• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2017
  • Course lengthPG Cert: full time over 15 weeks, Masters: full time 2 years (60 weeks)

MA Fine Art

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

The MA Fine Art Course supports a broad range of experimental practices. This course will test and challenge your individual practice, bringing it into a contemporary critical context. Events, exhibitions and discussion help to build and challenge both individual and collective practices. The international profile of the course means that the community we foster is culturally diverse.

Our research based teaching strategies actively seek to extend your experience and skills. We work responsively to the changing needs of students to develop collaborative projects in relation to their own work. Recent groups have explored 3D imaging technology, field recording, digital platforms and education workshops.  

External collaborations and opportunities produce rich and varied contexts to challenge orthodoxies and to develop new modes of practice. The course actively maintains its longstanding links with cultural institutions and organisations as well as seeking to develop new partnerships. We offer a broad range of professional experiences to students, from working with major public institutions to small artist-led spaces. Through such collaborations you will learn to bring works into a public context, experiment with forms of exhibition making, learn education and professional presentation skills.

This course is part of the Art programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • The MA Fine Art studios are located in an independent building in Archway. The course gives students their own space in a self contained studio building facilitating independent working practices and encouraging self-organisation. Students have access to workshops and facilities both at Archway and at the King's Cross campus
  • MA Fine Art enables 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. The pacing of the course allows for thoughtful and risk taking development over the two years. It allows time for questioning and radical change
  • As a student on MA Fine Art you will also be part of the Postgraduate community – csm and ual wide. This offers a wide range of opportunities to counterpoint your work on the course with input from across programmes, colleges and disciplines.
  • Opportunities to work and show collaboratively are an important aspect of the course. These can include international exchanges, external exhibitions and trans-disciplinary partnerships, publication and site specific events. We have recently worked with Tate Modern, Museum of London, Matts Gallery, The Agency, Banner Repeater, TAP Southend and  internationally with Tokyo University of the Arts, the International Printmaking Union, ENSAV La Cambre, Brussels
  • Our graduates are an active community. They exhibit all over the world and participate in residency programmes, performance and film festivals and practice in the community as well as pursuing careers as critics, writers, curators, teachers. Some progress to further research degree study. Recent graduates of the course are regularly featured in exhibitions such as Bloomberg New Contemporaries and the Threadneedle Prize
  • From the outset the programme of study develops your research skills and knowledge of research methods in art-related fields. Our seminar programme provides opportunities to get to know the research community here at CSM. Resarch underpins the critical exploration of your work, its structuring, context and communication, and drives insight into contemporary cultural debates.

 

MA Fine Art interim show.

Enterprising Practice: Postgraduate Breakfast at Show One 

Martin Cordiano

Martin Cordiano

Course detail

Synergies in our Fine Art Programme create a dynamic context for exploring practices and issues within contemporary culture.

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

MA Fine Art provides an extensive final unit of 120 credits (45 weeks) enabling continuous development and realisation of a significant programme of work.

MA Fine Art supports and is shaped by:

  • Diversity of professional directions, aspirations and cultural perspectives
  • Reflective research-based practice including writing as practice in fine art
  • An interrogation of what informs making and how making generates knowledge
  • Independent study and practice and critical reflection on definitions of art and its potential within social space
  • Exploration of the parameters of contemporary art, building on knowledge of the contexts and frameworks of practice
  • Dialogue to determine the conditions of possibility for contemporary art.

About this course

  • MA Fine Art lasts 60 weeks structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each (i.e. two academic years) in its 'extended full-time mode'
  • MA Fine Art is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises 2 units: Unit 1 (60 credits) and Unit 2 (120 credits)
  • Students successfully achieving Units 1 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 2 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 structure

Artists today recognise the breadth and diversity of the social, cultural, economic and technological contexts for contemporary art. This MA Fine Art course engages with and contributes to change and development in the expanded field of art. Although its core concern is with practice, it promotes the hybrid nature of current art practices by exploring the boundaries of, and the interface between, art and critical ideas.

MA Fine Art actively promotes its identity as a multidisciplinary course focusing on criticality and process through a flexible, mobile approach to contemporary fine art practice and its discourses. We support innovative and experimental practice through the application of ideas, media and materials. At graduation you'll have achieved a resolved level of critical thinking, deepened your understanding of contemporary debates and research methods, and made your practice more professional.

International contemporary art increasingly celebrates the integrated nature of theory and practice. Central to your experience of the course is a growing awareness of the relationship between these elements. MA Fine Art provides a unique and challenging environment in which to establish agendas that will shape the cultural environment of tomorrow.

