• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length2 years

MA Art and Science

Applications closed 2017/18
Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course have now closed.

This pioneering course investigates the creative relationships between art and science and how to communicate them. With access to important collections in London you’ll explore the making and presentation of your work and pursue innovative outcomes in practice and research, towards professional engagement in art and science authorship and creative practice.

This course is part of the Art Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • MA Art and Science has been designed to enable you to pursue your studies whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. You are expected to commit 30 hours per week to your studies; your taught input will normally be scheduled over a maximum of two to three days per week during term time 
  • Responding to fast-growing interest in interdisciplinary art practice, you’ll learn from and build working relationships with artists, scientists, curators and other professional practitioners engaged in research that investigates art and science
  • You’ll benefit from established links with museums, galleries and institutions - including The Wellcome Trust, Science Museum, The British Library, Gordon Museum, Grant Museum, Kew Gardens, The Arts Catalyst, gv Art and MRC Institute of Neuropharmacology, among others
  • You’ll attend lectures and participate in seminars that provide a critical context for your research and practical work complemented by workshops and special access to places of particular interest
  • You’ll take part in an exhibition or symposium, bringing together staff and peers as well as professional practitioners and critics
  • Our graduates are attractive to organisations that value creative thinking and the effective communication of ideas. They also have the potential to develop their interest at research degree level.

Meet the Course Leader, Nathan Cohen

Enterprising Practice: postgraduate breakfast at Degree Show One

Experimental artist and scientist Alice Cazenave talks about her intriguing camera-less photographs made using leaves.

2016 degree show catalogue

Course description

Synergies in our Fine Art Programme - incorporating BA Fine Art, MA Art and Science, MA Fine Art, MA Photography, MRes Art: Exhibition Studies, MRes Art: Moving Image, and MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy - create a dynamic context for exploring practices and issues within contemporary culture.

This pioneering postgraduate course responds to a fast-emerging territory for interdisciplinary and collaborative art practice. MA Art and Science gives students an opportunity to interrogate the creative relationships between art and science and how they can be communicated. You'll explore different approaches to making and presenting your work with the aim of proposing and realising innovative outcomes in practice and research.

In its extended full-time mode MA Art and Science gives you the flexibility to access London's richly varied opportunities for work and study while maximising your personal and professional development.

MA Art and Science provides an extensive final unit of 120 credits (45 weeks) enabling continuous development and realisation of a significant programme of work. MA Art and Science supports and is shaped by:

  • Exploration of the approaches of art and science to enquiry - how scientific ideas may inform and provoke the making of art, and how practices in art and science may correspond
  • Development of knowledge of historical and contemporary contexts, practical processes, research methods and writing
  • Learning from, and building, working relationships between artists, medics, mathematicians, anatomists, curators and other professional practitioners engaged in research that investigates art and science
  • Student projects through the use of established links with institutions in London such as the Wellcome Trust, Hunterian Museum, Gordon Museum and Natural History Museum
  • Development of current thinking on art and science towards further research

About this course

  • MA Art & Science lasts 60 weeks structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each (i.e. two academic years) in its 'extended full-time mode.'
  • MA Art & Science is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises two units: Unit One (60 credits) and Unit Two (120 credits).
  • Students successfully achieving Unit One may exit at this point with the award of Postgraduate Certificate.
  • Both units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from the mark for Unit Two only.

In year one we expect you to commit an average of 40 hours per week. In year two your study is predominantly self-managed but we expect you to commit an average of 20 hours per week. Across the two years, therefore, you're expected to commit an average of 30 hours per week.

Course rationale

Through their work artists and scientists contribute to a greater understanding of what it is to be human and how we relate to the world around us: both require creative insight in their quest for knowledge and the desire to communicate this.

The relationship between art and science continues to expand the boundaries of understanding and invention, challenging our view of the world. The desire of artists to find ways to understand, represent and reinterpret the world in which they live has resulted in investigation into the phenomena of nature, perception and thought, areas of equal importance in the sciences. Scientists have also defined the nature of their research in ways that address questions of how the measurable can be defined, the invisible envisaged, the senses extended, and perceptions tested. Both artists and scientists seek to develop new ways in which the innovative nature of their discoveries can be made comprehensible and communicated.

This MA offers a structured opportunity to investigate the contemporary and historical context of art and science, embracing the spectrum of interaction, endeavour and the making of forms. The course explores how research and production may have implications for discovery and invention across and within both disciplinary fields and how these may relate socially and culturally.

Together with MA Fine Art and MA Photography, MA Art and Science is situated within the Art Programme. Cross programme lectures and regular installs offer the opportunity for cross course engagement.

