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Course content

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme enables you to experiment, engage and explore traditional and new media methods of practice to best envision your ideas. Discussion and critique of key theoretical practices is explicitly aligned to your subject interest.

Course details

The programme fosters an active approach to studio practice by offering open access to painting and sculpture studios; technical materials workshops (incorporating 3D printing and welding); lens-based media (photography darkrooms and green screen media); recording studios; printmaking, bookbinding and publishing. Independent studios are allocated from the outset of the programme and individual and small-group tutorials help you consider your practice. Learning is facilitated by staff members who are experts in the field towards your individual goals. These might take either a studio or more theoretical, curatorial, or contextual tract depending on your own desires and ambitions.

What you study

Stage 1 involves professional skills development, studio practice and the opportunity for collaborative working. Stage 2 offers the time and space for self-authored research development to identify the trajectory of your visual ambition. Stage 3 culminates in the production, installation and public display of exhibition work in generously proportioned studio galleries.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Arts and Funding
  • Contemporary Practice
  • Developing a Personal Practice
  • Fine Art and Public Engagement
  • Masters Project: Fine Art
  • Practice-based Research
  • Resistive Art Practices

Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

At MA level it is vital that you take an active role in structuring your own learning, and engage with the relevant methods and underpinning theories of your discipline. The use of a variety of methods, including tutorials, seminars and workshops, enables key principles to be applied to the day-to-day interaction between participants - benefiting tutors and students alike. Individual support, provided by a personal tutor, is an integral feature of the learning and teaching strategy.

An intrinsic aspect of your main study area and its supporting subjects is research. You need to find and make sense of a wide variety of information from books, newspapers, journals, magazines, websites, archives and many other sources. Seminars enable structured discussion and analysis to take place between groups of students and a tutor. They are organised to be interactive and to facilitate the free exchange of ideas through which you learn the process of argument and reason. At postgraduate level it is likely that you will organise and hold some of your own seminar sessions, not necessarily with staff present or playing the lead role.

Practical workshops are used to introduce specific skills, followed by independent learning, project work, tutorials and critiques. Critical reflection is key to all successful origination and is therefore essential to the creative process. You are expected to test and assess your work against criteria which you develop in the light of your research.

How you are assessed

Various assessment methods are used throughout all of the modules and are specified in the module handbooks. These are primarily what we call in-course assessments, where you submit work during the delivery of the module, rather than sit timed examinations at the end. Arts modules are generally project based and primarily assessed through appraisal of a portfolio of work, often accompanied by a verbal presentation. Creative work is largely developmental and you are assessed on the process by which you achieve your solutions as well as the result, so it is essential that you provide clear evidence of your development work.


Career opportunities

Graduates typically pursue careers as self-employed artists and creative practitioners within the cultural sector. Some find employment in arts and cultural management or choose a career in teaching. Further study at doctoral level is also an option.

Visit the Fine Art MA page on the Teesside University website for more details!




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