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Course content

This innovative Arts MRes course offers you the opportunity to undertake a closely-supervised piece of original research within a broad spectrum of arts disciplines, including art and design history, film and television studies, performance, and fine art practice.

You will undertake a specialist research project, based upon your own focused proposal, which may be subject-specific or span arts disciplines.

The centrepiece of the Arts MRes is an extended written Dissertation, or for practice-based researchers, a major Practical Project supported by a written dissertation component. This is supported by a framework of three modules, which provide expert knowledge and understanding of appropriate research methods to employ in your project, the wider critical contexts relating to your subject, and how to develop and communicate your research. The programme will enable you to position your research within a wider scholarly field, and furnish you with professional skills such as communication, self-management and planning, preparing you for doctoral study or further career advancement.

This course can also be taken part time, for more information, please view this web-page: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/arts-dtpaar6/

Learn From The Best

The Arts MRes welcomes students from a wide range of interests. Whether your project is focussed on the history and theory of art and design, film and television, fine art or performance practice, or wider aspects of visual and material culture, you will be supported by a supervisory team with expertise in your subject.

Your supervisors will be academic specialists with in-depth knowledge of the critical issues relating to your topic, hands-on experience in appropriate research methodologies, and a highly regarded reputation of publishing scholarly materials, or exhibiting or performing works.Arts staff have specialist knowledge in Fine Art and Performance practice, art and design theory, film and television studies, curating, landscape, architecture, fashion, socially engaged arts, and digital arts practices.

Furthermore, if your project spans disciplines, your supervisory team may include staff members from different departments. Whatever your interests, you will be supported by the expertise of highly research-active staff whose work is of recognised excellence.

Teaching And Assessment

The Arts MRes is based around self-directed study, but you are supported by a framework of three modules. Research Methods and Critical Contexts in semester one are based around a series of seminars, and encourage the discussion and exchange of ideas between students with focussed research interests, but shared intellectual investment in the themes, concepts, practices and methods of visual and material culture. Assessment is through written assignments totalling 6000 words, or a smaller written element supported by materials for practice-based students (30 credits per module).

The semester two Research Development module is shared with students from MRes Humanities courses, to collaborate in all elements of organising (structuring, fundraising, marketing and publicity) and staging a cross-disciplinary symposium. You are assessed on a written paper, and a presentation at the symposium (totalling 30 credits). The culmination of your Arts MRes project is a final 20,000 word dissertation, or 10,000 word dissertation and body of work for practice-based students (90 credits).

Learning Environment

The Arts MRes will embed you in a vibrant postgraduate research culture, in which the formal framework of academic learning is enhanced by a multitude of opportunities to develop your specific research interests and skills, and widen the scope of your scholarly development. The modules themselves are based around seminars which encourage discussion and the exchange of ideas between researchers from a wide range of disciplines.

In addition you have access to specialist postgraduate training workshops, and events both on and beyond the campus. Fine Art practice-based students have access to studio space at the Baltic 39 studios, and all students are continually informed of events and opportunities of special interest to their research through the electronic learning portal, while regular individual tutorials with project supervisors will enable you to develop your project effectively.

Overall the Arts MRes provides a learning environment in which disciplined and self-directed academic rigour is enhanced by opportunities for the interdisciplinary pollination of ideas.

Module Overview
EF0126 - E.S.A.P. in FADSS Level 7 (Optional, 0 Credits)
EL7028 - MRes Dissertation (Core, 90 Credits)
HI7011 - Research Development (Core, 30 Credits)
VA7029 - Research Methods (Core, 30 Credits)
VA7030 - Critical Contexts (Core, 30 Credits)

Research-Rich Learning

With a student-focused course of study, supported by supervisors specifically chosen to compliment your project, research is embedded in the Arts MRes course from your initial project proposal, and you will be encouraged think about, develop, evaluate and refine your research approaches throughout the programme. The first module, Research Methods, will introduce you to generic considerations of research in the arts, before encouraging you to find and develop advanced methodologies specific to your project.

REF2014 placed Northumbria’s Art and Design research within the UK top ten for “research power”, and as you progress, your tutors and supervisory team will advise you on how to hone these approaches, drawing upon their own rich research expertise and knowledge of the latest practices and developments. You will apply your developing expertise to a wide range of research materials, subjecting them to disciplined analysis and interpretation, and presenting your findings in an academic symposium and in your final thesis or project.

Give Your Career An Edge

Graduates of the Arts MRes have proven that they can undertake independent research to a high academic standard. They have demonstrated intellectual curiosity, sophisticated critical thinking and discernment in their investigation, evaluation and interpretation of many types of research materials.

A Masters of Research also develops transferable professional skills of communication, the ability to present intellectually complex information over written, verbal or visual platforms, time and resource management, and professional independence. In directing an individual research project from initial proposal to finished thesis, and through organising an academic symposium with others from different disciplines, MRes students develop a host of skills relating to project organisation, teamwork, marketing, using communication platforms, and event management.

The Arts MRes is an ideal way to develop a set of impressive outlooks, attributes and skills, which are directly transferable, whether you wish to pursue further academic research at doctoral level, or build a career in arts practice, the cultural professions or education.

Your Future

The Arts MRes is well established as a bridge between undergraduate or postgraduate study and focussed Doctoral research. It can also stand alone as an important step in career development.

Through carrying out a focussed project of independent research, MRes students develop skills ideally suited to careers in the contextualisation, communication or promotion of the visual arts. Whether developing careers in creative practice, education, curating, cultural management, community engagement, or traditional and digital media publishing, MRes graduates possess a directly relevant qualification and skill set to push their ambitions forward.

Visit the Arts - MRes page on the Northumbria University website for more details!

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