Course outline

The course explores the creative relationships between art and science and how they may be communicated. It offers you the opportunity to investigate how scientific ideas can inform and inspire artistic practice, to question how art can relate to science, and to consider what the inter-relationships between science and studio practice might be, informing the exploration of new approaches to making and presenting your work.

The course emphasises critical investigation through reflective practice, contextual awareness, practical processes, research, analysis and debate that will support and sustain your Independent project (Unit 2). The ability to collaborate and work with other artists and scientists and professional institutions linked with the course is encouraged and supported.

Unit One: What is interdisciplinary practice?

Through a series of projects this unit explores relationships between art and science, both contemporary and historical, and related critical issues.

Running in parallel with these projects are seminars and lectures that provide a critical and historical context for your research and practical work and address different approaches to research methods. Seminars create a forum in which emerging issues in art and science and the contribution of interdisciplinary engagement with public understanding are discussed.

This focus is complemented by practical workshops and access to places of particular interest. Venues include sites of scientific and historical significance where context is important to understanding.

Lectures and workshops focusing on theoretical ideas, discourses and critical positions within contemporary art and science offer engagement across our Postgraduate Art Programme. In exploring the interface between practice and research, lectures and seminars develop your ability to evaluate and progress your practice in relation to external bodies of knowledge while building articulacy in critical discussion and writing, enabling you to develop appropriate research methodologies for your Independent Project (unit two). Lectures and seminars draw on the research expertise and interests of staff across our art programmes as well as external guest speakers.

Project work, encouraged and challenged through regular group discussion and tutorials, informs your Independent Project proposal for unit two. The project proposal incorporates an outline of your proposed research methods and addresses issues of relevance, validity and feasibility

Unit Two: Independent project: Art and Science

The unit’s 45 weeks (15 weeks in Year one; 30 weeks in year two) represent a substantial opportunity to realise your independent project successfully. The project takes the form of an in-depth investigation according to an agreed programme of study leading to practical outputs and a written research paper.

Throughout the independent project you develop the practical aspects of your work and identify and establish access to relevant resources. In addition to the significant sources of knowledge and information you are introduced to we encourage you to develop links with organisations and institutions that will support and inform your particular research and project development. You will have a supervisor or mentor (i.e. Personal Tutor) who will guide the progress of your Independent Project. Progress is supported through tutorials, critiques with professionals in relevant specialist fields, and student- directed group discussions.

In year one, if not fully resolved at the unit one assessment point, your independent project proposal is reconsidered at a progress review tutorial (year one, term three). All project agreements include a commitment to forms of submission and to appropriate mentoring and supervision arrangements. At the end of year one you will take part in the interim show in which you will curate and install an exhibition in a public venue outside of the art school. All aspects of mounting an exhibition will be considered including publicity, curation and collaborative working. The interim show is organised and installed jointly with the MA Fine Art and MA Photography.

In year two you continue to be supported in your independent engagement with the realisation of your project and written work. You will meet for critical debates and tutorial support, and take part in interim presentations of your work discussing progress, challenges and discoveries, and issues of form, audience and presentation. A professional practice lecture series across our art programmes also offers insights into publishing practices, intellectual property, funding sources and other areas. The unit culminates with the degree show in which you will present your work in the context of your developing professionalism,  and consider curation and placement of works.

A summer term student directed presentation or symposium challenges you to debate key questions arising from your work.

MA Art and Science Programme Specification 2018/19 (PDF, 303KB)

Further reading about this course

MA Art and Science Research Students (PDF 983)

Encounters Between Art and Science (PDF 367KB)

View the MA Art & Science events archive

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value. 

Recent client projects in the Art programme include: Red Mansion Foundation. Find out more about the Dr. Martens client project.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

While each year will provide different opportunities for our students, this year we have visited and participated in projects with:

Visiting tutors and lecturers include:

Facilities

Staff

Course Leader: Nathan Cohen
Pathway Leader: Heather Barnett
Lecturer: Adrian Holme

 

 

 

 

How to apply

2017/18 entry
Please note, applications for 2017/18 entry for this course are now closed.

2018/19 entry
Applications for 2018/19 entry will open in Autumn 2017.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history 

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email. 

You will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Indicative Project Proposal

To apply for this MA we require that you write an initial project proposal. This proposal should demonstrate your understanding of contemporary art practice and thinking. The course sets no boundaries to the fields of possible interest, and it is understood that proposals will evolve and change during the course.  (Write between 800 and 1,000 words.)

