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MA in Fine Art Who is it for?

You are interested in further developing your artistic practice, analytical and critical skills and theoretical knowledge.

About the Course

The MA in Fine Art will enable you to evaluate and develop your creative practice to the highest of standards. The programme actively challenges individuals to creatively and conceptually extend themselves, to explore strategies for reflective practices and to question conventions. Our students are grounded in the broader theories and histories which contextualised their individual practices and leave with a clear understanding of the professional arts environments to which they can meaningfully function within. Teaching staff are all involved in exhibiting, publishing and curating at an international research level and students benefit from studying in a thriving school-wide research environment.

You will be provided with excellent studio spaces and the course offers access to comprehensive specialist resources with technical instruction and support. We continually mentor students to identify their practice and their ambition within the professional cultural environment, arts related employment or higher level academic research.

of how your work relates to a broader set of ideas, issues and debates pertaining to the discipline of Fine Art. The culmination of this module is a developmental exhibition that allows you to critically test out your ideas within a public context.

Interfacings: Fine Art and Postmodern Practice

This module will introduce you to a range of critical debates and theories that inform the production and reception of contemporary art. It examines what it means to make art today through an understanding that the traditional boundaries that separated particular disciplines have dissolved, resulting in a more fluid exchange of ideas and practices both across and between disciplines.

Research Methods in The Arts

This module enables you to develop your understanding of the arts and the variety of methodological debates surrounding contemporary arts research. It introduces you to a range of research methods across the arts including quantative and qualitative methods, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches and subject specific methodologies.

Independent Study in the Arts Course Content

Modules Fine Art Practice and Documentation

The aim of this first Fine Art module is to facilitate the identification and development of a personal rationale for the student’s own creative practice. You are encouraged to examine the nature of media in separate disciplines, as well as the relationships, overlaps and integrations between the specific art practices of painting, photography and digital imaging, printmaking, sculpture, and more situated approaches to practice.

Fine Art Practice and Context

Like the first Fine Art module, this is comprised of a series of sessions delivered by the Fine Art academic staff. At this stage you will be expected to develop a critical understanding

This module will allow you to undertake a course of supervised study on a limited self-defined topic in an area not covered by designated modules in the MA in The Arts portfolio. You will plan and deliver your project through independent and individual study tutorials with an agreed supervisor. The topic may be text-based or creative in the area of literary criticism, English language, fine art, performance arts, arts administration or curatorial studies.

or Creative Practice and Enterprise

The aim of this module is to develop and improve knowledge and understanding of professional and ethical issues in the creative sectors and professions to a level where they can begin to speculate on new opportunities in enterprise and entrepreneurship. It also prepares you for employment within arts organisations, design groups and companies or work on a freelance basis.

Research Project

This is completed over one trimester and offers a significant opportunity to integrate knowledge and understanding which has been initiated and developed throughout the previously completed modules. The module offers you the opportunity of exploring within a deeper frame of reference for studying a Fine Art project of your own design. The culmination of this module is either a professional public exhibition or a 15,000 -18,000 word dissertation.


There are no formal examinations. Assessment is by coursework which may include essays, critical diaries, seminar presentations, written dissertations, portfolios or exhibitions.

Career Opportunities

The course provides you with the skills needed to thrive within the creative industries and across a number of cultural environments and contexts. It also prepares you for higher research study. PhDs at the University of Northampton can be pursued through either written or practice-led methodologies and the MA in Fine Art course provides a comprehensive and relevant foundation.

Duration of Course

The award begins in September each year and is taught over one year. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops throughout three taught trimesters with a period of supported independent study in trimester three whilst you complete your dissertation or arts project with the support of a supervisor.

Entry Requirements

You will normally have a First or Second Class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject, and will be required to submit a portfolio of work for assessment. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will need to demonstrate that they meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5.

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