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Fine Art MA

Learn about the course below
Code
PGW103
Start
January 2022
Duration
1 year full-time
Usually 2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,000 (UK) *
£14,500 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Tansy Spinks

This course will now start in January 2021 as we've changed some of our teaching arrangements in response to the coronavirus outbreak. You'll get the same great learning experience with lots of support to do your best with this later start date.

The MA Fine Art at Middlesex offers artists time and resources to explore and develop their artistic practice within a flexible research-led course featuring some of the best art facilities in London and expert guidance from a range of leading artists and curators attached to the course.

Why study MA Fine Art at Middlesex University?

On our MA in Fine Art, you will explore the creative, cultural, political and social questions of art practice. The course offers the opportunity to further your knowledge and skills by undertaking a systematic and comprehensive major body of work.

Our course is flexibly designed to also offer you the chose of studying Printmaking as a specialism. You will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of new and traditional print-making practices (silkscreen, etching, lithography, letterpress etc.) and enhance your skills though experimentation, research and critical analysis.

The Fine Art course welcomes students who work across a range of disciplines that include painting, sculpture, photography and film, printmaking, installation, sound, performance, 'event' making, and other relational and socially engaged practices.

At Middlesex, we take both a highly practical and a critical approach to Fine Art that ensures you spend the majority of your postgraduate study time in researching and making. This combination of in-depth analysis and hands-on experience will enable you to draw on a wide range of expertise and resources while questioning and developing your practice in a contemporary context to stimulate a successful career.

Studying Fine Art in London puts you at the heart of the ever-shifting nature of international contemporary fine art practice with direct access to London's art world. You'll have the opportunity to make regular visits to Tate Modern and Tate Britain, further world class museums and exhibitions, the vibrant, contemporary gallery scene, and to attend such international showcases as Frieze.

Course highlights

  • A dedicated teaching team of leading academics and practitioners who have recognised national and international experience in practice, teaching and research
  • The opportunity to study Fine Art (Printmaking) and develop your own unique approach through practical work
  • Benefit from access to our traditional print workshop and innovative software and equipment including 3D printers, large format digital printers, dark rooms, photographic studios, laser cutters an metalwork workshops
  • When possible, you will have bookable access to studio space (even if you are studying part-time) and technical resources
  • Exhibition opportunities have taken place at Art Lacuna, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, Gasworks, Ply Gallery and the Art Pavilion
  • Build industry links and explore how artist-run organisations operate by networking with a range of galleries, high-profiles artists, libraries and collections
  • Be part of a vibrant postgraduate research culture, working across many areas of art and design practice
  • As a student of this course, you'll have access to the extensive Adobe Creative Cloud suite and receive a free electronic textbook for every module.


Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the MA Fine Art?

Taught by some of the UK's leading fine art practitioners and academics, this course is divided into five modules taken over a calendar year (if studied full-time). Each module is designed to be flexible, allowing you to extend the boundaries of your current artistic practice through experimentation, research, and critical analysis.

You will study practical and theoretical approaches to fine art, completing your own creative projects based on your research and research methodologies.

What will you gain?

You will gain the ability to conceptualise, plan and create your own work in various mediums. The course will develop your contextual understanding of fine art, both historical and contemporary.

You'll gain confidence and insight into your own and others' practice while extending your range of skills and ambitions. You will also gain the knowledge and networking experience to forge your own path into industry.

Additionally, if you choose to study Printmaking as a pathway, you'll gain experience of making, displaying and promoting your work to a professional standard and attain expertise in printmaking which can then be applied to design, craft and other forms of art work.

Our MA Fine Art course is designed to give you a professional grounding towards a career in fine art, printmaking or any other artistic or creative industry.

Modules

  • Modules

    • Developing Practice – Term 1 (30 credits)

      In this module you will explore a chosen area of fine art in a contemporary context while enhancing your practical and technical skills. You'll be able to employ a variety of reflective methods to develop your own creative research proposal with the advanced communication skills to present, discuss and evaluate your work effectively. Stimulating weekly talks on ideas and practices in contemporary debates are given by eminent members of staff and visiting practitioners. One-to-one tutorials are combined with seminars and critical discussions to encourage confidence in making and speaking about what you do.

    • Critical Debates – Term 1 (30 credits)

      In this module you'll explore the key concepts, ideas, issues and research methodologies relating to the practice and theory of fine art. With particular focus on the cultural and social contexts within your chosen discipline, you'll produce a portfolio of critical responses to contemporary debates in research and professional practice. These sessions are led by eminent thinkers, practitioners and published writers on the staff team.

    • Studio and Exhibition – Term 2 (30 credits)

      In this module you'll explore different strategies for curating an exhibition, whether as part of a group showcase or at an individually chosen location, with a critical report on how the exhibition was executed and received. Crucially, the findings and learnings from this module will inform your final Major Project in Term 3.