Portfolio

You’ll be required to submit a digital portfolio containing up to 20 images of your work. Those working in film and video can upload a compilation film lasting no more than ten minutes. Please label your work carefully with your name, title and, if appropriate, the duration.

References

This course requires at least two references one of which should be an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

What happens next

We read and consider all application forms and personal references. Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your project proposal and documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to an interview (either in person or by skype).

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

When to Apply

We strongly recommend you apply before 30th June 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

Deferred Entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

2017/18 entry
Please note, applications for 2017/18 entry for this course are now closed.

2018/19 entry
Applications for 2018/19 entry will open in Autumn 2017.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Immigration History form (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an Immigration History form.

We will email you an Immigration History form when we receive your application.

You will need to send this back to us, by email, with copies of the following documents: 

  • Your passport photo page 
  • Your current visa (if you have one) and any previous UK study visas
  • Your current English language certificate (if you have this)
  • Your academic qualifications (A2, IB, high school diploma, foundation etc. - if completed. Translated into English)

Please note: If you do not complete and return your Immigration History form we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

You will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Indicative Project Proposal

To apply for this MA we require that you write an initial project proposal. This proposal should demonstrate your understanding of contemporary art practice and thinking. The course sets no boundaries to the fields of possible interest, and it is understood that proposals will evolve and change during the course.  (Write between 800 and 1,000 words.)

Portfolio

You will be required to submit a digital portfolio containing up to 20 images of your work. Those working in film and video can upload a compilation film lasting no more than ten minutes. Please label your work carefully with your name, title and, if appropriate, the duration.

References

This course requires at least two references one of which should be an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

What happens next

We read and consider all application forms and personal references. Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your project proposal and documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to an interview (either in person or by skype).

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

When to Apply

We strongly recommend you apply before 30 June 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

Deferred Entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

Entry requirements

Selection to MA Art and Science is determined by the quality of your application (including a written indicative project proposal and supporting material). You'll also need to meet the minimum entry requirements as indicated below, but please note that these qualifications alone won't be sufficient to secure entry to the course.

Minimum entry requirements

We consider applicants who have already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours degree. You can demonstrate this educational level by:

  • Having an Honours degree or an equivalent academic qualification;
  • Having a professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning that, taken together, can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is:

IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent.

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements. 

What we look for

We are seeking imaginative, resourceful individuals who are committed to exploring art in relation to science.

Selection criteria

Your application, indicative project proposal and supporting material will be assessed for: 

  • The quality of the applicant's practice;
  • The appropriateness of the applicant's skills, experience and practice to the area of interest identified for development in the course;
  • Effective communication of intentions, purposes and issues;
  • The level of contextual awareness and expression of perspective;
  • The potential for realisation of the stated objectives within the timeframe of the course and envisaged resources;
  • Evidence that the applicant has the confidence and ability to benefit from and contribute to the learning environment at postgraduate level.

The interview (for applicants selected following submission of the application form, indicative project proposal and supporting work) is used to evaluate the extent to which a candidate demonstrates:

  • A thoughtful and responsible approach to practice;
  • The capacity for independent research;
  • Appropriate critical and reflective abilities;
  • An awareness of the cultural and social context within which they practice;
  • Appropriate communication skills;
  • A preparedness to participate collaboratively in debate, practice and presentation.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £4,500 per year.

International fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £11,510 per year.

Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

Our Postgraduate Art Programme offers valuable opportunities to build transferable professional knowledge and skills. The exchange of perspectives with others through shared units, reading groups and debates helps establish stimulating and productive networks.

The focus on proposing and developing a major independent programme of study is supported by a shared professional practice lecture series featuring guest speakers plus opportunities to attend symposia and critique work in progress across subject areas. The Postgraduate Art Programme has wide-ranging links with professional organisations, collections and galleries, and includes opportunities for interaction and networking according to your personal career direction.

MA Art and Science graduates will be able to enhance communications and creative exchange between areas of art and the sciences, participate effectively in creative projects with an interdisciplinary perspective, work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams, and exercise initiative and personal responsibility in advancing research skills and subject knowledge as well as in managing their career or further studies. With these attributes and the abilities that underpin them, MA Art and Science graduates will be attractive to organisations that value creative thinking and the effective communication of ideas. They'll also have the potential to develop their interest at research degree level.

Alumni profiles

  • Luke Franklin

    Luke Franklin graduated in 2013, he was awarded the top prize in the Nova Awards amongst more than 35 of the best graduates at CSM.

  • Melanie King

    Melanie’s strong interest in cosmology, led to the ongoing collective project Space is Ace