Single Module Level 7

Digital Curation and Contemporary Art: Curating in Contemporary Contexts (Level 7, 30 credits)

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Nine week

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

The University of Salford will work with you to explore the career potential for digital curation in the context of contemporary art. 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 a bespoke project. You will be supported by and have the opportunity to connect with a wide range of cultural organisations, and will work with their art collections and the ways these are preserved and presented in contemporary contexts to enhance your future career prospects.

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

You will have the opportunity 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
  • Undertake a profile-raising practice-based curatorial residency and showcase your work with a contemporary art organisation
  • Validate and enhance your curatorial practice within a bespoke online international network

options available


students accepted

Course details

All about the course

This course is aimed at 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 advanced aspects of digital curation from the perspective of presenting and preserving contemporary art, with a view 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:

1) What is digital curation (in the context of contemporary art)?

2) What is digital curation (beyond contemporary art)?

3) Understanding metadata and paradata (the basic essentials)

4) Understanding metadata and paradata (handling art in digital archives)

5-6) Practical ways of curating art in digital environments (from technology in the gallery to video screenings and presenting art online)

7-10) Individual and/or small group tutorials or directed independent study

11-12) Sharing outcomes of practical project work

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 project


Reflective writing

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

This course will take place over a period of nine weeks with weekly sessions which will also be available live online through the university’s Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard). The first six sessions will be delivered to all students over a period of three weeks, 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. Students will also engage in directed independent work outside the online contact hours with tutors, in direct relation to course assessment.

The teaching setting aims 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 your own individual and independent arts practice, is one of intense critical self-reflection. This is achieved in part by the development of self-directed projects where students have the opportunity to negotiate their learning and assessment requirements.

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 module is designed to enhance career prospects. It may be that graduates from the course will decide to work within the gallery or arts sector developing programmes that engage with digital curation. The course will provide students with a clear understanding of the breadth of roles available to curatorial practitioners, from digital curators to collection managers.

Those successfully completing the course may choose to develop their specialist knowledge in specific settings and/or work with specific collections. Students will have opportunities within the course to look at specific routes by which to establish professional practice and enhance their 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.

Continuing practice-based and driven research is supported via MPhil/PhD courses at the University of Salford, and a number of students are currently engaged in further study in digital curation via PhD with us.


A taste of what you could become

A contemporary art 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 North West area including Open Eye Gallery, 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

Participants should have an interest in digital curation and contemporary art along with a willingness to apply presentation and documentation processes to live projects.

The programme 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 any student who wishes to develop digital curation skills through practical work with contemporary art collections.

This course is also suitable for those who have studied or worked with archives and can demonstrate a strong interest in contemporary art at interview.

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

    Entry requirements

    Previous study and experience

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


    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
    Part-time 2021/22 £1,350 per 30 credit module
    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

    To apply to study this single module you will need to complete an application form, which can be found here. You should fill in all required details and return the form to us using the enclosed details. 

    Enrolment dates

    September 2021

    February 2022

    September 2022