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Masters Degrees (Contemporary Art Theory)

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Programme description. The curriculum of this programme is under review for the 2018/19 academic year. Programme structure and course availability is subject to change. Read more

Programme description

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.

Programme structure

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.

Learning outcomes

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:

  • To undertake a systematic examination of major international art practices since the 1970s.
  • To analyse the major strands of theory and criticism that have informed art practices, institutions and related cultural ecologies.
  • To explore some of the principal critical and theoretical positions informing the interpretation of contemporary art and its organisational contexts.
  • To provide you with a set of critical tools necessary for the advanced analysis and creative organisation of art and contemporary culture.
  • To provide you with a set of competencies, skills and understanding that will enable you either to undertake further academic research and/or to pursue a range of creative careers.

Career opportunities

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.



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The MA in Contemporary Art Theory is for those with a special interest in contemporary art, and an aptitude for theoretical work in the subject. Read more

The MA in Contemporary Art Theory is for those with a special interest in contemporary art, and an aptitude for theoretical work in the subject.

The programme offers a challenging and advanced scheme of study, which explores a range of theoretical perspectives that shape attitudes towards visual art in the late 20th/early 21st centuries.

Invigorated by current research, the programme encourages you to explore conceptually and creatively the ways in which contemporary artistic practice and critical theory interrelate. It aims to expand your knowledge of contemporary artistic developments as well as to deepen your understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of academic discourses on visual culture.

The programme draws variously upon the fields of performance studies, art history, philosophy, museology, queer theory, post-colonial studies and cultural studies in addressing the critical challenges posed by artistic practice.

Modules & structure

The programme comprises a non-assessed introductory module, the Core Module (comprising 4 blocks that thematically vary from year to year and of which students choose 2), and four assessed components: two Special Subjects, the MA Symposium and the MA Dissertation. Students also attend the Visual Cultures Public Programme of lectures and other events. You have the option of auditing another special subject should you wish to do so, subject to availability and in agreement with the course tutor.

The taught part of the programme runs from the end of September to the end of March, with additional guest lectures or workshops in May and June. It offers a framework to help you focus and develop your own understanding of contemporary art practice and its wider cultural significance. It is designed to develop your understanding of a range of critical and theoretical approaches that inform the heterogeneous field of visual art production whilst, at the same time, enabling you to identify and prepare the area of independent research you will carry out in your dissertation project.

Thematic pathways through the MA will be offered on a yearly basis. These will connect the annually changing themes of the core courses with the annual roster of special subjects. In any specific year three themes will be operative. They may include Global Arts; Sound; Politics and Aesthetics; Performance and Live Art; Critical Thought.

Full-time students attend on Thursday and one other day each week (determined by the choice of special subject); part-time students attend on one day each week in the first year and on Thursday in the second year.

Assessment

Visual Cultures assessment are 100% coursework. Normally this consists of essays, sometimes accompanied by creative projects, group projects, multi-media projects, presentations, symposia, reviews, and studio work.

Skills & careers

Many of our MA students have gone on to MPhil/PhD study, not only in art history and visual cultures, but also in related fields such as philosophy, cultural studies and literature. Careers obtained by recent graduates include: artist, curator/collections manager, journal editor, lecturers, researcher, and roles in TV and production, public relations, and rights and marketing.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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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. Read more

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:

  •  specialisation through its pathway structure enabling students to engage with a particular approach to developing their own art practice through the pathways of Critical Practice, Moving Image, Performance and Public Sphere   
  •  a commitment to developing and foregrounding the conceptual and social ideas in an individual students practice   
  •  a teaching methodology which is not technologically or materially determined that encourages students to utilise appropriate and specific means for making contemporary fine art now   
  • a teaching structure that incorporates content-led approaches to the teaching of Fine Art through lectures and seminars to enable students’ engagement with the histories, theories and expanded practices of Fine Art
  • individual and group tutorial and cross school group crits, facilitated by leading practitioners and thinkers
  • a critical discursive environment in which to discuss contemporary issues for thinking about, making and displaying contemporary fine art 
  • a flexible studio space that can be utilised collectively or individually 
  • access to a range of technical facilities across the school of Fine Art including the Moving Image Studio, traditional and digital printmaking, photography and wood and metal workshops 
  • access to college-wide technical workshops
  • an on-going programme of off-site events, exhibitions and commissions
  • opportunities for teaching placements, exhibitions, overseas travel and international exchanges (including Paris and Kyoto)


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If you do not have the appropriate undergraduate preparation to embark on one of our MA courses, you may apply for our nine-month Graduate Diploma in Art History and Theory, which can constitute a qualifying year for the relevant MA course. Read more
If you do not have the appropriate undergraduate preparation to embark on one of our MA courses, you may apply for our nine-month Graduate Diploma in Art History and Theory, which can constitute a qualifying year for the relevant MA course.

Our Graduate Diploma consists of eight modules at 3rd-year undergraduate level (up to two of these can be at 2nd-year level). You must complete the appropriate coursework and examinations, and can also write a project on a topic of your choice if this is agreed with your course director.

At Essex, you have the freedom to study what most interests you. Some of the topics you may choose to explore include the history of photography; modern and contemporary art; curatorial practice and exhibition design; as well as more vernacular forms of visual culture, such as body art and activist placards.

Regardless of the topics you pursue, we are committed to research-based teaching, with a particular emphasis on bringing the approaches of art history into contact with other disciplines and discourses. In so doing, we seek to facilitate a critical engagement with artworks and forms of visual culture, both within and beyond the traditional canons of art history.

On campus, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA), Europe’s largest collection of contemporary art from Latin American, will provide an invaluable resource for studying art and curatorial practice first-hand.

One of the major reasons for choosing Essex is the quality of the education you will receive. We are 6th in the UK for research excellence, with 89% of our work rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014). We also achieved an exceptional 95% student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey.

Our expert staff

Essex Art History features a dynamic group of art historians who investigate the production and reception of images and built environments, across cultures and media from the early modern period to the present. Our staff are experts on topics as diverse as activist art, 19th-century medical photography, the art of Latin America, urbanism, exhibition design and body art.

