Led by Dr Mel Jordan, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, the Contemporary Art Practice programme has specialist pathway leaders in order to facilitate a distinct engagement with specific areas of contemporary art practice. The programme is delivered through four pathways: Critical Practice (led by Jeremy Millar), Moving Image (led by Jane Wilson), Performance (led by Professor Nigel Rolfe) and Public Sphere (led by Mel Jordan).
The Contemporary Art Practice programme enables us to incorporate practices that exceed the specificity of the well-established disciplines of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. Contemporary Art Practice engages with contemporary modes of art production, dissemination and debate. It facilitates specialisation through its pathway structure enabling students to engage with a particular approach to developing their own art practice. The teaching methodology we employ is not technologically or materially determined however students are expected to utilise appropriate and specific means in which to manifest their ideas. Contemporary Art Practice students have access to all facilities within the School of Fine Art.
Critical theory has emerged as an essential intellectual framework for art criticism but what is its potential as a tool within the production of contemporary art? Studio-based and primarily focused on supporting the development of the artistic practice of its students, the Critical Practice pathway offers regular seminars exploring emerging ideas and bodies of theory as well as opportunities to work with organised forms of knowledge such as public archives and institutions.
Moving Image is aimed at artists using film and video, and practitioners working in the areas of documentary film, film and fiction cinema as well as practitioners who wish to draw upon, challenge and re-map established realms of Moving Image based practices. The diversity of approaches employed in the Moving Image pathway reflects the new reality of contemporary moving image.
Performance happens in the ‘here and now’ and not the ‘there and then’. Unlike many practices, where time is historic, and the image presented is necessarily an archive or record, ‘being and doing’ are more immediately significant in live time, and the expectation is that – in the contemporary – artists are often presenting work that is not made in advance but rather happening now!
Public Sphere is a major research area in the School, and the pathway supports expanded engagement with art and its publics as well as art’s social function. Social art practices have featured as a key force in the rise of the global biennale as well as being utilized by the Occupy Movement. Therefore questions about public space, participation, collaboration and collective action are becoming essential principles within the production of contemporary art both in terms of practice and theory.
Your application should be for MA Contemporary Art Practice and you will have to specify in which Pathway you wish to study: Critical Practice, Moving Image, Performance or Public Sphere.
The programme offers:
This programme offers you a number of ways in which to explore your chosen field of study and is perfect for providing you with a comprehensive overview, prior to taking on more specialised studies.
You’ll examine art in its historical contexts, the theoretical frameworks of interpretation and their relationship as physical objects to practices and concepts of display. You have the opportunity to put your learning into practice through an optional internship within one of Edinburgh’s many museums or galleries.
Equally spread over the pre- and post-1800 periods, the programme content will allow you to develop an excellent knowledge of the discipline of art history, advanced research abilities and valuable vocational experience.
Teaching includes a mixture of small-group teaching, individual tutorials, research seminars, lectures, and an internship, subject to availability.
Half of the working week involves independent study and research.
Formal assessment is by means of essays, project work, poster session, presentations, and a dissertation.
Students who successfully complete the programme will:
History of Art is an interdisciplinary subject that provides transferable skills in the analysis of images and texts, research, academic writing, public presentations, and IT.
The wide-ranging nature of this programme will equip you for further, more specialised study, and potentially a future academic career.
The vocational element of your learning is the ideal stepping-stone to a career in art history, possibly within one of the many institutions that make up Edinburgh’s rich cultural fabric.
You’ll also have gained an array of highly transferable skills, such as communication, curatorial practice and project management, which will prove an asset in any career.
The Contemporary Art MA programme at Estonian Academy of Arts gives students and teaching staff ample time and opportunities to socialise and focus on creating art. The study format is very open, in constant dialogue with both the contemporary art world and society, while at the same providing time and space for inner reflection.
