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Masters Degrees (Curatorial Practice)

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The Master of Fine Arts in Criticism & Curatorial Practice program offers graduate students an exceptional opportunity to explore and experiment with contemporary art, media and design through engagement with history, theory and criticism within curatorial practice. Read more
The Master of Fine Arts in Criticism & Curatorial Practice program offers graduate students an exceptional opportunity to explore and experiment with contemporary art, media and design through engagement with history, theory and criticism within curatorial practice.

OCAD University’s distinctive program focuses uniquely on the practices of curating and criticism, leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree. Our graduate faculty and adjunct faculty include practising curators and critics who bring deep intellectual and professional expertise to the studies of criticism and curatorial practice.

OCAD University’s reputation for excellence entices internationally renowned authorities to its annual Artist-in-Residence program, and assists students to establish programmatic internships in Canada and abroad.

The MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice is a full-time, 60-credit program normally completed within two academic years or five sequential semesters. With the Program Director’s approval, some part-time students may be admitted with a more flexible completion schedule.

The program comprises the following:

Five core seminars (critical theory, research methods, issues in exhibitions, critical writing, and issues in criticism and curatorial studies)
Two core practice and issues-based studio/seminars
An institutionally embedded theory and practice-based course,"Inside Curatorial Practice", which including a collaborative group exhibition
Two elective seminars or studios
Individual research
Summer internship or study abroad
Thesis: curatorial exhibition and critical essay, or criticism thesis

Students entering the program will have an honours-equivalent four-year bachelor’s degree in studio art or design, or art history/visual culture, or a related discipline, and several years of practical experience. They will be interested in augmenting their existing knowledge base through a program of study that facilitates exploration of and experimentation with the full range of contemporary art and/or design curatorial and critical practices, and that provides the historical, theoretical and critical armature required.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice are:

to ensure that students acquire advanced research skills for visual and academic investigations in the areas of art, media, and design practice and critical theory;
to contribute to new knowledge in the areas of art, media, and design research methodologies in criticism and curatorial practices;
to promote the development of practices that facilitate sustainability, social responsibility, and diverse social and cultural perspectives;
to develop and advance curatorial and critical practices in design;
to promote contemporary art, media, and design practices within public contexts;
to contribute to the development of the field of Canadian art, media, and design criticism;
to contribute to the development of the field of curatorial practice in private and public galleries and museums and to independent curatorial practices.

KEY FEATURES

Partnerships, internships and events at organizations such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Textile Museum, C Magazine, the Toronto Alliance of Art Critics, and various Toronto artist-run centres.
The Summer Internship, which is an approximately four-week placement with a gallery, museum, arts publication or other relevant cultural institution in Canada or abroad. The internship allows students to integrate the knowledge gleaned from first-year seminars with the practices of curating and criticism.
The annual Artist-in-Residence program, which brings internationally renowned artists, designers, curators and critics to OCAD U for a one-week residency during which they conduct seminars, attend studio critiques, and give a public lecture/presentation.

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MA Curatorial Practise focuses on curating as a contemporary practice, bringing together history, theory and practice. We ask what is it that makes the role of the curator distinct, and how do we understand the essentials of curating, when it has become such a buzzword. Read more
MA Curatorial Practise focuses on curating as a contemporary practice, bringing together history, theory and practice. We ask what is it that makes the role of the curator distinct, and how do we understand the essentials of curating, when it has become such a buzzword.

The course embraces contemporary curating in historic and collection-based settings as well as contemporary venues, digital, ‘pop-up’ and site specific contexts. It is delivered by experts in the field and working curators.

COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT

The course covers a wide range of curatorial approaches, from management of historical collections to creative curating of cutting edge contemporary art, craft and design. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds; we challenge you to develop your interests, while understanding what you share with others across our discipline. Engagement and understanding audiences are central to curatorial practice.

Engagement and understanding audiences are central to curatorial practice. You’ll develop experience in ways of sharing and presenting ideas throughout the course.

