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Creative Arts & Design×

Full Time MA Degrees in Creative Arts & Design, Durham, United Kingdom

We have 7 Full Time MA Degrees in Creative Arts & Design, Durham, United Kingdom

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Durham University Department of English Studies
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
The MA in Creative Writing is an exciting new programme at Durham University. Taught by award-winning writers Dr Paul Batchelor and Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran, this is an academically rigorous programme that will develop students’ practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction. Read more
The MA in Creative Writing is an exciting new programme at Durham University. Taught by award-winning writers Dr Paul Batchelor and Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran, this is an academically rigorous programme that will develop students’ practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction. Students will receive structured support through writing workshops and one-to-one tutorials in order to develop their own ideas. Students will also study a broad range of literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, and produce new work in response.

Core Modules

Creative Writing Poetry OR Creative Writing Prose Fiction
Each student will take one of these writing-workshop modules. In these modules students will write longer pieces within their chosen literary discipline, sharing their work and giving and receiving feedback and suggestions from the module convenor and the other students. There are few if any writing exercises. Each student can expect to have their work scrutinised closely in a workshop setting several times. These modules are assessed via a portfolio of ten pages of poetry plus 2,000-word self-critique, OR a 6,000-word portfolio of prose fiction plus 2,000-word self-critique.

Reading as a Writer
This seminar module brings poets and prose writers together, and (unlike any of the other core modules for Creative Writing) is also open to English Studies students. Each week we discuss some key poetry and prose from across the twentieth century, focusing on the technical innovations introduced by the writers studied, and the ways in which writers learn from one another, both within their medium and beyond it. The module combines breadth and depth of coverage, offering students an advanced understanding of a range of writers, schools, and styles in order to broaden their research interests, and help them to identify and research a topic of their own choosing with guidance from a subject specialist in the extended essay part of the Research Project. It is assessed via two 3,000-word essays.

Reading as a Writer: the Workshop
This is very much a companion module to Reading as a Writer, and is a writing-workshop module focussing on short, directed writing assignments and their discussion. The focus will be on formal and technical experiments, stretching students’ technical facility via assignments inspired by the texts studied on Reading as a Writer. Prose writers and poetry students will once again work side by side, sharing work and ideas, learning to appreciate literary conventions and their subversion. Each student can expect to have their work workshopped several times, though these engagements will not be as formal or thorough as those in Creative Writing Prose Fiction or Creative Writing Poetry. Assignments might include adapting syntactical techniques; investigative creative non-fiction; experimenting with poetic forms; creative translation; writing an opening paragraph; or trying out editing methods. It is assessed via a portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000 words of prose fiction, plus 2,000-word self-critique.

Research Project
The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to produce a 6-8,000-word extended critical essay on a subject of their choosing. Students choose their own extended essay titles, with guidance from the module convenor and subject to the approval of the English Studies Board of Examiners. Focusing on depth rather than breadth, the essay is independently researched and builds on the work covered in the taught elements of the programme. Students will be expected to choose a research topic with particular bearing on their own creative practice, and to reflect on how their critical and creative work have informed one another, either in the main body of the essay, the introduction, or chapter dedicated to integrative reflection. Students may wish to refer to specific aspects of their own writing when writing this part of the essay. The Research Project also provides the opportunity for students to to produce a final portfolio of creative work: poets will be asked to produce ten pages of poetry; prose writers produce 6-8,000 words of fiction. The portfolio will consist of new work, produced after the completion of the structured workshop-oriented modules. The module is assessed via an extended essay of 6,000-8,000 words and a creative writing portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000-8,000 words of prose fiction.

Optional Modules

Creative Writing students would take one module of their own choosing, either from the English Studies MA modules or taking this new optional module:
The Word in the World
This module focuses on the ways in which the students’ writing can be made available to the public. It would take the form of a series of lectures and seminars covering topics such as: how writers make a living; the possibilities and challenges presented by collaborating with other artists; how to adjust teaching methods according to the setting and audience; how to write a pitch letter; how to get a literary agent; submitting work to poetry journals; how to make the most of web resources; how to communicate with an editor; book design, blurbs, jackets; writing copy; formats; sales and distribution channels; publicity and promotion; book reviewing, etc. This part of the module will be taught both in-house at Durham and via visiting speakers such as editors, industry experts. Students would also be invited to either collaborate with a student in another medium (most likely music or the visual arts) or go on a teaching or literary-industry placement that would take place in July. This module is assessed via one 3,000-word essay and one 3,000-word report on the industry placement, teaching placement, or collaborative project.