We also have significant experience in curation and public engagement. Recent projects include:
-Dr Gavin Grindon curated a section of Banksy’s Dismaland show and co-curated the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which was one of the most well attended shows in the museum’s history.
-Dr Matt Lodder has acted as contributor for various television shows on body art and body modification, including the Today programme, the Jeremy Vine Show, Sky News, BBC Breakfast News, ‘Coast’, and National Geographic’s ‘Taboo’.
-Dr Natasha Ruiz Gómez co-organised a major conference on Collect, Exchange, Display: Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum at the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London.

Specialist facilities

At Essex, you have the best of both worlds: on the one hand, you are part of a tight-knit, campus community with close ties to several small but excellent museums in the nearby town of Colchester; on the other hand, you can travel from campus to London in an hour, which puts the world’s best museums and galleries at your fingertips.

Our facilities enable you to gain curatorial experience and engage in object-based learning, a cornerstone of our approach when teaching the history of art and its modes of display:
-Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is the most comprehensive Latin American art research resource in the UK and has a state-of-the-art teaching and research space. Many of our students gain work and research experience through our collection
-Our onsite gallery Art Exchange runs an on-going programme of contemporary art exhibitions, talks and workshops by curators and artists, as well as exhibitions organised by our postgraduate curatorial students
-Enjoy regular visits to London galleries, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, as well as many independent and alternative spaces
-Colchester’s iconic Firstsite gallery features an exciting programme of contemporary art exhibitions, film screenings and talks, and exhibitions organised by our students

Your future

The visual arts and culture industries have become an increasingly significant part of the national and international economy, and art history graduates leave Essex with the skills to take advantage of this growing opportunity.

Graduates from our programmes are ideally prepared for roles in the media, in advertising, in museums and galleries, in education (in schools, universities, and cultural institutions), as conservators, as auctioneers, dealers and antiques specialists, in charities, in publishing, as specialist arts lawyers, as PR agents, in fashion, or to run their own galleries.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of roles including:
-A member of the valuation team at Sotheby’s (New York)
-Head of Learning at firstsite (a contemporary arts centre in Colchester)
-Visual Merchandising Manager at John Lewis (Oxford Street, London)

We also offer research supervision for students who wish to continue their studies with a PhD or an MPhil. We cover the major areas of European art, architecture and visual culture from 1300 to the present, as well as the art and architecture of Latin America.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Graduate Diploma - Art History and Theory
-Art & Ideas III (optional)
-Curatorial Project
-Art, the Law and the Market (optional)
-Contemporary Art: 1980 to the Present (optional)
-Dissertation - Final Year Art History and Theory (optional)
-Final Year Dissertation Project (optional)
-Inventing the Future: Early Contemporary 1945-1980 (optional)
-Photography in History (optional)
-Reworking the Past (optional)
-Study Trip Abroad (Final Year) (optional)
-Study Trip Abroad (Year 2) (optional)
-Art and Power (optional)
-The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Film, New Media, Software and the Internet (optional)
-Visualising Bodies (optional)
-Picturing the City I (optional)
-After Impressionism: European Art From Van Gogh to Klimt (optional)
-Becoming Modern: European Art From Futurism to Surrealism (optional)
-Art in Latin America (optional)
-Art and Ideas II: More Art, More Ideas - Critique and Historiography in the History of Art (optional)
-Collect, Curate, Display (optional)
-Picturing the City II (optional)

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On this programme students engage with some of the most dynamic and contemporary aspects of Asian and African art, as well as issues of collection, display, representation, tourist art, and shifts between regional, national and global identities. Read more
On this programme students engage with some of the most dynamic and contemporary aspects of Asian and African art, as well as issues of collection, display, representation, tourist art, and shifts between regional, national and global identities. By focusing on theoretical and methodological questions, they are equipped with the terms and approaches needed for in-depth study of contemporary art. This is combined with the study of contemporary art from a range of Asian and African contexts.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in contemporary Asian and African art, whose ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, they profit from the insights of scholars and students working in other related fields, such as contemporary global Media, Film and Music. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in, for example, the film, cinema, languages and modern history of Asia and Africa.

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/macaaa/

Structure

Students must complete three units (or 0.5 unit equivalent) of taught MA modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation. A minimum of two units (or equivalent) must be selected from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department related to Contemporary Art and Art Theory listed below. Up to one unit (or equivalent) may be selected from the other MA modules in the department or from MA options offered by other SOAS departments, also listed below. Students must complete the Dissertation in History of Art and Archaeology: Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa (15PARC995).

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis. The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two taught modules in the first year, and one taught module and the dissertation in the second. Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student takes one taught module in each year. The dissertation can be written in any year, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Teaching & Learning

- Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

- Assessment

For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

- Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Asia House
Bonhams
British Museum
Christie's Hong Kong
Design Museum
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Hong Kong Museum Of Art
India Foundation For The Arts
Museum of East Asian Art
National Gallery National Museum of Singapore
People Projects Culture & Change
Schoeni Art Gallery
Sotheby's
Taiwan Embassy
The Alliance for Global Education
The British Embassy
The Chester Beatty Library
The National Museum Of Korea
The Royal Collection

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Manager of Communications
Culture Programme Coordinator
Research Assistant
Social Anthropology Lecturer
Specialist - Indian Art
Architect
Art Historian
Development Specialist
Archivist
Gallery Director Innovation Programmes Learning Manager
Creative Director
Organisational Consultant
Travel writer
Art Collector
Chinese Painting Specialist
Professor of Silk Road History
Rights and Reproductions Officer
Public Education Coordinator
Senior Curator of Photographs

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. This programme allows you to spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent facilities. Read more
This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art.

This programme allows you to spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent facilities. For the spring term you relocate to our Paris centre to study in a historic corner of Montparnasse. This programme can also be studied in Paris only.

Particular focuses include contemporary art, photography, Renaissance art, medieval art, 18th-century British painting, 19th-century French painting, modernism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art and film. You may elect to take a Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics pathway, which draws on the expertise of our Aesthetics Research Group.

