The Principles of Exhibition Making

Professional development course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

The V&A’s world-class exhibitions have attracted millions of visitors over the last decade. What do they have in common? What can we learn from them? Over six weeks, go behind the scenes to explore how the V&A’s multi-skilled teams have imagined, built and delivered some of the most extraordinary exhibitions and museum experiences of recent times - and how you can carry their common principles into your own work.

Working with the V&A’s expert staff and industry professionals, you will study the process and driving ideas behind V&A exhibition-making. From concept to build, project management to design, you will get a 360-degree insight into the key considerations at all stages of an exhibition's life cycle. Focusing on six key themes – Mission, Audience, Research, Experience Design, Project Management and Collaboration – this course will give you the required skills and knowledge to put on an exhibition of your own, for any institution, audience or budget.

This course is primarily intended for people at early to mid-career stages, working in the museum and heritage sector, or for people interested in working in exhibitions.

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course photo
Portrait of Course Leader Matilda Pye

Course Leader
Matilda Pye

Matilda Pye is a curator, educator and a V&A Research Institute and Paul Mellon Public Engagement Fellow. Since 2004, she has worked with museums and galleries in the UK and internationally, including Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

It was good to hear directly from some of the key people working through the institution. Matilda was a really excellent facilitator and her knowledge from an institutional and curatorial perspective invaluable. Previous Professional Development course attendee

Course overview

Using current blockbuster exhibitions as point of departure, the V&A’s experts will examine how museum exhibitions have evolved over time, and outline key considerations at every stage of an exhibition project. The course will introduce the ways in which a curatorial voice is developed by drawing multiple narratives and perspectives to reveal the histories and contexts of makers, users and collectors. You will learn how to scale your exhibition idea to your relevant institution, budget and communities, and how working with artists and designers can offer new ways to enrich an exhibition’s narrative.


V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

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Professional development course: The Principles of Exhibition Making

7 November 2023 - 12 December 2023


Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)