MA Fine Art
Please note that new student recruitment to this course has been suspended for the September 2022 intake. Applications for 2023 should be made from October 2022.
Page last updated 13 October 2021
Students meet regularly at leading contemporary art centre Spike Island and benefit from mature critical discussions, access to artists' networks and a wide range of facilities and support across UWE Bristol's City Campus.
MA Fine Art at UWE Bristol is designed for individuals who wish to pursue their practice to a professional level and gain knowledge and insight into contemporary practice.
This course provides a structure to enable you to extend your practical, critical, contextual and theoretical knowledge of Fine Art and gain skills and experience in order to operate in a professional context beyond University.
There is no emphasis on a particular type of work. Students work in painting, installation, performance, sculpture, photography, moving image and drawing. This reflects contemporary practice and allows you to explore and experiment with a range of formats throughout your time here.
Teaching is based at City Campus at Spike Island, within this internationally renowned contemporary art venue on Bristol's harbourside and part of UWE Bristol's City Campus. Here you will benefit from a vibrant creative environment and a range of work and volunteering opportunities.
You will also have full access access to other City Campus sites and all that they have to offer.
A professional learning environment
You will study alongside a small yet diverse group of students providing support and sharing insights and perspectives.
Students highly value the teaching input and experience of research-active, practicing artists all of whom exhibit nationally and internationally.
Teaching is centred at Spike Island an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design - bringing further expertise, opportunities, access to public events and regular guest speakers.
City Campus at Bower Ashton offers you access to modern resources and workshops including sound, film, casting, photography, textiles and print. This will extend your knowledge of methods and techniques and support your creative development.
You will study:
- Fine Art Critical Review (30 credits) - Through this module you will develop and demonstrate knowledge of a range of contemporary fine art practices, an understanding of a range of written critiques and develop and demonstrate an ability to critically review contemporary artworks in exposition.
- Research Practice (30 credits) - This module is designed to help you to develop independent research skills, which are important for critical engagement with creative practice. It will encourage you to reflect on and contextualize your practice and that of others.
- Fine Art Practice (60 credits) - During this module you will research and develop a fine art project/area of study/practice in order to produce conceptually coherent, quality artwork. You will also develop your ability to reflect critically on your own artwork and the artwork of others.
- Practice and evaluation document (60 credits) - The emphasis is on the production of artworks alongside the production of a structured and in depth evaluation document reflecting on your practice.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
Students meet as a group one day a week for taught workshops arranged as appropriate. There are lectures and events throughout the year. Most study time is self-directed and self-managed with guidance.
You will make regular visits to galleries and museums and staff provide advice and support. You are also encouraged to attend lectures on other subjects if useful to practice.
The course will enable you to:
- Develop creative and critical skills through the development and realisation of a substantial body of work
- Benefit from the experience of highly motivated staff, all of whom are professional artists
- Work amongst a lively community of young and established artists
- Gain valuable experience through studio visits, seminar discussions and group critiques
- Benefit from the opportunities generated by being part of the MA Fine Art course eg exhibiting; networking and gaining professional contacts.
Part-time - you will study for six semesters over three years. Taught elements of this course take place one day per week.
A semester is a 15-week period of study and generally runs September to January and February to June. Studies culminate in the degree show.
You're likely to present artwork in reproduction and written work for assessment.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
You will be encouraged to visit galleries both locally and in London in small groups. This includes trips to commercial galleries, museums and artist run spaces and often includes a bespoke talk.
These visits provide a valuable extension to professional practice and are vital for students to have access if they are likely to exhibit work in galleries post-degree.
As an MA Fine Art student you will meet regularly at Spike Island, where you will also benefit from Spike Associates membership.
You will also have access to extensive and cutting-edge departmental facilities and resources including video and film suites, a fabrication centre, comprehensive printmaking and a well-resourced library.
City Campus at Spike Island is situated on the ground floor of Spike Island. This is where our studios for our Fine Art courses are located along with technical support. Some research activity also takes place here that shares synergies with other activities carried out by Spike Island and its studio-holders.
You will also be able to access the full range of resources available at other City Campus sites. Bower Ashton houses the main library supporting the creative and cultural industries, student support services, as well as the extensive resource base that make up the technical resource areas.
Our prestigious fine art evening lecture series, Art in the City, is delivered at the Arnolfini. Internationally renowned artists such as Phyllida Barlow and Turner prize winners Martin Creed and Tacita Dean have presented talks.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Studying in Bristol
You will benefit from being immersed in a creative and cultural city, a regional hub with a rich variety of galleries, artists' groups, artists' studios and public and collaborate art projects involving students and graduates.
As a student based at Spike Island you will form part of an active and lively arts community. Spike Island is an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design and home to a gallery, cafe and working space for artists, designers and creative businesses in fields from fine art fabrication to film production. It hosts regular artist talks and studio visits.
Competitions and awards
Careers / Further study
You will gain a broad knowledge base of Fine Art practice and a range of artistic and technical skills in addition to transferable skills highly valued by employers. As a result of the course students gain work in very different areas they have good transferable skills, the ability to work in a team, good initiation, writing skills and creativity.
Our students have gone on to successful careers as artists, technicians or artist assistants. Some go into project management, event management and work in museums and galleries as curators and administrators.
Other careers include teaching and freelance work as writers and critics.
The course has skills development embedded and ensures you graduate with skills required by the creative industries. Many students also progress to a PhD at UWE Bristol and elsewhere.
We are looking for highly motivated creative students from a range of backgrounds. Usually applicants will have an honours degree in the Visual Arts but those with other academic qualifications or professional experience are also encouraged to apply.
All applications are carefully reviewed and suitable applicants are invited to attend an interview. You would be expected to show examples of recent and/or current practices as well as examples of written work. You should also be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of contemporary Fine Art practice.
There is no official closing date for postgraduate courses and we accept applications throughout the year. If you are applying to organisations for funding they may have application deadlines by which time you will need to know if you have a place on a course. You should build this deadline into your application process and if you are working to a funding deadline then please let us know.
How to apply
There is no official closing date and we accept applications throughout the year.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44(0)117 32 83333