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Masters Degrees (Curating Contemporary Art)

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Established 25 years ago and led by Professor Victoria Walsh, the MA Curating Contemporary Art (CCA) programme is recognised both as an international leader in its field and for its commitment to collaborative group project-based work that integrates theory and practice throughout the two years of the curriculum. Read more

Established 25 years ago and led by Professor Victoria Walsh, the MA Curating Contemporary Art (CCA) programme is recognised both as an international leader in its field and for its commitment to collaborative group project-based work that integrates theory and practice throughout the two years of the curriculum. For 2017/18, we are introducing new areas of focus in response to the expanded field of curating and the widening professional opportunities for curatorial practice and research in a global context. These will include:

Exhibitions and Programming practice focusses on curating, commissioning and programming within the physical and defined setting of the gallery/museum space providing critical, theoretical and practical understanding of the histories and opportunities within this form of curatorial practice.

Urban practice focuses on curating and commissioning within the urban context of the global city, with particular emphasis on the expanded role curators play bringing together architects, designers, urbanists, and public and private organisations with communities and artist practitioners to create new spaces of creative opportunity, encounter and public value.

Digital practice focuses on the expanded field of artistic and curatorial practice that is rooted in and defined by digital media, online production and networked distribution. It will examine the differences and commonalities between digital and analogue forms of artistic production and curating; and experiment with new curatorial models that bridge on and offline networked cultures and audiences.

The CCA programme approaches the field critically, theoretically and through best practice in commissioning, curating, and programming with London-based and national arts organisations and spaces ensuring that the knowledge and understanding of these practices is grounded in the context of public audiences, urbanisation and the digital. In the increasingly complex cultural environment in which curating takes place, our research-led and practice-led teaching by staff and visiting tutors ensures the curatorial and artistic significance, intellectual value and critical vitality of the MA programme.

Curating Contemporary Art is a two-year, full-time 240-credit ‘enhanced’ RCA MA that runs from September 2017 – June 2019. From 2017, the programme is primarily located in the RCA's newest facilities in White City



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The first year combines learning through practical experience with historical, theoretical and critical reflection. Students work on various exhibition projects, and research and write two essays. Read more

First Year

The first year combines learning through practical experience with historical, theoretical and critical reflection. Students work on various exhibition projects, and research and write two essays. They also undertake a number of study trips.

Practical Projects
Students work on a portfolio of practical exhibition projects. Projects offered in the past have included: curation of a week-long artists’ retreat at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire; curation of a section of CCA’s exhibition as part of the Goethe Institute Cultural Project Europea n; curation of a project at ACME Project Space, London
Teaching Blocks
The programme is structured around a series of intensive taught thematic teaching blocks. Recent teaching blocks have included: What is a Curator?; Performance; Art and the Public Domain; Moving Image; Coloniality; Exhibition/Audience. Block teaching is provided by programme staff and practising professionals, including curators, artists and critics.
Courses
In parallel with the teaching blocks and practical projects, a series of seminar-based and workshop-based courses led by programme staff run throughout the first year:
'Curatorial Practice' comprises a range of collaboratively realised curatorial projects. Participation in these projects is designed to equip you with the knowledge and understanding as well as the practical skills that you will need to curate exhibitions in a variety of contexts (commercial, institutional, etc.) and with a range of content (collections, film and video etc.) It involves active, practice-based thinking about ways in which exhibitions shape cultural history and enter curatorial discourse.

Critical Theory is designed to introduce and discuss critical concepts and theories of art and culture relevant to the production, consumption and interpretation and understanding of contemporary art.

Writing for Curators aims to equip students with three distinct skills related to writing: to develop a personal writing style; to write in the ‘range’ of voices required of curators and construct appropriate texts and documents; and to produce academic writing appropriate to MA level. The course is designed to complement the various real and hypothetical curatorial projects which students work on in the first year, as well as preparing them to produce a final dissertation in their second year. Each session is focused around a separate exercise in reading, writing or text analysis.

