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Postgraduate

MA Fine Art

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Veera Rustomji.
MA Fine Art Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
College
Chelsea College of Arts
Start date
September 2023
Course length
15 months (full time)

MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts offers emerging artists an intensive programme of development to professional practice.

Subject to re-approval

This course is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high-quality academic experience. During re-approval there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

Course overview

MA Fine Art at Chelsea 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.

What to expect

  • To contextualise your work in relation to contemporary cultural practices and ideas
  • To independently produce critically aware work
  • To build your professional experience and portfolio through regular participation in public exhibitions, events and publications
  • Regular practice consultancies, discussions, group activities and workshops
  • To become an active member of an international arts community
  • To participate in discursive and collaborative practices with colleagues
  • To get involved in our partnerships network, through which we organise workshops, lectures, discussions, studio visits, field trips and exhibitions. These currently include Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the UAL Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN)

Mode of study 

MA Fine Art is offered in full-time mode and runs for 45 weeks over 15 months, with a break over the summer. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

Unit 1 - Establishing a community

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

  • Inductions to learning resources at Chelsea
  • To use the studios as a flexible space to produce work, foster dialogue and collaborate
  • To be introduced to the concept of ‘communities of practice’. This means that every practitioner is a participant within the arts community - at Chelsea, in London and globally
  • Off-site activities including professional practice workshops and introductions to London’s emerging art scene
  • To develop your own practice and ideas through participating in dialogue and knowledge sharing with your peers
  • To work collaboratively on exhibitions and events with your peers
  • To continually make work in a professional context for a public audience
  • To take part in a group show that is open to the public. This will take place at the end of unit 1 in the studios at Chelsea
  • To be assessed on your participation in the unit 1 exhibition and your contribution to the online course publication

Unit 2 - Making your work public

This unit is structured to foster an intensive period of practice development. It is designed to help you refine your ideas and how to articulate them to different audiences.

  • A lecture and seminar series to help you situate your ideas within contemporary dialogues and debates
  • Writing workshops to help you approach writing as an integral part of your practice
  • To create an online professional portfolio that will include your completed work, CV, artist’s statement and other relevant information
  • A series of professional development workshops will help you in thinking about exhibition strategies and project management
  • To take part in and organise an off-site live project with your peers
  • To present work in the college postgraduate show
  • To submit a formal proposal for your unit 3 self-directed live project

Unit 3 - Locating and sustaining your practice

This unit is about progressing your career ambitions and will take place entirely off campus.

  • To develop a proposal that outlines how you plan to progress your professional practice during the unit
  • To be assigned and supported by an advisor, who is an arts professional
  • To explore how you might activate your practice within an external context that you have chosen and identified as appropriate to your 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
  • To be assessed on contributions to the online course publication, your online portfolio and end of unit presentation

Note: 120 Credits must be passed before the final unit is undertaken.

Learning and teaching methods

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

Student work

  • Chelsea-MA-Fine-Art-Ant-Hamlyn-1000.jpg
    Ant Hamlyn - MA Fine Art
  • Chelsea-MA-Fine-Art-Radu-Nastasia-1000.jpg
    Radu Nastasia - MA Fine Art
  • Chelsea-MA-Fine-Art-Anqi-Zhao-1000.jpg
    Anqi Zhao - MA Fine Art
  • Chelsea-MA-Fine-Art-Ryohei-Oba-1000.jpg
    Ryohei Oba - MA Fine Art
  • Chelsea-MA-Fine-Art-Alex-Urie.jpg
    Alex Urie - MA Fine Art
  • Chelsea-MA-Fine-Art-Karen-Piddington.jpg
    Karen Piddington - MA Fine Art
  • Chelsea-MA-Fine-Art-Kyungryul-Park-1000.jpg
    Kyungryul Park - MA Fine Art
  • Chelsea-MA-Fine-Art-Emmely-Elgersma.jpg
    Emmely Elgersma - MA Fine Art

Jiaqing Mo

Staff

  • Patricia Ellis - Fine Art Programme Director
  • Ian Monroe - Course Leader
  • Shahin Afrassiabi - Associate Lecturer
  • Sarah Baker - Associate Lecturer
  • Sam Capps - Associate Lecturer
  • Ami Clarke - Associate Lecturer
  • Quilla Constance - Associate Lecturer
  • Sacha Craddock - Associate Lecturer
  • Jeff Dennis - Senior Lecturer
  • Diane Edwards - Associate Lecturer
  • Doug Fishborne - Associate Lecturer
  • Lucy Gunning - Associate Lecturer
  • Galia Kollectiv - Senior Lecturer
  • Professor Paul Goodwin - UAL Chair of Contemporary Art and Urbanism, Director of TrAIN
  • Candice Jacobs - Associate Lecturer
  • Sharone Lifschitz - Associate Lecturer
  • Caroline McCarthy - Associate Lecturer
  • Milika Muritu - Associate Lecturer
  • Janette Parris - Associate Lecturer
  • Amanprit Sandhu - Associate Lecturer
  • Lindsay Seers - Associate Lecturer
  • Anna Vickery - Associate Lecturer

Fees and funding

Home fee

£13,910

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£29,330

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

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

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work and personal statement.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

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:

Selection criteria

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

Apply now

Apply

Home students apply by direct application.

Apply

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Insight into your practice. Discuss your ideas, interests, research, processes, making, presentation, or other information that is important to understanding your work.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of your practice and how you would like to develop your work.
  • Any relevant experience, especially if you do not have formal academic qualifications.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing a concise and focussed portfolio of your own completed work.
  • Submit documentation in a format that best showcases the work.
  • Large images that clearly communicate the work on a computer screen.
  • Critical awareness and ability to select work that represents your strengths.
  • A body of work that shows evidence of a sustained enquiry and reflection.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, you will be invited to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. We will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

Apply

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Insight into your practice. Discuss your ideas, interests, research, processes, making, presentation, or other information that is important to understanding your work.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of your practice and how you would like to develop your work.
  • Any relevant experience, especially if you do not have formal academic qualifications.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing a concise and focussed portfolio of your own completed work.
  • Submit documentation in a format that best showcases the work.
  • Large images that clearly communicate the work on a computer screen.
  • Critical awareness and ability to select work that represents your strengths.
  • A body of work that shows evidence of a sustained enquiry and reflection.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Careers

The course develops 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.

Alumni

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.