• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course lengthPG Cert: full time over 15 weeks, Masters: full time 2 years (60 weeks)

MA Fine Art

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.

Scholarships, awards and funding

South Square Trust Scholarship Award
The Cecil Lewis Sculpture Scholarships
Jane Rapley Scholarships
Mercers' Arts Awards
The Mona Hatoum Bursaries

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage

 

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.

MA Fine Art Programme Specification 2018/19 (PDF, 343KB)

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

  • 3D Large: Wood

    Find out more about our wood workshops

  • Casting

    Find out more about our casting workshop

  • Digital Access Print

    Find out more about our digital print facilities at King's Cross

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

2018/19 entry

You can apply to this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the Entry Requirements section further down this page to learn about the application process which includes detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.

When to apply

We recommend you apply by the end of May at the very latest to avoid disappointment.

Your application will only be considered after you have successfully completed an online application, submitted required documents and a digital portfolio. 

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

Required information for all postgraduate courses

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history;

Indicative project proposal

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

  • 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.
  • Methods and resources
  • Sources and references
  • Any final points

If you do not complete all the required information or upload the necessary documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review. 

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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. 

Apply to MA Fine Art

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal.  Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Portfolio Review

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio (up to 20 pages) through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

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.

Following a review of your application and portfolio, you will either be invited for an interview or your application will be rejected via the UAL Applicant Portal.

Interview

  • If you currently live in the UK, you will be invited to attend an interview at college.
  • If you currently live outside the UK or unable to attend the interview in person, we can arrange a skype interview for you. 

The interview 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

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

2018/19 entry

You can apply to this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the Entry Requirements section further down this page to learn about the application process which includes detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.

When to apply

We recommend you apply by the end of May at the very latest to avoid disappointment.

Your application will only be considered after you have successfully completed an online application, submitted required documents and a digital portfolio.

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

Required information for all postgraduate courses

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history;

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.
  1. Methods and resources
  2. Sources and references
  3. Any final points

If you do not complete all the required information or upload the necessary documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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. 

Apply to MA Fine Art

Alternatively, international applicants can apply through an overseas representative in your country.

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal.  Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

Immigration History Check (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

What happens next

Portfolio Review

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio (up to 20 pages) through UAL’s online portfolio review system. 

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.

Following a review of your application and portfolio, you will either be invited for an interview or your application will be rejected via the UAL Applicant Portal.

Interview

  • If you currently live in the UK, you will be invited to attend an interview at college.
  • If you currently live outside the UK or unable to attend the interview in person, we can arrange a skype interview for you.

The interview 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

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

Entry requirements

An applicant will be considered for admission who has already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours Degree.

This educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • An Honours Degree or an equivalent academic qualification;
  • A professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours Degree;

Applicants who do not meet the standard course entry requirements may still be considered if the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by:

  • 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 Academic 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the 4 skills (on one single test).

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

What we look for

We're seeking imaginative, resourceful individuals who are committed to exploring art practice.

Selection criteria

Your application, indicative study statement 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.
  • Interview, approx. 30 min (see guidance in How to Apply section).

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2018/19: £5,000 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.

ELQ 

Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the 'ELQ' fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. If you have a query regarding the ELQ fee, please use our course enquiry form.

International fee

Tuition fees for 2018/19: £12,430 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.