Our courses

On this page, you’ll find information on the courses we currently run as part of the Step Up training programme. These courses can be tailored to provide specific outputs and outcomes, depending on your needs or strategic aims as an organisation.

Exploring Collections

Outside In has been successfully delivering versions of the Exploring Collections course for the last decade. The course aims to provide participants with the skills to research, respond to and interpret works of art. It focuses on individuals choosing an area of research from museum and gallery collections or archives and each session provides participants with training and support to develop skills to research their chosen area, theme, or artist, and how to interpret their findings. Course participants have gone on to produce a huge range of interpretative material, including poetry, audio guides, creative workshop packs and visual responses.

The legacy of this course is huge for partner organisations, with new and creative interpretative responses providing unique perspectives on collections that can be used time and time again.

The course usually takes place over a period of ten weeks (one day per week) and is facilitated by an experienced and trained tutor working with Outside In.


“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 course tutor, covering all aspects of leading a workshop; from how to set up a room to what legislation you need to be aware of.


“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 equip participants with the skills and confidence to curate an exhibition. From practical considerations like budget, forward planning and installation, to more creative and conceptual considerations around storytelling, audiences and space. Curating Exhibitions covers everything needed to put together an exciting and imaginative display.

The course encourages group thinking and discussion, this includes creative practical tasks to help participants in questioning their own and others’ ideas in a safe and supportive space. It typically runs for six weeks (one day per week), and is delivered by an experienced Outside In course tutor with input from skilled external curators from across the UK.

Talking about Art

Talking about Art is one of the programme’s shorter courses, aiming 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. Typically running for two days, the course combines techniques for feeling more confident and comfortable with practical opportunities to deliver a talk in front of other participants.

Outside In’s ‘Share Art’ model can be used at the end of this course as a further opportunity for participants to practice and refine their newly gained skills. This course is particularly useful if you are interested in supporting course participants to deliver guided tours or talks following an Exploring Collections course at your organisation.

For more information, please contact Kate Davey, Step Up Training Coordinator:
E: kate.davey@outsidein.org.uk
M: 07903 028391