in response to the needs and priorities within your practice, and in line with contemporary professional practice habits.

School of Arts and Media

The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.

This broad range of disciplines offers enhanced opportunities for specialist and interdisciplinary study, including collaborative work across subject areas.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This course is designed to open out career prospects. It may be that those leaving the course decide to work within the gallery or arts sector developing courses engaging digital curation. It will provide understanding of the breadth of roles available to curatorial practitioners – from digital curators to collection managers.

Those completing the course may choose to develop specialist knowledge in specific settings and/or work on specific collection. And there will be opportunities within the course to look specific routes to establishing professional practice and profile in these areas.

The School co-ordinates a range of enterprise projects and initiatives that can benefit graduating students, in order to assist their career opportunities in this area.

A taste of what you could become

A contemporary arts curator

A digital archivist

An art collection manager

And more...

Career Links

The course embeds opportunities for students to develop their digital curation practice through the University of Salford’s Art Collection and other contemporary art spaces and organisations in the Greater Manchester area and beyond.

Organisations outside the Greater Manchester area include Spazju Kreattiv -Malta’s national centre for creativity and one of public cultural organisations affiliated with Arts Council Malta The centre delivers a year-round course of exhibitions, collaborative projects, events and activity supporting contemporary arts, in gallery spaces, a theatre in the round, and an industry-standard digital cinema. Spazju Kreattiv also runs a long-standing artists residency course and works with partners based elsewhere.


What you need to know

The course is suitable for those with an active background in curation and/or digital archiving. The course supports a range of advanced level professional skills providing the environment to facilitate independent study and supported real world experience within a professional arts environment. It is ideal for students who wishes to develop digital curation skills through practical work with contemporary art collections.

This course is also be suitable for those who have studied or worked within an archives as their main background and can demonstrate a strong interest in contemporary art at interview.  

To apply, you will be required to undertake:

  • Interview (conducted face-to-face or remotely via the internet)
  • A 250-word statement explaining why you want to study Digital Curation at postgraduate level.


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.

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.

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
Distance learning 2021/22 £2,700 for Home £5,010 for International
Additional costs

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

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

January 2022

September 2022