BA Art Gallery and Museum Studies

This course will be running in September 2019.

The Art Gallery and Museum Studies programme offers students a unique opportunity to study this subject at undergraduate level in Wales. Developed in partnership with the gallery sector this programme fosters professional experience from the outset. The course is taught within a thriving Faculty of Art and Design.

Key Facts

UCAS Code: 537C
Institution Code: T80
Course Length:
3 years Full time, 6 years Part-time

Tuition Fees for 2018/19:
£9000 (Home/EU students)
£11000 (Overseas students)
Scholarships and Bursaries

Swansea College of Art
Contact Name:
Sarah Tombs

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For Art & Design Bursary information please click here

In the first year students are introduced to the many forms that art galleries and museums can take as institutions of culture in society. Students will examine the notion of the traditional museum collection as a repository of culture and considers ways in which artefacts are displayed and viewed in an increasingly diverse and digital world. Students will research historical and contemporary collections and exhibitions. The role of the curator will be explored in its broadest sense from the traditional curator of exhibitions to curating and creating interactive arts events that involve the community.

In year two students create a simulated virtual exhibition or art event. Students create their own brief and they consider the practical planning process from design to artist contracts and ideation - there will be simulated scenarios at each stage of the process. In small groups students design and create a learning project.

In year two students will also learn the practical skills of fundraising, budget and project management for arts events and the principles of conservation, H&S, building management. A key element of the second year is a two week placement at an institution of the students’ choice. The placement could be with an art gallery, museum, or an arts organisation, arts event, publishing house or working with an artist on a project.  

In year three students get the opportunity to work independently on a project of their own choice and develop their research for their Dissertation. An Art Gallery and Museum Marketing module supports students independent projects which could vary from curating the student final year exhibitions, or developing a learning project.

In year four students get the opportunity to carry out a months placement within an art gallery, museum, or an arts organisation, arts event, publishing house or working with an artist on a project.

Year One (Level 4):

  • Introduction to The Gallery
  • Critical Writing and Review
  • Introduction to Collecting
  • Curatorial Practice
  • Interpretation: Learning, Outreach, Access
  • Introduction to Collection Management
  • Contextual studies: Ways of Thinking, Ways of Perceiving

Year Two (Level 5):

  • The Virtual Exhibition
  • Learning and Outreach Project
  • Fundraising and Project Management
  • Work Placement 1
  • Finance and Budget Management
  • Collection Conservation
  • Contextual studies: Creative Research, Research Practices

Year three (Level 6):

  • Advanced Creative Enquiry
  • Art Gallery and Museum Marketing
  • Major Project and External Liaison
  • Dissertation

The BA (Hons) and MArts (Hons) Art Gallery and Museum Studies programme prepares students for employment in the arts sector on graduation. A key feature of this programme is that is has been developed in conjunction with leading regional creative agencies in Wales. The course is taught in collaboration with academics, practising artists and gallery experts.

The course features a range of visiting lectures by international and regional arts organisations that include Arts Mundi, and local artist-led galleries to give students a broad experience the arts sector. Modules provide both practical and academic skills to equip students with a broad understanding of arts organisations as institutions of culture as well as developing independent critical skills.

The experience of industry mentoring and placements will provide the student with key employability skills and establish professional networks. The course is targeted at potential students who have a passion for the subject and who want to be challenged to develop their work in a number of different directions. Critical writing will feature as a distinguishing and distinct component of this programme. Writing specifically for the arts will enable the student to become a critical thinker with the ability to communicate ideas independently and to be equipped with the requisite intellectual, professional, and technical skills required for employment in the art and cultural sector.

Students will develop skills in visual observations, analysis and interpretation to consolidate a range of critical approaches in writing and art. They will develop expertise in the oral and written skills needed to communicate to the wide range of audiences. Students will develop a thorough understanding of the key tenets and concepts of curatorial practice and writing in order to situate themselves as a producer of cultural experiences and events.

Students will undertake a 20 credit (2 week block) and 60 credit (1 month block) work placement in a relevant cultural institution of the student’s choice. This professional experience will give the student opportunity to test out their theoretical ideas in a practical context and will enable the student to gain a better understanding of their particular area of interest while also attaining the necessary practical skills in a working environment. Throughout the duration of the programme, students will prepare a portfolio of work that will represent their knowledge, skill, understanding and ability in preparation for employment. Employability is central to this programme of study.

Assessment is carried out through coursework submission, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which include:

  • Lectures
  • Practical project briefs
  • Group Tutorials
  • Individual Tutorials
  • Critiques
  • Workshops
  • Presentations

The ideal profile of a typical target student would include completion of A-Levels in a range of academic subjects across Arts, Humanities and Science. These include GCSE/Equivalent English Grade C or above, Foundation diploma and/or 3 A levels and/or B/Tec diploma. However, as each year reveals, the range of applicant’s background in terms of age, nationality, educational experience and skillset is so broad that we take a range of factors into consideration. Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points.

We interview all students, which enables the course team to identify potential strengths and suitability of the student, as well as giving the student the opportunity to meet with staff and tour the facilities. At interview we look for both practical ability and contextual and critical understanding, as well as maturity and personal interests relating to Art Gallery and Museum Studies within a conceptual and historical context.

In addition it is possible for students to transfer onto the course from other courses and disciplines in accordance with the universities admissions policy. The University has procedures in place for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Prior Certified Learning.

Applicants will require DBS checks prior to enrolment.

This course provides both theoretical and practical modules that prepare the student for employability in the arts sector. The experience of industry mentoring and placements will provide the student with key employability skills and establish professional networks.

The programme aims to prepare students for employment in the following areas;

  • Gallery/Museum Curator
  • Gallery/Museum Learning, Outreach and Access
  • Collections Management
  • Arts Fundraiser
  • Conservator
  • Arts Administrator
  • Arts Marketing
  • Arts PR
  • Arts Journalist/Writer
  • Art Critic
  • Public Art Agent
  • Corporate Art Advisor

UK/EU Tuition Fees

Visit our UK/EU Tuition Fees section to find out more.

Overseas Tuition Fees

Visit our Overseas Fees section to find out more.

Bursaries and Scholarships

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Bursaries and Scholarships section.

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities. However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.

Fine Art, Photography, Illustration, Film.

The BA (Hons) and MArts (Hons) Art Gallery and Museum Studies programme at Swansea is targeted at potential students who have a passion for the subject and who want to be challenged to develop their work in a number of different directions.

We are therefore keen to attract students who are seeking an academic and professionally focused programme of study; students who can respond to a number of learning opportunities including project work and an industry placements.

The course aims to give students tools for self-directed work, to challenge preconceptions and constructs and to develop self-sufficiency and confidence. The programme will develop the requisite skills for the student to enter a career within a gallery, museum, or arts organisation,

The industry focus of this programme would benefit mature students from a wide range of backgrounds. The wider level of life experience many mature students demonstrate helps them to adapt to our Faculty programmes and provides welcome diversity within the cohort.