Second Year

Study in the second year is largely student-led and individuals are encouraged to develop and deepen their own research interests. Each student is required to produce a 6–10,000 word dissertation on a subject of their own choosing. This is submitted in draft form at the end of the summer break between the first and second year, for final assessment in the second year. As part of their second year work, students will realise a major exhibition project. In previous years, CCA has mounted successful exhibitions in the public gallery spaces of RCA, as well as collaborated with key art venues across London. The CCA programme affords the opportunity for students to work in a professional capacity as curators, utilising the gallery spaces of the College, as well as collaborating with art venues and partners in the public presentation of their work.

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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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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/344/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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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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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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Sunderland's MA Curating is one of the few courses in the UK to specialise in curating across art, design, media and culture and has a unique delivery system which aims to fit the needs of national and international working arts professionals, as well as full-time international students. Read more
Sunderland's MA Curating is one of the few courses in the UK to specialise in curating across art, design, media and culture and has a unique delivery system which aims to fit the needs of national and international working arts professionals, as well as full-time international students.

Course overview

This course is for people who want to work either in the traditional areas of curating fine art and cultural artefacts or in emerging areas such as curating digital art, media or live art. We will equip you for careers in the gallery, non-gallery and digital sectors.

By the end of the course, you will have advanced skills in collecting, organising, interpreting and exhibiting cultural items. You will also have expertise in effective teamwork and collaboration with artists and practitioners. All this will be grounded in a rigorous understanding of the historical contexts of curating, arts administration and museums.

The course features three week-long blocks of intensive delivery in October, February and June, plus weekly online contact, meaning national and European candidates can fit attendance and travel around work or family commitments, whilst regular online contact supports the completion of assignments. The course is also a full-time MA for international students, who will attend both intensive blocks and weekly contact onsite. The second intensive block will take place in London in February, accessing key curators and institutions during visits to organisations including Tate, V&A, and Wellcome Collection.

This block is also available as a professional development short course, building on a history of masterclasses including in New York and the UK. With accreditation of prior learning, this 60-credit block can also be taken as an accredited qualification leading to a Postgraduate Diploma.

Graduates from Sunderland can be found in curatorial and academic roles across the world, in cities such as New York, Stuttgart, Vancouver and London. Our graduates are also employed here in the North East by galleries and archival services.

You will be taught by academic staff with research interests that range across art, design, media and culture, with particular specialisms in public art, performance art, and new media art. We provide a well-regarded resource for curators and exhibitors of new media art, known as Curatorial Research for Upstart Media Bliss (CRUMB).

For a specialist web pages about the course and the activities of students, please see: http://www.macurating.net

Course content

The content of the course is shaped by your personal interests with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors.

Modules on this course include:
Curating 1 – Certificate (60 Credits)
-Genealogies of Curating
-Mechanics of Curating

Curating 2 – Postgraduate Diploma (60 Credits)
-Contexts of Curating
-Visions of Curating

Curating 3 – Masters Degree (60 Credits)
-Curatorial Practice
-Major Project and Report

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, study visits and group work. These are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds. You will also have high levels of contact with tutors who give regular feedback and support.

Field trips and practical workshops are important elements of the course, giving you direct contact with curators. Host organisations have included the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Workplace Gallery, the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, the National Glass Centre and Shipley Art Gallery.

Facilities & location

The University has invested in modern facilities that include generous studio spaces and state-of-the-art teaching space and resources as part of a vibrant and outward-looking learning environment.

Arts and Design Library
Our Arts and Design Library has a specialist collection of over 120,000 books, CD-ROMs, videos, slides and one of the largest electronic information networks in the sector.

Journals and research
We subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date articles. Some of the most important sources include:
-Art Full Text + Art Abstracts, which is a major resource for media and arts information
-Design and Applied Arts Index, which covers journals featuring both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century
-British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media
-JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences

Employment & careers

Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course, you will be equipped for roles throughout the creative industries.

Specific opportunities include working in curatorial institutions and event management. Recent Sunderland graduates are now working in institutions such as the BALTIC, the Arnolfini (Bristol), Klomp Ching Gallery (New York), Banff Centre (Canada), Shipley Art Gallery and Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums.