If you're studying the course full-time you will study two modules per trimester, alternatively part-time students will study one per trimester.

MODULES

Research Methodologies will introduce the generic research methodologies and the ways subject specific material, analysis and evaluation techniques can be a vehicle for personal study.

In The Role of the Curator we consider the politics of curating, real-world issues and discuss the changing role of the curator.

Collections and Collecting considers the nature of collecting and the influence of collecting on curatorial practice.

Reaching Audiences allows you to present or study a live project to a real audience.

The Master's Project is an assessment that can include a dissertation, the study of historical or archival case studies, curating an exhibition or project in a venue, or forms of digital production.

For detailed information on each of the modules go to: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-curatorial-practice/

TEACHING METHODS

You’ll be taught in seminars, complemented with field visits to key venues facilitated by lead curators. We adopt a practice-led approach; while some sessions are delivered by our academics, others are delivered by our collaborators and relate to particular case studies or collections.

You’ll frequently link your study to internships, volunteering and project work.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Project based work can be developed and assessed as part of the course. Real life projects can be pursued in response to assessment assignments, especially in relation to the final 'Master's Project' double module.

For more information on assessment methods, please go to our course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-curatorial-practice/

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Recent graduates have found work in: .

• Curatorial work in museums and galleries
• Galleries/Arts administration
• Self-employed freelance curatorial work and consultancy
• Publishing and media work
• Education, gallery and museum learning and teaching
• General project management outside the visual arts and museums
• Critical writing
• Academic study and teaching

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This programme is aimed at graduates wishing to develop a curatorial career within the field of contemporary visual arts. It enables you to pursue independent and self-directed working, and to lay the practical, intellectual and professional foundations for working in future curatorial roles or contexts. Read more

This programme is aimed at graduates wishing to develop a curatorial career within the field of contemporary visual arts. It enables you to pursue independent and self-directed working, and to lay the practical, intellectual and professional foundations for working in future curatorial roles or contexts.

Why this programme

  • The programme is run in conjunction with The School of Fine Art at The Glasgow School of Art, which is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s foremost art schools for teaching and research in fine art, design and architecture.
  • It benefits from a series of day-long workshops clustered around particular subject areas, practical approaches or critical topics, and it includes contributions from a range of experienced practitioners.
  • You will engage with live projects, ranging from collaborative to independently-led, and gain the most engaged and professionally focused experience possible.
  • The programme offers links with external institutions in Glasgow, including the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow International, GoMA, Tramway, The Common Guild, Transmission and the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum.

Programme structure

The programme will provide you with access to highly-regarded and experienced professional curators and practitioners, and enable you to acquire key skill sets and attributes as well as forge the peer networks that are vital to the profession at all levels.

Core courses

  • Curatorial practice 1 and 2
  • Research methods in practice

In addition, you will produce a dissertation or Masters project in curatorial practice during the summer.

Optional course

In the second semester, you will undertake an optional course, choosing from a range offered across the subject areas within the School of Culture & Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow or electives courses offered by The Glasgow School of Art.

Career prospects

The programme will develop your knowledge and expertise in the field of contemporary curatorial practice, and you will acquire a core body of skills and attributes that are attractive to employers, including critical enquiry, research capacity, project-planning, project administration, budgeting, practical problem solving and professional working.



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Our. MA Curatorial Practice course. has been developed in partnership with Turner Contemporary. It offers you the opportunity to think about and engage with art and issues of cultural regeneration through curatorial activity. Read more

Our MA Curatorial Practice course has been developed in partnership with Turner Contemporary. It offers you the opportunity to think about and engage with art and issues of cultural regeneration through curatorial activity.

With a shared focus on experimental practice and vocational engagement, our course is open to curators, artists, historians, designers, architects and graduates in the humanities. It's been designed to foster new and innovative approaches to curation at an advanced level.