The programme is intended for graduates in art history, philosophy and cognate subjects, such as fine art. It gives you the opportunity to pursue your interest in visual art at advanced level, to develop a high level of expertise in topics in history and philosophy of art and to prepare for doctoral research in history of art or philosophy of art.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/99/history-and-philosophy-of-art-paris

About the Department of History & Philosophy of Art

The History & Philosophy of Art Department provides opportunities for graduate study with well-established researchers in the fields of art history, philosophy of art and aesthetics. Staff research covers contemporary art and aesthetics, modernism, theories of art, the historiography of art and the Cold War; biographical monographs, the photograph (in its historical, contemporary and critical contexts), and the historical interplay of image, theory and institutions from the Renaissance to the present (especially European and North American).

Developing areas of interest include the cultural and historical significance of the print, and the role of performance and new media in contemporary art practices. In particular, postgraduates have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre and the Art History and Visual Cultures Research Centre. There is also a full programme of visiting speakers from across the constituent subject areas within the School of Arts, which includes Film and Drama.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

HA838 - Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art (30 credits)
HA841 - Modern Art in Paris (30 credits)
HA898 - History & Philosophy of Art Dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by two assignments per module and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with a focused programme of taught postgraduate study in history and philosophy of art

- provide you with a taught foundation for subsequent postgraduate research

- enable you to acquire or deepen your knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary topics within the history of art and philosophy of art

- enable you to develop your art historical and philosophical skills beyond that expected of an undergraduate

- enable you to develop, articulate and defend art historical and philosophical ideas as they relate to art

- enable you to engage with historical and contemporary theoretical thought about the arts from art historical and philosophical perspectives.

Study support

Postgraduate resources
There is a large and wide-ranging library holding for History & Philosophy of Art, covering the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, aesthetics and contemporary visual communications. There is a substantial stock of periodicals, online access to e-journals and a slide library with well over 100,000 images, covering areas such as contemporary art, visual cultures, garden history and the film still, as well as traditional media. Kent is ideally located for access to galleries in London and on the continent.

In 2010, we moved into the purpose-built, and RIBA award-winning, Jarman Building located at the centre of the Canterbury campus. The new building is home to the Studio 3 Gallery and a range of teaching and social spaces as well as a dedicated postgraduate centre.

Support
All postgraduate students are offered research skills training and the opportunity to take part in reading groups and research seminars at departmental, school and faculty level. Research students have the added opportunity for funded conference attendance. There is also a dedicated student support office at our Canterbury campus, which can offer support and guidance throughout your studies, in addition to an office in Paris.

In recent years, several members of the History & Philosophy of Art Department, both full-time and part-time, have been awarded University prizes for excellence in student support, curriculum innovation and research-based teaching – an ethos which we seek to extend to the postgraduate community.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: British Journal of Aesthetics; Art History; History of Photography; Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism; Journal of Visual Arts Practice; and The Philosophical Quarterly.

Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/gsa.html). The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability

Research areas

The Department has a collective interest in developing interdisciplinary projects, including projects informed by art history and philosophy of art or aesthetics. Shared areas of research interest include: photography, art theory from the Renaissance to recent times and contemporary art.

Careers

Arts postgraduates have gone on to work in a range of professions, from museum positions and teaching roles to marketing and gallery assistants. Our graduates have found work with Tate Britain, the V&A, Museum of Childhood and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Our MA Art History and Theory is ideal if you are interested in working in academia, the art world or any other field in which visual, written and analytical skills are essential. Read more
Our MA Art History and Theory is ideal if you are interested in working in academia, the art world or any other field in which visual, written and analytical skills are essential.

At Essex, you have the freedom to study what most interests you. Some of the topics you may choose to explore include Early Modern art and architecture; the history of photography; modern and contemporary art; curatorial practice and exhibition design; as well as more vernacular forms of visual culture, such as body art and activist placards.

Regardless of the topics you pursue, we are committed to research-based teaching, with a particular emphasis on bringing the approaches of art history into contact with other disciplines and discourses. In so doing, we seek to facilitate a critical engagement with artworks and forms of visual culture, both within and beyond the traditional canons of art history.

To supplement what you learn in the classroom, frequent staff-led visits to London museums and galleries will expose you to the some of the world’s best museums and galleries, and you will be strongly encouraged to apply for a placement in order to gain experience in the museum and gallery world. On campus, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA), Europe’s largest collection of contemporary art from Latin American, will provide an invaluable resource for studying art and curatorial practice first-hand.

One of the major reasons for choosing Essex is the quality of the education you will receive. Our Art History programme is 6th in the UK for research excellence, with 89% of our work rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014). We also achieved an exceptional 95% student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey.

This course is available on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Our expert staff

Essex Art History features a dynamic group of art historians who investigate the production and reception of images and built environments, across cultures and media from the early modern period to the present. Our staff are experts on topics as diverse as activist art, 19th-century medical photography, the art of Latin America, urbanism, exhibition design and body art.

We also have significant experience in curation and public engagement. Recent projects include:
-Dr Gavin Grindon curated a section of Banksy’s Dismaland show and co-curated the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which was one of the most well attended shows in the museum’s history.
-Dr Matt Lodder has acted as contributor for various television shows on body art and body modification, including the Today programme, the Jeremy Vine Show, Sky News, BBC Breakfast News, ‘Coast’, and National Geographic’s ‘Taboo’.
-Dr Natasha Ruiz Gómez co-organised a major conference on Collect, Exchange, Display: Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum at the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London.

Specialist facilities

At Essex, you have the best of both worlds: on the one hand, you are part of a tight-knit, campus community with close ties to several small but excellent museums in the nearby town of Colchester; on the other hand, you can travel from campus to London in an hour, which puts the world’s best museums and galleries at your fingertips.

Our facilities enable you to gain curatorial experience and engage in object-based learning, a cornerstone of our approach when teaching the history of art and its modes of display:
-Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is the most comprehensive Latin American art research resource in the UK and has a state-of-the-art teaching and research space. Many of our students gain work and research experience through our collection
-Our onsite gallery Art Exchange runs an on-going programme of contemporary art exhibitions, talks and workshops by curators and artists, as well as exhibitions organised by our postgraduate curatorial students
-Colchester’s iconic Firstsite gallery features an exciting programme of contemporary art exhibitions, film screenings and talks, and exhibitions organised by our students

Your future

The visual arts and culture industries have become an increasingly significant part of the national and international economy, and art history graduates leave Essex with the skills to take advantage of this growing opportunity.