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Our MA Curating offers a practical and theoretical training in devising and curating exhibitions, as you work towards the preparation of an exhibition at our on-site Art Exchange gallery. Read more
Our MA Curating offers a practical and theoretical training in devising and curating exhibitions, as you work towards the preparation of an exhibition at our on-site Art Exchange gallery.

Our course combines practice, theory and histories of curating in equal measure. You will develop an essential base skills for a successful exhibition – from object handling to managing exhibition budgets – through visiting lectures by active museum professionals; practical workshops using our on-site collection and galleries; and competitive placements at leading institutions.

You will build your own confident grasp of the history and theory of exhibition-making, studying with academics who besides being active curators are producing new key texts on the curatorial history and theory. You study topics including:
-How an exhibition can be used as a means of social or political critique
-The historical role that museums have played in society
-Participation and social engagement between spectators, artists and curators
-A choice of history of art options

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), and we achieved an exceptional 95% student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey.

Our expert staff

Our staff consists of a dynamic group of art historians. While our research interests span a range of cultures and media, from the early modern to the present, core specialties include exhibition design, modern and contemporary art, public engagement and activism.

Here are a few examples of recent or current projects by staff members:
-Dr Gavin Grindon, Lecturer in Art History and co-director of our Centre for Curatorial Studies, recently co-curated the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, one of the best attended shows in the museum’s history. He has also widely published on activist art in leading journals such as Art History.
-Dr Adrian Locke, a Visiting Fellow in Art History and Senior Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, has curated a diverse range of exhibitions, including Mexico: A Revolution in Art, 1910–1940 (2013) and Radical Geometry: Modern Art of South American from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection (2014). He also co-curated the exhibition Ai Weiwei, which opens at the Royal Academy in September 2015.
-Dr Matt Lodder, Lecturer in Art History with an emphasis on modern and contemporary visual culture, is co-curating the exhibition Tattoo: Ancient Myths, Modern Meanings, which opens next year in the U.S.
-Dr Michael Tymkiw, co-director of the Centre for Curatorial Studies, has a book under contract entitled Nazi Exhibition Design and Modernism. He has also just launched an interdisciplinary research project that focuses on using digital technologies to expand disability access in museums—a project that involves collaborations with several museums in Colchester and London including firstsite and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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 ongoing 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 curatorial students
-Our Centre for Curatorial Studies is home to staff who specialise in the history of exhibition design and curate high-profile exhibitions

Your future

The visual arts and culture industries have become an increasingly significant part of the national and international economy, and our 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 for a wide range of high-profile companies including:
-National Portrait Gallery
-Victoria and Albert Museum
-Sotheby’s New York
-Momart Ltd
-John Lewis

We also offer research supervision for PhD and MPhil for those who want to continue with research. We cover the major areas of European art and architecture from 1300 to the present, as well as the art and architecture of Latin America and the United States.

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

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Whether your chosen career path involves curating, exhibiting, criticism, collecting, art journalism or any other route, by undertaking this course you will develop essential skills, expertise and experience. Read more

About the course

Whether your chosen career path involves curating, exhibiting, criticism, collecting, art journalism or any other route, by undertaking this course you will develop essential skills, expertise and experience. By studying the history of art through personal research and excellent tutorage you will engage in vigorous intellectual inquiry in the subject and delve deeply into your chosen specialism.

Why study MA Art History at Aberystwyth University?

The School of Art at Aberystwyth provides supervision and specialist knowledge in a broad range of subjects and is rapidly become one of the UK’s most popular places to study and creatively explore Art. Writing in the Guardian, journalist Miles Brignall concluded that the twice-yearly MA Art History Exhibitions at Aberystwyth are among the top four ‘pick of the shows’ UK-wide. Aberystwyth was the only institution he selected outside London.

