Postgraduate Curatorial Studies

The training is a specialist introduction to contemporary exhibition practice, museological issues, conservation, collection building and management, all in relation to contemporary art.
The programme prepares for the management of both private and public collections and offers you the knowledge you need to function efficiently in galleries or as artists’ assistants.

The main objective is to gain insight in the judicious showing and conserving of contemporary art through art-theoretical and critical research on the one hand, and technical research into materials on the other. You are brought up-to-date on the current state of affairs in international museum and exhibition practice, making critical analyses of mechanisms and decision-making processes and testing curatorial strategies for socio-cultural relevance.

The building and management of collections is approached from the perspectives of different disciplines. All this serves a practical purpose as well, as you are expected to develop your own exhibition practice, for which the dialogue between the work of art and the viewer is the starting point.

Management of materials and exhibition practice are inextricably linked. Each work of art is approached as an occasion for a singular case study in which ethical, socio-economic, deontological, technological, legal and policy considerations must be taken into account. Ample attention is paid to the development of new conservation strategies and their implementation in the presentation of works of contemporary art. Such works indeed raise numerous questions that cannot be answered from the perspective of traditional conservation practices. Traditional emphasis on the preservation of physical objects and on scientific research is simply no longer sufficient, as contemporary artists make use of ever-increasing varieties of materials and media, which are often perishable, or not meant to last at all.


It is a one-year programme for students already holding a master’s degree co-organized by University College Ghent, S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent and Ghent University. This ensures a combination of theoretical training, through lectures and discussion seminars, and practical experience with study trips and projects.

Visiting lecturers active in the world of contemporary art share their practical experience. The programme is thoroughly embedded in the local cultural arena, making it possible to closely follow developments in exhibitions and collection management. Networking, autonomy and a broad general knowledge, all crucial competencies acquired in the programme, will prove their importance. Internships and encounters with numerous international experts serve to put developments under consideration in an international perspective.


This postgraduate Curatorial Studies opens up a wide spectrum of professional possibilities. Over 75 % of the alumni find places in the broad socio-artistic sector. Some specific positions include: curators, collection managers for public and private institutions, assistants and managers for artists and gallery owners, exhibition producers, builders and designers, art critics, university researchers in arts and sciences, and many more.