Graduates from our programmes are ideally prepared for roles in the media, in advertising, in museums and galleries, in education (in schools, universities, and cultural institutions), as conservators, as auctioneers, dealers and antiques specialists, in charities, in publishing, as specialist arts lawyers, as PR agents, in fashion, or to run their own galleries.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of roles including:
-A member of the valuation team at Sotheby’s (New York)
-Head of Learning at firstsite (a contemporary arts centre in Colchester)
-Visual Merchandising Manager at John Lewis (Oxford Street, London)

We also offer research supervision for students who wish to continue their studies with a PhD or an MPhil. We cover the major areas of European art, architecture and visual culture from 1300 to the present, as well as the art and architecture of Latin America.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example Structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Art History and Theory - MA
-Dissertation - MA Schemes
-Researching Art History
-Art, Science, Knowledge (optional)
-Collecting Art From Latin America (optional)
-Critique and Curating (optional)
-Curating Inside Out (optional)
-Exhibition (Joint Project) (optional)
-Current Research in Art History (optional)
-Topics in Art History (optional)
-Art & Politics (optional)
-Art, Architecture and Urbanism (optional)

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This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. Particular focuses include contemporary art, photography, Renaissance art, medieval art, 18th-century British painting, 19th-century French painting, modernism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art and film. Read more
This MA provides a structured introduction to the postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. Particular focuses include contemporary art, photography, Renaissance art, medieval art, 18th-century British painting, 19th-century French painting, modernism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art and film. You may elect to take a Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics strand.

The MA gives you the opportunity to pursue your interest in visual art at advanced level, to develop a high level of expertise in topics in history and philosophy of art, and to prepare for doctoral research in history of art or philosophy of art.

The programme is also available at split site between Canterbury and Paris.
https://www.kent.ac.uk/arts/study/postgraduate.html

About the Department of History & Philosophy of Art

The History & Philosophy of Art Department within the School of Arts, provides opportunities for graduate study with well-established researchers in the fields of art history, philosophy of art and aesthetics. Staff research covers contemporary art and aesthetics, modernism, theories of art, the historiography of art and the Cold War; biographical monographs, the photograph (in its historical, contemporary and critical contexts), and the historical interplay of image, theory and institutions from the Renaissance to the present (especially European and North American).

Developing areas of interest include the cultural and historical significance of the print, and the role of performance and new media in contemporary art practices, which draw upon our links with other subjects within the School of Arts and the Faculty of Humanities. In particular, postgraduates have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre and the Art History and Visual Cultures Research Centre. There is also a full programme of visiting speakers from across the constituent subject areas within the School of Arts, which includes Film and Drama.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

HA898 - Philosophy of Art Dissertation (60 credits)
HA838 - Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art (30 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with a focused programme of taught postgraduate study in history and philosophy of art

- provide you with a taught foundation for subsequent postgraduate research

- enable you to acquire or deepen your knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary topics within the history of art and philosophy of art

- enable you to develop your art historical and philosophical skills beyond that expected of an undergraduate

- enable you to develop, articulate and defend art historical and philosophical ideas as they relate to art

- enable you to engage with historical and contemporary theoretical thought about the arts from art historical and philosophical perspectives.

Study support

Postgraduate resources
There is a large and wide-ranging library holding for History & Philosophy of Art, covering the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, aesthetics and contemporary visual communications. There is a substantial stock of periodicals, online access to e-journals and a slide library with well over 100,000 images, covering areas such as contemporary art, visual cultures, garden history and the film still, as well as traditional media. Kent is ideally located for access to galleries in London and on the continent.

In 2010, we moved into the purpose-built, and RIBA award-winning, Jarman Building located at the centre of the Canterbury campus. The new building is home to the Studio 3 Gallery and a range of teaching and social spaces as well as a dedicated postgraduate centre.

Support
All postgraduate students are offered research skills training and the opportunity to take part in reading groups and research seminars at departmental, school and faculty level. Research students have the added opportunity for funded conference attendance. There is also a dedicated student support office at our Canterbury campus, which can offer support and guidance throughout your studies, in addition to an office in Paris.

In recent years, several members of the History & Philosophy of Art Department, both full-time and part-time, have been awarded University prizes for excellence in student support, curriculum innovation and research-based teaching – an ethos which we seek to extend to the postgraduate community.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: British Journal of Aesthetics; Art History; History of Photography; Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism; Journal of Visual Arts Practice; and The Philosophical Quarterly.

Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/gsa.html). The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.

Research areas

The Department has a collective interest in developing interdisciplinary projects, including projects informed by art history and philosophy of art or aesthetics. Shared areas of research interest include: photography, art theory from the Renaissance to recent times and contemporary art.

Careers

Arts postgraduates have gone on to work in a range of professions, from museum positions and teaching roles to marketing and gallery assistants. Our graduates have found work with Tate Britain, the V&A, Museum of Childhood and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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The MA in History and Philosophy of Art (with a term in Rome) provides a structured introduction to postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art. Read more

The MA in History and Philosophy of Art (with a term in Rome) provides a structured introduction to postgraduate study of the history and philosophy of art.

It includes a term in Rome where we run the MA with the American University of Rome. A range of themes and approaches are considered in this MA with a particular focus on medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art in Italy. The first term is taught in Canterbury.

During the term in Rome you will study the art of Rome first hand, visiting relevant sites and museums, with options to study the history of Rome and specific artists. Kent staff are present for part of the spring term in Rome to ensure continuity of academic guidance and pastoral support. The campus is located in the Monteverde district of Rome, a picturesque district with a wide range of shops and amenities. From nearby Trastevere, it is a short bus-ride to the historic centre of Rome with its astonishing range of Roman sites, monuments, churches and museums.