There are over 20,000 original artworks in Aberystwyth School of Art’s collection

Aberystwyth School of Art holds registered museum status from the Museums and Galleries Commission of Great Britain

Opportunity to submit articles for publication to develop your engagement with critical and public opinion

Opportunity to curate your own exhibition from the School’s art collections

Aberystwyth University is a top 50 university for research power and intensity – REF 2014

100% of Aberystwyth School of Art’s research was either world leading or internationally excellent in terms of research impact – REF 2014

75% of the School of Art’s publications were of an internationally recognised standard or higher – REF 2014

Opportunity to study within one of the UK’s long-established Schools of Art and to work closely with staff in a stimulating research environment

Aberystwyth School of Art administers the Catherine Lewis Trust Fund, which continues to acquire important works of art for the University

Course structure and content

The course can be studied either one year full-time or two years part-time. The taught part of the course is delivered through lectures, seminars, and practical exercises. During semester three (June-September), you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

In the first two semesters (September to May), you will study a number of modules, together worth a total of 120 credits. This includes a 60 credit research project, taught over the two semesters, research training modules to prepare you in research methodologies, and a module on Art & Visual Culture, where you examine art and art criticism within the broader context of contemporary visual culture. In the final semester (June to September), you will undertake a 60 credit MA dissertation.

Contact Time

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

Assessment

In the first two semesters, students are assessed via a mix of exhibitions, portfolios, essays, presentations, web-design production, and teaching experience projects. Successful completion of the dissertation leads to the award of an MA.

Skills

Throughout this course you will develop a wide array of skills that will not only market you as a professional artist, but also as a mature individual with attractive skills and qualities for potential employers. This course will encourage you to:

- Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of work
- Play an active, learning based role in the operation of the School's galleries
- Hold up your work against scrutiny from tutors, peers, critics, and the public
- Improve your capacity for conducting a critical review of yours and others' work through discussion, Forum seminars, presentation and writing
- Improve your capacity for critical reading, discussion, presentation and writing, as well as developing an awareness of art practice in relation to art history and theory
- Contribute to the School's academic knowledge of art and art history through your own research
- Increase your critical faculties
- Engage critically with contemporary art and art history
- Undertake art historical research involving applied skills such as gallery education, cataloguing and database work, archive and oral history projects, or the curation of exhibitions
- Develop study and research skills.

Careers

The range of posts to which our graduates progress widens all the time. Our alumni have gone on to work:

- For designing companies
- In museums and galleries
- As art teachers
- On education programmes in galleries
- In gallery assistant posts
- Producing family-based learning activities in galleries and museums

Our graduates have also taken up exciting internships and traineeships with a variety of national and international organisations, progressed to further academic study (PHDs).

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This programme, delivered by School of Arts and specialist visiting lecturers, develops your skills and provides experience relevant to a career in curating. Read more
This programme, delivered by School of Arts and specialist visiting lecturers, develops your skills and provides experience relevant to a career in curating.

Based at the School of Arts Studio 3 Gallery, you are involved in all aspects of the running of the Gallery. You work closely with partner organisations such as Canterbury museums and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

You have the opportunity to develop your own project, working within the Gallery’s exhibition programme.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/96/curating

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules provide an overview of the history of collecting and exhibitions through a series of case studies, taking advantage of our proximity to major London collections. We also cover theoretical issues relating to curating and museology.

Optional modules focus on providing practice-based opportunities for developing curatorial skills.

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.

HA826 - History and Theory of Curating (30 credits)
HA827 - Curatorial Internship (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of coursework essays, critical logbooks and practice-based exercises. A long dissertation is required for the Exhibition Development and Design module.

