Fine Art MA

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)

Cambridge

September 2017

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.
Teaching times: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am-5pm (full-time); Wednesdays 10am-5pm in Year 1 and Tuesdays 10am-5pm in Year 2 (part-time).

Overview

Prepare for a career as a professional artist. Independently develop your practical work, research skills and critical thinking, with support from our experienced staff and visiting artists. Test out your ideas in a professional environment and gain invaluable experience of exhibiting, curation and collaboration.

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Full description

Careers

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As well as preparing you for work as a practising artist, you’ll pick up skills and knowledge that will equip you for other roles. Our past students now enjoy careers in further and higher education, museum and gallery management, public arts projects, artist in residence schemes and fellowships opportunities, both in the UK and abroad.

Or you might decide to continue on to a research degree, like our PhD Fine Art.

Our links with local art organisations, such as Aid & Abet, Changing Spaces, Wysing Arts Centre and Cambridge Artworks, will give you the chance to take part in professional exhibitions, portfolio reviews and live projects.

You’ll also have access to events such as Creative Front Futures, which will give you a taste of the different creative industries, and be able to take part in Fine Art Professional Practice and networking initiatives for both students and alumni.

Our Fine Art Research Unit (FARU) runs fortnightly lectures that will give you a chance to hear contemporary artists and staff talk about their work, and engage in debates about art practice. Recent speakers have included Phillip Allen, Juan Bolivar, Rebecca Fortnum, Danny Rolph, Hayley Newman, Günter Herbst, David Kefford, Cally Spooner, Tim Ellis, Andrew Grassie, Lilah Fowler, Jemima Brown, Caroline Wright and Matthew Derbyshire.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Process and Practice as Research
    You will engage with the relationship between research and production. In particular you will explore the process of designing a research project for Art and Design students at Masters level. Lectures and seminars will introduce you to methodology, ethics and exemplars of research methods from a broad range of art and design disciplines. The specifics of designing a research project, such as dealing with failure and evaluating success, will be considered as fundamental aspects of research design. Lectures and seminars will be delivered on a cross-school platform and you will begin to consider alternative paradigms of practice and engage with ideas from outside your own discipline. Using the initial lectures as a starting point, you will be asked to design and undertake a practice-based, self-contained pilot project which tests the scope and limits of a specific research method or methods. Through the research design process you will write a proposal, identify milestones, deliver an outcome and evaluate your pilot project. In group critiques and tutorials within a specialist subject area, you will discuss and support the ongoing progress of each other’s pilot projects.
  • Acts and Discourses
    You will develop a body of self-directed Fine Art research that reflects a clear awareness and engagement with curatorial issues. A seminar series within the module will introduce you to various areas in curatorial and exhibition practices on both a theoretical and practical level, with a strong emphasis on the contemporary scene in relation to developments that have taken place over the last three decades. Themes will include: 1) Exhibiting Practices, an introduction; 2) Frames; 3) Neutrality: the "white cube" and its legacy; 4) "Alternative" spaces; 5) Environmental approaches; and 6) The politics of cultural representation. You will record and reflect on your aims, methodologies and achievements through the Personal Development Plan (PDP), which will give you a transparent mechanism by which to map the progress of your individual research. You will critically and theoretically analyse your studio research, supported through supervisory tutorials, peer presentations and seminars.
  • Fine Art: Critical Practice
    Your knowledge and understanding on this module will be established through a sustained body of self-directed Fine Art research. This will be supported by supervisory tutorials, peer group learning and a seminar series exploring critical and theoretical aspects of practice. The specific content and mode of work within the module will be contingent upon the research direction of your individual project, which will be analysed within a critical and cultural context. You will be encouraged to articulate your ideas about your own research through and considered use of process, media and context. Aims, methodologies and achievements will be recorded and reflected upon through the Personal Development Plan (PDP). Your practice will be evaluated through supervisory tutorials, self-assessment and peer group presentations. Summative assessment of the research project will take place through a portfolio presentation and PDP on conclusion of the module.
  • Master's Dissertation Art and Design
    This module forms the major written element of the MA programme. On it, you will be invited to choose a topic related to your area of study, as the basis for a research essay of up to 6,000 words. The essay should demonstrate an awareness of current critical debate in the subject, through appropriate reference to relevant examples both from visual practice and critical writing. Your subjects may be thematic and issue-based, or may focus upon the critical analysis of a particular body of work. It is expected that you will use the module to investigate the use of critical writing as an aspect of your own creative development, by investigating issues and preoccupations for which you feel a particular affinity or concern, and that you will use the dissertation as an instrument of enquiry into the debates, conventions and values which define your own field of practice. In group tutorials you will explore the use of different modes of critical method and conventions of art and design research, and the production of critical writing as an aspect of an individual's creative and professional practice.
  • Master's Project: Art and Design
    The Masters Project represents the culmination of your learning on the programme, and giving you the opportunity to develop and resolve a major area of enquiry. This is a self-directed visual project negotiated with the staff team and peers. You'll need to negotiate, manage, co-ordinate and bring to successful conclusion a complex, practice-based project within your field of art, media or design. You'll start by formally presenting your research proposal to staff and peers, and will be expected to build on your previous modules to identify a complex area for investigation and enquiry, as well as research methods appropriate to the project. Following negotiation with staff, peers and, where appropriate, outside agencies, you'll then submit a written research proposal. Your project may involve external engagement alongside a personal exploration of themes and concepts in your specialist field. You'll need to show your ability to innovate, think strategically and be sensitive to changing cultural and social climates. You'll be assessed by portfolio (a body of work comprising a written project proposal, and developmental and final visual work) and a 1200-word reflective commentary. This commentary will specifically outline the methodological and ethical considerations relevant to your portfolio work, and evaluate your final visual work.

