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Fine Art MA

Learn about the course below
September 2024
1 year full-time
Usually 2 years part-time
£10,500 (UK) *
£16,800 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr John Timberlake, FHEA

The MA Fine Art at Middlesex University enables you to both develop your Fine Art practice, and orientate your art work in relation to London's exciting and thriving international contemporary art scene.

Through a series of guided gallery tours, meetings with curators and other art professionals, you are encouraged to make new work, and identify both contexts and conversations that are relevant to your artistic trajectory. This teaching will be complimented and supported with weekly seminars, developing your own art practice through critical dialogue and the use of Middlesex University's state of the art on campus technical workshop facilities. At the same time, you will be supported by experienced artists in the planning, curation and publicity for public exhibition. The course culminates in an extended in-depth period of artistic development, enabling you to refine your art practice, supporting you in the production of a professional standard body of work and the MA Fine Art exhibition, which will be open to the public.

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 get free access to the resources, learning materials and software.

*this course is subject to review. We periodically re-evaluate our programmes to make sure the content and teaching stay up to date and relevant. Please check this page regularly for updates.

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.

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

    • Advanced Research Skills (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide the student with the knowledge and skills required to undertake independent academic research in Visual Arts and Design at postgraduate level. By introducing the students to contemporary and emergent research resources in the discipline; essential frameworks and tools for navigating research ethics in creative fields, linking to Middlesex University’s Research Ethics guidelines; and consolidating advanced knowledge of referencing conventions for academic integrity, the students will be able to propose and structure a relevant research proposal for independent enquiry and investigation at Master’s level.

    • Contexts: Materials and Methods (15 credits)

      This module aims to develop your knowledge and skills in the research methods and materials pertinent to the contexts of your creative practice. Designed as a set of specialist elective seminar courses, led by a variety of researchers within the university, this module allows the student to experiment and learn first-hand about the methods and materials used by the researcher and to gain and apply insights into knowledge at the cutting edge of Visual Arts and Design, and relate this to your own emerging research interests.

    • Contexts: Critical Review (15 credits)

      This module aims to deepen your knowledge and skills in the critical review of influential research pertinent to the contexts of their creative practice. Designed as a set of specialist elective seminar courses, led by a variety of researchers within the university, this module allows you to experiment with new areas of knowledge and deepen their critical understanding of the wider contexts for their creative practice.

    • Positioning your Research (15 credits)

      This module aims to develop you into a confident researcher and communicator and to provide a showcase opportunity for the student to engage in peer review and public debate as a means for professional development and consolidation of the research scope, methods, context, and practice of their Master’s project.

    • Locating your practice in London (30 credits)

      This module aims to:

      • Enable students to define their aspirations and set personal and professional goals
      • Support students in developing a new body of their own art work
      • Facilitate an engagement with the structures, economies and practices that constitute London’s contemporary Fine Art scene.

      On successful completion of this module, the student will be able to show a body of work-in-progress, and have an understanding of how and where they might promote it in order to continue their professional development.

    • Expanding your network (30 credits)

      This module aims to:

      • Enable the student to further engage with the structures, economies and practices relevant to their work
      • Empower students to set realisable goals appropriate to their development as London based artists
      • Identify steps for reaching those goals, in the context of dialogues with an expanding network of contacts and interlocutors.

      On successful completion of this module, the student will be able to devise and describe a plan of action specific to the continued development of their practice and research, as well as be able to identify and negotiate opportunities for progress.

    • Professional Practice (60 Credits)

      This module aims to:

      • Enable students to reflect on, consolidate and further extend their understanding of their practice, based on their learnings throughout the course
      • Enable students to fully engage in the further development of their practice over an extended period
      • Facilitate the realisation of the student’s identified specialist goals
      • Support students in perfecting delivery of their artist’s talk.

      On successful completion of this module, the student will be able to demonstrate technical expertise and research skills appropriate to their art practice, give a sophisticated live presentation about their work in the form of an artist’s talk and describe a career development strategy to achieve their goals.

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.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we have learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

We aim to model a wide range of teaching strategies and approaches on the course which you can adapt to your own setting.

How is the MA Fine Art taught?

Designed to facilitate your development as a professional artist, MA Fine Art is taught through a combination of site visits, meetings with curators and other art professionals, seminars, crits and 1:1 tutorials.  This approach is designed to enable you to develop your individual art practice, whilst identifying vectors for further professional development.

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.

Seminars and lectures facilitate discussion on key material or approaches, explore questions, concepts and theories, or introduce case study materials. Seminars are group sessions in which you will learn about the structures and economies of the contemporary art world, alongside wider cultural debates.  Tutorials and crits are structured sessions in which you will receive feedback from tutors on work in progress or ideas for specific assignments.


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 from 2022

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we have learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2023 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our pre-pandemic teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information is likely to change slightly for 2023 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2022/23


Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

5 hours (part-time)

10 hours (full-time)


Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

5 hours (part-time)

10 hours (full-time)


On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

2 hours

This information is likely to change slightly for 2024/25 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We'll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.


You 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 be delivered online and on campus and you 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 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.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. 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

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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