[[Programme aims
This programme aims to:

- create and interpret knowledge at the forefront of the discipline through the development of critical, conceptual and practical abilities

- develop a self-directed programme of practice and related research

- contextualise and theorise practice in relation to, and through critical evaluation of, the work of contemporary practitioners and leading researchers within the discipline

- develop a comprehensive understanding of methodologies applicable to independent research

- develop autonomy in practice work within a context that fosters collaborative learning

- sustain an advanced practice that encompasses the disciplines of writing, discussion and producing practice-based outcomes

- achieve high-level skills and competencies as a preparation for professional practice and further development in the field of curating

- embed your research within the context of the University and utilise the resources offered in the research environment such as staff expertise, symposia and colloquia

- develop public outcomes outside the University in a range of formats

- attract students from a diversity of arts contexts and contexts that inform artistic practice, including fine art, history of art, sociology, journalism, English literature, film studies architecture and philosophy

- attract intellectually able and talented students who are enquiring, open to experimentation, discussion and collaboration as well able to work independently

- provide a forward-thinking, dynamic learning environment that responds to the current climate of debate and production in the arts.

- forge an international identity within the field of study through developing partnerships with international universities and non-HEIs

- support specialism and progression by allowing students to opt for specific routes of study that include curating, art history, cultural history, arts management, conservation or museum studies.

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 History of Art MA at UCL draws on the world-leading research and teaching expertise within the department, and is designed to enable students to acquire specialised knowledge pertaining to the field of art history and to develop independent research skills. Read more

The History of Art MA at UCL draws on the world-leading research and teaching expertise within the department, and is designed to enable students to acquire specialised knowledge pertaining to the field of art history and to develop independent research skills.

About this degree

Students develop skills for engaging with visual materials and gain historical knowledge, enabling them to interpret artefacts in relation to their social and cultural contexts. They are introduced to current methodological debates in the field and encouraged to define their own position through reasoned historical and theoretical arguments.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a core module (30 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Methods, Debates and Sources in History of Art

Optional modules

Options may include the following:

  • Human and Non-Human in Medieval Art
  • Transformations of the Body in Early Modern Cabinets of Display
  • Vision, Tourism, Imperialism: Art and Travel in the British Empire, 1760-1870
  • American Media: Publicity and the Logics of Surveillance
  • Politics of the Image: Germany 1890-1945
  • Art as Theory: The Writing of Art
  • Art and Technology in Nineteenth-Century France
  • Photographic Cultures: Photography's Publics and the Production of Politics
  • On Sex and Violence
  • Race/Place: Exotic/Erotic
  • Tracing the Body: Technologies of Representation in 18th and 19th-Century France
  • Seeing Through Materials: Matter, Vision, and Transformation in the Renaissance

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 13,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, as well as gallery and museum visits. Assessment is by two essays for each of the taught modules (six essays in all), the dissertation and a viva.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: History of Art MA

Careers

UCL's History of Art graduates have an excellent record of success in entering PhD programmes, careers in museums and galleries, the art trade, the heritage industry, art publishing, and art conservation. The unique combination of visual analysis and intellectual rigour offered by the MA has also proven valuable in diverse careers including journalism, publishing, and advertising. For those aspiring to an academic career, the MA is a requirement for a PhD, and many former MA students have successfully received funding for research degrees, and subsequently obtained academic positions, at prestigious institutions in the UK, North America, and elsewhere.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Assistant Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Gallery Co-Ordinator, Frith Street Gallery
  • PhD in History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Museum Intern, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
  • Exhibitions Assistant, Whitechapel Gallery

Employability

Our History of Art MA provides focused training in the history of art and its methodologies. It encourages students to develop original critical thinking on all aspects of visual culture, and promotes a serious engagement with historical and contemporary cultural debates. You will learn how to work collaboratively as well as independently to develop your skills in written and oral communications. The MA is an excellent starting point for a career in academia, curating, for working in the heritage industry, commercial art galleries, and other sectors of the cultural industries. 

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL History of Art is one of the most dynamic centres for the study of art history and visual cultures in the world. It is one of the leading departments in the UK for research; and all staff are active researchers in a range of specialist fields. Our teaching and research move beyond traditional forms of art history to address visual and material cultures more broadly, and we are committed to a wide range of critical and historiographical enquiry. 

The MA in History of Art is a challenging and versatile degree; you will study in a community of approximately 40 graduate students; at the same time you will work in smaller groups and in close contact with tutors in your special subject courses.

