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MA Fine Art

  • Mode of study: Full- or part-time
  • How to apply: Apply directly to us


“Why do I do this and you do that?”

This course can be studied full- or part-time from September or full-time from January.

Course information

MA Fine Art offers a distinct focus and reassessment of autobiography and the familiar, through differing understandings of creativity. What constitutes a meaningful and useful research methodology in one culture may be considered unknown, unnecessary or redundant in another.

You're encouraged to explore and unpick your own working strategies and methods, in the context of broader cultural and educational differences offered by the course and your peers, in order to explore how ‘detour permits access’ (Jullien, 2004). The resulting tensions form the very fabric of this Fine Art course, as deliberate cross-cultural dialogue provides a vehicle for your working rationales, practices and methodologies.

MA Fine Art represents an exciting opportunity for students to challenge and build on their previous achievements and to study at an advanced level. Students deepen their knowledge and their ability to focus on their chosen field in relation to the key aspects that inform it.

Set within a community and culture of makers, students engage in dialogue and debate with their peers, both within and across MA pathways.

This experience provides dynamic and interactive sessions, which are vital to the enhancement and testing of new thinking and ideas generation as well as offering the broadest available critical arena for discussion of student work.

The course is delivered through three equally weighted units of study. The first unit ‘Strategies for Practice’ encourages a re-visiting of a fundamental understanding of materials, methods and contexts of fine art regardless of a students’ level of experience. Although, some strategies may be familiar, you will be encouraged to analyse and critically evaluate how and why they are manifested in your practice. If your first degree was in a subject other than fine art and may therefore feel less familiar with given working or reflective processes, this unit will give you the opportunity to explore and develop skills and adjust to new and curious ways of working. If you are an experienced practitioner this unit will challenge you to articulate and question some of the basic assumptions that may underpin your practice; for instance, why are certain things important? We consider this a vital levelling experience for all students.

As the ‘Strategies for Practice’ unit progresses you will be encouraged to survey promising areas of investigation in preparation for Navigation and Transformation and Audience and Resolution. You will identify theories relevant to your emerging study focus and methods appropriate to these concerns for generating new knowledge and understanding in the Body of Work and the Contextual Journal. There is no expectation at this stage for these ideas or work to be resolved.

‘Navigation and Transformation’ will help to determine and refine your practice culminating in the presentation of a final coherent body of work in ‘Audience and Resolution’. By contrast, these two units are predominantly self-directed and sustain and fuse the understanding and application of research methods, completion of plans and presentations to students and staff. ‘Navigation and Transformation’ will require you to formalise your intentions in a Study Plan, which will act as a template for ‘Audience and Resolution’ as well as future applications for professional opportunities, setting out the parameters for an ambitious period of self-directed practice, and to interrogate contextual issues relevant to your study focus through your practice.

In ‘Audience and Resolution’, you will carry through your plan of action identified in the Study Plan and establish ways of editing, presenting and disseminating the outcomes of your project in ways that communicate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. In this final Unit you will have the opportunity to attend a PhD taster day, where staff will share their first-hand experiences of PhD study as well as presentations on application procedures, funding, doctoral types, academic writing and proposal writing. If you are interested in discussing an application of your own and developing a proposal, additional support is given.

Part-time pathway

The part-time pathway is carried out over a period of 90 weeks – rather than 45 weeks as in the full-time pathway.


The first unit, Strategies of Practice seeks to identify and critically review the attitudes and understanding underlying your Fine Art practice. It does this by encouraging you to return, through practice, to an engagement with fundamental components of your Fine Art activity, exploring the contextual issues that motivate and shape your practice, including audiences, sites of display, technological advances. You’ll be encouraged to reflect ‘in-action’ as you question the nature of visual communication. You’ll be encouraged to scope out new areas for deeper enquiry.

Innovation, collaboration and communication are key skills taught by professionals and academics in the units Navigation and Transformation and Audience and Resolution. These units promote the processes necessary for students to engage in new technological advances, develop critical and theoretical frameworks, and raise their level of business awareness and self-direction along with an understanding of the trans-disciplinary nature of contemporary creative practice.

In Audience and Resolution, you will work towards and produce your final outcomes/conclusions following the rationale established in your Study Plan. In this phase of study, you will apply the research methods identified in Navigation and Transformation and determine how to present and disseminate the outcomes of the project.

If you’re interested in applying for MA Fine Art Course, you should be able to demonstrate your passion and ambition for your practice within your discipline area. We’d recommend that you make note of the Course Overview which puts centre stage the dialogue created between international and UK students when writing your statement. We’re very interested to hear what you will add to the community and culture of the MA Fine Art course.

Meet the course team

Dr Fran Norton Course Leader

PhD, MA, PGDip, BA (Hons), PGCert, FHEA

Watch our course videos

Senior Lecturer Simón Granell talks more about what you can expect from studying MA Fine Art here at AUB.

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Application process

When you're ready to apply, you'll need to head to our online application form to apply directly to us.

We encourage you to apply early so that you have time to organise accommodation and to arrange for a visa (if required) before you enrol.

We encourage applications from students with a broad range of qualifications and experiences. We'll take into consideration the knowledge and skills that have been developed inside and outside the classroom, as well as your previous qualifications. We aim to interview all applicants who demonstrate the potential to succeed on the course. Interviews are used to assess whether you have the necessary skills and capabilities and whether this programme is appropriate to your interests and aspirations.

The tuition fees you pay will vary depending on the subject area and the type of postgraduate study you're embarking on. The fee that you pay AUB provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.

We also have a number of progression discounts and bursaries available to go towards paying for your studies.

Computer equipment

You may also choose to buy some items or personal equipment such as a laptop, tablet or computer. This isn't a requirement as desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.

As part of your application to this course, we’d like to see your portfolio.

You can find out more by viewing our Portfolio Guidelines.

Looking to be inspired? Browse our gallery of student work – you can find more in our Student Journal, too.

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