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Art Practice: Fine Art (MA)

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  • Entry requirements
    Standard Entry BA in Fine Art or equivalent for overseas students. Or by interview with portfolio, and relevant experience in an art-related context. Plus one of the following: * Other: Overseas students need English Language of 6.5 IELTS to study at postgraduate level.
  • Academic Title
    Art Practice: Fine Art (MA)
  • Course description
    ur MA programme is aimed at artists who have an established studio practice but wish to return once again to the kind of learning experience that only an art school can provide. We also accept students who have just completed a BA in Fine Art, but who are at a stage when the continuation of their study at MA level would be beneficial to their development. We offer the highest levels of discourse to help each student operate strategically in relation to their current direction as an artist. Our teaching staff, personal tutors and visiting artists will help students progress towards a more effective career in the visual arts. In any given year the student community will include painters, sculptors, printmakers, and photographers, as well as installation and video artists. We are proud of our capacity to promote all kinds of art.

    What you will study
    For both full- and part-time students the course is divided into three modules:

    Contextual Practice is delivered in the form of small guidance seminars, and lectures. You are expected to give a student-led presentation of your on-going research and to work up a file of tutorial reports, exhibition and book reports and reading lists, culminating in a 5,000-word essay. This module seeks to stimulate a sense of intellectual location that gives a shared cultural context to your individual area of exploration.

    Lectures by staff and visiting artists/ theoreticians are offered under a wide range of headings: touching on identity, tradition, creativity, as well as exploring the impact that audiences and contexts have on the production of artworks.

    Studio Practice is a programme of group critiques, studio visits and one-to-one tutorials which aims to develop a culture of debate around the creative routine of the working environment. Students are encouraged to re-evaluate their studio activities by developing a sustainable and systematic engagement with the tensions that arise between creative exploration and purposeful production. This module is an opportunity for students to analyse and share working methods in preparation for the third module:

    Exhibition Practice is a point of resolution for postgraduate study. Part-time students mount an Interim Exhibition in September, at the end of their first year. They also join the one year full-time students for their Final Exhibition at the end of their second year. The aim of Exhibition Practice, Interim and Final is to provide an opportunity for you to use your knowledge of current and historical exhibition practices to address an exhibition going public.

    This final phase of the course asks you to demonstrate artistic advance through the effectiveness of the completed artworks alone. This module takes place during the summer period, between June and September. The work is self-directed following the agreement of a learning contract with the course team during studio practice tutorials. The final exhibition takes place on the City Campus and is fully advertised and open to the public.

    Year 1 Modules

    VP0602 Studio Practice (CORE, 60 Credits)

    VP0603 Contextual Practice (CORE, 60 Credits)

    VP0604 Exhibition Practice - Final (CORE, 60 Credits)

    Each of the three modules on the one year full-time mode carries 60 credits each and 30 credits each for the part-time mode over 2 years. Each week the ratio of formal tuition, independent study and practical research will vary slightly depending on the individual student. Full-time students are assessed formatively throughout the year, with feedback given regularly through tutorials, seminars and study visits.

    Summative assessment of all three modules takes place during the Final Exhibition, in early September each year.

    Given the varying situations in which postgraduate students find themselves, we believe that a flexible system of awards is useful. If a student leaves the course at the end of Semester One on the full-time mode, or Semester Three in the part-time mode they may be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate.

    A further exit point is possible for full-time students at the close of Semester Two and for part-time students at the end of Semester Five. In this case a student may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma.

    Students may return to the course to complete their studies at a later date (at the Programme Leaders discretion) at the stage at which they left, and work towards a Masters Degree.

    Graduates from our MA course will be able to navigate the expanded field of activities currently encompassed by fine art practice. Exhibition curation and art criticism are examples of the kinds of skills that students develop. A career as a professional artist is often allied to that of a teacher and the scope for further academic development will be enhanced by this MA course. Graduates might, for instance, want to think about doing a fine art research degree.


    At least 4 days per week, in the University.

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