Honours in Curatorship 2024 applications


The Honours programme in Curatorship is hosted by the Michaelis School of Fine Art in close collaboration with the Centre for Curating the Archive and Iziko Museums of Cape Town, offering courses in theories and practices relating to curatorship.

The programme develops in students a sophisticated awareness of the practicalities, politics and poetics of working with collections and draws on experimental exhibitionary methodologies such as the museum as ideas laboratory and the curatorial gesture.

Students are encouraged to bring the disciplinary insights of their undergraduate major, whether this be in the visual arts, the humanities or the sciences, to the curating of material and are offered opportunities to work on exhibitions in public spaces and in the digital realm. A key aim of the programme is to introduce students (through seminars, fieldwork and workshops) to the central skills of a curator: understanding objects and the subjectivities they convene, researching implied contexts, convening collections in exhibitionary formats, and mediating the production of curatorial outputs. In 2023 we will expand our focus on object studies into the multiple ways context and positionality can help transform curatorial practice.

The course prepares students for further postgraduate study, and for positions in the fields of curatorship and museum education that require the use, interpretation, display and manipulation of collections.


Prospective students can pursue financial support from general university funding, the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the National Arts Council (NAC) of South Africa. 

For more information about postgraduate funding offered by the university, please see: 

The deadline for NRF and UCT funding applications for Honours students is the 31st of October 2023


Compulsory components:
Critical Thinking in Curatorship
Working with Collections

Local Issues in Curatorship
Research Essay/Project

Elective courses (one required):
Visual Anthropology
Land and Agrarian Question

Other possible electives:
An elective from another humanities faculty honours course may be chosen where appropriate to replace one of the above with permission from the programme convener, Dr George Mahashe.

A range of compulsory introductory and specialist workshops will be offered in the fields of curation and conservation.

The programme includes a mandatory internship, at a museum or gallery, where students are exposed to curatorial working practice. Students’ performance is evaluated by internal and external supervisors.

Field trips and study visits:
First-hand encounters with collections, curators and sites of display are an integral part of our programme and the learning experience on offer. These faculty-led visits include day trips to venues in and around Cape Town exposing the class to a range of institutional and independent practitioners, as well as an array of exhibition models and collections. Students are encouraged to participate in intense discussion and critical reflection around these encounters.

Academic criteria

Applications are invited from students who have completed an undergraduate degree in the visual arts or cognate fields, including such disciplines as art history, archaeology, visual studies, history and anthropology, as well as any of the sciences where collections are important for research, or for an understanding of the history of the discipline.

Applicants are required to submit applications via email before the 31st of October 2023:

  1. a detailed narrative curriculum vitae;
  2. a letter of no more than two pages detailing your background and reasons for wishing to study curatorship, as well as your special areas of interest relevant to the programme;
  3. academic transcripts;
  4. the names and contact details of two academic referees;
  5. a sample piece of academic writing;
  6. a 500-word research proposal, focused on a single object. For this, choose any object familiar to you, and suggest how you might use a discussion of it to speak of a broader set of social, cultural or historical issues.

Applicants must also apply online:





For more information, contact:

Honours-in-curatorship@uct.ac.za and Fatima.phillips@uct.ac.za