Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Curating an Exhibition: Researching, Interpreting and Displaying
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Critical Journal  A critical journal discussing the experience of curating an exhibition involving theoretical and historical research (2500 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Project work  Portfolio of the student's proposed contributions to the exhibitions, including object labels, introductory/main text panels, press releases, advertising copy, and catalogue entries (2500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Distinguish between types of museum/gallery visitors and identify the needs of target audiences

Provide written aids to comprehension and appreciation of art

Devise communication strategies to promote exhibitions

Critique art exhibitions to assess their merits, viability and limitations


This module draws on the expertise of the teaching staff of the School of Art and the wealth of the School of Art collection to provide an opportunity to conduct practical, professional research to curate an exhibition in a public gallery. The module is primarily designed to benefit SH and JH Art History students who will be given priority over SH and JH Fine Art students should the module oversubscribe.

Brief description

The module offers undergraduates a rare opportunity to stage an art exhibition in a public gallery of national renown. It enables involvement in all aspects of the creative process of curating, beginning with the planning stage of selecting works of art and the research for and writing of exhibition labels, text panels and catalogue narrative to the display of the artwork and the advertising of the exhibition through press releases and internet marketing. Bridging a gap between academic study and public engagement, this hands-on experience benefits participants by enhancing their career profile and professional prospects.


10 x 2 hour sessions, including planning workshops, writing seminars, group discussion, student presentations, talks by guest speakers and assessments of local exhibitions. In addition, individual tutorials (as specified below).

  1. Reading Around: Exhibition curating in history, theory and practice (1 session)
  2. Planning: Selecting works, assessing the exhibition space (1 session)
  3. Reviewing: Assessing a current exhibition (1 session)
  4. Interpreting: Researching and writing labels and text panels (2 sessions)
Mid-semester tutorials (half an hour per student)

  1. Designining Text: Legibility and readability, words and visuals (1 session)
  2. Spreading the Word: Disseminating information in various media (2 sessions)
  3. Putting It Together: Displaying art, texts and labels (1 session)
  4. Drawing Conclusions: Assessing audience response (1 session)
Final tutorials (half an hour per student)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Critiquing writing samples and commenting on various theoretical/practical approaches to exhibition curation in classroom discussions.
Improving own Learning and Performance Staff and peer feedback, class discussions and exhibition audience response
Information Technology Word processing, designing graphics and labels, composing texts for online publication, sharing information via Blackboard and compiling information using appropriate museum databases and gallery websites
Personal Development and Career planning The module offers a practical experience of working in a gallery/art museum setting and provides insights into the history and processes of curating and the related practices of art historians, art critics, and museum professionals
Problem solving Testing the effectiveness of label texts and designs; dealing with the challenges of staging the exhibition within the space and time alloted for it.
Research skills Composing a critical journal requires students to carry out research using the University Library, the National Library of Wales, and investigating local museums and art galleries
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Working together on the exhibition and collaborating on texts and designs


This module is at CQFW Level 6