- Author-focussed tutoring for contemporary artists;
- Local and visiting artists, curators, philosophers, theorists and gallerists working with students;
- Individual freedom to design one’s own curriculum, within a diverse programme that offers theoretical tools and practical trainings;
- The option to develop one’s art practice through the studios of sound art, lens-based art, installation and sculpture, graphic art and painting;
- Individual and group tutorials, cross-faculty group critique sessions;
- Commitment to developing and profounding conceptual and social ideas in an individual art practice;
- A critical discursive environment for discussions about making, displaying and thinking about contemporary art and contemporary society;
- Flexible studio spaces and workshops in a new building of the Academy;
- Access to technical workshops across the Academy, with specialists to assist all students projects: virtual prototyping and 3D printing studios, traditional and digital print workshops, analogue and digital darkrooms, photo studio, sound recording and filming studios, wood and metal workshops, modern black box, and the monumental sculpture studio;
- A continuous programme of off-site events, study trips, exhibitions;
- Opportunities for exhibitions in galleries, museums, study trips and collaboration with different art institutions and universities and exchange programs (KUNO, DAMA, ERASMUS).
EKA offers a well-rounded and multifaceted approach to learning. Contemporary art, criticism and theory, author-based architecture, innovative and skill-based design, animation and stage art, curatorial practices are combined for thorough interdisciplinary studies. Here, you can be part of making something that really matters. Your artistic impact would be noticed and would make an impact.
Estonia is small; all important connections and resources are within arm’s length. We cooperate closely with Tallinn Technical University, Tallinn University, and the Estonian Music Academy. We arrange art events and exhibitions with the Estonian Contemporary Art Museum, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn Art Hall and the Artists’ Association’s Galleries in the city centre. It is easy to access the different political, commercial, social, educational institutions.
The development of your individual artistic practice is important for you. If the processes in society matter to you and you are passionate about your surroundings. If you like to think, imagine, create and dream. If you are motivated and ambitious, dedicated and enthusiastic, have creative confidence and critical thinking.
More information: https://www.artun.ee/masters/contemporary-art/
What can theatre tell us about everyday life in a digital culture? How does dance inform and shape society? How can we analyse, interpret and respond to this - as critical thinkers? In this programme you will learn how to investigate and reflect on the dynamic ways in which theatrical and choreographic practices respond to a society in transition. This programme welcomes both Dutch and international students who are interested in dramaturgy, programming and curating, critical writing and art criticism, as well as arts professionals who wish to enrich their practice through academic research.
Contemporary performance practices are increasingly hybrid projects that approach and transcend the borders of theatre, dance, visual arts, music, media and daily life. Theatre and dance are inextricably linked with other media that shape our reality; they extend beyond the theatre’s walls and inject themselves into our daily lives. Theories and concepts derived from the performing arts are progressively deployed in cultural theory and (social) science. Such a field in transition demands an approach that studies theatre and dance as intermedial and interdisciplinary phenomena, and addresses the interrelationships of these phenomena, the audience and the socio-cultural context.
This dynamic is the focus of our Contemporary Theatre, Dance and Dramaturgy programme.
Fully taught in English, this Master’s programme takes an academic approach to contemporary performance. We closely collaborate with the field of theatre and dance in the Netherlands and Flanders, internationally regarded as the forerunners of the exciting new trends that emerge on the European stage. You will get acquainted with state-of-the-art theory yet we are also actively oriented towards the practice of theatre and dance. This is exemplified by the focus on dramaturgy, an internship in the second semester, and the many opportunities to meet with practitioners, build-in components within the programme and closely related to the staff’s expansive network.
Our research focus areas include:
Since the workfield is multifaceted and comprises both larger and smaller companies as well as public and private initiatives, many alumni combine various jobs - for instance, dramaturge and writer or programmer and artistic advisor. Read more about possible career prospects.
If you want to focus on researching one specific area in the History of Art without going straight into a PhD, then the MRes is the programme for you.
At the end of this programme many of our graduates continue on to do a PhD, where they undertake a much more extensive research project.
