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Postgraduate study

Course overview

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme enables you to experiment, engage and explore traditional and new media methods of practice to best envision your ideas. Discussion and critique of key theoretical practices is explicitly aligned to your subject interest.

The programme fosters an active approach to studio practice by offering open access to painting and sculpture studios; technical materials workshops (incorporating 3D printing and welding); lens-based media (photography darkrooms and green screen media); recording studios; printmaking, bookbinding and publishing. Independent studios are allocated from the outset of the programme and individual and small-group tutorials help you consider your practice. Learning is facilitated by staff members who are experts in the field towards your individual goals. These might take either a studio or more theoretical, curatorial, or contextual tract depending on your own desires and ambitions.


Course details

Stage 1 involves professional skills development, studio practice and the opportunity for collaborative working. Stage 2 offers the time and space for self-authored research development to identify the trajectory of your visual ambition. Stage 3 culminates in the production, installation and public display of exhibition work in generously proportioned studio galleries.

Course structure

Core modules

Arts and Funding

You consider your identity as an artist in contemporary society. And how your work can contribute to knowledge, research, commerce or education. Professional and artistic skills are determined individually and employed towards future goals. You can receive advice from within the University and outside partners to assist you in completing a document supporting your development. 
Assessment is a portfolio, including an application or textual response to engage with future progression of careers and practice. This might include applications for further study, teaching plans, funding applications, exhibition proposals or residency applications.

Contemporary Practice

You investigate a variety of approaches through a journey of experimentation and contemporary practice techniques. There is a period of play and testing towards the creation of work and you are encouraged to experiment and be influenced by a range of forms and approaches within contemporary art. You learn to acknowledge the heritage of techniques from where your work evolves. Your journey begins to determine your place within contemporary art making.
Your assessment completion of an artefact (or artefacts) that underline a unique concern through a consistent style or approach, and a group critique where you contextualise your work and feedback on the work of others.

Developing a Personal Practice

You work towards developing a consistent and personal style or approach articulated by your work-in-progress. The development of your style is supported through a community of artists where you can regularly show your work for peer review and feedback from tutors. By developing a personal style, you develop your own strategies and an individual aesthetic relevant to your practice. 

Your assessment is the submission of work to several work-in-progress sessions and a written reflection on your journey of development.

Fine Art and Public Engagement

Explore a series of contemporary professional artists from the perspective of how they fund their practice and engage within society and local and global communities. The emphasis is on how artists engage with funding bodies, art and community institutions and educational establishments. You also consider how you can think of your own work and artistic identity within these contexts. 
Your assessment has two elements. The first negotiated element is a group show or series of workshops. The second element is a written reflection of your own work, how you present your work to the world and contribute to a larger art context.

Master's Project: Fine Art

The culmination of the MA Fine Art is the production of an exhibition, which includes curated works and evidence of refined practice-led research. You work together to form an overarching exhibition that evidences a professional public display of intent and interrogation. You manifest your decisions and intent textually as well as to reflect on the process and outcomes of their final module. You create and realise an exhibition based on your development and research with accompanying professional documentation such as permissions, agreements, rights clearance.

Assessment is a study plan, the collection of work presented at the exhibition (including an artist’s statement if applicable) and a written reflection.

Practice-based Research

Develop skills in practice-based research, through experimentation and research into the creative process, culminating in more original idea generation. 
You analyse and evaluate elements of practice-based research and synthesise your findings into your own practice. You focus on broad, deep and varied historical and cultural research to enrich visual inspiration. Through regular written reflection, you gain valuable insight into the creative process.

Assessment is 100% ICA through a portfolio of work and written reflection.

Resistive Art Practices

You unpick your work and the work of others through deconstructive and resistant practices. You consider your work and the work of others within new contexts and alternative disciplines. You might re-appropriate practices not traditionally viewed within fine art to discover the boundaries between and across disciplines. Alternative contexts might include art/life practices, participatory arts, spatial and virtual design and experimentation. 
Assessment is a negotiated interdisciplinary project.


Advanced practice


The internship options are:

Vocational: spend one semester working full-time in industry or on placement in the University. We have close links with a range of national and international companies who could offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we cannot guarantee internships, we will provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.

Research: develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting. Ideal for those who are interested in a career in research or academia.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

At MA level it is vital that you take an active role in structuring your own learning, and engage with the relevant methods and underpinning theories of your discipline. The use of a variety of methods, including tutorials, seminars and workshops, enables key principles to be applied to the day-to-day interaction between participants - benefiting tutors and students alike. Individual support, provided by a personal tutor, is an integral feature of the learning and teaching strategy.

An intrinsic aspect of your main study area and its supporting subjects is research. You need to find and make sense of a wide variety of information from books, newspapers, journals, magazines, websites, archives and many other sources. Seminars enable structured discussion and analysis to take place between groups of students and a tutor. They are organised to be interactive and to facilitate the free exchange of ideas through which you learn the process of argument and reason. At postgraduate level it is likely that you will organise and hold some of your own seminar sessions, not necessarily with staff present or playing the lead role.

Practical workshops are used to introduce specific skills, followed by independent learning, project work, tutorials and critiques. Critical reflection is key to all successful origination and is therefore essential to the creative process. You are expected to test and assess your work against criteria which you develop in the light of your research.

How you are assessed

Various assessment methods are used throughout all of the modules and are specified in the module handbooks. These are primarily what we call in-course assessments, where you submit work during the delivery of the module, rather than sit timed examinations at the end. Arts modules are generally project based and primarily assessed through appraisal of a portfolio of work, often accompanied by a verbal presentation. Creative work is largely developmental and you are assessed on the process by which you achieve your solutions as well as the result, so it is essential that you provide clear evidence of your development work.


Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree in an arts discipline, relevant experience or equivalent qualifications. Applicants will normally be interviewed and will be required to present a portfolio of work.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

Graduates typically pursue careers as self-employed artists and creative practitioners within the cultural sector. Some find employment in arts and cultural management or choose a career in teaching. Further study at doctoral level is also an option.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2019 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£5,900 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£12,045 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: within 1 year; January start
  • Enrolment date: September and January
  • Semester dates

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2019 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£655 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

Apply online (part-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students


Choose Teesside


Stand out from other job applicants with your higher level qualification, specialist knowledge and expanded networks.



Improve your project management, critical thinking, research skills, time management, presentation skills and teamwork.



The median salary for working-age (16-64) postgraduates in 2018 was £6,000 more than graduates
(DoE Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018,



Study in our friendly town-centre campus with over £270m recently invested and another £300m over the next 10 years.


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Open days

16 November 2019
Postgraduate open day

Book now