Course outline

MA Fine Art combines an innovative experience of fine art practice with the integral development of research and writing skills. You can work in and across disciplines that include painting, video, film, installation, sculpture, photography and electronic media.

MA Fine Art emphasises individual learning by negotiating an approach to practice and theory with you. It means you'll be able to locate your practice in the professional and intellectual contexts within which you'll operate as an artist. This commitment to individual practice acknowledges the international models of art practice that inform contemporary art's debates.

MA Fine Art attracts applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. Influences from this diverse intake resonate within each cohort and are key to driving the course's agendas and debates, transcending disciplinary or cultural boundaries. The postgraduate course's critical approach is based on theoretical and analytical discourses that, in today's global art world, reflect influences from beyond Europe and North America.

From the outset, an essential programme of study develops your research skills and knowledge of research modes in art-related fields. Your learning extends across our Postgraduate Art Programme, offering invaluable opportunities for peer association and familiarisation with the college's research community. Research underpins the critical exploration of your work, its structuring, context and communication, and drives insight into contemporary cultural debates.

In the spring term of year one the interim exhibition brings together students from across the CSM Postgraduate Art Programme. This is a point in the unit where students will receive formative feedback on their work and progress. Students will prepare their work for a public context in an external venue. Student-led, this initiative offers important experience of the skills required to organise a professional event and to present and test your work appropriately

MA Fine Art supports the development of your thinking and practice through a study plan or 'study statement', introduced and developed during the first 15 weeks. The statement helps you manage your individual practice and articulate concerns as they arise or develop. Your practice is supported through lectures and seminars exploring key theories and critical issues with a range of specialist staff and visiting speakers.

Your study statement, considered alongside work in progress, leads to an agreed individual study programme for Unit 3. This programme addresses your learning and aims as a whole, taking in ideas, research methods and projected forms, as well as the theoretical and professional contexts for your practice.

Unit One - What is practice?

In this Unit you will explore and develop the relationship between your research and your evolving practice.

Drawing on tutorials, critiques and technical workshops, this Unit enables you to orient and develop your practice by investigating and implementing practical and critical processes in line with the aims set out in your Study Statement. You will also be introduced to research skills and methods to help you make informed decisions about appropriate approaches and methods to use in your chosen area of study.

Through the Unit you will develop your study statement, evaluating your research interests as they change over the first part of the course. Your statement grows through a process of continuous reflection that helps you understand your practice and its contexts more clearly. It will provide a considered and focused evaluation of your current concerns and development as an artist, in addition to helping you define your objectives for the rest of the MA course. You each bring a body of knowledge and a cultural perspective to the course and the teaching events in Unit 1 stimulate encounters between these different perspectives through peer presentations, group crits, study statement workshops and a weekly seminar programme.

Running in parallel are lectures introducing you to ideas, discourses and critical positions in contemporary Fine Art Lectures are given by external guest speakers and by staff across the Art Programme, introducing you to their research expertise and interests. These lectures also explore the interface between practice and research and provide a context within which you will become familiar with different approaches to research methods. The diverse range of staff research enables the course to support a broad range of experimental practices, research methods and forms of enquiry.

Unit Two - Realisation of reasearch and practice

You will focus on your developing practice according to questions raised in your study statement and the aims of your research paper. The Unit takes an ambitious approach to practice, heightening your awareness of current ideas and placing your practice in context.

You will be supported in the production of a body of work for exhibition, and in the completion of your agreed written work. Support takes the form of tutorials, technical advice and bookable workshops.

The unit culminates with the degree show.  The show takes place at the Kings Cross Campus together with the other courses in the Art Programme. This is the highlight of the year and a great opportunity to make your work visible and to develop your professional network. This is a celebratory event of students’ individual and collective achievements on the course.

By the end of Unit 2 your exhibited and written work should reflect a synthesis of reflexive, conceptual, practical and professional abilities. Your mark for Unit 2 determines the classification of your MA award.

Programme specification: MA Fine Art (PDF 70kb)

Industry collaborations

Opportunities to work and show collaboratively are an important aspect of the course. These can include international exchanges, external exhibitions and trans-disciplinary partnerships, publication and site specific events. We have recently worked with Tate Modern, Museum of London, Matts Gallery, The Agency, Banner Repeater, TAP Southend and  internationally with Tokyo University of the Arts, the International Printmaking Union, ENSAV La Cambre, Brussels, Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

In addition to this we also run the Postgraduate Auction. The auction happens in the autumn term of year two, giving students a direct experience of a live commercial auction. Alongside donated works from alumni and supporters, each student is asked to put up a piece for sale. Proceeds pay for the Interim Show and the catalogue.

