The MA in Fine Art enables artists to evaluate and develop their creative practice to the highest of standards. It develops theoretical awareness, critical thinking and independent arts practice to a professional level.
The course facilitates critical debate between artists working both within and across media areas including painting, photography, digital imaging, printmaking, sculpture, installation and site-specific art. Alongside their studio-based enquiry, students undertake related research into the broader context of contemporary art practices and theoretical debates.
The course offers access to comprehensive specialist resources with technical instruction and support. Students are continually mentored by research-active staff to position their practice within professional cultural environments, arts-related employment or higher-level academic research.
Both full time and part time students benefit from spacious and well-equipped facilities and external links with galleries, which have included the Milton Keynes Gallery, NN Contemporary (Northampton), Corby Cube Gallery and Rugby Museum and Art Gallery. The course often offers international study trips, typically one European option (recent visits have been to France, Italy and Spain) and one long-haul destination (recent visits have been to India, Vietnam and the USA) each year.
In addition to the course having very good links with regional galleries and arts organisations, students are encouraged to engage with external activities and events, both national and international. A group of MA Fine Art students recently attended a printmaking residency at the world-renowned Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium.
Our teaching staff have a broad range of research interests reflecting the disciplines available on the course, and all staff are practicing artists who publish and exhibit both nationally and internationally. Visiting speakers have included the internationally known artists Richard Long, Marcus Harvey, Simon Callery, Ian Davenport, Mark Francis, Lisa Milroy, David Batchelor, Richard Deacon, Svetlana Fialova, Richard Patterson, Ian McKeever, Dan Hays and Richard Wilson along with innovative arts organisations such as Artangel.
Just two miles away from Park Campus and linked by a regular weekday discounted bus service, Avenue Campus has an excellent reputation as an ‘Arts Centre for all’. It boasts theatre performances, exhibitions and its own art gallery, which exhibits work from established artists, students, graduates and University staff.
The campus is equipped with workshops, innovative laboratories and computer-aided design suites. Facilities available include Bassett Lowke Halls of Residence with various room options available to suit all budgets, the Students’ Union, student bar, restaurant and nightclub.
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Upon commencing the Masters programme, students undertake the module ‘Extended Fine Art Practice and Research Methodologies’ (20 credits). This provides a grounding in different research-based methods and methodologies in Fine Art.
During the first trimester students also undertake the 20 credit studio-based module ‘Fine Art Practice’ wherein students begin to critically re-appraise and position their creative practice. Full-time students will also be enrolled on ‘Interfacings,’ a 20 credit module that considers a set of theoretical debates, issues and contexts that are pertinent to an interdisciplinary approach to artistic practice.
During the second trimester students enrol on the 40 credit module ‘Fine Art Practice and Context.’ This module culminates in a public developmental exhibition of their work. Alongside this module, full-time students can opt to take either the project-based ‘Independent Study’ module or the 20 credit module ‘Creative Practice and Enterprise.’
The final stage of the MA Fine Art course entails the student producing and exhibiting a body of creative work or completing a 15-18,000 word dissertation.
Course modules (16/17)
Fine Art Practice and Documentation (20 credits)
- Module code: ARTM029
- Core module Y
Interfacings: Fine Art and Postmodern Practice (20 credits)
- Module code: ARTM030
- Core module Y
Creative Practice and Enterprise (20 credits)
- Module code: ARTM004
- Core module N
Fine Art Practice and Context (40 credits)
- Module code: ARTM031
- Core module Y
Independent Study in the Arts (20 credits)
- Module code: ARTM027
- Core module N
Research project (60 credits)
- Module code: ARTM003
- Core module Y
Extended Fine Art Practice and Research Methodologies
- Module code: ARTM041
- Core module Y
International study trips, typically one European option (recent visits have been to France, Italy and Spain) and one long-haul destination (recent visits have been to India, Vietnam and the USA) each year.
Methods of Learning
The MA Fine Art course supports all learners’ experience and development through a breadth of regular tutorial approaches. Tutor and learner contact is additionally enriched through a host of visiting artists of international stature. Modes of teaching delivery encompass tutorials, group crits, research supervision, lectures and seminars.
During the first and second trimester specific modules are delivered usually on Mondays 9:30-12:30 and 13:00 – 16:00.
The course is assessed in both theory and practice by assignment, examination, portfolio submission and exhibition.
In addition to an ongoing series of formative assessment points, the MA Fine Art course has three formal assessment periods that occur at the end of each trimester in February, May and September respectively.
Facilities and Special Features
The Fine Art subject is enriched through a spectrum of professional specialist spaces including: Fine Art New Media Space, Photographic Studio, Photographic Dark Room, Wood Workshop, Metal Workshop, Plaster and Resin Workshop, Etching Printroom, Screen Printing Room (including laser cutting), The Drawing Lab (Drawing research space and life room), Canvas Preparation Room and bookable installation spaces.
The course prepares students for the professional cultural environment and higher research study. PhDs at the University of Northampton can be pursued through traditional or practice led methodologies and this course provides a comprehensive and relevant foundation.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
Prospective students should present a portfolio of work together with supporting evidence that is representative of their current creative practice.
Applicants will normally have an honours degree with a first or upper second classification in Fine Art. Exceptionally, other candidates will be considered. Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English.
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 16/17 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£3,325 (Year one 100 Credits £2,660 (Year two 80 Credits)|
Graduates of the university may be eligible for a 10% discount.
Year two fee may be subject to an inflationary increase for 17/18
The cost for materials for a Fine Art student is of an almost completely individual nature. Mainstream art materials can be purchased from the University shop, which has a wide range of art equipment such as paint, charcoal and quality papers. All materials are competitively priced and the shop is run by our Student Union. Alternative or specialist materials can be locally sourced from building suppliers and our many industry contacts in the region.
Costs for study visits vary but are always competitive due to a combination of off-peak travel, group travel and subsidy. UK trips would typically cost £10-£50, European trips would typically cost in the region of £250-£450 with a long haul trip such as Hanoi or Calcutta in the region of £800-£900. In some instances students have helped subsidise this further by group fundraising activities.
Students starting a postgraduate Master’s course in 2016/17 either full time or part time* may be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 Postgraduate Loan (PGL) through Student Finance England.
*Maximum period of study allowed for part time courses is two years.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.