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MA Fine Art

Course Description

MA Fine Art is a studio based programme dealing with the whole range of Fine Art, from painting and sculpture to video and live art, each supported by excellent facilities and taught by nationally and internationally practicing artists and including discussion of artists’ practice, exhibiting and curating.

Course structure and content

This studio based programme is designed to develop your individual creative potential in a critically challenging Fine Art environment.
Through a critical understanding of your own practice and a developed knowledge of the discourses that surround your chosen idiom you will to be able to communicate effectively in your studio practice and in written and spoken presentations.
The course focuses on your own emerging practice and how it is situated in the world of contemporary art practice and the critical and changing world debates that surround artists’ practice today.
You will work with practitioners of national and international standing to establish and develop the core concerns of your practice across a whole range of Fine Art practices.
The programme runs for 45 weeks and is delivered as three 15 week trimesters – October to January, February to June and June to September and is offered in both full-time and part-time mode.

Teaching Methods and resources

An individual programme, negotiated with staff, will re-establish and then develop your work to professional, exhibiting level. Progress is guided by both scheduled and optional individual tutorials, and group critiques of work.
The context for studio work is informed and clarified by a programme of seminars and discussions which set out a wide range of practice, both in terms of individual artists’ work and contemporary museum, gallery, exhibiting and curating activity.
Study visits occur on a regular basis - there are more than five study visits to London and/or other UK cities each year between October and June as well as optional participation in overseas study visits. Recent visits have been to Rome, Istanbul, Berlin and Paris.
You will be supported by excellent workshop facilities and related technical expertise from across all departments of Bath School of Art and Design as well as the specialist Art and Design library at Sion Hill.
Academic staff and visiting lecturers
• Roger Clarke
• Professor Dexter Dalwood
• Robert Fearns
• Natasha Kidd
• Andrea Medjesi Jones
• Professor Maria Lalic
• Rosie Snell
• Ed Whittaker
• Mariele Neudecker
• Professor Mike Tooby
• Professor Gavin Turk
• Camilla Wilson
• John Wood
These staff will be supported by a team of visiting lecturers, who in recent years have included:
Tania Kovats; Philippa Lawrence; Stuart Cumberland ; Clare Woods; Joanna Bryniarska ; John Chilver; Martin Creed; Marcia Farquhar; Elpida Hadzi Vasileva; Mike Stubbs ; Katrine Hjelde ; Helen Sear ; Charles Danby; Nelson Diplexcito; Graham Dolphin; David Ward; Rob Leech; Andrew Grassie; Deirdre Nelson; Melanie Jackson; James Brooks; Sally O-Reilly; Audrey Reynolds ; Rob Holyhead; Matt Darbyshire; Lisa Lefevre; Glenn Brown; John Chilver; Mathieu Copeland; Andrew Cross; Alexis Harding; Kay Pallister; Barry Schwabsky; Xa Sturgis; Paul Winstanley; Richard Woods.

Assessment Methods

At the end of each trimester the modules completed are assessed by internal staff, moderated by an external examiner. Assessment of each stage of the studio element of the course is by exhibition and all related materials and the research modules are assessed by an oral/visual presentation made by the student of their practitioner ‘position’ at the Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma stage.

Career opportunities

Bath Fine Art graduates from BA and MA Fine Art courses have worked and exhibited widely as professional artists, had work purchased by the Tate and other institutions, represented the UK in exhibitions such as the Sao Paulo Biennale and have been nominated for the Turner Prize. Graduates work as curators and gallery professionals in public and private galleries and for arts councils and organisations, and write for journals. With the connection to the Artist Teacher Scheme there is regular recruitment from the profession and a number of graduates return to teaching or become lecturers.

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

(Student Profile)

Kristy Campbell

769.jpg I wanted a studio based course that would allow me to develop my work and contextualise it in the contemporary art field. There is a good balance of staff support and student led learning at Bath Spa University. There are some excellent tutors who are successful practicing artists with a width of valuable knowledge and experience.

The critical group sessions were good as they gave me the opportunity to hear feedback from my peers and helped me build my confidence in speaking about all types of art, not just my specialist area. Bath Spa has an excellent reputation and is located in an amazing city. The beautiful campus, Sion Hill, was a peaceful and idyllic place to learn and the studio spaces were large, light and airy. After my Fine Art degree from Leeds Metropolitan University, I did a secondary PGCE in Art and Design and taught art full time in a school in Oxford. I’ve been very busy since finishing the course, enjoying residency at the Meantime Space in Cheltenham culminating in my first solo show.

The qualification has helped me to secure teaching positions in better schools and colleges and will enable me to work in arts education within galleries or museums.

(Student Profile)

Lydia Halcrow

I chose to do the Master of Fine Art at Bath Spa because of the reputation of the course and the tutors. Also being based in Bath was a big bonus and linked closely to my practice. I combined starting the course with a permanent move to the South West. Bath Spa has some of the most beautiful and inspiring campuses of any university and the School of Art and Design has recently been refurbished with excellent facilities. I particularly liked the small size of the course, it meant it was more intimate with regular contact with tutors – not only the formal meetings, but some of my most valuable conversations were with tutors passing through the studio space. This was invaluable and something I think larger art schools might not provide. The visiting lecturers were great, as was the studio space – it meant I could work on huge canvases which was really liberating!

Since finishing the course I have been painting full time – working from an artist studio in Bristol. I have also been exhibiting work and developing my practice. Completing this course has given me credibility to apply for residencies, competitions and opportunities to exhibit. I now have a network of artists that I met through the course – we get together and critique each other’s work, and put on shows together.

If you are considering doing the MFA I would advise you to get together a strong portfolio of work, research other artists, and have an idea of how you want to develop your practice and what you want to get out of the course.


Entry Requirements

A good first degree in Fine Art or its equivalent in terms of learning or experience. Fundamentally you will be selected on your ability, as demonstrated in a portfolio and interview, to succeed on the course.

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Recipient: Bath Spa University

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