    • Advanced Research – Term 2 (30 credits)

      In this module you will examine a diverse range of advanced approaches to fine art research using both historical and contemporary sources. You will explore the work of practitioners and scholars in your chosen area of fine art and the contemporary research problems they encounter.

    • Major Project – Term 3 (60 credits)

      Using research methodologies, concepts and processes previously explored in the course you will be guided in evaluating relationships between theory and practice. You will produce a portfolio or public exhibition of a substantial body of practice supported by critical and reflective written work that demonstrate your credentials as an artist.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the MA Fine Art taught?

This course is flexibly designed to put you at the centre of your learning by using a range of teaching and feedback approaches that take into account your individual interests, abilities and ambitions in fine art.

As part of your learning, you'll be required to actively participate in activities and engage with your fellow students, both individually and collaboratively, working and learning as part of a small group at times. You will participate in lectures, seminars, reading groups and practical workshops. Full-time students are expected to dedicate 36 hours per week to their studies and part-time students 18 hours. Tuesday and Wednesday are the core teaching days.

Lectures facilitate discussion on key material or approaches, explore questions, concepts and theories, or introduce case study materials. Seminars are small, student-led sessions in which you explore ideas in discussion, carry out practical tasks and practice your research skills. Tutorials and crits are structured sessions in which you will receive feedback from tutors on work in progress or ideas for specific assignments.

Assessment

Studio modules are assessed by exhibited work and critical reflection. Theory and research modules are assessed by presentations and a portfolio of critical writing.

Teaching and learning

Changes for students in 2021

If you’re a new student for January 2021, your teaching will start online due to national lockdown restrictions. We plan to start in person teaching on campus sometime after mid-February when the lockdown ends. When restrictions are lifted, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: course delivered fully online

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

5 hours (part-time)

10 hours (full-time)

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

5 hours (part-time)

10 hours (full-time)

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

2 hours

Scenario 2: course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

5 hours (part-time)

10 hours (full-time)

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

5  hours (part-time)

10 hours (full-time)

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

1-2 hours

4.

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

2  hours (part-time)

4 hours (full-time)

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching  with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.

Support

You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How will the MA Fine Art support your career?

This course will prepare you for a diverse range of careers within the art and creative industries, both in the UK and internationally. Our MA Fine Art graduates are recognised worldwide for their exceptional skills and achievements with many going on to exhibit, participate in residency programmes, practise as artists in the community, and pursue careers as teachers and curators or progress into further study.

MA Fine Art students have a more mature outlook on how their practice is located, developed and received, allowing them to have confidence in exhibiting widely and perhaps preparing for a research degree (PhD).

Some of our most successful fine art alumni include:

  • Hayley Newman
  • Siobhán Hapaska
  • Bethan Huws
  • Alison Goldfrapp

Dr Tansy Spinks
MA Fine Art, Programme Leader

Dr Tansy Spinks is an artist involved in creating sound works, using improvisation with non-conventional sound making devices. She has a PhD (LCC, UAL), MA in Photography (RCA) BA Fine Art (Leeds Polytechnic) and LGSM (violin). Her practice-based PhD explored live, site specific, associative sound performance, with supervisor David Toop. Her photographic work is in The Museum of Fine Art, Houston and the National Media Museum, Bradford, now at the V&A. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. She has taught and been an External Examiner at many Art Schools nationally and is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, running the MA Fine Art at Middlesex University.

Katherine Jones
Printmaking specialist

Katherine Jones is a contemporary British artist working with a combination of painting and traditional printmaking media. Her practice revolves around perceptions of safety and danger, focusing on ordinary objects, spaces and buildings as a framework to begin to explore these themes. She holds both a BA (Cambridge School of Art) and an MA in Printmaking (Camberwell College of Art) and has significant experience of working with both eminent and emerging artists on a wide range of printmaking projects in her roles as both printer and teacher. She is represented by Rabley Gallery UK and exhibits regularly within the UK and internationally. Public collections include the V&A prints and drawings collection, The Ashmolean Museum, Yale University Library, the House of Lords and Pallant House Gallery.

Dr Paul Harper

Dr Harper studied furniture at Buckinghamshire College of Art and Design and completed an MA Applied Arts and Visual Culture at London Guildhall University. He was a founding director of Alias Arts which provides advice and support to artist-led organisations and is vice-chair of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust. His research interests include theories of craft practice and knowledge, reflective practice, and the social value of art and craft.

Dr Alexandra Kokoli
Senior lecturer in Visual Culture

Dr Kokoli's interests are within feminist art history, theory and practice, particularly the relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis, gender politics of popular visual culture and contemporary feminist movements. She is author of The Feminist Uncanny in Theory and Art Practice (Bloomsbury, 2016) and editor of Feminism Reframed (Cambridge Scholars, 2008) and The Provisional Texture of Reality: Selected Talks and Texts by Susan Hiller (1977-2007) (JRP Ringier, 2008).



We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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