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
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 Course aims to:
This course draws on the School’s considerable research reputation and professional expertise in the areas of painting, photography, performance, film and video, sculpture, installations, public art and print-making. This fascinating programme provides highly focused teaching, alongside a critical lecture series within an intellectually supportive environment.
You will be supported by some of the most dynamic artists and researchers in the School. You get the chance to benefit from field trips and gallery visits. Alongside the development of your creative studio work you will gain an understanding of key aspects of art history and theory, as well as an awareness of the social and institutional context within which artworks exist. On completion of the course, your practical work will be exhibited and publicised in a group MA exhibition.
Typical modules include:
The Fine Art Course provides a studio intensive programme supported through theoretical and contextual lecture series, studio based seminar critique and individual tutorials. The ethos of the course is to provide students with the time and space to develop ideas and practice towards the final off-site MA exhibition; this includes the structure of personal research and the development of the critical and/or theoretical emphasis behind your work in order to understand the methodological framework of your working practice.
You will have time to reappraise and analyse previous work, develop new ideas in relation to your practice and it’s theoretical underpinning then consolidate those ideas practically. Finally you will bring those ideas and your work to resolution and focus towards the MA exhibition. The course provides students with the knowledge, ambition and structure in order to proceed towards their future career ambitions. Within the programme you will have the opportunity to develop your awareness of exhibition and the display of your work as well as the audiences for that work. The MA Fine Art course will support you in structuring an advanced independent practice, underpinned by sustained critical engagement.
Matthew Evans MA Fine Art
Matthew Evans completed his MA Fine Art with distinction and has since received several commissions for his innovative new approach; creating bespoke modern-day coat of arms, including a £10k commission for the The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham. He has also been selectedfor the New Art West Midlands 2013 Exhibition at Birmingham Art Gallery Museum which showcases the best of West Midland’s graduates.
"As a result of studying the MA course I have grown professionally as an artist. By adopting a ‘take a risk’ attitude I have been able to further refine my artistic practice and anchor it within the most critically interesting areas. By embracing the challenge of diversification, and enjoying the critical dialogue embedded within the course, I have resolved a number of sticking points, and identified areas for future development.
I chose to study my MA at the University of Wolverhampton as I felt I needed to breathe new life into my practise and relished the challenge of experiencing a new exciting creative environment. The artistic facilities on offer to students and the glowing reputations of the SAD staff and support technicians also played a key role in my decision.
What particularly impressed me about the course was not only the availability and approachability of the lecturers but the general sense of cohesion felt as a student. As well as extensive access to lecturers, and the intensively taught aspects of the course, there are many MA excursions that are incredibly beneficial.
As a positive side note, my affinity with the University has continued this September, with me becoming the Fine Art Artist in Residence for this year."
“The MA has greatly expanded my knowledge of Fine Art.”
“I feel that I’m being supported in my work and that the best of my talent is being encouraged.”
“The lecturers are knowledgeable and enthusiastic and I’m grateful for both their input and the input of the other students”.
“I’m confident it’s setting me up with the right skills and knowledge to succeed in a career within the arts”.
“I’m glad that I made the decision to do the MA; it’s been a positive turning point in my life”.
This intensive programme allows artists to develop a body of work within the contexts of the studio, dissemination, value and audience. The course is open to artists working in, or wishing to work in, socially engaged practice, collaborative practice, as artist curators, as art writers or within art education.
You will develop your art practice in purpose built studios, working towards a final exhibition and dissertation, supported by a series of conversations, seminars and a visiting speaker programme.
In a region full of cultural resources, from The Hepworth Wakefield to artist-led spaces such as Seize Projects, you will gain experience from expert practitioners and researchers, visiting artists and speakers.
Through our optional module array you will have the opportunity to explore critical and theoretical issues such as aesthetics, feminist studies, deconstruction and museum practice.
Housed within a single central campus location, the School offers a modern and well-equipped learning environment providing 24-hour studio access and versatile exhibition spaces. Resources include dedicated Mac and PC computer suites for video editing, animation and image manipulation, printmaking workshops for etching, relief and screen printing, and a photography darkroom for film developing and printing. A woodworking and casting area are also housed within the School, with additional facilities for digital and 3D printing available at the University.
