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Chelsea College of Arts

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MA Fine Art

Start date
October 2018
Course length
1 year (full time)

Course summary

Places available 2018/19

This course has places available for UK and EU applicants only. Applications have now closed for international students.

You can apply for this course via the ‘How to apply’ section on this page.

MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts offers emerging artists an intensive programme of development to professional practice. The course is designed to help enhance the making, criticality and articulation of your practice. It aims to expand your work’s audiences and contextual reach.

Experimental studio practice and individual inquiry are activated in professional contexts. These challenge what art is or could be, how art is communicated, and how artists can develop their practices in forward-thinking and culturally progressive ways.

Student work

Jiaqing Mo.

Course details

What students can expect

  • Regular studio consultancies, discussions, field trips and workshops
  • To engage with a wide array of practitioners and thinkers
  • To independently produce critically aware work
  • To contextualise your work in relation to contemporary cultural practices and ideas
  • To take part in discursive and collaborative practices with colleagues
  • To build your professional experience and portfolio. This will be through regular participation in public exhibitions, events and publications
  • To take part in our partnerships network. This currently includes the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the UAL Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN). Together we organise workshops, lectures, seminars, studio visits, field trips and exhibitions
  • A student run MA Fine Art public gallery located at Chelsea
  • To contribute to the MA Fine Art student led online publication. This encourages expanded practices of writing, video, journalism, cultural criticism and arts communication
  • To have access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, audio-visual editing suite, metal and woodwork. View the Chelsea facilities

Course units

The MA Fine Art course will be split into 3 units over a 45-week course.

  • Unit 1 - Establishing a community
  • Unit 2 - Making your work public
  • Unit 3 - Locating and sustaining your practice

The course will be delivered over 15 months, running from October in one year to the following December.

There will be a break over the summer in July, August and September after the MA show, which will take place after the second unit rather than at the end of the course.

Having completed the MA show students will then be supported to extend their practice into a specifically chosen context away from Chelsea. This will be the third unit, entitled ‘Locating and sustaining your practice’.

This unit will explore how a student might activate their practice within an external context that they have chosen and identified as appropriate to their development. This may include setting up a studio collective with other students from the course, or operating within a professional context within London, the United Kingdom or abroad.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Exhibition making and publishing
  • Field trips
  • In-studio consultancies
  • Live projects
  • Professional practice workshops
  • Technical workshop support
  • Theory lectures and discussion forums

Assessments methods

  • Examination of work in exhibition and live contexts
  • Online journal contributions
  • Practice analysis
  • Peer feedback
  • Professional portfolio
  • Self-evaluation

Course dates

1 October - 9 November 2018
19 November - 21 December 2018

14 January - 22 February 2019
4 March - 29 March 2019

22 April - 31 May 2019
10 June - 12 July 2019

16 September - 8 November 2019
18 November - 20 December 2019


  • Patricia Ellis - Course Leader
  • Brian Chalkley - Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Stephen Wilson - Theory Coordinator
  • Professor Paul Goodwin - UAL Chair of Contemporary Art and Urbanism, Director of TrAIN
  • Rozsa Farkas - Associate Lecturer
  • Babak Ghazi - Senior Lecturer
  • Morag Keil - Associate Lecturer
  • Shama Khanna - Associate Lecturer
  • Candice Jacobs - Associate Lecturer
  • Janette Parris - Associate Lecturer
  • Morgan Quaintance - Associate Lecturer
  • Rachel Reupke - Associate Lecturer
  • Lucy Stein - Associate Lecturer
  • Neal Tait - Associate Lecturer

Guest Lecturers 2015-17

  • Larry Achiampong
  • Sophie Berrebi
  • Judith Butler
  • Evan Ifekoya
  • Onkar Kular
  • Lisa LaFeuvre
  • Sook Kyung Lee
  • Michael McMillan
  • David Oswell
  • Takeshi Shiomitsu
  • Linda Stupart
  • Holly White
  • Mick Wilson
  • Jesse Wine

Visiting Practitioners 2015-17

  • Hannah Black
  • Arvida Bystrom
  • Federico Campagna
  • Jesse Darling
  • Natalie Dray
  • Rosie Hastings and Hannah Quinlan
  • Caspar Heinemann
  • Amalia Ulman

Practitioners in Residence 2015-17

  • Oreet Ashery
  • Anthea Hamilton
  • Futoshi Miyagi
  • Roberto Visani

How to apply

2018/19 entry

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


Application deadline

The home / EU deadline is midday, Wednesday 29 August 2018.

This course is now closed to international applicants.

Further information about the application process

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

  • Personal details
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Personal statement
  • CV (curriculum vitae)

Once you have submitted the form you will be emailed a link to upload your portfolio (30 images).

The course leader will review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application.

Entry requirements

  • BA (Hons) degree or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should show the following:

  • Work that demonstrates how you develop your ideas through a process of ongoing critical reflection
  • Recent work that shows evidence of a sustained, independent enquiry
  • Clear documentation of work that is too big to bring to interview
  • The portfolio should be concise, show critical awareness and the ability to select work that best represents your strengths

At interview and portfolio review

We look for:

  • The potential to devise and develop a self-directed programme of fine art practice and related research
  • Evidence of an ability to carry out a sustained independent enquiry through making work
  • The ability to analyse and evaluate in both visual and oral terms
  • The ability to develop and contextualise work in written form
  • An eagerness to engage in the critical debate surrounding contemporary fine art practice and to develop a critical framework for their practice

Applicants may be offered a place on an alternative MA or Graduate Diploma course within Camberwell, Chelsea or Wimbledon. This decision will be based on our assessment of an applicants' creative potential and interests.

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£10,500 (Full Time - 2018/19 fees).

International fee

£21,840 (Full Time - 2018/19 fees).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

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.

Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) fee - Home / EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 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.


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

Scholarships and awards

Use our search tool to find out more about the scholarships and awards available to students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

The course develops our students’ potential to operate as professional practitioners within an international art community, or to progress to further academic research at PhD level.

Many students go on to set up their own studio practice, developing strong professional links with galleries, critics, and curators. Many Chelsea MA Fine Art alumni are practicing artists working at national and international level.

Due to the course’s interdisciplinary practical approach, many graduates have expanded or multi-platform careers in related fields such as curating, arts management, art dealing, arts advisory services, theatre, film, broadcasting, music, fashion, education, events management, online media, writing and publishing.


Graduates from Chelsea's MA Fine Art course include Turner Prize winning artists and nominees Helen Chadwick, Peter Doig, Anish Kapoor, Mike Nelson, Mariella Neudecker, Andreas Oelhert, Stephen Pippin, Kimio Tsuchiya, Mark Wallinger and Rebecca Warren.

Other alumni, who are now established practitioners, include Keith Coventry, Nicky Hoberman, Morag Keil, Julie Lomax, Haroon Mirza and Saskia Olde Wolbers.

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.

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