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MA Exhibition Studies

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
1 year

Tuition fees

Home fee
International full-time per year
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
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About this course

Exhibition Studies engages with exhibition formats, through a theoretical and practical understanding of what constitutes an exhibition in the 21st century.

  • Follow a curriculum which focuses on exhibition histories from 1850 onwards
  • Apply your own expertise, as well as studio practice, to develop research topics through project-based learning
  • Study full-time over one year or part-time over two years
  • Benefit from a programme supported by internationally renowned arts organisations, including Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool, FACT, RIBA North and Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Enjoy direct benefits from the degree's links to the Exhibition Research Lab and a range of international collaborations and partnerships developed by staff
  • Explore best practice and the very latest in innovative forms of exhibition and curatorial practices
  • Benefit from state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within the modern, purpose-built and RIBA award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building
  • The 2022 Liverpool School of Art and Design MA Online Degree Show
  • View and engage with work produced by masters students from the Liverpool School of Art and Design
  • Take advantage of the generous Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy £1000 scholarships offered to postgraduate applicants

The programme considers the history and practice of exhibition culture, specifically the mediation of curatorial projects in galleries and museums, biennials and other survey exhibitions.

As a student, you will be based in the School of Art and Design, the oldest art school in the UK outside of London.

Additional funding for this programme is available via the Susan Cotton Travel Award and other study bursaries.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Graduates of our MA Exhibition Studies have gone on to work for major cultural institutions, including The Henry Moore Institute (Leeds), British Music Experience (Liverpool), and National Museums Liverpool.

"MA Exhibition Studies is the only degree of its kind in the UK to focus on the craft and culture of exhibitions. I look forward to working with students to develop new and engaging ways of curating, exhibiting and demonstrating the value of art."

Sally Tallant OBE, Executive Director, Queens Museum - New York

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Core modules

Major Project (Exhibition Studies)
60 credits

This module encourages you to engage, more broadly, in active learning and to reflect on and identify further intellectual development and training needs. It enables you to:

  • conduct an extended independent research project
  • identify appropriate topics and research questions, analyse and structure research material, develop cogent arguments, sustain an enquiry over a lengthy period of time and organise a lengthy piece of writing

Research and Practice 1
30 credits

This module is shared by all students studying on taught postgraduate programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design and allows you to collaborate across programmes.

  • A series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and visits will introduce you to current and emerging practice in relation to a diverse range of historical, theoretical and critical principles
  • Guest lecturers will expose you to areas of collaboration
  • Seminars and tutorials will require you to share, discuss and evaluate your ideas and practice with others

Studio Practice (Exhibition Studies)
30 credits

Studio Practice is a subject specific module, allowing for the understanding of practice and research methodologies relevant to Exhibition Studies. It provides an opportunity to share, investigate and contextualise experiences of exhibition making and aims to:

  • introduce you to the professional practice of exhibition making
  • develop awareness of the core practices, models, and challenges of exhibition making
  • provide you with technical and critical skills and methodologies relevant to the enhancement of your practice
  • analyse and critically evaluate exhibitionary practices, histories and strategies through specific exhibition case studies

Research and Practice 2 (Exhibition Studies)
30 credits

Significant historic exhibitions, together with key readings, will form the core syllabus of Research & Practice 2 (Exhibition Studies). It aims to:

  • deepen the practice of exhibition research
  • introduce the histories and practices of exhibition-making

Transdisciplinary Practice
30 credits

This module intends to promote in depth investigation into contemporary creative practices and provide, through the possibilities of transdisciplinary participation in live Institute of Art and Technology research projects, an understanding of the social, cultural and economic environment of the city.

Within the module, you will facilitate an engagement with cultural and regulatory institutions and organisations to enrich your experience of the professional environment of contemporary urban art and design.

Through key Institute of Art and Technology projects and partnerships, a range of transdisciplinary projects which challenge the notion of the interdisciplinary practice within the context of contemporary art & design, and which enable you to propose, plan, organise, publish and promote your work and research within the context of The Institute of Art and Design.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Your studies commence with a full timetable of seminars as you get to grips with your MA and the school-wide collaborative practice module. The main study days for the majority of your MA are Tuesday and Friday with a full week of preparation for the School-wide Masters degree show in April/May.

Teaching methods

The programme is underpinned by the work of the Exhibition Research Lab. It draws on the internationally distinguished expertise of staff and visiting staff engaged in theoretical and applied research in the field of exhibitions studies and curating. There is also collaboration with key cultural local and national institutions.

Applied learning

Operating in close partnership with Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial, FACT (Foundation for Creative Art and Technology) and RIBA North (Royal Institute of British Architects), we can offer our students opportunities to develop public presentations, curatorial projects, and exhibitions in real-life contexts.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

You will be assessed by: coursework, written essays, reports, oral presentations, projects and evaluations. The major project will comprise a written dissertation or practical project (thesis exhibition) and a written report. In most modules, more than one piece of assessment is required. Programme assessment seeks to replicate professional curatorial and exhibition practice.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

The development of the students throughout the year is incredible, youcan really see how much the course enriches their knowledge of the subject, inparticular when they take on an area of specialism and use this for their finalproject. One of the most delightful aspects is seeing the students perform wellwhen they start working in museums and galleries, then I feel like I'veprepared them well for the cultural sector.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Liverpool School of Art and Design is housed in the RIBA award winning John Lennon Art and Design Building in the Mount Pleasant Campus and offers extensive studio spaces, lecture theatres and a dedicated public exhibition space.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

  • a minimum 2:1 in a visual arts-related subject (non standard applications and those without a degree will be assessed on the basis of experience)
  • a reference
  • to be able to demonstrate the ability to benefit from and contribute to the programme

Additional requirements

  • Interview required

    • to attend an interview

International requirements


    • IELTS English language requirement: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
  • RPL

    • RPL is accepted on this programme

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.