Most of the teaching on the MRes programme takes place in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which houses the Barber Institute Gallery, a valuable teaching collection, used by all members of staff on a regular basis. The Barber Institute is home to an onsite research library, a prints and drawings study room and a coin study room. These facilities, together with the holdings of the University Main Library and the Special Collections of the Cadbury Research Library, make Birmingham one of the best resourced Departments of History of Art in Britain.
The core of the MRes programme is a 20,000-word thesis, which is supported by both research training and art theory modules.
Both of these core modules will equip you with the skills to enable you to complete your thesis.
The core research training module offers advice on how to hone your research topic, write a research rationale and present your thesis.
‘Criticism and Methods’ engages with a range of art historical methodologies and addresses theoretical debates emerging within the discipline. The module helps you frame your current research within the wider art historical research context.
In your second term, you also choose one optional module. Recent subjects have included: Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art; Theorising and Historicising Exhibitions; and Artists’ Film and Video.
The teaching on the Masters programme mainly takes place in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which houses the Barber Institute Gallery, and is used by members of staff on a regular basis as part of your learning.
The collection is an excellent and representative collection of post-medieval European art, including paintings, engravings and drawings by artists such as Rembrandt, Turner, Van Dyck, Veronese and Vigée-LeBrun, as well as a major collection of 19th- and 20th-century works by artists such as Degas, Gauguin, Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, Manet, Miró, Picasso and Whistler.
The Barber Institute is home to an on-site research library which, in conjunction with the holdings of the University Main Library and the Special Collections of the Cadbury Research Library, makes Birmingham one of the best resourced Departments of History of Art in Britain.
You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.
The History of Art MRes aims to:
It also aims to provide you with following skills:
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: History of Art
Birmingham's History of Art graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills, including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on detailed research.
Our History of Art postgraduates also have the advantage of gaining hands-on experience at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts: the university's on-campus art gallery which is home to the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies.
Over the past two years, 100% of History of Art postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many graduates enter occupations relating to gallery and museum management and curatorship; others pursue careers in academia. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: Barber Institute of Fine Arts; Courtauld Institute of Arts; National Portrait Gallery; Royal Birmingham Society of Artists; University of Birmingham; and the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust.
The curriculum of this programme is under review for the 2018/19 academic year. Programme structure and course availability is subject to change.
This programme encourages creative, holistic and practical knowledge of this increasingly polymathic field, grounding practical schooling in criticism, art writing and curating in knowledge of key histories and theories of contemporary art. The programme addresses issues raised by the practices of contemporary art, criticism and curating as a means of encouraging you to contribute both critically and practically.
Artists think and act. Being contemporary means engaging with multiple perspectives and different ways of learning. Students of contemporary art theory conduct research in relation to a broad range of creative, cultural and historical contexts in ways that are speculative, writerly, philosophical, organisational, social and economic.
Students apply aesthetics, art theory and criticism, art historiography, anthropology, and critical theory to engage with contemporary art’s variety of media, technologies, images, artefacts, tactics, texts, cultural contexts and professional practices.
Coursework is based on a strategy of blended learning, combining the latest open-source educational technology with more conventional face-to-face lecture, seminar and workshop-based teaching methods. Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of peer learning; group work, field work and experiential learning.
Research projects are student-led, personalised and supervised by a team of academic staff who aim to support whichever direction is most appropriate to your interests, skills and strengths. Theory students form an integral part of our graduate school, writing, producing and commissioning projects in a family of media and adapting approaches drawn from an increasingly wide array of disciplines.
The programme aims to provide you with both an overall level of expertise in recent developments in art practices and theories, and a high degree of specialisation within this field, culminating in an original Research Project. As such, the programme has the following specific aims:
This programme will enable you to develop the creative, organisational and economic knowledge required for a career in the contemporary art world, as a critic or a curator. You will also be qualified to teach studio art and theory in higher education and to work as a self-employed artist.
The MFA Fine Art course in Belfast was established in 1979. Since then, 320 emerging artists, 21 full-time staff (including six Course Directors) and over 200 visiting artists have exerted their individual and collective influence on the shape and direction of this program of study.
