MA Fine Art

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The Masters in Fine Art will push you to develop your skills in your chosen medium, whether that is Illustration, drawing, painting, photography or printmaking.  You will become more confident as a creative practitioner of contemporary art as you explore your own styles and imaginative boundaries.

The Masters in Fine Art features a highly practical repertoire of modules which will encourage you to direct your studies into areas of art which particularly fascinate you.  This course is highly practical, not only in the hands-on approach to Art itself, but also in studying the necessary practicalities of exhibition preparation, installation and evaluation. 

Key Facts

Duration:

One year full-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters, but this course is administered in two parts: Part One runs from October to May; Part Two runs from June to September. 

Contact Time:

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first two semesters.  During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Assessment:

The taught part of the course (Part 1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises and exhibitions. Successful completion of your exhibition (Part 2) leads to the award of an MA.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject and accompanying portfolio of work. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding

Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.

Overview

The Aberystwyth Masters in Fine Art provide you with an excellent opportunity to develop your artistic skills, understanding and technical aptitudes as you strive to pursue your art.  In every area of this course, technical, stylistic, and conceptual experimentation is enthusiastically encouraged.  You will also be able to participate in ‘Forum’ seminars to communicate orally and critically about your own and colleagues’ works.  You will also have the opportunity to submit articles for publication to contextualize your practice and develop your engagement with critical and public opinion. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014) it was found that 75% of publications were of an internationally recognised standard or higher. 

The course is a full-time programme, taught over one year, and is divided into two parts over three semesters.  In part one, you will study a number of core modules, together worth a total of 120 credits, whilst directing your own study in part two where you will explore and resolve your chosen artistic problem, culminating in the second of your two public exhibitions.  This study is equivalent to a Master’s dissertation project and is worth 60 credits. 

The subject of this final public exhibition will be agreed in consultation with your supervisor(s) and, in tackling it, you will be encouraged to develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of work.  Subject to the satisfactory completion of the study modules and exhibition, the Masters in Fine Art is awarded.  The descriptions relating to all the study modules can be found in the "at a glance" tab.

Upon graduation from the Masters in Fine Art, you will have demonstrated artistic excellence, personal rigor and critical engagement with your own and the work of other artists, which will define you as an artist.  You will be well-prepared for the realities – both creative and practical – of life as a professional artist.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Year 1 Core (120 Credits)

Semester 1

Vocational Practice ARM0300

Semester 2

Vocational Practice ARM0320

Exhibition 1: Consolidation ARM0460

Year 1 Core (60 Credits)

Semester 3

Exhibition 2: Resolution ARM0260

Employability

Qualification:             Masters in Fine Art

This degree will suit you:

  • If you wish to develop your personal, creative, productive, and imaginative artistic abilities;
  • If you wish to work within one of the UK’s up-and-coming schools of Art;
  • If you aim to pursue a career in Art or serious effort to exhibit your work in public and critical arenas;
  • If you wish to develop a conceptual, practical and historical framework for your art.

Employability

Every aspect of the Aberystwyth Master’s in Fine Art programme is designed to enhance your employability.  Successful completion of this degree is in itself certain to do so by building your CV; but more significant is the hugely enhanced array of knowledge, abilities and skills with which you will graduate. 

Your pursuit of personal development as an artist, coupled with increased critical faculties, will make you a strong candidate for any post where people and opinions meet.  Likewise, the study skills, technical knowledge and hands-on experience of artistic processes will give you a tremendous advantage in employment within the Arts.  Whether your chosen career path involves illustration, drawing, painting, photography or printmaking, your Masters Degree in Fine Art from Aberystwyth University will signal to prospective employers your commitment to personal excellence, professional rigour and technical innovation.

Professional Independence

The course acknowledges the difficulty artists face in the transition from the requirements of a degree level course to the emerging independent direction required of professional practising artists. By playing an active, learning-based role in the operation of the School’s galleries, you will gain an insight into the work needed to sustain a busy gallery.  You will stage public exhibitions in the School’s galleries and elsewhere, and part of the course’s assessment relates to your performance as a professional, exhibiting artist.

Studio work is designed to increase students’ technical possibilities, and the School is particularly well equipped in all areas of the graphic arts. The course seeks to assist the student by developing individual abilities and direction in a certain area of art practice to the highest standards possible.  In addition to this subject-specific training, this MA is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of situations.  Whether this is further study, personal artistic pursuits or employment, you will be better equipped to pursue success in your chosen field. 

Your work in the Contemporary Context

This course does not operate in isolation, and you will examine your own work in the wider context of contemporary practice.  As mentioned above, your assessed exhibitions will give you first-hand experience of the vital but often daunting rite of holding up your work for scrutiny by your tutors, peers, critics and the public.  You will also encounter and engage with the debate in cultural theory regarding the interface between art practise, art theory and the concept of visual culture.  By considering its implication for the study of fine art and art history, your study programme encourages you to improve your capacity for conducting a critical review of yours and others’ work through discussion, presentation and writing.

How to Apply

Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.

Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 622460

Fax: (01970) 622461

Email: artschool@aber.ac.uk

School of ArT

Aberystwyth University

Buarth Mawr

Aberystwyth

SY23 1NG

If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

Further Information

As a Postgraduate Student you will be inducted to the University and join one of the top Graduate Schools in the world (Igraduate2012).

It is important you feel at home in the Department, University and Town. Here are some links for you to explore these areas further:

Student Views

Name: Adam Blackburn

Course: MA in Fine Art

Home Town: Tamworth, UK

Having completed the final exhibition [final assessment element] of my undergraduate degree in Aberystwyth, I felt I was only really beginning to discover my voice as an artist, and hone my individual language of paint. The Master’s degree provided the opportunity to continue with this development almost immediately, in an environment I was comfortable and confident to explore my practice.

The MA in Fine Art provides the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest, and explore this in a deeper way to that of the undergraduate degree. The skill of being able to critically and objectively view my work has been an important skill that I was able to develop on the Masters course. This is a skill that is very important to possess, and is proving invaluable to me as I currently pursue my PhD.

The School of Art offers a great environment in which to undertake Postgraduate study. The number of Postgraduates each year means that class sizes are not too large which encourages stimulating discussion through seminars, meetings and workshops, and allows opportunity for equal contribution. The guarantee of studio space for both full time and part time students makes the course a very attractive proposition also. The opportunity to work under some high profile academics within the department offers valuable opportunity for collaboration and networking and makes the School of Art a very exciting and inspiring environment in which to undertake Postgraduate study.

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