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