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About the course

The MA Contemporary Art Theory is for those with a special interest in contemporary art, and an aptitude for theoretical work in the subject.

Why study MA Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths?

  • This degree explores a range of theoretical perspectives that shape attitudes towards visual art in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
  • You’ll be encouraged to explore conceptually and creatively the ways in which contemporary artistic practice and critical theory interrelate.
  • You’ll expand your knowledge of contemporary artistic developments and deepen your understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of academic discourses on visual culture.
  • The programme draws from the fields of performance studies, art history, philosophy, museology, queer theory, postcolonial studies and cultural
Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

You should normally have, or expect to gain, an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in art history, fine art, another studio-based practice, arts administration and related activities, or a humanities discipline other than art history which demonstrates your ability to undertake work at Masters level.

You don’t necessarily need a formal academic qualification in art history: we welcome applications from prospective students who do not meet the standard entrance requirements but can demonstrate appropriate knowledge and experience from outside academia in the world of work.

Please see course website for further details.


 Course Content


Where is Goldsmiths, University of London

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Student Profile(s)

Imani

I first learned about the Centre for Research Architecture in April 2014 while delivering a paper on the biopolitics of trans-cultural, trans-temporal temporary autonomous zones of resistance at the 5th annual Latin American and European Meeting on Organization Studies (LAEMOS) in Havana, Cuba. My paper was nominated for best in the Alternative Places and Spaces of Organizing subtheme, and, sensing a connection with my subjects of inquiry, the subtheme convener suggested that I look at the work of Forensic Architecture.

As soon as I returned to the US and to internet access I checked out FA’s website and knew then the path my near future would take. It would be four years before I finally made it to London to join the Centre and the FA stream. In the meanwhile, I co-founded Blights Out, a collective of artists, activists, and architects working to demystify and democratize development in post-Katrina New Orleans in June 2014. In 2015, I traveled to COP 21 to help establish the international Museum Liberation Movement as part of #FossilFreeCulture. I’ve been a core member of Occupy Museums, an artist/activist collective formed in 2011 during Occupy Wall Street to challenge the commodification and financialization of art and culture, since 2011; in 2017, our project, “Debtfair”, was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. From 2016-2018, I worked as Director of Programs at Antenna, New Orleans.

In 2018, through the auspices of Antenna, I founded and served as Artistic Director of Fossil Free Fest, a festival of art, food, music, films, and conversations about the ethics and complexities of funding art and education with fossil fuel industry money. I was a board member of Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, a community land trust that built New Orleans' first permanently affordable housing from 2017-18.'

Mohamad

In the last four years, working both in architecture and sound art, I started to look into international programs that offer an interdisciplinary field of study dealing with broader research. After meeting and discovering that a number of my peers and friends have got their postgraduate and doctoral degrees from Goldsmiths, and based on the reputation of both British Higher Education, and Goldsmiths, I decided to apply. While researching for the right program, I stumbled upon a very particular course that made me more assertive to apply only to Goldsmiths, and this unique program. The MA in Research Architecture was the perfect example of a multidisciplinary course that merges theory with practice, passing along critical thinking and new research methodologies.

After being accepted at Goldsmiths and moving to London, and after the enrolment process occurring slowly, I managed to quickly familiarize myself with the campus environment, and the many events that occurred during welcome week. As a result, I started to cope with the university’s lifestyle by meeting numerous students from different fields and experienced a smooth transition back into an academic environment. This prompted to get more comfortable with the study program and courses, where ideas with fellow students and professors were being exchanged smoothly on one hand. On another level, I got introduced, in the first month of studying here, to a large amount of new academic themes and methodologies. Through a transparent interaction with professors, various and complex topics were discussed and understood through a very horizontal teaching and class management structure. In parallel, I was acquainting myself with the diverse New Cross atmosphere on one hand and London’s vibrant lifestyle on another hand. Due to the nature of my program, I found an abundance of events and public programs that are in line with my course’s topic all throughout London, which made my time here even more interesting.

