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Postgraduate

MA Fine Art

Images of a garden printed onto glass sculptures
Sian Fan, Garden 3 - Credit: Image courtesy of UAL
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
October 2021
Course length
Two years (60 weeks)
Extended full-time

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.

Student work

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    Alex Dipple
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    Kristaps Ancans
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    John Arnada
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    Imma
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    Christelle Viviers | Re[figuring]Dialectical Flatness_squaring the ground
  • degreeshow2016_204.jpeg
    Mustafa Boga | Army Time Memoir

MA Fine Art stories

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 and the way you make and imagine practice to critical scrutiny. You will develop your individual research into confident, sustained practice. 

We place an emphasis on the investigation of materials and processes of fabrication; the intelligence of the work is in the making and the approach to realisation. The MA Fine Art course itself has a track record of innovative teaching. There are opportunities to work with students from different disciplines and at different levels of qualification and this can happen through the extended, digital, campus as well as focused projects. Recent examples 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 workshops and online teaching events that will help you extend your own practice. 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 practice or making  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 dissemination and presentation. 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 co-operative working. As you develop more independence over the course, you will have opportunities to engage with a variety of collaborative projects or practice that involves co-operation. These vary from year-to-year and have recently included international projects, external exhibitions and trans-disciplinary partnerships, publication and site-specific events; in both real and virtual environments. We have also worked across the Art programme, collaborating on projects with other MA and BA courses.

Lecture programme

There are a number of lectures to help contextualise and broaden your practice and its references. Postgraduate lectures offer the opportunity for all members of the MA-level Art programme to meet regularly for debate and engage with contemporary issues that touch all the disciplines. There are additionally, Art programme lectures  delivered by visiting artists. 

Interim exhibition

In the Spring term of Year 1 the interim exhibition/event brings together students from across the Central Saint Martins postgraduate Art programme. This initiative provides you with opportunities for directly sharing practice and experience with the broader post-graduate community across the art programme and test your ideas and approach to audience engagement with your work. 

Practice events

Units 2 and 3 include a series of practice events. These are an opportunity to curate and present finished work in a group context both online and in the studio project space. These events offer you practice and experience in the curation of work through collective endeavour and engage you in critical discussion with your peers. 

Postgraduate Online Art Auction

The auction happens in the Autumn term of Year 2, giving you a direct experience of a live commercial online 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 contribute to the costs for the Interim event and  student Showcase activities.

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

During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will include:

  • Study statement 
  • Lecture programme 
  • Personal tutorials 
  • Collaborative and collective endeavour
  • Practice events 
  • Interim presentation and audience facing event
  • Postgraduate auction 
  • Research paper and concept groups 
  • Showcase

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

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.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, 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 unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

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 the information above.

Application deadline

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

We receive lots of applications for this course. We consider each one equally, so we review them all after the application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after this date. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, 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 unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

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 the information above.

Application deadline

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

We receive lots of applications for this course. We consider each one equally, so we review them all after the application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after this date. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


After you apply

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.

The only files that can be uploaded as part of the portfolio are:

  • Images: bmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, png
  • Audio: mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, wma
  • Video: avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated through your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visual proposals. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in 2D work, or through photos of 3D objects and maquettes.

It is important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.  We are interested in you as an individual, your personal interests, your creativity and initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We would also like to know about your favourite designers and artists, where you have seen their work at first hand and how you have acquired more information about the work that interests you.

For more portfolio advice please visit the Portfolio advice page.

Following the review of the portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an interview.

Interview

The interview typically lasts approximately 30 minutes and we normally interview online or by telephone.  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 and funding

Home fee

£5,870 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 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 resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020  or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£14,725 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.  For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

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.