Our MA course at UCA Canterbury explores historical and recent developments within the field of curatorial practice. It provides a means for understanding such strategies in the logistical contexts of art management, commercial and public gallery or museum operations, art fairs, fringe platforms and artist run spaces.

The distinctive geographical context of the course in Kent and the South East also offers you the opportunity to develop specific curatorial research in the context of cultural regeneration.

Industry links

You'll be provided with opportunities for direct professional and public engagement with local arts organisations, biennales and public arts projects. And our course provides a range of means for testing curatorial strategies through both studio research and live contexts. This will help you to explore theoretical and practical processes of interpretation, framing and presentation.

You'll develop and manage your individual MA project. And this course is supported by seminars, tutorials, professional practice workshops, live projects, study visits and critiques.

Virtual Media Space

Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.



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The global scenario of the art system includes today a growing number of physical and virtual venues representing a wide range of curatorial projects opportunities. Read more

The global scenario of the art system includes today a growing number of physical and virtual venues representing a wide range of curatorial projects opportunities: museums, exhibition areas, public and private galleries, biennals, fairs, platforms, websites, etc.

The Master course in Curatorial Practice promoted by IED Venezia is a programme that deals with the exhibition design direction and management related to the art field and beyond, training professionals ready to enter with full rights the art industry. Strong point is the prestige and uniqueness of Venice, main player of the current debate on curatorial issues, generator of professional excellence.

The international faculty is coordinated by Jonathan Watkins and includes leading curators, scholars in the humanities, artists, and art professionals, coming from many prominent institutions such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Fondation Pinault, Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, Ruya Foundation, Beirut Art Center, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

Career opportunities - At the end of the Master course, participants may pursue careers in museums and not-for-profit galleries as well as in commercial galleries, fairs, and auction houses. They also consider roles in emerging areas such as criticism, education, consultancy, and artist studio management.



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MA Curation. at NUA is distinguished by an emphasis on individual practice-based projects with a focus on hands-on curatorial experience and related training. Read more

MA Curation at NUA is distinguished by an emphasis on individual practice-based projects with a focus on hands-on curatorial experience and related training.

In the idea of ‘exhibition’ it envisages a diverse and expanding range of public outcomes across the field of contemporary art, from gallery-based exhibitions to projects in non-traditional venues; from site-specific interventions to public art projects; and to the possibilities offered by platforms such as archives, self-publishing, print, digital media and the internet.

MA Curation at NUA acknowledges the emergence of the artist-curator alongside more traditional routes to curatorial practice. The course will help you to develop self-initiated curatorial projects, through study that is research informed rather than research led. You will be encouraged to research and develop innovative curatorial practice in the public domain, and the development of new audiences.

Norwich University of the Arts provides an appropriate professional context in which to study curatorial practice, with strong links with the Arts Council Collection, Hayward Touring, Tate, Norwich Castle Museum and Gallery, as well as regional galleries. Having staged the prestigious EASTinternational between 1991 and 2009, the university has developed a strong reputation for high quality curatorial practice, and in 2016 NUA will host British Art Show 8.

East GalleryNUA is an important touring venue for national and international exhibitions, and will provide you with the opportunity to develop your professional practice through a training programme delivered by the gallery. In addition, you will have further opportunity to engage with industry professionals through a professional mentoring scheme.

Facilities

East GalleryNUA

The campus-based public art gallery offers students first-hand insight into professional curatorial practice.

The University Archive

House an extensive collection of exhibition materials and publications, including the NUA East Archive.

Software Inductions

Optional software inductions available to all students introduce you to a wide range of creative possibilities and output options.

Media Resource Centre

For digital cameras, tripods, 35mm DSLRs, 35mm film cameras and lighting equipment.

NUA Library

The largest specialist are, design and media collection in the East of England including 32,000 books, 1,300 journal subscriptions and 3,000 DVDs.

