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Art Gallery and Museum Studies

Our Art Gallery and Museum Studies degree course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD and is based at the Dynevor Centre for Art, Design and Media. We work with a variety of galleries and cultural institutions regionally to provide students with a broad theoretical as well as a practical, ‘hands on’ understanding of the role of the gallery and museum in a contemporary context.

The course will provide new insights that shape the way we look at, understand and experience cultural institutions. This professional/ academic balance will enable graduates to enter into an arts organisation with a thorough understanding of how the arts sector operates.

Students can select specialisms to develop as they progress through the degree. Work placements are a feature of this course and we work with several host organisations to provide a variety of work experience for the students.


Pathway Options

BA Art Gallery and Museum Studies
UCAS Code: 537C
Apply via UCAS 

MArts Art Gallery and Museum Studies
UCAS Code: 537D
Apply via UCAS

(The MArt gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth year is designed to facilitate the creation of creative enterprises or collaborative working with industry. The programme aims to educate creative individuals proficient in meeting the needs of contemporary and future demand. The programme is underpinned by the Research and Knowledge Transfer activities of the faculty as a whole). 

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David

All our course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.

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Course Length:
3-4 years Full-time
6-8 years Part-time

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Students will acquire both academic and professional skills for a career in an art gallery, museum or arts organisation;
  2. The course is delivered by lecturers who work in the arts sector and by gallery and museum staff.
  3. Students will undertake work placements within the gallery and museums context
  4. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of art gallery and museum studies incorporating conceptual, theoretical and speculative thinking and experimentation.
  5. Students will gain experience in real live briefs in many aspects of arts management including curating, marketing, writing for the arts, outreach and learning, conservation, collections management. 

What you will learn

Course Overview

The ethos of this course which is run in partnership with the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is to provide both theoretical and practical learning to prepare the student for employability in the arts sector. The experience of industry mentoring and placement opportunities provide the student with key employability skills and establishes professional networks.

Students learn through a programme of taught modules, these include lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical workshops, skills demonstrations. A good proportion of the course is delivered by professional arts management and gallery staff on site.

There is opportunity to attend lectures by visiting lecturers and symposia and conferences at the university and the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.

Independent study is part of the course and students are allocated personal tutors to help develop their research skills.

Students are assessed using a variety of methods that include presentations, essays, reports and journals, practical projects and a written dissertation.


Level 4 Introduction to the Art Gallery introduces students to the many forms that art galleries and museums can take as institutions of culture in society. The module examines 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.  Using case studies and visits to art galleries and museums students will research historical and contemporary collections and exhibitions. Students will also look at the role of the curator in its broadest sense from the traditional curator of exhibitions to curating and creating interactive arts events that involve the community.  Students will take core art theory contextual studies modules, Ways of Thinking and Ways of Perceiving to provide them with the art historical knowledge and art theories to support their learning. These modules ensure that all students regardless of whether they have studied art previously will have a sound understanding of art and design history, theories and concepts in order to contextualize work within a museum or gallery.

In Level 5 students create a simulated virtual exhibition or art event. This is aimed to promote blue sky thinking to encourage students to think creatively without the constraints of a real project. Students create their own brief and they will consider the whole 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 and are able to apply this as part of the College of Art’s ‘Arts in Action’ programme or tailor their own project.  

Students learn practical skills of fundraising, budget and project management for arts events and the principles of conservation, H&S, building management and legislation pertaining to public buildings. A key element of level 5 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, an arts event, publisher or working with an artist on a project. Key to the work placement module is the preparation of students in the development of skills required for working with people. Students will inevitably be placed in environments where they have to work with others and therefore need to have skills in relationship management and  communication.

Students will take core contextual studies modules, Creative Research and Research Practices where they will undertake research for their dissertation proposal. 

At Level 6 students get the opportunity to work independently on Advanced Creative Enquiry where they are able to put theory into practice with a project of their own choice and concurrently develop their research by writing their Dissertation. There is an opportunity to apply Art Gallery and museum marketing in the Major Project, where the student can choose an area to concentrate on. This could be curating the student final year exhibitions, or developing a learning project of the student’s choice. In this instance one-to-one tutorial guidance is given from a professional practitioner alongside academic staff.

The level 7 modules (year 4 MArts only) offer students time to reconsider their practice, deepen theoretical knowledge and develop tangible relationships with cultural institutions and cultural industries.

