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The MA Fine Art programme is an exciting, challenging and rigorous programme of study that addresses the multifaceted needs of today's visual artist. The programme will provide you with the opportunity to engage in taught studio-based research, under-pinned by a strong theoretical awareness of contemporary practice.

It will encourage critical reflection on personal practice and awareness of the relationship that your work may have to an audience. The programme will help you connect with a wide diversity of cultural industries on a national and international level. It will enable you to consider aspects of curatorial practice and the public reception art works involving general and specialist audiences.

We are looking for applicants who are strongly motivated, reflective and independently minded. Contemporary Fine Art practice embraces a wide and diverse spectrum of activity and you will have access to well-staffed and resourced workshops and studios. We place great value on interdisciplinary debate that utilising the collective knowledge and experience of both students and staff. We are also interested in non-standard applications from other art and design disciplines who have a skill set they wish to develop in a Fine Art context. We can offer bridging studies, if necessary, in the Autumn semester for those seeking a January start.

You will become part of our lively research culture with access to see visiting speakers on all School of Arts courses and staff research seminar series where colleagues present their research.

The MA enjoys the provision of a rich programme of specialist visiting practitioners such as Calum Colvin, Wendy McMurdo, Simon Le Ruez, Marcus Coates, Hannah Collins, Nick Thursston, Lei Cox, Doug Fishbone, Brian Griffin, Steel Vine, Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey, Ellie Harrison, Paul Rooney, Karen Knorr, Pak-Keung Wan, Jem Southam, Peter Kennard, Doug Cocker, Rachel Maclean. In the wider context students benefit from the knowledge offered by visitors such as philosopher Jonathan Rea, artist/ curator/ commentator Alfredo Cramerotti, curator and social historian Anna Douglas, exhibition designer Calum Storrie and Fred Mann, gallery director/artist/record producer.

Our academic team have a wide range of backgrounds with expertise in Fine Art, Photography, Film, Public Art, Performance, Curatorship, Critical Theory, Art History, Philosophy and Criticism, residencies and commissions. All members of staff are practicing artists, writers or theorists and members of Research Groups. 

Derby University students have made a major contribution to the city’s vibrant arts culture. Many have taken advantage of the areas rural and industrial heritage as inspiration, to establish studios, start-up businesses or exhibit work. The School of Arts also has strong community links such as Derby Theatre, Déda, Derby Museum and Art Gallery and QUAD. 

How you will learn

The MA Fine Art course is a professionally taught programme delivered through seminars, tutorials, peer reviews and guest lectures.

We have good links with regional galleries such as QUAD and Derby Museum and Art Gallery. We also guide you in visiting national and international venues, appropriate to your working practice.

The School has a well-established visiting lecturer programme and this is open to all students across Art and Design. All postgraduate students will benefit greatly from this exposure to practicing artists. Visiting artists have included: Calum Colvin, Wendy McMurdo, Simon Le Ruez, Alfredo Cramerotti, Marcus Coates, Hannah Collins, Fred Mann, Nick Thursston, Lei Cox, Doug Fishbone, Brian Griffin, Steel Vine, Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey, Ellie Harrison, Paul Rooney, Karen Knorr, Pak-Keung Wan, Jem Southam, Peter Kennard, Doug Cocker, Rachel Maclean.

How You Are Assessed

Assessments are carried out at the end of each module and you will get written and verbal feedback on your progress. Further to this you will regularly receive feedback on how you are progressing with your work. Assessments are based on the appropriate presentation of all practical work and essays, reports including reflective journals, proposals and presentations.


Visit the Fine Art (MA) page on the University of Derby website for more details!

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