Applications

The offer of entry onto a Masters Degree (MA) is based on an expectation that you have the potential to fulfil the aims of the course of study and achieve the standard required to successfully complete the award. Entrants should normally have achieved a BA (Hons)/BSc Degree of 2:1 or above (or its equivalent), in a subject related to your proposed course of study.

Applicants who hold a Degree from another discipline may also be considered for entry, subject to the submission of a satisfactory portfolio of art, design or media-related work in support of their application.

The majority of applicants to courses at NUA will be invited to attend an interview. This provides an invaluable chance to meet face-to-face and is the major factor in determining the success of your submission. The interview is an opportunity to assess your work and the suitability of your application and also provides you with a chance to assess NUA’s staff, campus and facilities and ask questions. The key focus of your application process is on your portfolio. Some courses may require additional entry requirements or passes in specific subjects.

  • Complete the application form, including a well-prepared and considered 500 word statement indicating your intentions for MA study. The form should be word-processed not hand-written.
  • Detach the Reference Form and forward to your chosen referee with a request to complete and return to NUA at the address indicated.
  • Email the completed form to: or post to Admissions, Norwich University of the Arts, Francis House, 3 – 7 Redwell St, Norwich, NR2 4SN
  • We will endeavour to contact you within two weeks of receiving your application and reference from your nominated referee. If your application is acceptable we will arrange a date for interview.

For further information on this course, please visit our website - MA Curation.



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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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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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In a world dominated by visual imagery, artists need the appropriate skills, reflexive approaches and attitudes of critical enquiry to work as effective professionals within their field. Read more
In a world dominated by visual imagery, artists need the appropriate skills, reflexive approaches and attitudes of critical enquiry to work as effective professionals within their field. In this personalised course of study you can either explore your own specialism of fine art practice, or develop your practice across a broader range of interdisciplinary activity. In a supportive and challenging environment, you will be encouraged to be independent and enterprising in the promotion of yourself and your art.

The course is available to study either full-time over 1 calendar year or part-time over 2 calendar years. As a part time student it is possible to undertake the course from a distance and alongside existing employment.

You will develop new ways of looking at your own practice. You will explore distinct areas of contemporary fine art while reviewing your own and fellow students’ work-in-progress. Through negotiation, you will develop a proposal for new work that will form the framework for further development.

The course is structured to enable you to fully realise your ambitions for your practice. A lecture programme and regular contact with teaching staff, along with seminars from prominent practitioners, will assist you towards the production of a significant body of new work along with a key research folio within which you reflectively evaluate your practice. Students have in the past exhibited their final work at public galleries such as Chapter Arts Centre, Elysium Gallery, West Wharf Gallery and Arcade Cardiff.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/934-ma-arts-practice-fine-art

What you will study

The MA Arts Practice runs over two calendar years part-time or one calendar year full time:

- Part One:
Artist Practitioner 1 Critique 40 credits

Choice of one, 20 credit module from the three MA common modules, which you will study alongside Postgraduate students from other courses across the Faculty of Creative Industries:
- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries
- Research Paradigms

- MA Common Modules:
You will receive a strong grounding in research knowledge and skills, enterprise and innovation as part of the core MA Arts Practice course, but because everyone has different requirements of their postgraduate experience, you can choose to study one of the following three, 20 credit common modules. Each of these has a different focus, enabling you to select the module that will be most beneficial to you.

- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship:
This module aims to develop your knowledge of the methods to identify, develop and manage enterprise and innovation in the creative sector. It will then help you apply this to your own entrepreneurial project.

- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries:
The focus of this module is on the development of research knowledge and skills, while also encouraging critical engagement with approaches to creative practice. You will also explore ideas, debates and issues in the creative and cultural industries.

- Research Paradigms:
This module focuses on research paradigms and their theoretical underpinnings. It also looks at key conceptual tools drawn from a wide range of subject areas relevant to postgraduate research in the creative industries.