The programme is intended for graduates in art history and other arts subjects. It gives you the opportunity to pursue your interest in visual art at advanced level, to develop a high level of expertise in topics in history and philosophy of art and to prepare for doctoral research in history of art.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/1694/history-of-art-rome

About the Department of History of Art

The History of Art Department within the School of Arts, provides opportunities for graduate study with well-established researchers in the fields of art history, philosophy of art and aesthetics. Staff research covers contemporary art and aesthetics, modernism, theories of art, the historiography of art and the Cold War; biographical monographs, the photograph (in its historical, contemporary and critical contexts), and the historical interplay of image, theory and institutions from the Renaissance to the present (especially European and North American).

Postgraduates have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre and the Art History and Visual Cultures Research Centre. There is also a full programme of visiting speakers from across the constituent subject areas within the School of Arts, which includes Film and Drama.

Course structure

You take one core module and one optional module during your first term in Canterbury and your second term in Rome. Over the course of these two terms you discuss with the course director your ideas and plans for your 15,000-word dissertation. The writing of the dissertation takes place in the summer with completion in August.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Term 1 (Canterbury):

Compulsory modules:

HA838 - Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art

One option from:

HA826 - History and Theory of Curating

FI812 - Advanced Film Theory

FR872 - Theories of Art in Modern French Thought

HA826 - History and Theory of Curating

HA835 - A Matter of Taste: The Art and Aesthetics of Food and Drink

HA898 Dissertation

Term 2 (Rome):

Compulsory Module:

HA833 Discovering Rome in Rome: Arts in Rome from antiquity to the present day

One option from:

Optional modules in Rome are taken through the American University in Rome and change each year. Past options have included:

- Michelangelo in Rome

This seminar on Michelangelo examines the work of the Renaissance master; his sculpture, painting, architecture and literary production. His works are investigated within their specific historical context, focusing on issues of commission, iconography, censorship, biography, historiography and aesthetics. An excursion to Florence is also planned. Beyond a complete comprehension of Michelangelo’s work, the course aims toward a mastery of art historical research skills, the evaluation of current scholarship and independent critical thought on art.

Term 3: Dissertation

HA833 - Discovering Rome in Rome: Arts in Rome from Antiquity to the Present Da (30 credits)

HA838 - Key Concepts and Classic Texts in History and Philosophy of Art (30 credits)

HA898 - History & Philosophy of Art Dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by two assignments per module and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with a focused programme of taught postgraduate study in history and philosophy of art; enhanced through the opportunity to study for one term in Rome

- provide you with a taught foundation for subsequent postgraduate research

- enable you to acquire or deepen your knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary topics within the history of art and philosophy of art

- enable you to develop your art historical and philosophical skills beyond that expected of an undergraduate; especially through study abroad and site visits

- enable you to develop, articulate and defend art historical and philosophical ideas as they relate to art

- provide access to enhanced intercultural awareness and understanding through the opportunity to study for one term in Rome

- enable you to engage with historical and contemporary theoretical thought about the arts from art historical and philosophical perspectives

- provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication and research skills and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector.

Research areas

The Department has a collective interest in developing interdisciplinary projects, including projects informed by art history and philosophy of art or aesthetics. Shared areas of research interest include: photography, art theory from the Renaissance to recent times and contemporary art.

Careers

Arts postgraduates have gone on to work in a range of professions, from museum positions and teaching roles to marketing and gallery assistants. Our graduates have found work with Tate Britain, the V&A, Museum of Childhood and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/



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The Masters of Arts in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories explores today’s creative practices and works produced since 1970. Read more
The Masters of Arts in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories explores today’s creative practices and works produced since 1970. OCAD University is one of only a few universities in North America that concentrates on current artists and issues. It’s the first program in Ontario to offer a graduate specialization in design history.

In this program you’ll be shaping contemporary art, design and new media scholarship. OCAD University is a unique place to study this exciting field – the program is small, so you’ll get personal attention, have access to top-notch faculty and be studying at Canada’s largest art, design and new media university. You’ll work with the producers of cutting-edge art, design and new media in your studies.

This program is normally completed in two years. Students in this program can take advantage of being located in the heart of Toronto’s cultural district – you’ll have access to the archives of major institutions only a few blocks away such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto International Film Festival and the Design Exchange.

You should have an honours, four-year bachelor’s degree in art history, visual culture, communications or a similar program to apply.

What will you learn?

The program comprises the following:

You’ll learn to understand the zeitgeist, current movements and practices in today’s art, design and new media world. You’ll use established conventions of art history, theory and terminology in seminars and engage in independent study.

You can take courses from any of three specializations. You will choose one as your focus:

Contemporary Art History
Design History
New Media Art History

Drawing on the long established discipline of art history and sharing analytical techniques, theory and terminology, these three areas of study are complementary. However, these areas of investigation and specialization bear and retain their own distinctiveness, which is emphasized in field-specific seminars and independent study. While students may take courses in any one of the three specializations, one field will be selected as the focus for the degree.

The MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories is a full-time, 7.5 credit program normally completed within two years (five semesters).

Two core graduate courses
Field-specific graduate seminars
Two electives
Individual reading and research
Major Research Paper (MRP) / Thesis writing workshop
MRP or Thesis

Students are required to complete a major research project or thesis. Here are a few recent examples:

Lady Gaga and the Other: Persona, Art and Monstrosity
The Comic’s Heartbeat: Framing Affective Structures in Comics History
Hip Hop as a Tool of Decolonization
New Media as a Platform for Indigenous Self-Representation and Social-Political Activism

You’ll be at the centre of contemporary art scholarship by planning and hosting the CADN Graduate Students’ Conference which is a major conference that attracts students and art historians from across the country.

What will I be able to do with my degree?

After graduating, you’ll be positioned to continue your research in a PhD program in cultural studies or contemporary art.

More and more contemporary art galleries and institutions are opening every day. These spaces want to hire people with their finger on the pulse of contemporary art and how it relates to history. Graduating with this highly prized skill set will give you a leg-up on students coming from traditional art programs.

Graduates from this program work as magazine and journal editors, researchers and curators.

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This MA is widely recognised as one of the most significant and innovative courses in its field. Unlike most courses on art theory, this programme grounds its problems and concepts in the appropriate philosophical context. Read more

This MA is widely recognised as one of the most significant and innovative courses in its field. Unlike most courses on art theory, this programme grounds its problems and concepts in the appropriate philosophical context. It will prepare you for a wide range of careers in the arts, education and public policy – it is particularly highly regarded in the arts. It also provides an ideal preparation for doctoral research across the humanities and social sciences.