The department is located in Bloomsbury, close to the Warburg Institute, the British Library, and the British Museum. The National Gallery, Tate Galleries, and the Victoria and Albert Museum are also within easy reach. UCL's own Art Museum holds many rare and important works.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: History of Art

85% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The programme is designed for students who wish to take up the challenge of contemporary curating as an artistic, social and critical undertaking, and who wish to develop their professional practice in this area. Read more

The programme is designed for students who wish to take up the challenge of contemporary curating as an artistic, social and critical undertaking, and who wish to develop their professional practice in this area.

This two-part programme is designed to develop professional and academic excellence in the field of contemporary curatorial practice. It's aimed at curators and those with related academic and practical experience who wish to achieve professional excellence in their practice, to innovate in the expanding field of curatorial practice.

MFA Curating at Goldsmiths focuses in-depth on aesthetic, social, political and philosophical questions that are brought to bear in any place or at any event in which contemporary art is situated.

The programme is designed to provide a practice-led research context for students at any stage of their professional practice. 

It also enables you to experiment and innovate in the expanded field of curatorial pedagogy, to collaborate on an interdisciplinary basis and extend your and other students' knowledge through this process.

Goldsmiths' MFA Curating programme is recognised worldwide for producing highly qualified curators and other arts professionals.

Our graduates find employment in top international museums, commercial galleries, auction houses, magazines, alternative spaces and not-for-profit organisations. Others choose employment as artist’s studio managers; arts education programmers; museum public talks and events organisers; gallery archivists and registrars.

Work experience

The Tate Modern annually offers two hands-on internships to Goldsmiths MFA Curating students, who are given the opportunity to work directly on an exhibition matched to the students' interests. Accepted Goldsmiths curating students are given details on how to apply for a Tate Modern internship prior to starting the school year.

Other institutions with which the Goldsmiths MFA Curating programme has collaborated on real-life curatorial projects include 176/Zabludowicz Collection, London; Form/Content, London; ICA/Fourth Plinth Project, London, and more.

Each year, part 1 Goldsmiths curating students are invited to pitch an exhibition proposal to the Government Art Collection, using works from this important national collection as the basis for a contemporary art exhibition. The successful projects are realised during the final year.

Modules & structure

In Year One, you're introduced to a series of curatorial concepts and practices through group analysis and guided research. There are also group seminars that look into significant ideas in philosophy and cultural theory to help you think broadly about your own practice

In Year Two, intensive workshops look in depth at a set of artistic and cultural themes chosen by the students. In Year Two you further develop independent curatorial research and practice, working either on your own ideas or with a London-based gallery or institution. The summer term of Year One acts as a transition to Year Two.

Government Art Collection

Each year, part 1 Goldsmiths curating students are invited to pitch an exhibition proposal to the Government Art Collection, using works from this important national collection as the basis for a contemporary art exhibition. The successful projects are realised during the final year.

Year one

Year two

Skills

Independent research and practice; public presentation; oral and written communication; project development; exhibition administration; concept development; collaboration; intellectual analysis; catalogue, essay and review writing; research organisation and presentation.

Careers

Graudates from the MFA in Curating go on to work in galleries and museums; as managers and directors in commercial galleries; independent curators; cultural policy makers, teachers and academics; writers and critics.



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We support innovative art research across a range of modes and practices that seek to contribute to wider cultural and artistic fields through original, critical work. Read more

We support innovative art research across a range of modes and practices that seek to contribute to wider cultural and artistic fields through original, critical work.

The Department of Art supports the development of art research in and through Fine Art, Curating, Art writing and across disciplines. We consider all elements of the MPhil/PhD to be sites of rigorous experimentation and encourage you to develop your research through processes of making, collaboration, investigation, study, inquiry, trial and error, analysis and speculation.

We understand that your research may change shape and subject matter as you make intertextual and interdisciplinary connections and as relevant modes of artistic, cultural, social, scientific and philosophical production become important to you throughout the course of your research. We work with you as you find the appropriate practice for pursuing your research and related form for consolidating and disseminating your findings.