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Durham University Department of Music
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
The core of the programme comprises a research methods course designed to prepare students fully for academic research in musicology; a seminar course introducing students to a broad range of themes in contemporary musicology (including ethnomusicology); and a triple-weighted dissertation. Read more
The core of the programme comprises a research methods course designed to prepare students fully for academic research in musicology; a seminar course introducing students to a broad range of themes in contemporary musicology (including ethnomusicology); and a triple-weighted dissertation. The final 30 points can be taken from another Master’s module or two undergraduate modules offered by Music or another department.

Core Modules:

•Research Methods and Resources
•New Orientations in Theory and Musicology
•Dissertation

Optional Modules:

Either:
•Compositional Techniques

OR:
•Two 20 credit modules from the Undergraduate curriculum

OR:
•A 30 credit postgraduate module from another Department with approval from the Director of Postgraduate Studies.

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Durham University Department of Music
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
The core of the programme comprises a research methods course designed to prepare students fully for academic research in musicology; a seminar course introducing students to a broad range of themes in contemporary musicology (including ethnomusicology); and a triple-weighted dissertation. Read more
The core of the programme comprises a research methods course designed to prepare students fully for academic research in musicology; a seminar course introducing students to a broad range of themes in contemporary musicology (including ethnomusicology); and a triple-weighted dissertation. The final 30 points can be taken from another Master’s module or two undergraduate modules offered by Music or another department.

Core Modules:

•Research Methods and Resources
•New Orientations in Theory and Musicology
•Dissertation

Optional Modules:

Either:
•Compositional Techniques

OR:
•Two 20 credit modules from the Undergraduate curriculum

OR:
•A 30 credit postgraduate module from another Department with approval from the Director of Postgraduate Studies.

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Durham University Department of Music
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
The core of the programme comprises a research methods course designed to prepare students fully for academic research in musicology; a compositional techniques course facilitating the development of advanced techniques; and a triple-weighted composition portfolio. Read more
The core of the programme comprises a research methods course designed to prepare students fully for academic research in musicology; a compositional techniques course facilitating the development of advanced techniques; and a triple-weighted composition portfolio. The final 30 points can be taken from another Master’s module or two undergraduate modules offered by Music or another department.

Core Modules:

•Research Methods and Resources
•Compositional Techniques
•Dissertation

Optional Modules:

Either:
•New Orientations in Theory and Musicology

OR:
•Two 20 credit modules from the Undergraduate curriculum

OR:
•A 30 credit postgraduate module from another Department with approval from the Director of Postgraduate Studies.

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Durham University Department of English Studies
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
Our taught MA pathway in Studies in Poetry offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. You can learn from the rich variety of research expertise in the Department and you also have the chance to concentrate on a particular area of literary study within the field. Read more
Our taught MA pathway in Studies in Poetry offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. You can learn from the rich variety of research expertise in the Department and you also have the chance to concentrate on a particular area of literary study within the field. Our commitment to research-led teaching means that students are able to explore the cutting edge of the discipline - from John Milton to Romantic forms of grief, to the study of modern poetry. We provide an intimate, dynamic and supportive environment for students of all backgrounds and nationalities.

Our programme offers up-to-date training in research methods and skills.

You will choose three modules, at least two of which are from within the pathway, and you will write a dissertation on a subject related to studies in poetry.

An MA in Studies in Poetry is often the platform for further research at PhD level, as well as providing an excellent grounding for jobs in education, the arts and the media.

Course Structure

If you choose to take this named pathway, you will be expected to select at least two modules from those available within the pathway and to write your dissertation in an area related to it. Your third optional module may, if you wish, be chosen from the full list of MA modules on offer in the Department. Students may, with permission, take one module from other modules on offer elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. All students must take the core Research Methods and Resources module and the dissertation alongside their three optional modules.

Core Modules

-Research Methods and Resources
-Dissertation

Optional Modules

Typical modules might include:
-Warrior Poets in Heroic Societies
-John Milton: Life, Works and Influence
-Lyric Poetry of the English Renaissance and Reformation
-Romantic Forms of Grief
-Second Generation Romantic Poetry
-Women in Victorian Poetry and Painting
-Modern Poetry
-The Writing of Poetry

Modules are subject to staff availability and normally no more than five of the above will run in any one year.

For more detail on individual modules see https://www.dur.ac.uk/postgraduate.modules/module_search/?search_dept=ENGL&search_level=-1

Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to indicate your choice of modules as well as to provide a personal statement.