Key features

  • You will benefit from high levels of staff-student contact, including individual tutorials, from versatile and internationally recognised teaching staff with a range of interests, projects and publications.
  • You will be part of a large, supportive community, studying with committed and engaged peers.
  • The course is based at the UK's leading Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, which organises conferences, workshops and regular research seminars.

What will you study?

This programme combines a grounding in philosophical aesthetics in the modern European tradition with study of contemporary art theory and the philosophy of art history. Canonical authors studied include Adorno, Derrida, de Duve, Duchamp, Greenberg, Heidegger, Kant and Merleau-Ponty. You will engage with some of the most influential texts in modern and contemporary art theory - from Kant and Schiller via Greenberg and Adorno to Rancière and Deleuze - framed in terms of fundamental conceptual problems inherited from the German Idealists. You will also gain a clear overview of philosophical approaches to modern art, distinguishing between ‘aesthetic', ‘Romantic' and ‘Modernist' problematics. You may also choose from a range of option modules from the Modern European Philosophy and Philosophy & Contemporary Critical Theory MA courses.

Assessment

Coursework (including short exercises), essays and a 15,000-word dissertation.

Research areas

This course is taught by internationally recognised specialists at the dynamic Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy.

Since its inception in 1994, the CRMEP has developed a national and international reputation for teaching and research in the field of post-Kantian European philosophy, characterised by a strong emphasis on broad cultural and intellectual contexts and a distinctive sense of social and political engagement. In each of the last two research assessment exercises, RAE 2008 and REF2014, 65% of the research activities of the CRMEP were judged 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent', with 25% of its outputs for REF2014 judged 'world-leading'.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • Kant and the Aesthetic Tradition - Delivered and assessed in English
  • Philosophy Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Art Theory: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Contemporary - delivered and assessed in English
  • Contemporary European Philosophies - delivered and assessed in English
  • Critique, Practice, Power
  • Hegel and his Legacy - delivered and assessed in English
  • Kant and his Legacy - delivered and assessed in English
  • Nietzsche and Heidegger - delivered and assessed in English
  • Philosophy and Psychoanalysis
  • Philosophy of Art History
  • Political Philosophy
  • Recent French Philosophy - delivered and assessed in English
  • Recent Italian Philosophy
  • Topics in Modern European Philosophy - delivered and assessed in English


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A pathway degree combines specialisation with flexibility. It is suited both to those of you who are beginning a journey towards a PhD in a particular field, and to those of you who wish to further develop undergraduate or personal interests. Read more
A pathway degree combines specialisation with flexibility. It is suited both to those of you who are beginning a journey towards a PhD in a particular field, and to those of you who wish to further develop undergraduate or personal interests. The pathways have emerged from clusters of excellence and expertise in the Department and relate directly to our Research Schools of Architectural History and Theory, British Art, Medieval Art and Medievalisms, Modern and Contemporary and Sculpture Studies. We therefore have concentrations of staff working in these areas, and related lectures, colloquia and site visits taking place.

The Modern and Contemporary Art pathway

If you select the Modern and Contemporary Art pathway you could choose options focusing on a wide range of works ranging from painting, sculpture and architecture, to photography, installation, performance and contemporary works engaging with new media and the digital. You will study works of art from geographically diverse regions, from the international rise of ‘pop art’ across the globe from the 1960s, to the arts of the Americas, and art from west and east Europe from the early twentieth century to the present day. As well you will be introduced to a range of formal, methodological and theoretical ways of thinking, writing and talking about the work of art in this period.

In order to complete the degree, at least two of your four option modules and your dissertation must be completed in Modern and Contemporary Art. Beyond this, the programme structure provides the flexibility for you to either specialise entirely in Modern and Contemporary Art, or to select up to two of your option modules from art history modules outside the field, or from modules offered by other humanities departments and interdisciplinary centres. Training will be offered in both general and pathway-specific research skills, which will prepare you for the development of a sustained independent research project for your dissertation, on which you will work closely with an academic supervisor who is expert in the field.

Degree Structure

Taken full-time, the one-year MA in History of Art (Modern and Contemporary Art) consists of:
-Autumn and Spring Terms: A core module focusing on Research Skills and Methods in History of Art, including pathway-specific sessions.
-Autumn Term: Two taught modules of your choice; an option is always offered on historiographical and theoretical approaches to art history.
-Spring Term: Two further modules of your choice.
-Summer Term and vacation: A dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words.

Taken part-time over two years, you would do one option in each of the Autumn and Spring terms, and work on your dissertation during the Summer terms and summer vacation.

Each option is taught by weekly two-hour seminars and assessement is in the form of a 4,000 word essay. Field-trips to view art and architecture are included in the programme, as appropriate.

The Research Skills and Methods in History of Art module, which is taught on a fortnightly basis across the Autumn and Spring Term, culminates in the production of a dissertation synopsis, on which the module is assessed.

The programme culminates in the production of a 15,000-20,000 dissertation, produced under the supervision of a member of staff. The work accounts for 50% of the final degree mark.

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interdisciplinary opportunities we offer create an engaging professional experience investigating the practice and discourse of fine art. Read more

interdisciplinary opportunities we offer create an engaging professional experience investigating the practice and discourse of fine art. You can choose areas of specialism in drawing from the archive, art in space and place and curating art, alongside your own studio work.

Full-time students use our purpose-built studio space. You have access to a wide range of workshops and technical expertise from all areas of media and fabrication. These include • sculpture • painting • live art • drawing • computer programming • metalwork • video editing • dark rooms • sound studios • film production equipment • printmaking.

Our teaching staff are experts in fine art and art education who not only exhibit their work but also contribute to conferences, journals and publications at national and international levels.

Vibrant and supportive learning environment

The course offers a supportive community to foster your practice and your ambitions as a fine art professional. It is particularly suitable if you are • open-minded • ambitious • keen to experience new personal challenges that expand your creative development • interested in understanding all areas of the fine art discipline.

