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.
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.
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.
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.
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.