After graduating, my plan is to transfer both this experience and information that I gathered here to my home country. As a continuation of my personal and collaborative practice with different local institutions, in parallel with teaching at Local universities, I’m hoping to succeed in exchanging the acquired cultural and theoretical ideas with local institutions.

Maggie

What I enjoyed most about the MA Contemporary Art Theory degree was being able to participate in additional lectures and events outside of classes as well as the public programme planned by the Visual Cultures department. These were a fantastic supplement to my in-class learning as they allowed to me listen to and engage with practitioners and discussions that I would have had a hard time accessing, or maybe even knowing of in the first place, had I not had the supportive structure of the Visual Cultures department.

Coming from the university system in the United States, I was surprised at how independent and personally driven much of the work at Goldsmiths was and how fast the programme went by (I was a full-time student, so I completed the MA in one year). Studying at Goldsmiths grew my critical thinking and writing skills and introduced me to new ways of approaching contemporary art through different areas of theory.

Eran

London is the best place in the world to spend your 20s. It is so vibrant and culturally enriching. As an international student, it was amazing to experience the city with people all over the world. South East London has a lot to offer. One of my favourite art institutions, South London Gallery, is walking distance from the campus. Goldsmiths CCA is another favourite of mine.

Prior to Goldsmiths, I studied art history in the United States and my curriculum was very traditional. The Contemporary Art Theory programme at Goldsmiths introduced me to the fields of visual culture and critical theory. I got to read and discuss texts by inspiring theorists and philosophers with my peers and lecturers. The Visual Cultures department has a stellar faculty, it gave me the opportunity to work with leading scholars in academia. The texts you read at Goldsmiths are at times challenging, always create reading groups with your peers. Try to be active in class discussions, they teach you a lot.

I am currently working as a researcher at a virtual reality design agency. In my free time, I attend reading groups organised by the research collective I co-founded at Goldsmiths and write articles for online publications.

Scholarships

Successful applicants will be selected on a competitive basis.

Initial shortlisting by eligibility criteria will be completed by our Scholarships Co-ordinator. All applicants who meet the eligibility criteria are then forwarded to the next selection stage.

Applications will then be considered by the relevant Head of Academic Department. They understand that applicants will have a broad range of differing skills, attributes and experiences, so they will give equal consideration to both the applicant’s academic record and their answers to the questions posed in the award application form. They also understand that what is important is the content of the answers and their relevance to the questions, not the standard of writing.

Applications will be considered against the stated criteria. Final award recipients and reserve candidates will then be decided.

Please note that part-time students will receive the £1,000 fee waiver over two years.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,000

Eligibility

You must meet the general eligibility criteria and regulations. You must also:

- Be holding an offer of study on a taught Masters programme at Goldsmiths
- Be eligible for Home fees

Application Procedure

Applications open 12 March 2021. The deadline for applications is 28 May 2021 at 12.00pm BST.

When applications open you can apply through your MyGoldsmiths account. This is the online account that you created when you applied for a course at Goldsmiths.

As part of the application, you will be asked to answer three questions relevant to the award that you are applying for. Our scholarships are very competitive, so it's important to include as much detailed information as you can.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-masters-scholarships/

Successful applicants will be selected on a competitive basis.

Initial shortlisting by eligibility criteria will be completed by our Scholarships Co-ordinator. All applicants who meet the eligibility criteria are then forwarded to the next selection stage.

Applications will then be considered by an awarding panel. All panel members understand that applicants will have a broad range of differing skills, attributes and experiences, so they will give equal consideration to both the applicant’s academic record and their answers to the questions posed in the award application form. Panel members also understand that what is important is the content of the answers and their relevance to the questions, not the standard of writing.

The panel will consist of representatives from Admissions, Widening Participation, and an academic department. The panel will assess the applications against the stated criteria.