Part Two
- Artist Practitioner 2 Context (40 credits)
- Professional Practice in the Arts (20 Credits)
- Artist Practitioner 3 Major Project (60 Credits) or Research Project –Learning Through Employment (60 Credits)

Learning and teaching methods

The MA Arts Practice course is delivered using specialist facilities in our post-graduate studios which are available seven days a week. The programme makes use of lectures, guest speakers, workshops, demonstrations and tutorials, field trips and visits. The contact time you receive will include weekly workshops or seminars and regular group and individual tutorials. In addition, you will be expected to develop your area of practice independently.

Modules are taught via a combination of group seminars and lectures, with individual one-to-one tutorials taking place regularly to support your progress.

We encourage students to discuss and provide feedback on each other’s work, and to approach assignments in groups where appropriate to develop essential skills in teamwork and project management.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

The course acknowledges the value of experience and partnerships to enable employability. A key element of the course involves establishing partnerships, internships, residencies and placements with arts organisations and galleries, NHS Trusts, social services, charitable trusts, schools, colleges, care homes and commercial companies to develop these. The course also develops your professional skills and positions your practice within critical and contextual frameworks.

- Work/study placements:
In addition to developing your personal area of art practice, you will benefit from the chance to gain practical exhibiting and curatorial experience and to explore other avenues of professional practice.

- Career options:
Graduates of MA Arts Practice (Fine Art), can progress to careers in academia, a Fine Artist, Teacher, Artist in residence, Public Artist, Community Artist, Ceramicist, Exhibitions Organiser, Socially Engaged Practitioner, Prop maker, Technician, Technical Demonstrator, Craft Designer, Gallery Owner, Art Dealer, Art Conservator, Curator, Art Gallery Technician, Art Transporter, Arts Journalist, Critical Commentator, Web Designer, Arts Administrator, Set Designer, Model Maker, Illustrator, Mural Designer, Creative Director, Art Director, Arts Business Manager or Arts Publicist.

Assessment methods

Modules are largely assessed via practical outcomes, project proposals and research folios. Some modules make use of presentations and discussion of working methods and final outcomes.

We will give you regular verbal feedback to help you develop your understanding during each module.

Facilities

Studying art at the University of South Wales means you can work in dedicated studio spaces and base rooms at our Treforest campus. Within your specialism, you will be able to accomplish a high standard of work in our extensive specialist facilities: 3D workshop, print room, and ceramic studios all equipped with traditional and state of the art facilities, including digital suites and a fully equipped lighting studio for photography. Opportunities are available to extend your technical skills through tailored undergraduate modules.

Facilities at our nearby Cardiff campus range from photographic darkrooms and professional-level printers, to video and audio production studios. While facilities are available in the first instance to students studying related courses, they are available more widely to students wishing to explore cross-disciplinary and multi-media techniques. You will be able to borrow a full range of equipment including cameras, microphones and lighting.

Our specialist library offers a comprehensive range of textbooks, research journals and other physical and online resources, as well as an interlibrary loan service.

Teaching

Our MA Arts Practice staff are actively engaged in research, they embody a high level of knowledge, expertise and professional experience across a range of arts practices. Students on this course will benefit from interdisciplinary teaching delivered by a teaching team with extensive experience in exhibiting; project management; project realisation and practice within the public realm, NHS and community contexts.

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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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Studying for an MA Art by Research is designed to allow independent research in an area of your choice, supervised and supported by a team of academics. Read more
Studying for an MA Art by Research is designed to allow independent research in an area of your choice, supervised and supported by a team of academics. You will have access to a range of training opportunities provided by the University with the aim of developing your research skills.


Example research areas include:

- Art and Design histories
- Contemporary curatorial practice
- Fine Art research through practice
- Contemporary Art Practice
- Art and text
- Live Art

You can join an international research community within the College of Arts, where you will have the opportunity to benefit from an interdisciplinary ethos and expertise in art, contemporary curatorial practice, conservation, cultural heritage, sustainability and design across the Schools of History & Heritage, Fine & Performing Arts, Film & Media and Architecture & Design.