It is important to note that the MPhil/PhD is not an extension of the MFA. The MFA is a professional degree geared specifically to the development of your art practice. Distinct from this, the MPhil/PhD in Art is a 3-4 year (full-time) or 6-8 year (part-time) research project, the pursuit of which may involve your already-established practice, or require the development new modes of practice specific to the research project.

The PhD is also distinct from ongoing studio practice or a residency in that it asks you to place your work in relation to that of other practitioners, be they artists and other cultural workers, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, or others; be they in a contemporary and/or historical context. In this respect, the model of the PhD encourages you to follow your curiosity for – and make connections with and between – the thought and action of others.

Another major distinguishing quality of art research is the need to document process. For this, our researchers are encouraged to think expansively about how to do so. How might a process of documentation become a space for reflecting on decisions, however intuitive they are in the first instance? How might this process communicate something of the mode of enquiry that is pursued, as much as of the findings? How might this process, as much as the outcome of the research, reflect the complexity inherent in thinking, making, questioning and communicating art?

MARs 

Based in the Department of Art, and linked to the MPhil/PhD Programme, is the Mountain of Art Research (MARs). MARs supports and promotes the development of innovative art research across a range of art practices including - but not limited to - studio, performance, film and video, curatorial, critical, art-writing, situated, participatory and interdisciplinary practice.

Committed to rigorous formal experimentation, maverick conceptual exploration and socially-engaged articulation, MARs emphasises the material ‘stuff’ of art research as much as its speculative possibilities and political imperative. As both platform and ethos, the aim of MARs is to challenge received ideas and habits; to promote new ways of thinking and being both in and out of this world.

Through MARs we bring together researchers within Art, across disciplines, between institutions and beyond higher education for intentional, concentrated discussion and sharing of research.

Applications 

You will apply with a well-developed idea for and individual research project that you have begun to plan artistically as well as to contextualise with reference to contemporary and historical examples of artworks, exhibitions, designs, social, political and philosophical ideas, etc.

Programme pathways

Within the overarching programme of MPhil/PhD in Art there are three different pathways for undertaking doctoral research, including:

Pathway 1: Thesis by Practice 

The thesis comprises a substantial body of studio practice, curatorial practice and/or art writing practice, presented as an integrated whole. This is accompanied by a considered form of documentation, as appropriate to the project, and a written component of approximately 20,000-40,000 words for PhD (10,000-20,000 words for MPhil) offering a critical account of the research.

Pathway 2: Thesis by Practice and Written Dissertation 

The thesis comprises a body of studio practice, curatorial practice and/or art writing practice AND a written dissertation of 40,000-80,000 words for PhD (20,000-40,000 for MPhil), presented together as an integrated whole. The thesis will be accompanied by a considered form of documentation, as appropriate to the project.

Pathway 3: Thesis by written dissertation

The thesis comprises a written dissertation of 80,000-100,000 words for PhD (40,000-50,000 words for MPhil), presented as an integrated whole.

Researchers will start on one of these three pathways when they apply and may change to a different option only up until the time of Upgrade.

Skills

Our art programmes aim to equip you with the necessary skills to develop independent thought and confidence in your practice. In addition, these skills are of use in other career paths you may wish to follow.

Careers

Our researchers have been successful in many fields including media, museums, galleries, education, the music business and academia. Many have continued to be successful, practising artists long after graduating, and have won major prizes and exhibited around the world.



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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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We support innovative art research across a range of modes and practices that seek to contribute to wider cultural and artistic fields through original, critical work. Read more

We support innovative art research across a range of modes and practices that seek to contribute to wider cultural and artistic fields through original, critical work.

The Department of Art at Goldsmiths has an international reputation for creativity, innovation, and cultural diversity. Our aim is to facilitate artists, curators and writers to make work and to reflect upon, debate and disseminate individual and collaborative practices, thus contributing to wider artistic culture and debate.

As an MPhil/PhD researcher, you will be contributing to the Department's research culture as well as to the wider Goldsmiths tradition: one that values interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge and understanding, supports inventive new practice and critical work, and contributes to the creation of a dynamic research environment both nationally and internationally.

