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Taking Careers in Museums and Galleries to the Next Level

In just three years, the V&A’s courses for professionals have grown from a handful of specialist training opportunities to a comprehensive, year-round programme © V&A

Gain exclusive access to world-leading experts by joining a course for museum and gallery professionals at the V&A. From interpretation to conservation, deepen the knowledge you need to further your career

Widely regarded as the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance, the V&A is not only renowned for its collections, but also for its expertise. In just three years, the V&A’s courses for professionals working in museums and galleries have grown from a handful of specialist training opportunities to a comprehensive, year-round programme. From set-building to interpretation, conservation to public speaking, each experience brings the knowledge and passion of V&A staff to life. Taught through hands-on, interactive training sessions at the V&A in South Kensington, London, detailed insights into current museum projects provide practical and immediate applications for the knowledge gained by participants.

This commitment to sharing best practice with colleagues from both UK and international cultural institutions is a key element of the museum’s vision. Speaking about the museum’s week-long Curating Fashion and Dress course, the V&A’s Director Dr Tristram Hunt said “The V&A houses the UK’s national collection of fashion and textiles, which spans more than five centuries, from rare 17th century gowns to post-war couture and contemporary pieces. This collection not only celebrates the very best of fashion design and creativity, but also attracts thousands of visitors to the V&A time and time again. Building on the world-renowned success of this course we look forward to sharing our experience and insight in fashion curation with many museum colleagues from around the world.” Courses like this also provide the unique opportunity for participants to meet and work alongside peers from a range of international cultural institutions. Although each experience is led by V&A staff, participants are also invited to share examples of projects from their institutions. As a result, new networks and collaborations are often sparked between participants, creating long-lasting impact beyond the courses themselves.

“Sharing best practice is a key element of the museum’s vision” © V&A

As the Professional Development programme has expanded over the years, as have the variety of subjects on offer and areas of museum practice in which the V&A has pioneered. For example, staff and volunteers from the V&A’s award-winning LGBTQ Working Group now regularly run a consistently popular course – Informing Change: Engaging LGBTQ Audiences. Also, as London’s first museum to host out-of-hours events aimed at non-traditional museum audiences, producers of the V&A’s Friday Late are now sharing their experience in reimagining spaces with other cultural institutions. On a more international scale, the recent week-long Generating New Income Streams course assembled members of the museum’s senior management team to share experiences and best practice across retail, membership, ticketed events, venue hire, catering and brand licensing. One delegate from an international institution said “The course was excellent. Well organised by friendly and really supportive staff. I really felt part of the organisation, as we received insights into the V&A from all quarters.” This transparency and first-hand insight that specialist V&A staff offer across the programme provide participants with the inspiration to identify and leverage their own organisation’s assets.

Further information about all upcoming Professional Development courses is available at vam.ac.uk/cpd. To request additional information or propose collaboration on bespoke training deliveries, please contact professionaldevelopment@vam.ac.uk

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