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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

We plan to begin teaching our January 2022 start courses on campus, with some online support, as long as Government guidance allows. If you are overseas and have difficulties or concerns around joining in person teaching, we’ll support you to start online before you join us. We expect you to be on campus for learning by 14 February and will keep you updated in January if we need to make any changes to our learning and teaching.

We will publish updates on any changes to how we teach should guidance change.

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.

    • Advanced Research Skills – Term 1 (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to undertake independent academic research in Visual Arts and Design at postgraduate level. By introducing you 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, you will be able to propose and structure a relevant research proposal for independent enquiry and investigation.

    • Contexts: Materials and Methods – Term 1 (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 – Term 2 (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 – Term 2 (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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning. Please regularly check this section of the course page for updates.

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 from 2022

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year, and have resumed the majority of our teaching on campus.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 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 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22

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

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

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.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • 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.

Support

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. 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.

Other courses

Photography MA

Start: January 2022

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGW613

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