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18 Jun 2012

Postgraduate Programme in Curating

Call for Applications: Postgraduate Programme in Curating CAS/MAS
Application Period 1 May - 30 June 2012
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts


The Postgraduate Programme in Curating offers three study opportunities: CAS // MAS // Ph.D Application Period 1 May - 30 June 2012

Dorothee Richter
+41 43 446 40 20

Koordination Weiterbildung
Limmatstrasse 47
8005 Zürich

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The Postgraduate Programme in Curating is conceived of as a discursive platform which imparts key areas of contemporary exhibition-making by way of praxis-oriented project work. With instruction modules, group activities, seminars, and lectures held by an international selection of guests, various fields of knowledge are researched and projects are developed and carried to realization. The programme focuses less on the 'genius concept' of the exhibition planner as individual author – a highly controversial topic since the 1990s – than on cooperative, interdisciplinary working methods, as employed, for example, in film productions or non-governmental organizations.
Exhibition-making/curating means the creation of innovative structures for the presentation of cultural artefacts through interdisciplinary collaboration. In this field, art, digital media, design, and architecture intermesh in new ways. The manner of working employed by curators, artists, architects, designers, museum educationalists, and writers has become increasingly unified, bringing about new forms of mediation, lounges, archives, reading rooms, and new virtual forums – and with them new means of access and forms of interpretation.
At the same time, we are witnessing a shift in the organization of work processes throughout society. Individual areas of action are merging on new meta-levels, namely those of networks and know-how transfer. The Postgraduate Programme in Curating responds to these changes in the processes of the production of cultural meaning. The course creates a model situation in which students can gain practical experience of curating and learn to think critically about the issues involved. The modular structure ensures the programme's contemporary and innovative standards.

The Postgraduate Programme in Curating offers three study opportunities:

CAS Skills Areas:
The postgraduate certificate (CAS) is a one-year, part-time course providing participants with key qualifications in all areas of curatorial practice: research, conception, organization and communication, as well as basic theoretical knowledge.

MAS Skills Areas:
The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) is a two-year, part-time study programme culminating in an advanced qualification. It guides participants through an in-depth enquiry into the key areas of curatorial practice and relevant theory. Students have the opportunity to develop and situate their own curatorial projects and access cultural networks. The programme concludes with a major project and written dissertation.

Ph.D. Project Outline:

The MAS degree in curating can be attained through the development of a dissertation project rather than a curatorial project. We accompany the development of a dissertation project as far as the exposé (subject and relevance, hypothesis, state of research, methods, outline) and even the writing of the first chapters. If you are planning to write a dissertation on issues of exhibition production, mediation, or a related topic of contemporary design and art and their connections with society, please contact the director of the study programme.
Supervision of Ph.D. projects will be provided by Dorothee Richter, head of the MAS Curating, in conjunction with the University of Reading. Cooperation will take the form of a Practice-Based Ph.D.: Research Platform for Curatorial and Cross-disciplinary Cultural Studies, Practice-Based Doctoral Programme. Since Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) does not have the right to confer doctoral degrees, doctorates can be awarded solely in cooperation with arts schools or universities abroad. The Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS) at ZHdK has such contacts.

Target Group:

The program is designed for persons working in art, culture, and the media, graduates of art academies and universities of applied sciences in the disciplines of art, architecture, interior architecture, photography, interior decoration, installation, design, theatre, scenography, and music, as well as university graduates in the fields of art history, cultural studies, or literary studies. The program is also suitable for candidates who have acquired certain curatorial skills through practical experience.

Admissions Requirements
a) University degree from a university of applied sciences, general university, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, or a professional school
b) or a comparable degree and corresponding professional experience
c) and determination of aptitude by the programme director

Program Aim:

The aim of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating is to examine changes in current cultural production and develop innovative displays in that context. Particularly for participants from the fields of design, art, culture, and media, the programme aims to open new perspectives in the professional field. The programme accordingly also fosters the development of an international network by involving an international spectrum of lecturers and providing opportunities for students to conduct internationally oriented projects.