The Thought Experiment is designed to facilitate radical thinking, creating a platform where students are encouraged to explore ideas and processes beyond those established for the level 6 Major Module. The focus of this module is lateral, creative thinking and innovation. It aims to encourage risk, to challenge self-generated constructs and develop strategies for creative thinking. This module is delivered through workshops, group seminars, one-to-one tutorials and a speed tutorial event. It results in the production of a body of research leading to a presentation/event to consolidate this research.

Together with the Thought Experiment, during Semester 1 students also gain theoretical understanding at an advanced level through the Advanced Critical Thinking module. This module builds on the Level 4 and 5 Contextual Studiesmodules and the Level 6 Dissertation module, combining skills gained in independent academic research with the introduction of complex theoretical and philosophical ideas. This module is taught through weekly lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials and aims to support students in developing their academic research and writing skills while deepening their theoretical understandings, creating a context into which their practice is located.

The Advanced Professional Practice options A is delivered in Semester 1 and creates opportunities to further develop tangible links with the creative industries through lectures, study visits and placements.

A series of lectures and workshops are given which aim to create hands-on experience of a number of key areas of professional practice. Advanced Professional Practice option A, focuses on a route to sustainable professional life after the completion of the course. It provides further specialist knowledge and experience of curatorial practice, gallery administration, gallery education, workshop delivery, arts administration and grant funding designed to prepare students for Work Placement 2.

As part of this module, students will choose and apply to their chosen Work Placement organisation.  There are weekly lectures from experts in the field, from within the greater university and outside of the institution. These lecture are complemented by study visits, seminars and workshops. Students will be encouraged to draw on lectures and seminars if applicable to their own aspirations and to complement the independent research conducted as part of this module.

In Semester 2 students undertake Work Placement 2 with a negotiated placement outside of the university. This is designed to enable the student to acquire professional skills and deeper knowledge in an area they may decide to specialize after graduation. Students will be mentored through a personal tutor. This module combines independent study with the aim of developing a sustainable practice. At the end of Semester 2 students will present a substantial report and deliver a live presentation on a project within their Work Placement.

Level 7 Modules

  • The Thought Experiment
  • Advanced Critical Thinking Advanced Professional Practice (option A)
  • Advanced Professional Practice (option B)
  • Principal Project

There are no exams on this course. Assessment is carried out through course work, and project work with written and practical components. Students are formatively assessed throughout each module, summative assessment takes place at the end of each module. Assessments consist of a range of assignments which include; blogs essays, written proposals,  case studies, reports and strategies, presentations, course work and exhibitions.

A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which include amongst others;

Lectures and seminars

Formal lectures and seminars are held on a weekly basis. These are structured to enable students to answer specific assignment questions.

Practical assignments

These include the exhibition design and curation, marketing strategy, financial and budget management, learning and outreach scenarios and educational projects.


One-to-one supervision is provided to enable students to research and write a dissertation. 

Informal Tutorials 

These tutorials are held on a regular basis, across all levels. In Year 1 each student sees and discusses their work with a member of staff in module teaching sessions, likewise in Year 2. Third and fourth year students tend to work more independently and sign up for tutorial support when necessary. However, as a team we ensure that every student in Year 3 is seen by at least one member of the academic staff each week.  We pride ourselves on the fact that there is the opportunity to see staff as regularly as is required.

Formal Tutorials

These are held once a term for each module with two members of staff. The work is discussed in relation to the student’s practical, academic and conceptual development. It is also an opportunity for any issues / concerns by either party, to be raised. A written account of the tutorial is duplicated, one copy kept by the student the other stored in their records file.

Group critiques

These are held on a regular basis, across all levels, with one member of staff. They provide an excellent opportunity for students to share and exchange ideas with their peers in a structured manner in addition to valuable input from staff.

Informal & Formal presentations

The nature of the presentations varies according to the level: in Year 1 informal presentations are introduced half way through the first semester in order to help students gain confidence in talking about their work to their peers and staff it is also usually part of the assessment at the end of each project. 2nd Year students are expected to give a Formal Presentation as part of their Professional Studies Module and at the end of the year as part of their Major project.  In Year 3 a Formal Presentation is part of the final assessment.


Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

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
Additional Costs

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. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.  

A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase. 

Depending on distance and duration, optional study visits can vary in cost from approximately £10 to visit local galleries and exhibitions to £200+ for overseas visits – these costs cover transport, entry to venues and accommodation and are normally at reduced rates for our students.

Bursary / Scholarship Information

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD offers two Academic awards:  

  • Swansea College of Art 1853 Scholarship
  • Cert HE Foundation Bursary

Information on these as well as University wide offers can be found here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here