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MA Fine Art

College
CSM
Start date
October 2020
Course length
Two years (60 weeks)
Extended full-time

Apply to start in October 2020

This course has places available for UK and EU applicants only. We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2020/21 entry to this course.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we are unable to say at this point if places will become available before the autumn intake. Please check this page regularly as places may become available later in the cycle and if they do, we will reopen applications.

Coronavirus updates

If you're thinking about applying, or you've applied for a postgraduate course starting in 2020/21, see guidance for prospective students during the Coronavirus outbreak.

On MA Fine Art, you will critically address what it means to practice as an artist today.

How does your work engage with wider social and cultural concerns? What is at stake in your practice? This course is part of the Art programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Studio community: The MA Fine Art studios are in an independent building at Archway. Our studio community mixes autonomous practice and collective responsibilities, individual workspaces and shared project space. You will have access to workshops and facilities both at Archway and at the King's Cross campus.
  • Exchange and collaboration: We encourage cross-course and transdisciplinary exchange and collaboration. Outside of the College, we have also worked with the Bilderfahrzeuge Research Project at the Warburg Institute, the British Museum, the Museum of London, Tate Modern, as well as galleries and artist-led spaces.
  • Postgraduate community: As a student on MA Fine Art you will also be part of the postgraduate community. This offers a wide range of opportunities to enrich your work on the course with input from across programmes, Colleges and disciplines.
  • Alumni network: Our graduates are an active community. They exhibit all over the world and participate in residency programmes, performance and film festivals. They practice in the community as well as pursuing careers as critics, writers, curators, teachers. Recent graduates of the course are regularly featured in exhibitions such as Bloomberg New Contemporaries and the Threadneedle Prize.

Open days

The next round of open days will take place from January to April 2021, please check back here in November 2020 to book online.

Scholarships, awards and funding

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

UAL UK/EU Postgraduate Scholarships
UAL International Postgraduate £5,000 Scholarships
UAL International Postgraduate £30,000 Scholarships and ISH accommodation award

An introduction to MA Fine Art
Enterprising Practice: Postgraduate Breakfast at Show One

Student work

MA Fine Art stories

Counter Acts: in conversation

As the exhibition exploring the connections between UAL and the Turner Prize continues at the Lethaby Gallery, we talk to Osei Bonsu, the show’s curator and BA Culture, Criticism and Curation alum.

Facilities

Course overview

MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins supports a broad range of experimental practices. It will test and challenge your practice, bringing it into a contemporary critical context. Our research-based teaching strategies actively seek to extend your experience and skills. We work responsively to your changing needs as individuals. We also encourage collaborative projects in relation to your work. 

The course is home to a wide range of international artists. Our students work in many media including painting, sculpture, print, installation, time-based and digital. The course offers an environment where complex social, cultural and artistic view-points are negotiated. Art-making in this context is a testing ground for ideas and media. Artists who study with us are open to change not just in expanding their practices but in creating new positions. Our focus is on student-centred learning, bringing your work to critical scrutiny in the studio. You will develop your individual research into confident, sustained practice. 

We place an emphasis on the investigation of materials and processes of fabrication. The College has a sector-leading set of workshops across traditional and contemporary media. The MA Fine Art course itself has a track record of innovative teaching. On this course, you will have the opportunity to work with students from different disciplines and levels. Recent projects have investigated sound-based practices, archival work, virtual reality, photogrammetry, digital publication and animation. These projects strengthen critical engagement with contemporary technologies of making and dissemination. They also work as forums for cross-course and transdisciplinary exchange and collaboration. 

An intensive programme of study will develop your skills and knowledge of research methods in art-related fields. Your learning will extend across our postgraduate Art programme, offering opportunities to meet your peers and to become familiar with the College’s research community. On the course, we aim to provide you with a range of opportunities and learning experiences, giving you a broad skill-set to go out into professional life.

Course units

MA Fine Art supports the development of your thinking and practice. Teaching includes personal tutorials, group critique and external events. 

Unit 1: Enquiry and Process

In Unit 1, you will extend your technical vocabulary and will be introduced to a wide range of workshops. Lectures and seminars will introduce research methodologies. You will also explore key theories and critical issues with a range of specialist staff and visiting speakers. Your work in this unit will lead to an agreed individual study programme for Unit 2.

Unit 2: Knowledge and Communication

The emphasis of Unit 2 is to develop your practical, conceptual and technological research. This is formulated through both studio work and your research paper. You will start with group sessions to facilitate discussion of shared ground and differing concerns. These sessions are designed to help you think through and formulate your ideas into a research paper proposal. The specific contexts and sources of your research will be presented as a focused, critical paper, helping to set the agenda for your work in Unit 3.

Unit 3: Communication and Realisation

During Unit 3 you will be supported in the production of a body of work for public exhibition at the Degree Show. Throughout the unit, you will advance your professional and academic skills to a level that prepares you for post-graduation practices.