Learning and Teaching

One of the distinctive features of the Durham MA in Literary Studies is that it permits both a broad-based, eclectic study of literary topics from the earliest periods of literature to the present and the possibility of specialisation through designated pathways in such areas as Medieval and Renaissance Studies or Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Studies. All students take 3 optional modules, taught in small seminar groups of up to 10, with each module generating 18 hours of contact time (9 seminars x 2 hours) over the academic year. A strong emphasis is placed on independent research, and seminars usually involve a considerable amount of preparation, including short presentations and workshop activities. Assessment for these modules is usually by coursework essay.

All students also register for the Research Methods and Resources module, which generates an additional 20 hours of contact time over the academic year. Again, a strong emphasis is given to independent research. Both pieces of assessed written work for the Research Methods and Resources module involve significant preparation for the MA dissertation (and in some cases for doctoral study later on). The MA dissertation is supported by 3.5 hours of dedicated individual supervision time. Drafts of the dissertation are read and commented upon by the supervisor. Each MA student is assigned an Academic Advisor who can guide and support her or his progress during the programme of study.

Throughout the taught MA degree programme, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in a lively series of staff-postgraduate research seminars, usually involving invited guest speakers from the UK and beyond.

International applications

We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications. For advice on the equivalency of international qualifications, please contact our International Office ()

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The MA in Visual Arts and Culture at Durham is a distinctive interdisciplinary programme that invites students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the visual arts and of visual culture. Read more
The MA in Visual Arts and Culture at Durham is a distinctive interdisciplinary programme that invites students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the visual arts and of visual culture. To study visual arts and culture is a way of paying attention to phenomena that are literally everywhere. The concept of ‘visual culture’ acknowledges the pervasive nature of visual phenomena, and signals openness towards both the breadth of objects and images, and the range of theoretical and methodological perspectives needed to understand them adequately. Drawing upon research strengths across the departments that contribute to the programme, the MA in Visual Arts and Culture encourages you to take a broad view of geographical and chronological scope, while allowing you to engage with a wide range of visual phenomena, including fine art, film, photography, architecture, and scientific and medical imaging practices.

The importance of critical visual literacy in the contemporary world cannot be exaggerated. ‘The illiterate of the future’, wrote the Bauhaus artist and theoretician László Moholy-Nagy, ‘will be the person ignorant of the camera as well as of the pen’. This observation was made in the 1920s, when photography was first used in the periodical press and in political propaganda. The rich visual world of the early twentieth century pales in comparison with the visual saturation that now characterises everyday experience throughout the developed societies and much of the developing world. But the study of visual culture is by no means limited to the twentieth century. Turning our attention to past cultures with a particular eye to the significance of visual objects of all kinds yields new forms of knowledge and understanding.

Our programme facilitates the development of critical visual literacy in three main ways. First, it attends to the specificity of visual objects, images and events, encouraging you to develop approaches that are sensitive to the individual works they encounter. Second, it investigates the nature of perception, asking how it is that we make meaning out of that which we see. Finally, it investigates how our relationships with other people, and with things, are bound up in the act of looking.

Course structure

The course consists of one core module, two optional modules and a dissertation. The core module sets out the intellectual framework for the programme, offering a broad overview of key conceptual debates in the field of Visual Culture, together with training in analysis of visual objects of different kinds, an advanced introduction to understanding museum practice, and key research skills in visual arts and culture. The optional modules provide further specialised areas of study in related topics of interest to individual students, and the 12,000-15,000 word dissertation involves detailed study of a particular aspect of a topic related to the broad area of visual culture.

Optional modules

Previously, optional modules have included:
-Critical Curatorship
-History, Knowledge and Visual Culture
-Representing Otherness
-Negotiating the Human
-Theorizing History and Historicising Theory: An Introduction to Photographic Studies
-Digital Imaging
-Cultural Heritage, Communities and Identities
-Current Issues in Aesthetics and Theory of Art
-Ethics of Cultural Heritage
-Monumental architecture of the Roman Empire in the Antonine and Severan periods
-Art in Ecological Perspective
-Texts and Cultures I: Visual and Verbal Cultures (Early Modern)
-Energy, Society and Energy Practices
-German Reading Skills for Research
-French Reading Skills for Research

The Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC) brings together scholars from across and beyond Durham University in order to provide a dynamic setting for wide-ranging interdisciplinary research and debates about visual culture, a field that entails the study of vision and perception, the analysis of the social significance of images and ways of seeing, and the attentive interpretation of a range of visual objects, from artworks to scientific images.

Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

The Centre brings together scholars from across and beyond Durham University in order to provide a vibrant and dynamic setting for wide-ranging interdisciplinary research and debates about visual culture. The Centre provides a focus for cutting-edge research on visual arts and cultures: it aspires to train new generations of scholars through innovative postgraduate programmes, it fosters informed debate both nationally and internationally, and it offers an engaging, open environment for researchers at all levels.