The course continues to produce artists of international reputation as evidenced by the success of graduates in major national and international prizes and competitions including the Turner Prize, Paul Hamlyn Award, Becks Futures, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, the Glenn Dimplex Award and the Nissan Art Award and through representation at international biennials such as the Venice Biennale. Public art, film production, gallery management, community arts, curation and arts administration are wider areas where graduates have been internationally successful. The course has also been immensely influential in the sphere of art education across Europe with a high number of academic, research, teaching and management positions being held by our MFA graduates.
The course retains the core values from its inception in 1979 and so builds upon 30 years of innovating and fostering relevancy, criticality and quality in today’s contemporary art world.
The programme aims to promote individual contemporary fine art practice towards presentation as an exhibition or equivalent public output. It provides a learning environment that supports a wide range of modes of production for art in which you can demonstrate a sound understanding of the practical, intellectual and creative aspects of your practice as an artist. It also aims to facilitate engagement between and among art practitioners in order that you can locate your practice and that of other art practitioners within contemporary culture.
A capacity for self-directed learning is a prerequisite for the programme. Fostering individual creative development is a key concern. Formal tutoring is based upon the expectation of self-motivated personal development and research. Re-evaluation through teaching, criticism and research is a fundamental aspect of the course.
Regular discussion based on studio work and issues around contemporary practice involves the whole course. Peer learning from studio work and informal discussion is also a valuable experience. Assessment is directed at the quality and significance of the output as contemporary art practice.
The programme is also offered in three part-time pathways. All of the part-time modes require the student to have their own studio space independent of the institution.
The 2010 Turner Prize was won by MFA graduate Susan Phillipsz (1994). Other nominated graduates include Phil Collins, Cathy Wilkes and Christine Borland. Graduates of the MFA have been substantially represented over the years in other high profile events and prizes, including the Venice Biennale, Becks Futures, The Nissan Art Award, New Contemporaries, The John Moores Prize and the Glenn Dimplex Award. Two graduates have been awarded the highly competitive Paul Hamlyn Award. Film production, art writing, gallery management and curation are allied areas where graduates have also been internationally successful.
The MFA programme is offered in full-time mode over 2 academic years. There is an exit qualification of Postgraduate Diploma after one academic year, with a further one academic year for MFA completion.
Formal teaching input is delivered through tutorials, weekly studio critiques and student or staff-led seminars and lectures. Independant study and self-directed learning are fundamental aspects of the course.
Assessment: Through exhibition of studio practice and supporting written and oral presentation.
The programme is also offered in 3 part time pathways. All of the part-time modes require the student to have their own studio space independent of the institution.
Part-time route 1:4 years part-time model of the 2 year course.
Part-time route 2: 3 years. This model allows a student to study the first year full-time with transfer to the part-time mode for the second year. It is envisaged that this route will be most appropriate to a student for whom the necessary infrastructure is not initially in place to allow them to undertake the course part-time. This may include candidates from abroad who by the second year have become familiar enough with the local setup to have acquired a studio and relevant support structure.
Part-time route 3:2 years. This model is based on candidates convincing the course team that the quality of their work over a number of years is of sufficient standard and that learning outcomes of the modules Practice 1 and 2 have been met to enable them to enter the course with compensation for prior learning.
Advanced standing is possible – where an applicants experience is taken into account in order to be exempt from certain aspects of the programme. This may apply to full or part time attendance. Please contact us to discuss this if it is something that may be appropriate to you.
On the programme you will gain work placement experience at one or more of our external partners, for example Catalyst Arts or Platform Arts. Within this process you will be tasked with developing a professional exhibition of your own work as a group within a partner organization. This usually is undertaken of several weeks – with an intense period working on-site alongside professional colleagues.
As practising artists, many of our graduates go on to establish their own studios, successfully exhibiting nationally and internationally, gaining public art and gallery commissions, residencies, fellowships, awards and prizes. Others develop careers in other sectors of the arts, such as curatorial practice, arts writer, art critic, community arts, education, academic art research, art facilitation and administration, while others have built reputations in the wider creative fields where innovative artists are highly valued as problem solvers.