Our approach to Visual Cultures frames it in terms of what it can do alongside what it can know. Be inspired by a team of world-renowned teaching and research staff, who will challenge you to explore existing paradigms, develop an individual approach to visual culture research, and articulate your thinking as you develop your 'manifesto' and portfolio.
Why should you study MRes Visual Cultures: Practice and Activism at Middlesex?
This exciting course operates at the forefront of a rich, interdisciplinary academic and creative landscape. Pushing at the limits of Visual Culture, we encourage students to approach the field from a variety of perspectives.
Working with, and feeding into, learning networks beyond the University, we aim to influence and inform the emerging and developing communities of professional, activist, creative and research practice around Visual Cultures. We champion creative and activist practices as both methods of engagement
and as subjects of enquiry, drawing on our 130 year history of experimental and progressive attitudes to art and design through our origins as the Hornsey College of Art.
We offer two modes of study, part-time and low-residency, which run concurrently over two years. The part-time mode allows students to integrate the course with ongoing personal and professional commitments; the low-residency mode enables students from around the world to follow the course through short, intensive periods of on-site study, supported by online teaching, resources and communities.
Year 1 Throughout the course, students and tutors will work together. Teaching and learning is based upon a model of knowledge exchange and negotiation, foregrounding student-led initiatives.
The first semester starts with an intensive, week-long Visual Cultures Boot Camp, introducing the historical and theoretical foundations, contestations and generations of 'visual culture' as a field or discipline. The following weeks will build upon emerging themes through sites, (con)texts and mappings, exploring a range of practice and research methodologies and examining networks and collaborative partnerships through a variety of means, including site visits, workshops, lectures, discussions and online activities.
As the semester progresses you will negotiate, map and articulate your own sites and texts, working towards the publication of a 'manifesto' for practice and activism. Assessment will be through a critical and reflective portfolio.
Semester 2 Making Public: Pitching a Project, Developing a Network (40 credits)
The notion of 'making public' is central to this course as a strategy under constant negotiation, in relation to the 'public', 'publics' and 'publication'. The second semester will focus on building networks and developing an ambitious proposal, which you will realise and 'make public' in Year 2.
Your proposal will identify potential activities or actions that realise your manifesto, and locate your practice through relevant contexts, forms and sites. As such, you will engage with appropriate Visual Culture research methodologies in its various theoretical, creative, practice-based, activist and networked modes. Assessment will be by critical and reflective portfolio and presentation.
Year 2 Making Public: Presentations & Publications (Final research project, 100 credits)
In Year 2 your focus will be on realising and 'making public' your research project, by mobilising the relevant principles, processes and strategies of practice and/or activism.
'Making public' can take a variety of forms, which you will negotiate with your tutors. Examples include a publication of critical reflective writing, a body of engaged activist practice, or an exhibition of practice with an accompanying text.
You will be assessed on your critical reflection, documentation and 'publication', supported by practice/ research portfolios, the terms of which will be open to negotiation.
This course is flexibly designed to put you at the centre of your learning by using a range of teaching and assessment approaches that take into account your individual interests, abilities and ambitions in Visual Culture.
As part of your learning, you'll be required to actively participate in activities and engage with your fellow students, both individually and collaboratively. You will also be supported by some of the best facilities and equipment in the country with access to specialist workshops in a vast range of disciplines, such as ceramics, woodwork and textiles.
As well as your immediate peers on the programme, there is much going on across the campus and university that you can access, collaborate with and benefit from, such as the Art & Design Research Institute (ADRI) which provides a useful network for postgraduate students as well as seminar and ideas in progress sessions.
To be accepted to study on the MRes Visual Cultures: Practice and Activism, we normally require a good honours degree or equivalent qualification. We also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications and individuals with a minimum of three years' work experience. Those without formal qualifications need to demonstrate relevant work experience and the ability to study at postgraduate level.
International entry requirements
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas university, to find out more about the requirements from your country, see further information under support in your country.
This programme is part-time only. Therefore international students who require a visa are not eligible to apply.
English language requirements
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all four components).
Middlesex also offers an Intensive Academic English course (Pre-Sessional) that ranges from 5-17 weeks, depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements. For more information on applying for the pre-sessional please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. The quickest way to apply is by making an online application, once you have created your account and completed your application, you will be able to track the progress of your application online. Alternatively, you can fill in an application form and return it to the appropriate admissions office. UK and EU students should apply directly to the London office. Non-EU international students can apply to our international admissions office in London, or use our network of regional offices across the world to assist you with your application.
The application is just the first step in our selection process; we also invite you to an interview to discuss your ideas, ambitions and experience. This might take the form of a portfolio of practice, texts or a combination of both. Prior to your interview we will be in contact to discuss this further.
The interview itself usually lasts about 15 minutes, but please allow an hour as this usually includes a tour of our facilities. We use the interview to allow us to find out more about you, to better understand your aspirations and interests and for you to learn more about us. The interview will explore why you want to study the subject with us; there will be no trick questions, so don't be too nervous.
You will be well positioned for work in a range of roles in the creative and cultural industries, as well as within activist networks and communities, and academic areas where the notion of embedded practice and social engagement is a rich and shifting ground. The course is also designed to facilitate the continuation of practice and research to doctoral level study.