Led by Dr Mel Jordan, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, the Contemporary Art Practice programme has specialist pathway leaders in order to facilitate a distinct engagement with specific areas of contemporary art practice. The programme is delivered through four pathways: Critical Practice (led by Jeremy Millar), Moving Image (led by Jane Wilson), Performance (led by Professor Nigel Rolfe) and Public Sphere (led by Mel Jordan).
The Contemporary Art Practice programme enables us to incorporate practices that exceed the specificity of the well-established disciplines of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. Contemporary Art Practice engages with contemporary modes of art production, dissemination and debate. It facilitates specialisation through its pathway structure enabling students to engage with a particular approach to developing their own art practice. The teaching methodology we employ is not technologically or materially determined however students are expected to utilise appropriate and specific means in which to manifest their ideas. Contemporary Art Practice students have access to all facilities within the School of Fine Art.
Critical theory has emerged as an essential intellectual framework for art criticism but what is its potential as a tool within the production of contemporary art? Studio-based and primarily focused on supporting the development of the artistic practice of its students, the Critical Practice pathway offers regular seminars exploring emerging ideas and bodies of theory as well as opportunities to work with organised forms of knowledge such as public archives and institutions.
Moving Image is aimed at artists using film and video, and practitioners working in the areas of documentary film, film and fiction cinema as well as practitioners who wish to draw upon, challenge and re-map established realms of Moving Image based practices. The diversity of approaches employed in the Moving Image pathway reflects the new reality of contemporary moving image.
Performance happens in the ‘here and now’ and not the ‘there and then’. Unlike many practices, where time is historic, and the image presented is necessarily an archive or record, ‘being and doing’ are more immediately significant in live time, and the expectation is that – in the contemporary – artists are often presenting work that is not made in advance but rather happening now!
Public Sphere is a major research area in the School, and the pathway supports expanded engagement with art and its publics as well as art’s social function. Social art practices have featured as a key force in the rise of the global biennale as well as being utilized by the Occupy Movement. Therefore questions about public space, participation, collaboration and collective action are becoming essential principles within the production of contemporary art both in terms of practice and theory.
Your application should be for MA Contemporary Art Practice and you will have to specify in which Pathway you wish to study: Critical Practice, Moving Image, Performance or Public Sphere.
The programme offers:
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.
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).
Options may include the following:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the historical and social significance of works of art, artefacts and other cultural products from classical antiquity to the present.
Art is an expression of the human spirit. The study of art deals with cultural, social, religious, political and aesthetic meaning in the time it was created, the present and the eras in between. Think of how the Greek mythology of Narcissus – who has been portrayed in countless sculptures and paintings over the ages – was used by Freud to name a psychological disorder and is today used by politicians to symbolise the flaws of modern society. And think of how the destruction of art, be it by Byzantine iconoclasts, sixteenth-century Dutch protestants, or present-day adherents of IS, teaches us that the emotional and political significance of art goes far beyond the loss of objects.
The research Master’s in Art and Visual Culture studies the relationship between art, the past and the present from various angles, including the interpretation of the cultural contexts of visual expressions and their transformations throughout the ages up to now. This programme is geared towards classical archaeologists, art historians and cultural scholars alike. You’ll gain insight into general humanities methods and theories as well as those specific for those three fields. You can then go to focus on your own topic in the field of Art-Historical, Cultural Studies and Archaeology.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/arts-culture
The programme welcomes students with interest in all forms of art and visual culture. Our own research primarily focuses on Europe and ‘its worlds’, including how European artefacts interact with and differ from the rest of the world. Our research studies artefacts in the broadest sense, ranging from the more traditional forms as sculptures, paintings and architecture to modern ones as film, digital art, the performing arts and even fashion. All our research is performed in collaboration with scientists from other fields within the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS). We are joined in thirteen themed research groups .
- We teach you to look at the physical, artistic and visual qualities of an artwork or artefact, seen from the perspectives of three different disciplines: Classical Archaeology, Cultural Studies and Art History.
- In your first year, you take several courses with students from the other HLCS research Master’s specialisations in Historical Studies, and in Literary Studies. This unique construction will allow you to view your own field from the perspective of the other humanities.
- A personal tutor will guide you throughout the entire programme. He/she will give you advice on how to tailor our programme to best suit your interests, act as a sounding board for your research ideas, and help you make the right connections in the academic arena.
- You’ll receive thorough preparation for PhD research, including the writing of a publishable scholarly article and a proposal for a PhD project.
- This programme strongly encourages you to go abroad for at least a semester. Students can use our connections to other universities (IRUN network ) and research institutes to find a place that meet their academic interests.
Any research done by students of the Master’s in Art and Visual Culture will be supervised by a researcher at the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS) in Nijmegen. HLCS research focuses around the theme Europe and its Worlds and questions whether ‘Europe’ consists of different worlds, how it is addressed, how it differs from the rest of the world, and how it interacts with other worlds. Researchers from a variety of humanities disciplines collaborate in thirteen different thematic groups to explore the spaces, cultural practices, beliefs, texts and ideas related to Europe and its World.
Thematic research groups
There are art and cultural scientists in many of these thematic groups. Although all the groups could be of interest to an art and cultural researcher, our experience is that the following generate a lot of interest among the Art and Visual Culture students:
- Matter And Culture: Analysis, Discourse & Aesthetics of/in Material Culture
The common framework of this group is research into material culture as the bearer of meaning in the broadest sense.