CVAC takes a generous view of what constitutes visual culture and it is broad in both geographical and chronological scope, encouraging debate about the range of approaches, methods and theories that are most generative for research on visual phenomena. Durham’s current visual culture research includes the study of word and image, art and religion, medicine and visual representation, film, the history of photography, architecture, urban culture, heritage and philosophical aesthetics. It also includes the development of pioneering visual research methods and the study of vision.

Durham’s location itself provides a rich and inspiring environment for this field of research. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes Durham Cathedral; its acclaimed Oriental Museum is a significant asset which houses three Designated Collections, recognised by the Arts Council as nationally and internationally pre-eminent; alongside an outstanding collection of twentieth-century and contemporary art. CVAC has many established relationships with major national and international cultural organisations, and aims to develop further its links with museums, galleries and heritage sites.

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Durham University Department of Music
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows students to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. Read more
The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows students to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. It will provide an excellent foundation for undertaking postgraduate research at doctoral level, but will also benefit the professional development of musicians intending to pursue careers in teaching, arts administration, broadcasting, and other domains.

Students on the Taught MA programme join a vibrant international postgraduate community and study with scholars, composers, and performers who have achieved international recognition in their fields. The Music Department has been ranked in the top three music departments nationally in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2016.

The MA Music programme will normally facilitate study of the following areas of specialism:
-Musicology
-Ethnomusicology
-Composition (acoustic and electro-acoustic)
-Performance

In addition, other options typically available have included:
-British Music
-Indian Music
-Music, Mind, and Culture
-World Music Analysis
-Audiovisual Documentation and Analysis
-Choral conducting (with special focus on Anglican church music)

Programme structure

Students will choose modules from sections A, B, C, and D below:

A. Major project, weighted at 60 credits (a dissertation, a public recital, or a portfolio of compositions/orchestrations and arrangements – depending on your chosen area of specialism)

B. A 30-credit module linked to your chosen area of specialism

C. Two compulsory core 30-credit modules embedding research training and engaging with major intellectual issues attendant on all subject areas

D. An additional 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B, subject to approval of the Board of Studies in Music.

Example: MA with specialism in Musicology

A. A 12,000-word dissertation on a musicological topic weighted at 60 credits

B. 30-credit module ‘Contemporary Musicology’

C. Compulsory core 30-credit modules, ‘Core Research Seminars’ and ‘Research Methods and Resources’

D. 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B

Core Modules

-Research Methods and Resources
-Core Research Seminars

And The following specialism-specific modules will be offered every year:
-Contemporary Musicology
-Ethnomusicology in Practice and Theory
-Compositional Techniques
-Music Performance

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:
-British Music
-Music Analysis
-Practice and Theory of Choral Conducting
-Advanced Organ Studies
-Electronic Music
-Orchestration and Arranging
-Indian Music
-World Music Analysis
-Music, Mind, and Culture
-Audiovisual Documentation and Analysis

Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered through a mixture of seminars, practical sessions and one to one supervision. Seminars provide opportunities for students to discuss and debate particular issues, and to present their own original work, informed by the knowledge that they have gained through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practical sessions in areas such as studio or field recording techniques help to prepare students for their own independent work.

All students must undertake an independent project (dissertation,composition portfolio, or performance), which is developed with the help of one-to-one expert supervision. Finally, optional modules can be drawn from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of Music or of other departments –these free-choice modules may involve other forms of staff-student contact, depending on the subject area. The Department actively promotes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of music and students are encouraged to engage with other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.

The contact hours experienced by each individual student will vary considerably, given a high degree of flexibility in the programme. Students will typically attend between 2 and 4 hours of seminars per week in term time, as well as additional practical sessions as appropriate. Individual supervision of dissertations, performance projects and composition portfolios amounts to an average of 6 hours spread over over the second and third terms.

Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to attend research seminars, both student-led and those involving staff or guest academic speakers (typically 1-2 hrs each week). They must also undertake their own independent study to prepare for their classes and assessments, to broaden their subject knowledge and to prepare their dissertations or portfolios. Students are encouraged, as an integral part of their studies, to take advantage of other opportunities including participating in performance opportunities (including staff-led ensembles) and attending research and composition seminars, some of which are organised in conjunction with university research institutes.

There is a busy programme of musical performance, both within and outside the music department, which complements students’ academic programme by providing opportunities both to listen to and to perform a wide variety of music. The many musical ensembles to which students can contribute includes both independent societies (including orchestras, choirs, opera and musical theatre as well as a Javanese gamelan) and department-run ensembles such as the New Music Ensemble and Korean percussion group.

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