MPhil/PhD research

The Department of Art supports the development of art research in and through Fine Art, Curating, Art Writing and across disciplines. We consider all elements of the MPhil/PhD to be sites of rigorous experimentation and encourage you to develop your research through processes of making, collaboration, investigation, study, inquiry, trial and error, analysis and speculation.

We understand that your research may change shape and subject matter as you make intertextual and interdisciplinary connections and as relevant modes of artistic, cultural, social, scientific and philosophical production become important to you throughout the course of your research. We work with you as you find the appropriate practice for pursuing your research and related form for consolidating and disseminating your findings.

It is important to note that the MPhil/PhD is not an extension of the MFA. The MFA is a professional degree geared specifically at the development of your art practice. Distinct from this, the MPhil/PhD is a 3-4 year (full-time) or 6-8 year (part-time) research project, the pursuit of which may involve your already-established practice, or require the development new modes of practice specific to the research project.

The PhD is also distinct from ongoing studio practice or a residency in that it asks you to place your work in relation to that of other practitioners, be they artists and other cultural workers, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, or others; be they in a contemporary and/or historical context. In this respect, the model of the PhD encourages you to follow your curiosity for – and make connections with and between – the thought and action of others.

Another major distinguishing quality of art research is the need to document process. For this, our researchers are encouraged to think expansively about how to do so. How might a process of documentation become a space for reflecting on decisions, however intuitive they are in the first instance? How might this process communicate something of the mode of enquiry that is pursued, as much as of the findings? How might this process, as much as the outcome of the research, reflect the complexity inherent in thinking, making, questioning and communicating art?

MARs

Based in the Department of Art, and linked to the MPhil/PhD Programme, is the Mountain of Art Research (MARs). MARs supports and promotes the development of innovative art research across a range of art practices including - but not limited to - studio, performance, film and video, curatorial, critical, art-writing, situated, participatory and interdisciplinary practice.

Committed to rigorous formal experimentation, maverick conceptual exploration and socially-engaged articulation, MARs emphasises the material ‘stuff’ of art research as much as its speculative possibilities and political imperative.

As both platform and ethos, the aim of MARs is to challenge received ideas and habits; to promote new ways of thinking and being both in and out of this world.

Through MARs we bring together researchers within Art, across disciplines, between institutions and beyond higher education for intentional, concentrated discussion and sharing of research.

Applications 

You will apply with a well-developed idea for an individual research project that you have begun to plan artistically as well as to contextualise with reference to contemporary and historical examples of artworks, exhibitions, designs, social, political and philosophical ideas, etc. 

Programme pathways

Within the overarching programme of MPhil/PhD in Art there are three different pathways for undertaking doctoral research, including:

Pathway 1: Thesis by Practice 

The thesis comprises a substantial body of studio practice, curatorial practice and/or art writing practice, presented as an integrated whole. This is accompanied by a considered form of documentation, as appropriate to the project, and a written component of approximately 20,000-40,000 words for PhD (10,000-20,000 words for MPhil) offering a critical account of the research.

Pathway 2: Thesis by Practice and Written Dissertation 

The thesis comprises a body of studio practice, curatorial practice and/or art writing practice AND a written dissertation of 40,000-80,000 words for PhD (20,000-40,000 for MPhil), presented together as an integrated whole. The thesis will be accompanied by a considered form of documentation, as appropriate to the project.

Pathway 3: Thesis by written dissertation

The thesis comprises a written dissertation of 80,000-100,000 words for PhD (40,000-50,000 words for MPhil), presented as an integrated whole.

Researchers will start on one of these three pathways when they apply and may change to a different option only up until the time of Upgrade.

Skills

Our art programmes aim to equip you with the necessary skills to develop independent thought and confidence in your practice. In addition, these skills are of use in other career paths you may wish to follow.

Careers

Our researchers have been successful in many fields including media, museums, galleries, education, the music business and academia. Many have continued to be successful, practising artists long after graduating, and have won major prizes and exhibited around the world.



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