Future Curators

Museum traineeships

The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund

About the programme

As part of the programme each trainee was supported in the completion of the British Museum Curatorial Diploma.

The diploma is an accredited vocational qualification and is an equivalent to a Level 5 on the Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF). The framework of training covered all the essential elements of developing the necessary skills to become a curator and was supported by formal training sessions as well as on-the-job training.

Modules include:

  • Object orientation
  • Object care
  • Object dissemination and reception
  • Object audiences
  • Object based learning
  • Object ethics
  • Objects and the museum
  • Interpersonal skills

Formal training

Future Curators trainees spent six months at the British Museum and a year at national partners across the country. At the British Museum, formal training sessions were scheduled about once a week, with trainees continuing to meet for training once a month while based at their partner museums. These sessions were a mixture of theory, hands-on workshops and museum visits. They were designed to introduce trainees to best curatorial practice and museum processes, as well as providing an opportunity for trainees to develop a network of museum contacts.

On-the-job training

Each trainee was supported by a designated curatorial supervisor throughout the programme. At the British Museum, each trainee was based in the collections department most suited to their subject focus; at the partner museums, each trainee was allocated a specific area of the collection to work on. This curatorial work experience consolidated the learning gained during formal training and also supported each trainee’s subject specialism. There were also opportunities for each trainee to work outside of the collection departments, for example with learning and events teams.