- Creative Industries: Society, Culture and Aesthetics in the 21st century
This group aims to gain a socio-cultural understanding of the creative industries. The group views the creative industries as a dynamic sector of autonomous and applied arts that range from theatre, music, media, literature and museums; to gaming, film, fashion and television, as well as to design, arts education, heritage and festivals.
- Memory, Materiality and Meaning in the Age of Transnationalism
This group studies the material as well as immaterial media and forms of embodiment through which we create memory through meaning-making and performative practices.
Master’s thesis topics in Art and Visual Culture:
For their Master’s thesis research, students can work together with researchers from one of the HLCS research groups or choose a topic in a non-related area. A small sample of thesis topics that you could research in this programme:
- Understanding the Post-Pompeian Era: Wall painting in the Roman Empire (AD 79-395)
- Crime in a Nordic Space: The Production of Space in Forbrydelsen
- William Marlowe in his time: an eighteenth-century view painter rediscovered
- Unravelling the Fabrics of Time: A New Materialist Perspective on Slow Fashion Becomings
- A Pyramidal Structure along the Via Appia. Documentation and reconstruction
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/arts-culture
This pathway is concerned with the exploration, development and synthesis of conceptual, theoretical and practical skills to create 3D design solutions. It covers both design and making aspects of all 3D areas, model making and the creation of final objects, using resistant and non-resistant materials. You will explore casting techniques, silicon, resin and plaster, using traditional making techniques in the workshops and computer modelling/3D printing, working in wood, stone, metals and plastics. You can explore jewellery, ceramics and glass.
Our Master’s programme has been designed to support and enhance the skills of art and design practitioners who want to work in the cultural and creative industries. Awarded by Falmouth University and delivered in partnership with Hearst Magazines UK, publishers of ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar, together we have designed an exciting and industry-connected Master’s to equip you for the real world.
The 12-month MA supports students across a range of Art & Design specialisms and you will be given the unique opportunity to explore your area within an interdisciplinary global culture. Bringing together students from a variety of disciplines through dialogue, idea-exchange and collaborative activities, the course prepares students for the hybrid and dynamic nature of contemporary creative practice. By enabling the pursuit of specialist subject expertise alongside opportunities to acquire the skills, experience and outlook necessary for professional success, we give our graduates the confidence to take the next step toward building their own creative futures.
The course is open to graduates from any art and design related degree subject and who already have knowledge and experience of a specialist area. Our MA will allow you to enhance your skills within your existing area, taking it in your own direction with support from a subject tutor. We currently support pathways in Fine Art, Communication Design, Illustration, Animation, Photography, Fashion Design, Fashion Communication, Product Design, Craft and Spatial Design.
Alternatively, you may be looking for a Master’s degree, but you are not clear which specialist pathway to follow, this course is designed to support those students arriving from a variety of undergraduate programmes with varying degrees of focus. The scope of the award in Art & Design is flexible enough to provide opportunities for you to experiment and try out new approaches before finding your focus.
This programme offers outstanding specialist tuition combined with extensive academic contact and studio access. As a Master’s student, you will have:
The inter-disciplinary nature of the course and the teaching team, along with the wider staff expertise within the college means that specific tuition can be provided on a ‘bespoke’ basis if and when needs arise. In addition to support from academic staff, you will have regular group and one-to-one access to our Study Skills Coordinator for support with writing, research and academic skills.
Our dedicated Welfare Team are resourced and prepared to support all students. Should you require help with English language, support is available from our in-house provision.
The course is structured to provide you with a wide range of activities in the modules at the start of the course, together with the opportunity to experiment and explore different methods and approaches. As you move through the programme you will then start to focus and identify individual ambitions, and plan and execute your final project.
Introduces you to new methods and approaches. You will take part in a series of set projects, which will encourage collaboration, experimental practice and creative activity.
THEORY AND RESEARCH
Within this module you will be exposed to a series of lectures and seminars around a series of shared themes that cut across theory and practice. You will be inspired to try out fresh and innovative methods in practice and you will work collaboratively and individually.
This module will support your development of independent and self-initiated project work in your specialist area. To build your portfolio you will take part in live briefs set by our partners in the creative industries and supported to enter local and international competitions.
ART & DESIGN FUTURES
You will be asked to look ahead by engaging in the issues shaping the professional practice of art and design today. Lecturer talks will introduce you to a diverse range of contemporary art and design practices to inspire and orient your own career pathways. This module also gives you the opportunity to organise and complete a work placement enabling you to gain valuable professional experience.
FINAL MAJOR PROJECT
You will spend the final semester working on a self-initiated project in your area of specialism, underpinned by the cross discipline culture of the course. Your final submission will be a portfolio of work and a written report culminating in a final MA show.
Careers and Employability
With staff and visiting tutors active in the creative industries worldwide as researchers and practitioners, as artists, designers, writers, and curators you will be exposed to issues, debates and challenges that are transforming art and design practice in the 21st century.
More specifically, the modules encourage you to reflect upon the broad and hybrid nature of art and design and the emerging global workplace in which you will ultimately take your next steps. To offer you real-world experience through live briefs and the work placements, we collaborate with both international media and communication organisations (such as our partner Hearst Magazines UK) as well as local creative businesses on our doorstep in Cambridge.
Visit the website for full specifications: http://www.csvpa.com/art-and-design/ma-art-design/course-details/about.htm
Click here to apply online: https://www.csvpa.com/apply-online/step1