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Visual Culture - MA/MFA

Course Description

This interdisciplinary subject explores the meanings and effects of visual images and ways of looking. Through its core elements, options and route specific seminars, the course examines the ways images are used and perceived in a society that is becoming increasingly saturated with visual technologies, and it explores the ways that images contribute to the formation of identities and social environments. You will be encouraged to engage with the subject using a theoretical, methodological and creative approach. The course provides opportunities for the production of a wide variety of academic writing as well as possibilities to develop critical thinking through visual practice. The course encourages a high degree of independent research that will culminate in either a dissertation or a project combining written and visual material. This course will appeal to applicants from a variety of backgrounds including art history, fine art, sociology and visual anthropology, those engaged in a range of careers such as lecturing, working in the cultural and heritage industries, and those looking to further develop their academic interests.


-The course is taught by practicing artists and maintains active links with an international network of art professionals and organisations.
-You will have your own spaces within communal studios, with full access to the School's workshops and other resources.
-The space allows opportunities to become involved in a wide range of live projects, publishing ventures and the chance to collaborate with other students, members of staff and outside institutions.
-Students have gone on to pursue careers in arts writing, curating and art practice. The course also provides the scope for opportunities to teach in Further or Higher Education in the arts.

Course Content

The MA Visual Culture is made up of five units totalling 180 credits.

The programme is practice driven and focussed on the development of your existing practice. It will enable you to identify and explore new concepts and approaches negotiated through an individual Working Synopsis.

You will establish key theories and issues relating to Contemporary Curating, Design Cultures and Visual Culture and then develop these into more complex approaches.

You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry.

Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions – what ever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.

If you choose to progress to MFA Visual Culture award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.

This award is focussed on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material.


We have developed a dedicated postgraduate area occupying an entire floor of the main School of Art building, offering an exciting space to be, both intellectually and practically. The centre is located in the newly refurbished Chatham Tower with studios, design laboratories, seminar rooms and extensive workshops that form the nucleus of this vibrant, cross-disciplinary learning environment.

Visit the Visual Culture - MA/MFA page on the Manchester Metropolitan University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You will normally have an undergraduate UK honours degree or international equivalent or a degree-equivalent postgraduate diploma or a professional qualification. Alternatively, you may be admitted if you can demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at honours degree standard. In addition you may also need to submit a Digital Portfolio.

Last Updated

27 July 2017

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Recipient: Manchester Metropolitan University

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