MA Contemporary Fine Art

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Key course details

Location Carlisle - Brampton Road
Duration Full-time, 1 Year, Part-time, 2 Years
Start date September 2020
Entry Requirements Programme specification (PDF)
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Our intensive course encourages you to break down conventional barriers between arts disciplines and to explore the scope and influence of contemporary art and discover your own individual approach as an artist in a discursive and stimulating, creative environment.

You will study research methodologies and their impact on individual practice, as well as exploring the role fine art has as a critical instrument in the arenas of culture, politics and ethics.

Plus, with your own studio space and through self-directed study in superbly-equipped workshops and labs – in printmaking, sculpture, photography and in AV and IT suites - you will have everything you need to test and assist your practice and art world ambitions.

Curious about what happens on our course? Follow our Fine Art courses on social media to see what happens at our Institute of Arts.

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Your Career with a Master's in Fine Art

Previous students have exhibited their work at national and international levels, and are at the centre of initiative within Cumbria related to contemporary arts. You could use your skills to become a professional artist, a private or public curator, a researcher, an art academic or anything involved with the visual arts.

Callum Eccleston MA Show Fine Art University of Cumbria,

Image credit: Callum Eccleston exhibiting and performing in our end of year MA Show

We encourage work outside university studies in setting up exhibitions and events with third parties, building up connections for future employment. It is part of our collective remit to explore and promote the influence and scope of contemporary art, respecting its methodologies and role as a critical instrument in the arenas of culture, politics and ethics.

Why Choose University of Cumbria

Our passionate staff – all practising artists with international reputations - will bring their extensive knowledge and experience to help you in your studies and support you in the productions and analysis of your own unique practice.

  • Get your own studio space, which you can design yourself to suit your work, thanks to our large, well-lit studios
  • Lectures take place in the dedicated art studios, giving you a unique learning environment, integrating theory with practice
  • Fine Art facilities include a professional printmaking studio with facilities for etching, relief and screen-printing, a wet darkroom, a 3D sculpture workshop with dedicated woodwork, metalwork (including hot metal casting) and ceramic areas, audio and video suites for filmmaking and a dedicated Fine Art Mac(kintosh) Lab
  • Our Vallum Gallery hosts exhibitions by contemporary artists and designers, as well as students, staff and alumni
  • Taught by tutors, who are practising artists – many are world-renowned
  • Opportunity to create an ambitious portfolio of work and projects to wow a wide range of future audiences and employers
  • Small class sizes mean you get the option of intensive tutorial support and feedback from our artist-lecturers
  • Opportunity to exhibit locally and nationally thanks to our industry links
  • Students are heavily involved within Cumbria’s contemporary arts scene
  • Run your own artist space in Carlisle and visit galleries of note nationally and internationally
  • Visits and talks from professional artists to inform, inspire and help develop your work

Our students have exhibited their work at national and international levels and have gone on to become professional artists, private and public curators, researchers and art academics.

Thanks to our location in Carlisle, you'll have a central base from which to explore with ease, this and other centres of culture, including Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool.

You will be within 20 minutes of Scotland in one direction and in the other, the stunning Lake District National Park – now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Add to that, being close to the spectacular North West coastline and you will never be stuck for nature and culture to explore while identifying and building your unique contribution to a global, artistic and cultural landscape.

Not Ready for a Master's?

We also offer Fine Art as a BA Degree.

Fine Art Degree

News and Events

Disability arts pioneer inspires students

Posted: 16 Dec 2019

Renowned sculptor Tony Heaton OBE is challenging art students to explore societal barriers faced by people with disabilities. Tony presented the issues as he delivered a guest lecture, part of a series of talks organised by the Arts Research Initiative, for University of Cumbria Institute of the Arts staff and students. A selection of his art, material and documents is also on display at the university's creative Carlisle campus.

Student filmmakers working on TV hit, graduate with first-class degree and award

Posted: 4 Dec 2019

Two student filmmakers, who made their names working on a hit TV programme while studying, have graduated not only with first-class degrees but a special award recognising their hard work and contribution to the university.

Cranston's found their perfect Intern from the Institute of the Arts

Posted: 29 Apr 2019

Cranstons Butchers Ltd have recently been working with intern Rachel Stewart, who is studying a BA Graphic Design at the Institute of the Arts. We asked Jane Silburn, Head of Marketing and Retail Development at Cranstons why they decided on an intern and what the intern bought to the company.

Masterclass: Figure Life-Drawing

Mon 2 Mar 2020

An introduction to the materials and techniques of figure life-drawing.

Open Event (2020 entry enquirers only)

Wed 25 Mar 2020

It’s not too late to apply to us for 2020 entry, our expert teams of support and academic staff are on hand to give you a bespoke and personal visit experience that will arm you with everything you need to know about starting a course in September 2020.