UNSW Australia

UNSW Art and Design

Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership


Greens Road

Paddington, New South 2021


Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership (MCCL) is designed for graduates and career professionals who aim to play a leading role in shaping the creative and cultural landscape of the future.

We see contemporary curating as a dynamic profession, which plays a key role in setting cultural agendas and discovering new ground. We foster a vision of leadership that is deeply diverse and non-hierarchical. The MCCL is designed to build connections between curating, audience engagement, policy, management, critical writing, promotion, production and the many new roles emerging in contemporary digital culture. 

This recently introduced program builds on UNSW Art & Design’s 20 years of experience in delivering leading postgraduate education for arts and cultural professionals, many of whom are now prominent leaders across the Australian and international cultural and creative sectors. 

Based on extensive industry engagement and consultation, we deliver our curriculum in close collaboration with our on-campus UNSW Galleries and with a broad range of Australian and International industry partners.

Students are able to undertake an industry internship as part of this program, including a number of paid internships. The Freedman Curatorial Scholarship provides an annual $5000 competitive scholarship for a curatorial intern from within the program. 

UNSW Art & Design's Sydney-based cultural partners include the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney Biennale, Carriageworks, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Object Australian Design Centre, Powerhouse Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences and the Sydney and Vivid festivals.

Students within the MCCL are able to explore a wide range of areas of study across:

Curating: With a strong emphasis on contemporary practice our curatorial courses focus on experimentation and innovation. We combine theory with the development of independent practice through curatorial studios and dynamic and challenging live public projects.

Cultural Leadership: With an emphasis on leadership as a form of action rather than status, our cultural leadership courses nurture collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship. We combine a strong foundation in strategic management and ethical practice with an emphasis on emerging and experimental models of cultural production and audience engagement.

Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums Industry Engagement and Professional Experience 

Each semester students have the opportunity to participate in curatorial studios to produce public cultural events in collaboration with different industry partners. Studio partners in 2015 include Campbelltown Art Centre, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, the Moran Foundation and the City of Sydney. 

The program benefits from numerous international partnerships. The UNSW Art & Design Artspace International Visiting Curators Program brings between 4 to 6 prominent international curators to Sydney each year to conduct research and work with students in the MCCL. Our annual World Biennales course is focused on global art and takes a group of students on expertly guided trips to major exhibitions and cultural events. 

Admission Requirements

The Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership makes provision for three entry points depending on the level and nature of prior qualifications.

Applicants who have a completed Bachelor’s degree in any field (related or unrelated) are eligible for admission into the full 2 year program. The 2 year program includes a foundational course component in Curating and Cultural Leadership.

Applicants with a completed Bachelor’s degree in a related field with a WAM of 65 or equivalent will be granted admission into the 1.5 year program.

Applicants applying with a completed Honours degree in a related field will be granted admission into the 1 year advanced disciplinary component of program.

Those applying without a Bachelor’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree completed more than 10 years ago can be admitted into the Graduate Certificate of Cultural Leadership by the Program Director on the basis of relevant industry experience. Students who complete the requirements for the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma with a WAM of 65 are eligible for admission into the Master’s program with full credit for courses already completed.


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Facts & Figures

Classification: Non-U.S. Higher Ed. Institution (Not Carnegie Classified)

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