Collaborative projects

An important emphasis of the course is self-organisation and collaborative working. As you develop more independence over the course, you will have opportunities to engage with a variety of collaborative projects. These vary from year-to-year and have recently included international projects, external exhibitions and trans-disciplinary partnerships, publication and site-specific events. We have also worked across the Art programme, collaborating on projects with other MA and BA courses.

Lecture programme

There are a number of lecture programmes to help contextualise and broaden your practice and its contexts. Postgraduate lectures offer the opportunity for all members of the MA-level Art programme to meet regularly and engage with contemporary issues that touch all the disciplines. Additionally, Art programme lectures are delivered by visiting artists. There is also a broad extra-curricular offer of College and University-wide lectures and artist talks.

Interim exhibition

In the Spring term of Year 1 the interim exhibition brings together students from across the Central Saint Martins postgraduate Art programme. This initiative provides you with the experience and skills required to organise a professional event and to present and test your work appropriately. This is a public exhibition which takes place off-site.

Practice events

Units 2 and 3 include a series of practice events. These are an opportunity to curate and install finished work in a group context in our project space. You will learn how to curate a space collectively and engage in critical discussion with your peers. You will produce a piece of finished, installed work and feedback will be through a staff-led critique.

Postgraduate Art Auction

The auction happens in the Autumn term of Year 2, giving you a direct experience of a live commercial auction. Alongside works donated by alumni and supporters, you will be asked to put up a piece for sale. All second-year students contribute to the preparation and running of the event. Proceeds pay for the Interim Show and the Degree Show catalogue.

Exchange opportunities

Students enrolled on this course have the opportunity to study outside of the UK at a partner institution. Studying overseas provides students with the chance to experience a new culture. It also allows for an alternative perspective on your course’s subject discipline and different learning and teaching methods. The application process for these opportunities is competitive.

Mode of study

MA Fine Art is offered in extended full-time mode which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.

The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities.

Credit and award requirements

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits.

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only.

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Study statement 
  • Lecture programme 
  • Personal tutorials 
  • Collaborative projects 
  • Practice events 
  • Interim exhibition 
  • Postgraduate auction 
  • Research paper and concept groups 
  • Degree Show 

Assessment methods

  • Research and preparatory work 
  • Study statement 
  • Outputs from group project work  
  • Documentation of work 
  • Verbal and visual presentations 
  • Written work 
  • Participation in activities and debate 
  • Self-critical evaluation 
  • Realisation of individual programme of practice 

Staff

Alex  Schady

Alex Schady

Programme Director, Art Programme

Louisa  Minkin

Louisa Minkin

Course Leader, MA Fine Art

Alex  Landrum

Alex Landrum

Tutor, MA Fine Art

Susan  Trangmar

Susan Trangmar

Reader, MA Fine Art

Tutor: Dr Kate Love
Tutor: John Cairns
Associate Lecturer: Nooshin Farhid
Associate Lecturer: Marc Hulson
Associate Lecturer: Ami Clarke

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. 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

Or a combination of these factors.

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

English language requirements

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas: 

  • The quality of your practice 
  • Ability to devise and develop a self-directed programme of study 
  • The ability to develop and contextualise work in written form 
  • The ability to analyse and evaluate in both visual and oral terms 
  • Eagerness to contribute to the learning environment at postgraduate level.

What we are looking for 

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

Making your application

This course has places available for UK and EU applicants only for 2020/21 entry. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open in Autumn 2020.

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. 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.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information 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

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course (between 300-500 words) and should include:

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • What is your relevant experience?
  • Do you have any relevant skills?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

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.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 31 March 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2020/21 entry to this course.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we are unable to say at this point if places will become available before the autumn intake. Please check this page regularly as places may become available later in the cycle and if they do, we will reopen applications.

Applications for 2021/22 entry will open in Autumn 2020.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. 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.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information 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

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course (between 300-500 words) and should include:

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • What is your relevant experience?
  • Do you have any relevant skills?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

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.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 31 March 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents or book an audition, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

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 portfolio through the UAL Portal.

Portfolio

The portfolio should be no more than 20 pages comprising your work which should contain selected images/documentation of your work/research evidencing your current creative practice.  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 the review of your application, indicative project proposal and portfolio, we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to interview, either in person or by skype.

Interview

The interview typically lasts approximately 30 minutes and we normally interview by skype. 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 Portal.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2020/21: £5,870 per year. Please note that fees for subsequent years of study will be subject to an inflationary increase of up to 5%.

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

International fee

Tuition fees for 2020/21: £14,725 per year.

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.

Progression discount

UAL alumni can receive a 20% tuition fee discount on a taught Masters course at UAL. Visit the progression discount page to find out more.

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.

Scholarship 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.