The MA in Fine Art (MAFA) is a one academic year programme that runs concurrently with the School’s three other MA programmes in Art History, Cultural Studies and Art Gallery & Museum Studies. The programme is run over an intensive 12 month period (21 months part-time) and aimed at those who have already achieved high production values in their studio work yet wish to contextualise their research in relation to contemporary critical theories. As well as studio work and studies in contemporary art, theory and criticism, students undertake an additional option from the School’s broad array of MA modules thus complementing and underpinning their practice through rigorous discourse.
12 months full-time, 21 months part-time
School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
The Leeds name is most often associated with the intellectual developments which took place under the head-ship of T.J. Clark in the late seventies and early eighties, in which a politically and theoretically engaged social history of art challenged the hegemonic model of connoisseurial art history then prevalent in the academy. This work took place alongside the evolution of new formations in art practice, which in contrast to the then received wisdom recognised that art practice took place in history and in the presence of theory.
In the nineties the School built on its position as a space for avant-garde art history and theory-practice to open the study of the visual onto a wider set of theoretical developments taking shape around the inter-disciplinary inquiry into questions of culture. Since this time the Centre for Cultural Studies has made a profound contribution to the development of these debates. Cultural Studies here turns the axis away from a too-easy and exclusive attention to the popular, orienting its inquiry along a double braid of history and theory.
The unique set of intellectual relations which constitute the School was recognised as playing an important role in the development of visual and cultural studies with the receipt from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the largest grant ever awarded to a single School in the Humanities in the UK to found the AHRB Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History.
What you study
The programme provides the resources and learning context necessary to assess and critically evaluate theories of visual representations, an integral part of the production of practical work in fine art. It aims to provide the basis for future professional art practice, curatorial engagement or academic research at a higher level. Programme content is tailored precisely to its objectives, the central concerns relating to professional accomplishments in the making of art in contextual, critical and theoretical understanding and students are helped to identify and negotiate personal and shared positions within current practice/theory.
Appropriate critical and technical skills and methodologies are developed continuously throughout the programme and students develop their abilities to communicate concerns, and define objectives and achievements relative to professional art practice.
Students take full responsibility for their own programme of work, routinely engaging with critically informed contemporary issues in art. This includes the production of work in the studio and workshop environment and a programme of research and study. Reading lists are provided and updated to suit the individual and their particular line of research and development through tutorial guidance.