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Postgraduate

MA Fine Art

Images of a garden printed onto glass sculptures
Image courtesy of UAL, Sian Fan, Garden 3
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
September 2022
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.

Applications closed 2022/23 

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

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.

Graduate Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • Silence and Immobility
    Silence and Immobility, Virginie Nugere, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Sense and Illegibility
    Sense and Illegibility, Tristan ALBRECHT, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • A Series of Psychological Tensions
    A Series of Psychological Tensions, Ziad Kaki, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Interweaving
    Interweaving, Yuge Hui, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Tighten
    Tighten, YUEZHU CHEN, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Total Parts
    Total Parts, Louise Ward Morris, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Live On Radio Live: Sample Fear[ory] & The ArkHive
    Live On Radio Live: Sample Fear[ory] & The ArkHive, Bill Daggs, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Planet series web page video
    Planet series web page video, Yunhan Huang, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Elisabeth Tomlinson
    Elisabeth Tomlinson, Elisabeth Tomlinson, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Terra Incognita Part II
    Terra Incognita Part II, Marie-Louise Jones, 2021 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, UAL

Student work

  • 160524_135.jpeg
    Alex Dipple
  • 160526_006.jpeg
    Kristaps Ancans
  • 160524_350.jpeg
    John Arnada
  • 160526_395.jpeg
    Imma
  • 160524_178.jpeg
    Christelle Viviers | Re[figuring]Dialectical Flatness_squaring the ground
  • degreeshow2016_204.jpeg
    Mustafa Boga | Army Time Memoir

MA Fine Art stories

Facilities

  • A large wooden construction on display in a workshop at Central Saint Martins
    Credit: Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • Close up image of a pink and wide oval 3D object
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • People working inside the digital print workshop at Central Saint Martins
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • Printmaking at Kings Cross
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,

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.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course dates

Autumn term
Monday 26 September 2022 – Friday 9 December 2022
Spring term
Monday 9 January 2023 – Friday 17 March 2023

Summer term
Monday 17 April 2023 – Friday 23 June 2023

Related content

Degree Show 2018 website

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 

Lecturer in Critical Studies Fine Art: Dr Owen Parry
Associate Lecturer: Marc Hulson
Associate Lecturer: Esi Eshun
Associate Lecturer: Candice Jacobs

How to apply

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

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.

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, preferred 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.

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

Other

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

We are no longer accepting applications from international applicants for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

There are two ways international students can apply:

You can only apply to the same course once per year.

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.

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.

Deferred entry

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

Visas

Read our visit our immigration and visa advice page to find out whether you need a visa to study.

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, preferred 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.

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

Other

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

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.

Digital portfolio

The portfolio should be no more than 15 pages comprising your work which should contain:

  • Your Video Task (details below) – the first page of your portfolio
  • 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, evidencing your current creative practice

For more portfolio advice please visit our portfolio advice page.

Video task

We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you:

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio
  • Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

  • We would like you to identify one project from your portfolio that exemplifies your interest in Fine Art.  Describe the project and your role in creating it. Explain how this experience inspired you to apply to MA Fine Art at CSM.

Interview

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 online interview.  The interview typically lasts approximately 15 to 20 minutes and 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

£6,045 per year

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 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

£15,165 per year

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 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.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

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.