Assessment

On most of our core modules, you’ll demonstrate your progress through visual research outcomes supported by a written evaluative statement, except for the Master’s Dissertation where you’ll submit a 6,000-word contextual essay.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

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Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Specialist facilities

You’ll have the chance to experiment with many different art forms, making use of our MA studios, printmaking and 3D/sculpture workshops, photography dark rooms, and computer suites for video production and digital imaging. You’ll also have access to three brand new Mac suites with Adobe Creative Suite software, plus high-quality 27-inch monitors.

If you're a full-time student, you'll have an individual studio space to work in. If you're part-time, you'll need your own external studio facility, but may be able to negotiate some temporary on-site space for specific projects. Whether you're full-time or part-time, you'll be based in our MA studios and we'll encourage you to make full use of them both during and outside of formal teaching times. You can also arrange to use the studios on weekday evenings and at weekends during term-time.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)

£6,100

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)

£3,050

International students, 2016/17 (per year)

£11,700

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)

£7,100

International students, 2017/18 (per year)

£12,400

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year part time)

£3,550

Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

Additional costs

Estimated cost of materials
£500-£750.

Optional field trip to Antwerp - 2 nights
Cost £160

Field trip to London
£16-23 per semester

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

There's no statutory funding for postgraduate study. However, we offer a number of scholarships and we've put together guidance on where to start researching funding options.

Students taking up a place on this course are eligible to apply for the Mark Wood Art and Design Scholarship. This is a financial award to recognise and encourage excellence. For more details and the application form, please visit our Making a Difference website.

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Your portfolio should:

  • show examples of your recent visual practice and, where possible, include work that represents some of the themes and areas that you would like to develop on the course. Your examples could take the form of original artworks or good-quality reproductions in hard copy or digital form
  • contain evidence of visual or textual research that has informed the development of your practice.

If you’re an international applicant, please host your portfolio online if possible and let us know the URL, or email it to us as a PDF. We’ll also accept CDs or hardcopy sent by post to our International Admissions Office, but please note that these will not be returned to you.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online