Final award recipients and reserve candidates will be decided by the panel.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000

Eligibility

You must meet the general eligibility criteria and regulations. You must also:

- Be holding an offer of study on a taught postgraduate programme at Goldsmiths (excluding PGCE programmes)
- Be a UK citizen and eligible for Home fees
- Be new to postgraduate study
- Be experiencing financial difficulties
- Not be in receipt of any Goldsmiths funding

Application Procedure

Applications open 12 March 2021. The deadline for applications is 28 May 2021, 12.00pm BST.

When applications open you can apply through your MyGoldsmiths account. This is the online account that you created when you applied for a course at Goldsmiths.

As part of the application, you will be asked to answer three questions relevant to the award that you are applying for. Our scholarships are very competitive, so it's important to include as much detailed information as you can.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-company-postgraduate-bursaries/

The awards are worth £2,000, £4,000 and £5,000: Applicants who have accepted their offer for postgraduate taught and Graduate Diploma programmes may be eligible to receive awards of £2,000 and £4,000 Applicants who have accepted their offer for undergraduate degree programmes and International Foundation Certificate programmes may be eligible to receive awards of £2,000 and £5,000

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000 - £5,000

Eligibility

You must meet the general eligibility criteria and regulations. You must also be eligible to pay international fees (this includes international fee-paying students from within the EU) and have accepted an offer on an eligible Goldsmiths programme:

- Postgraduate taught degree programmes (excluding Fine Art and Design programmes)
- Graduate Diploma programmes (excluding Design)
- Undergraduate degree programmes (excluding Fine Art, Design and Fine Art Extension programmes)
- International Foundation Certificate programmes (excluding Design)

Application Procedure

You can apply by completing our application form.

You will be sent instructions after you have been made an offer of an academic place at Goldsmiths.

Applications will open on December 1 2020 and consist of two rounds.

If you apply by 31 March 2021, 11.59pm GMT, you will hear back about your application in w/c 19 April 2021. If you apply by 17 May 2021, 11.59pm BST, you will hear back about your application on or around 1 June 2021.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-international-scholarships/

10% fee discount to home students and the equivalent amount in pounds sterling to international students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% fee discount to home students and equivalent amount in pounds sterling to international students

Eligibility

The award is available to:

Home and international students (full-time and part-time) who received a first class undergraduate honours degree from a British higher education institution

You must be applying for a taught Masters programme (MRes and PGCE programmes are not included).

Read the full definitions for the eligibility criteria of the Goldsmiths Excellence Fee Waiver on our website.

Application Procedure

You do not need to apply for the Excellence Fee Waiver, Awardees must meet all other eligibility criteria at the point of enrolment or they will no longer be eligible for the award.

Please ensure you upload your final degree transcript or certificate as proof of your classification to your MyGoldsmiths account. The fee waiver will not be applied unless proof of your classification has been provided.

Awardees must meet all other eligibility criteria at point of enrolment or they will no longer be eligible for the award. The fee discount will then be applied automatically after full enrolment has been completed.

Please note: this award cannot be combined with the Goldsmiths Alumni Fee Waiver.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-excellence-fee-waiver/

10% fee discount to home alumni, and the equivalent amount in pounds sterling to international alumni.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% fee discount to home alumni, and the equivalent amount in pounds sterling to international alumni.

Eligibility

The award is available to the following Goldsmiths graduates:

- Home and international graduates (full-time and part-time)
- Study Abroad graduates
- Goldsmiths, University of London LaSalle graduates
- Goldsmiths, University of London Distance Learning programme graduates who have been awarded a BA in English, BSc in Computing and Information Systems, or a BSc in Creative Computing

You must be applying to start a taught Masters programme (MRes and PGCE programmes are not included).

Application Procedure

The fee discount will be applied automatically after full enrolment has been completed.

Please note: this award cannot be combined with the Goldsmiths Excellence Fee Waiver.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-alumni-fee-waiver/

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