 

Facilities

Staff

Programme Director:Alex Schady

Course Leader:Louisa Minkin

Tutor:Alex Landrum
Tutor:Susan Trangmar
Tutor:Dr Kate Love
TutorMargot Bannerman
Tutor:John Cairns

Associate Lecturer: Nooshin Farhid
Associate Lecturer: Marc Hulson
Associate Lecturer: Ami Clarke

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form.

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 will 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

Briefly describe the project that you are interested in undertaking and developing, including the following:

  1. Overall aims, objectives and rationale
    • Personal relevance of work proposed: refer to your skills / experimental / experiential background and plan for continuing professional / educational development;
    • What areas of fine art will your work investigate, contribute to and/or challenge?
    • Briefly explain your proposed approach, demonstrating an awareness of planning and timescales, including any problems you may encounter and how you hope to solve them, and what resources will be involved, for example materials, processes, archives, collections etc.
    • Indicate the importance and relevance of previous related studies by providing evidence of key texts, (theories / approaches / sources).
    • Please briefly indicate any particular questions or further points in relation to your project intentions.
  2. Methods and resources
  3. Sources and references
  4. Any final points

Portfolio

We would like to see up to 20 images of your work. Those working in film and video should submit a compilation show reel lasting not more than ten minutes. Your portfolio should evidence your current creative practice.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. 

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 applications.

Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, selection is based on your project proposal and documentation of work and supporting information. You may also be invited to attend 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.

You can apply for this course using our online application form.

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 will 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

Briefly describe the project that you are interested in undertaking and developing, including the following:

  1. Overall aims, objectives and rationale
    • Personal relevance of work proposed: refer to your skills / experimental / experiential background and plan for continuing professional /educational development;
    • What areas of fine art will your work investigate, contribute to and/or challenge?
    • Briefly explain your proposed approach, demonstrating an awareness of planning and timescales, including any problems you may encounter and how you hope to solve them, and what resources will be involved, for example materials, processes, archives, collections etc.
    • Indicate the importance and relevance of previous related studies by providing evidence of key texts, (theories / approaches / sources).
    • Please briefly indicate any particular questions or further points in relation to your project intentions.
  2. Methods and resources
  3. Sources and references
  4. Any final points

Portfolio

We would like to see up to 20 images of your work. Those working in film and video should submit a compilation show reel lasting not more than ten minutes. Your portfolio should evidence your current creative practice.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience.

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 applications.

Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, selection is based on your project proposal and documentation of work and supporting information. You may also be invited to attend 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 Fine Art is determined by the quality of your application (including a written indicative project proposal and supporting material). You will 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're seeking imaginative, resourceful individuals who are committed to exploring art practice.

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. Please note that fees for subsequent years of study will be subject to an inflationary increase of up to 5%.

£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.

International fee

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

£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.

Career possibilities for fine art graduates have expanded in recent years in line with increased opportunities in contemporary arts generally, in London and internationally. Alternative pathways for MA Fine Art graduates include residency programmes, performance festivals, teaching, and practising in the community. There are also opportunities in critical writing, curating and further research degree study.

Recent MA Fine Art alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the subject, with many of our fine art graduates prominent in galleries, competitions and events.

In 2007 Mark Melvin won the Nationwide Mercury Art Prize, Gemma Pardo was selected for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries, and Ayan Farrah founded Front Room Projects. In 2008 Sachiyo Nishimura was selected for New Contemporaries. In 2009 Maurice Citron was part of the Saatchi New Sensations show with his work being seen on Channel 4, and New Contemporaries showcased work by students Johanna Piesniewski and Hannes Ribarits. In 2010 graduates exhibited widely - shows included Bibi Katholm at 2 Taekker Space, Berlin, and the Vegas Gallery, London, and Filipo Caramazza at Hayles Gallery, London. Students Francesca Simon and Gwen Yip were shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize 2010.

Alumni profiles

  • Josh Baum

    Josh won the Zabludowicz Collection Future Map prize in 2010

  • Iyvone Khoo

    Iyvone won a Mead Fellowship award and was a Future Map exhibitor in 2011

  • Sarah Lüdemann

    Sarah completed her MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2011.