You are encouraged to create experimental and innovative works and to engage with the critical context of art in our time. Dialogue with peers, practicing artists and structured teaching throughout the course enables you to identify your practice within the wider field of fine art to achieve new goals, develop networks and find new inspirations to enrich your creative ambitions.

Excellent creative resources

We have a comprehensive range of technical resources and an excellent programme of high profile guest artists from across the visual arts spectrum to stimulate debates on issues of art and culture. If you are doing your work placement in another European country there may be funding available through the Erasmus programme.

Dynamic and creative art community

Fine art students work and exhibit in the heart of Sheffield's Cultural Industries Quarter. The course has links with • Sheffield Contemporary Arts Forum • studio groups such as S1 and Bloc • Yorkshire Art Space Society • the Showroom Cinema • Site Gallery.

Sheffield has a dynamic and vibrant creative community. We work collaboratively with artists and curators, as well as researchers and students in other areas. You have access to a network of public galleries, art organisations and artist-run spaces. Opportunities for exhibiting and publishing take place throughout the year.

MA and MFA study

MA and MFA students complete the same modules during the course except that MFA students complete an extra project module. The MFA project encourages you to develop professional skills that help you to identify, instigate, and deliver projects with external partners, such as communities, galleries or businesses. You find a project partner, agree a brief and then deliver the project to a professional standard.

This course is part of the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. SIA opened in 1843 and is one of the UK's oldest Art and Design Schools. We have recently moved into the Head Post Office, a redesigned Grade II listed building. It includes state-of-the-art workshops which provide you with a unique studio-based learning environment in the heart of the creative community.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Research directions and critical studies

In this module you extend your knowledge of the range of approaches to research that have been used in art, and those that derive from other disciplines. You are introduced to an advanced range of contemporary critical theories, and examine key texts embodying these theories. Principles of research planning and the theory and practice of information searching ensure you are ready to effectively carry out your own research and critical practice.

  • Advanced art practice

During this studio-based module, you produce a body artwork in preparation for an exhibition. Your work may manifest itself across a range of contemporary art practices arising from individual intellectual and creative concerns. You have access to specialist workshop surgeries where you can seek individual support and advice to further your practical work.

  • Art

On this module you produce a body of work in any chosen media form. It draws together strategies of research, professional practice and critical thinking to form an advanced, mature, informed and professional practice. The module holds together these key aspects to reflect, and enable transition into, the wider contemporary art world.

Optional modules

You select from options that are led by research active staff who will introduce you to their own professional interests including • art writing • curating art • art in space and place • drawing from the archive • gallery – public realm: making art inside and out

MFA core module – MFA students only

  • Studio methods

You reflect on and consider methodologies of fine art to develop an individual method of making.

  • Art and its publics

Your work on this final MFA project involves public presentation of your work supported by a mentor who guides you as you make the leap into the professional world.

Assessment

Self-negotiated models of examination enable students to present agreed bodies of work for self and peer group assessment as well as evaluation by tutors.

Employability

We provide a learning environment that supports your individual needs while developing your involvement in the wider art world.

You are regularly involved in a range of exhibition, curatorial, performance, screening and publishing projects at regional, national and international levels.

You gain confidence to exploit opportunities for practicing artists and work in associated fine art-related culture. You can also register for further study at MPhil/PhD level within our Art and Design Research Centre.

Graduate successes include

  • Andrew Cooke was commissioned by Art Sheffield 08 for the Millennium Gallery in Art Sheffield. His work and the exhibition were reviewed in the Guardian.
  • Lesley Guy exhibited work in Amsterdam and Sheffield, while also developing a review column in the Metro newspaper




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MRes Art. Theory and Philosophy promotes dialogue amongst practitioners and theorists about art discourse today. Read more

Introduction

MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy promotes dialogue amongst practitioners and theorists about art discourse today. Highly relevant for both artists and writers, the course theorises art from a contemporary perspective embracing ideas in Continental philosophy, The Marxist intellectual tradition, as well as psychoanalytic and feminist theories.

Content

MRes Art allows you to address a specialist area of fine art research and to explore the relationships between your chosen specialism and the broader fine art community in the context of our Fine Art Programme.
Synergies in our Fine Art Programme - incorporating MA Fine Art, MA Art and Science, MA Photography, MRes Art: Exhibition Studies, MRes Art: Moving Image, and MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy - create a dynamic context for exploring practices and issues within contemporary culture.

In its extended full-time mode MRes Art gives you the flexibility to access London's richly varied opportunities for work and study while maximising your personal and professional development.

MRes Art prepares you to work particularly in the academic and research contexts of professional environments, to undertake PhD study, or pursue independent research. The course benefits from links with relevant professional and academic organisations in London and internationally and from the varied expertise of its research staff.
The three pathways provide a focus for your study while also enabling you to explore shared ground and questions of disciplinary territories and boundaries.

MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy offers a close reading of relevant texts as well as detailed discussion to promote your understanding and knowledge of major debates and approaches within Continental philosophy and aesthetics, the Marxist intellectual tradition, and psychoanalytic theory concerning art. Key issues include philosophy's relevance for the theorisation of art, politics, philosophy and art, philosophical approaches to contemporary art, and philosophy and art in a globalised context.

Structure

MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy lasts 60 weeks structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each (i.e. two academic years) in its 'extended full-time mode.'

MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises four units:

Unit 1 (40 credits) and Unit 2 (20 credits) run concurrently and last 15 weeks.
Unit 3 (40 credits) follows after the completion of Units 1 and 2 and runs for a further 15 weeks to the end of year one.
Unit 4 (80 credits) runs for 45 weeks, concurrently with Unit 3 to the end of year one, and then continuing to the end of year two.

All four units must be passed in order to achieve the MRes but the classification of the award of MRes is derived from the marks for units 3 and 4 only.

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The Master of Arts in Contemporary Arts Practice is a multidisciplinary degree course for artists from the visual arts, the Performance arts, music and literature. Read more
The Master of Arts in Contemporary Arts Practice is a multidisciplinary degree course for artists from the visual arts, the Performance arts, music and literature. Its starting point is the student’s individual approach and choice of emphases; together with interdisciplinary projects it enables multidisciplinary exchanges with students and teaching staff from other disciplines.

