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Postgraduate study
Fine Art

Fine Art MA

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.


Course overview

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.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Contemporary Practice

You investigate a variety of approaches to interrogate your own practice and artistic methods. Design and develop your own trajectory through a co-created curriculum and reflective approaches. Become research active and experiment with a range of forms and approaches within contemporary art, and consider methods across disciplines.

Consider appropriate theory and themes and how it informs the work you develop. Supported by a series of seminars, you are introduced to current themes in contemporary art practice. You gain support and critique from a community of artists, peer reviews, feedback from tutors, and visiting curators to the gallery and School.

Assessment is a studio presentation of a body of new work undertaken over the course of the semester. You submit a notebook, sketchbook, research and/or reflections to support studio work.

Critical Thinking and Theoretical Contexts

This module explores and interrogates key concepts and critical thinking in the 21st century. It promotes debate on developing themes within culture and the creative arts in theory and practice.

Through lectures you explore critical thinking and cultural philosophical approaches. Key issues are explored through talking and debating in seminars.

There are two assessments; a 20 minute presentation focusing on cultural theory in relation to your design practice and field of specialism, and a critical report that recognises design practice with respect to cultural and critical theory.

Future Practice

What will motivate artists and creators in the future? Explore the future of art and how this will shape the landscape, including embracing digital, new processes and key critical avenues of thinking.

Enhance your own development through self-directed study and project supervision. Through peer-led studio critique you further develop professional and critical communication skills, guiding the future of art.

In consultation with academics you develop and determine a trajectory of study. You produce work demonstrating research, methods, planning, ethical consideration, audience consideration and dissemination.

Launchpad: Exit to Industry

Through a series of workshops, you produce a range of professional assets designed to support your career aspirations. Projects and analysis of work-related practice will enhance your career vision in the media, events and creative arts industries.

Master's Exhibition

You create an original and significant body of work, with clear curatorial intent. The project is located within your own practice-led research methodology.

As a reflective practitioner, you evaluate this presentation in the form of an exhibition or public facing body of work. You produce a written reflective critique that demonstrates your own artistic aspirations and the curatorial framework behind your project, and how this directs you as an artist.

Post-Studio Art

You question what alternatives exist to create work in a post-internet age that engages with social justice, art/life practices, digital, spatial, and virtual design and experimentation. Challenge the notion of both traditional and contemporary practice to inform your evolving practice. You re-appropriate practices not traditionally viewed within fine art to interrogate the boundaries between and across disciplines.

You enhance your own development through self-directed study and project supervision. Through peer-led studio critique you further develop professional and critical communication skills.

In consultation with module staff, you develop and determine the trajectory of your study. Assessment is a presentation of new work undertaken over the course of the semester.

Research Methods

You gain a grounding in research approaches and processes in the creative arts disciplines in areas such as animation, visual effects, games and concept art.

You learn how to construct a rigorous critical framework to generate evidence based material to justify and inform your conceptual investigation through creative practice. You also critically evaluate and source appropriate academic research and relevant outputs from the creative arts disciplines.
Your assessment is 100% ICA, a written critical discourse/research proposal that contextualizes and theorizes the accompanying practice element, this may form the basis of your master’s project.


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 may be interviewed.

You are expected to be a confident and independent learner with a good understanding of the design process, idea development and critical thinking. You are asked to present a portfolio of work or a completed project showing the development of your work from behind the scenes, or an ongoing project showing the progression and direction of your work.

For general information please see our overview of 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


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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£6,710 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: September enrolment: 1 year. January enrolment: 16 months.
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£750 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: September enrolment: 2 years. January enrolment: 28 months.
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


Choose Teesside

  • Student and graduate profiles

    Suzie Devay

    Suzie DevayMA Fine Art

    I particularly enjoyed the wider aspects of the course, discovering and experimenting with ideas that had been inspired from discussed debates.

    Meet Suzie

    Amy Brannan

    Amy BrannanMA Fine Art

    Amy is now a gallery assistant at the world-renowned MIMA gallery

    Meet Amy

  • On video

    MA Fine Art Show 2018

    Hear from graduates exhibiting at the show talk about their work and the work of fellow students.

  • News

    Link to View the pictures. Tees Valley to gain from STEAM development project as MIMA, Teesside University and partners secure funding
    A diverse team of scientists and artists from the Tees Valley will come together to research and develop a public art project which aims to address climate change and social justice.

    Read the full story

    Suzie Devey, MA Fine Art . Link to View the pictures. Absence makes the art grow fonder – Suzie’s mission to reconnect the art community during Covid-19
    North East-based artists are thriving thanks to a unique opportunity created by a Teesside University student, designed to connect artists during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Read the full story


Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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