Our courses

On this page, you’ll find information on all of the courses that make up our Step Up training programme, along with quotes from artists who have already taken part in a course.

Exploring Collections

Outside In has been delivering the Exploring Collections course for the past decade. The course aims to provide participants with the skills to research and interpret works of art from museum and gallery collections or archives. Delivered over ten sessions by an experienced  tutor, the course includes a mixture of theory and practical activities,  covers how to think about conducting research into a chosen area, theme, or artist and how to think about creating a personal or creative response to what the research uncovers.

What do past course participants think?

“During the first session I felt like a fish out of water when we were shown around the buildings, as the place seemed huge and I felt like a tiny dot of a person. But as we were toured around, I quickly began to feel at ease as everyone seemed to smile in passing.”

“It has definitely helped to open up a new chapter in my life. It has helped me gather more positive thoughts and gain self-confidence, as well as acknowledging the things that have shifted and improved in my life.”

Leading Workshops

Our Leading Workshops course, which has been running for the past decade, supports participants to develop practical skills relating to facilitating and leading creative workshops. The course provides a structured programme of sessions, delivered over ten weeks (one day per week) by an experienced Outside In tutor, covering all aspects of leading a workshop; from how to set up a room, to what legislation (e.g. health and safety or safeguarding) you need to be aware of.

What do past course participants think?

“The programme exceeded my expectations, getting me working again at a professional level. I am thinking about becoming self-employed, about teaching, progressing further, finding out about funding. It has refocused my professional practice and I have started to think about further professional opportunities. I think of myself as an artist again instead of a person that was unwell and doodled.”

“I’ve been really pleasantly surprised about it. How actually un-stressful it has been. I’ve been made to feel really welcome and really relaxed. It’s nice to meet a lot of different people, all with different skills in art and different likes and stuff. It’s been really nice to meet new people and it’s been a very good experience so far. The theory bits have been really useful too. We go through all the different stages, you know, to realise how important each bit is, like planning.”

Curating Exhibitions

One of Outside In’s newer courses, Curating Exhibitions aims to give participants the skills and confidence to curate an exhibition. Curating Exhibitions will cover the basics of putting together an exciting and imaginative display; from practical considerations like budget, forward planning and installation, to more creative and conceptual considerations around storytelling, audiences and space. The course encourages group thinking and discussion, as well as including creative practical tasks to help participants in questioning their own and others’ ideas in a safe and supportive space.

The course generally runs for six weeks (one day per week) and is delivered by an experienced Outside In tutor with input from skilled external curators from across the UK.

Talking about Art

Talking about Art is one of the Step Up training programme’s shorter courses. Typically running over two days it aims to equip participants with the confidence and skills to speak about their work in front of other people – from delivering a presentation to a room full of people, to discussing their portfolio with a gallery director or curator. The course combines techniques for feeling more confident and comfortable with practical opportunities to put this into action by delivering a talk in front of other participants. Some of our Talking About Art courses will end with an opportunity to take part in an Outside In ‘Share Art’ event, where participants can practice their new skills.

Click here to see our current courses