The course aims to foster an independent artistic outlook within a framework of collective and interdisciplinary working interrelationships. The course of study sharpens students’ individual artistic practices through direct engagement with other artistic strategies. A knowledge of current discourse in other art forms causes their view of their own work to change.

Degree Structure

The Master’s degree comprises 120 ECTS credit points and is usually completed in four semesters. The degree is structured into three degree modules.

The degree places independent study and teaching, disciplinary foundations and transdisciplinary expansion in a balanced relationship. At the heart of the Master’s degree is artistic production, which includes an MA project in one of the specialisations. The didactic combination of one-to-one lessons with a high proportion of independent study, the targeted consolidation of technical and theoretical knowledge of the subject and context in elective courses, and the exchange between peers and professionals in various networks and in the joint Master’s fora support artistic production. Since in today’s artworld there is almost no generally binding canon of knowledge and skills, perfecting one’s art rests on individual decisions based on a wide-ranging knowledge of the dynamic state of the art.

Module Groups

Artistic Production/Master's Thesis (70 ECTS)
At the core of the programme, is the students' independent work on their own projects. This individual work is supervised by a personal mentor in one-to-one tuition. Students develop a deep understanding of their own authorship. They learn to present their work and to confront their own creativity with the strategies and approaches of other artists. In this endeavour, they are supported by numerous artistic personalities from the different departments of the BUA, as well as from the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz in Basel and from further partner institutions in an international network.

Transdisciplinarity: Individuality in Context (30 ECTS)
The transdisciplinary aspect of the studies is largely based on the study of other genres' strategies of artistic authorship and by the search for common parameters for content and structure.
In lectures and seminars on contemporary art theory and media studies, common terminology is developed to facilitate communication about artistic strategies and production procedures beyond the limits of each discipline's specific vocabulary. The exchange among the different specialisations of the CAP occurs within the framework of tuition as well as in the interdisciplinary projects, but primarily in the common theory blocks, in the encounters with mentors from other disciplines and in the thematic project weeks that take place once per semester. Here, there are talks and practical workshops, transdisciplinary meetings, discussions, project and work presentations as well as courses on research strategies and scientific work. These block events not only heighten the understanding of one's own and unfamiliar working processes, they also prepare students for their professional future, when large projects will be realised in specialised artistic collectives and networks, which must be able to communicate across their fields' boundaries.

There is also tuition beyond the subject's artistic boundaries - on professional skills in economic terms. Students gain a basic understanding of how to set up a company and how to conduct self-promotion. This includes tuition about management, administration, law and copyright, marketing, project management etc.

Subject-related Theory and Practice (20 ECTS)
The third module group addresses the theory and practice of the respective specialisations. This includes courses on technical specialisation and perfection (for instance: composition, musical strategies, specific software knowledge, lighting, curating, exhibiting) and on the subject-related theory (for instance: lectures and guest seminars on contemporary art/music; graduate societies) as well as excursions and encounters with artists, institutions, clients, teachers etc. The various courses are open to all students of the MA CAP and the partner institutions, if they meet the individual course's requirements.

The degree programme culminates in the Master thesis. This consists of the public presentation of an independent artistic creation and the written reflection on the student's own practice. The written part can be conducted as a research project. Content and form of the artistic presentation, reflectiveness and relevance are evaluated by external experts.

Specialisations

Fine Arts
In the Fine Arts specialisation current developments in art and the historical foundations of art are the reference for students’ work. Static and moving pictures in analogue or digital form, sculpture and installation techniques are options as much as conceptual and performative approaches or the treatment of social processes and documentary strategies. The course is notable for its strong engagement with the professional demands of sound, words and performative production. The Fine Arts specialisation collaborates closely with the Master of Fine Arts at the Academy of Art and Design Basel (HGK Basel). Students have a broad range of options from which to assemble the content of their studies according to their own needs. These are extended by the BUA’s membership in the Swiss Master of Fine Arts Network. The discipline-related foundations for the Fine Arts specialisation are generally laid by a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.

Music and Media Art
In this programme the main focus is on sound art, experimental and electronic music. Students develop compositions, sound installations or other sound-based art forms. In seminars and lectures exemplary works of sound art from the past and present are discussed and analyzed. We teach compositional strategies and approach the subject matter from a contemporary and historical-theoretical point of view. Reference to one's own work is a key focus. The aim is not to solely work on the development of one's own artistic practices, but also to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of contemporary compositions and art forms. In addition to the MA CAP program students can attend other courses, which teach practical skills in programming with Max MSP,hardware hacking, audio technology or interface handling. The integration of sound and musical aspects into areas like performance art, literature and fine arts has increasingly gained importance over the last decades. Hence, this study program intensively deals with the musical-sound aspects of different art forms. In the MA CAP the interaction between the visual, performative, literary and sound aspects, brings students from different artistic areas together, encourages exchange and enables collaborative working.

Literary Writing/Translation
Literature reacts to other arts, just as much as it influences them. Students hoping to practice their literary art in the field of tension of contemporary art production and its advanced reflection, find in the CAP a wide range of teachers and students with diverse backgrounds. Alongside this vibrant exchange and proximity, they work on their own texts of all genres, under the supervision of mentors. This constitutes the core of the students` individual study profiles. Something unique about the CAP is, that the work of the literary translators (with the source languages German, French, Spanish, Italian, English and Russian and the target languages German or French) is regarded as artistic production. The offers for translators are expanded thanks to a cooperation with the "Centre de la Traduction Littéraire" at the University of Lausanne.

Performance
In the sense of physical presence, real or conceptual action, performance occurs in various artistic fields. It addresses certain issues relating to body, space and time. Considering the transdisciplinary history of performance, we understand it as a varied and open field of general performativity.
Performance is regarded as part of all the different artistic disciplines united under the umbrella of the CAP.
As an active form and physical action, it resides within music, fine arts and also literary writing and occurs in close connection with these separate forms. In addition, the focus on performativity opens up new forms of representation, viewing and listening, participating, which the studies are supposed to explore in the practical work as well as in the theoretical reflection.

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