The MA by Research is available as either written thesis or practice-based, where documentation of creative practice undertaken during the research period replaces part of the thesis component. Students are expected to undertake self-led and self-managed research with the support of a supervisor.

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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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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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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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The Master of Fine Art in Fine Art (MFA) provides postgraduate studio-based arts practice, critical theory in fine arts and access to the professional skills and knowledge to succeed in a career in the fine arts. Read more

The Master of Fine Art in Fine Art (MFA) provides postgraduate studio-based arts practice, critical theory in fine arts and access to the professional skills and knowledge to succeed in a career in the fine arts. The programme will appeal to independent artists wanting to extend their practice within a critical research framework supported by practicing tutors. Artists looking to extend their career path into curatorial practice in the contemporary arts, collaborative projects with arts organisations, arts in socially engaged practices and/or further research will find support for this trajectory in this broad-based programme. Teaching involves lectures, seminars, and group and individual tutorials from active artists with research profiles. The programme will equip you with creative, interpretive, critical and analytical skills to develop an advanced understanding of contemporary art and its social, cultural and historical contexts.

The image above shows a close up of the work Nova by Saad Querishi, a former student of Fine Art at Oxford Brookes. Saad has been commissioned to produce a piece of work for the new areas of the campus and will be acting as a resource for the students on the programme.

Why choose this course?

Your artistic practice – An independent studio environment enables you to further your work within a supported critical framework. Through group and individual tutorials, staff/peer critique and presentations, an incremental approach is applied whereby you will confidently develop your work towards public exhibition/dissemination. There are two formal exhibitions during the MFA programme.

Flexible studio options – Students may select to locate their studio either at Oxford Brookes or elsewhere. Students working from their own studios will be eligible for a reduced tuition fee. 

Technical resources – The School of Arts’ workshops offer supported working environments in a range of specialist areas including: sculpture, photography, video, sound, printmaking and book-works. All our workshops are staffed by highly skilled and creative Technical Specialists.

Extra-curricular activities – You will gain exposure to a range of contemporary artistic practice through the thriving creative student community in the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes. You will participate in the lectures and film screenings set up by the Fine Art Research (FAR) Group. These include visiting contemporary artists, critics, curators and notable alumni. Free life drawing classes extend your drawing skills and optional local, regional and international field trips provide further stimulus.

Theoretical framework – Your ability to articulate your own creative position is enabled through a critical engagement with a range of scholarship informed by diverse practices by nationally and internationally recognised artists, collectives and movements. An early theoretical module explores contemporary art discourse through seminars informed by selected readings and in a later module you develop a more intense involvement with theory related to your individual research interests.

Professional development – The programme enables you to identify a professional focus which is likely to inform your subsequent career trajectory. This might involve research preparation, a placement, a collaborative project or exhibition management/curatorial practice. With the guided experience in this module our graduates are better prepared for a successful career as a professional artist.

Careers and professional development

How this course helps you develop

In addition to the support, teaching and development opportunities afforded by the curriculum, as a student you will be immersed in the active arts environment of the School. During your studies with us you will have access to the visiting speakers arranged for this and for other arts programmes, for the seminars and conferences in diverse fields, including publishing, film, music and digital production in the School. The field trips, visiting artists, PhD students and opportunities in the programme’s Professional Experience module offer a rich network of individuals and organisations that enable you to make useful contacts for your future career. 

Careers

Graduates from this programme will be well equipped to pursue their practice as independent artists who have a well-developed understanding of the theoretical and professional contexts of the current and contemporary landscape of the arts and creative industries. 

This programme is delivered within the School of Arts, which offers a vibrant environment for the creative industries including film, photography, music and publishing. Through the modules, which address practice, theory and professional experience, students are provided with links to engage with employment and further study opportunities, either as independent practitioners, facilitators or participants within a range of group and collaborative practices and contexts. 

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.


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