At the heart of the School is Project Space – a multi-purpose space, designed for the development of curatorial practice and visiting exhibitions.
The University incorporates world-class library resources and special collections, the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Treasures of the Brotherton, the Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles and the [email protected] performance venue.
Appropriate critical and technical skills and methodologies are developed throughout the duration of the course, as students engage in discussion and critique of their own practice and projects with peers and academic staff.
Students take full responsibility for their own programme of work, routinely engaging with contemporary issues in art, developing relationships across the School and Faculty, and working with local partners. This combines the production of work in an active studio and workshop environment with a programme of academic research and study, culminating in a public presentation/exhibition and critically reflective dissertation.
The course is also supported by a network of regional galleries, museums and artist initiatives with which the School has direct links, including The Tetley, The Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds City Art Gallery, Seize Projects, Pavilion, Henry Moore Institute, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Tate Liverpool.
You will also have the opportunity to expand your studies when you choose from a wide range of optional modules, and by becoming involved in many of the School’s public-facing initiatives such as the Project Space, the Wild Pansy Press and the International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair.
If you choose to study part-time, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods. These will vary, but generally include visits to museums and galleries, lectures, seminars, tutorials and online learning.
You’ll also benefit from our extensive programme of visiting artists and speakers. Independent study is vital to this programme – not only is this where you’ll work on your practice and develop your creativity, but it is also an opportunity to build your skills in research, analysis and interpretation.
The assessment methods you come across may vary depending on the modules you choose. However, they’re likely to include your exhibition and supporting written work, your portfolio of studio work, in-course assessment, essays and presentations.
This programme will allow you to develop your practice as an artist and write thoughtfully about the practice and context of artistic work.
It will also give you the chance to gain skills in organising and curating events and exhibitions, researching, interpreting and analysing artistic work and cultural, visual and critical awareness.
All of these traits are valuable in a wide range of careers. Fine Art graduates have gone on to work in curatorial and educational roles around the world, both on a freelance basis and for major art institutions. Others have decided to develop their research interests through PhD study and academia, or pursued careers in teaching.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website
This programme is currently under review for the 2017/18 Academic Year. Please be aware that the programme structure and course availability is subject to change.
This programme encourages practices that are speculative and reflective, supporting work in a range of media. It is concerned with ways of learning that are experiential – embodied through and understood by the acquisition of a practice.
During the late 20th century, developments within visual art introduced new processes and situations, which resulted in an expanded concept of artistic practice.
Media-related disciplines supported by the programme include sculpture, painting and printmaking, photography, audio-visual and new media. The programme also encompasses approaches to practice that are non media-specific, including intermedia, time-based arts, performance, installation, public art and art writing.
You may complete the MA in one year, or continue on to the MFA. You will have access to a designated studio space and a wide range of studio equipment, technicians and resources, including printmaking, metal, wood, casting, painting, photography, reprographic and digital facilities.
Our students often work in groups across subject areas in the School of Art and collaborate throughout the year on critical, creative and curatorial projects. This gives you a unique opportunity to integrate the fields of art practice, art writing and curating, culminating in an exhibition of your own work or in a research project of your own design.
We regularly organise field trips and offer short residency and project opportunities with our local and international partners.
The programme also involves the theoretical study of this family of media and approaches, drawing on related fields and methods.
Students on this programme will benefit from studio-based learning in Edinburgh College of Art's (ECA) historic Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college. The art college experience will be complemented by the University's extensive range of student support facilities, its libraries, student societies, and student accommodation.
Our purpose-built studios are adaptable, serving both as working studios and project and exhibition spaces. Our workshops and foundry provide excellent accommodation for working in wood, metal, mould-making, casting and carving and there are facilities for working with sound, digital imaging and video editing.
The programme develops from a broad to a specialist understanding of the technical resources and validating contexts in which artists work today, drawing inspiration and nourishment from the experience of our international student cohort.
This programme enables you to develop an ambitious art practice as well as providing you with the organisational and economic knowledge required to thrive as a self-employed artist. You will also be qualified to teach studio art in higher education and to work in the contemporary art sector.