MA Fine Art
This course is open for applications
Page last updated 7 December 2023
Students meet regularly at leading contemporary art centres Spike Island and Arnolfini, and benefit from current critical discussions, access to artists' and professional 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 art practice and debates.
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 professional contexts 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 during your studies.
Teaching is regularly held at Spike Island and Arnolfini on Bristol's harbourside, and part of UWE Bristol's City Campus. Here you'll benefit from vibrant creative environments and a range of professional and collaborative opportunities.
You'll also have full access to other City Campus sites and all that they have to offer.
A professional learning environment
You'll study alongside a diverse group of students providing support, and sharing insights and perspectives. Students highly value the teaching input and experience of research-active, practicing artists.
Choose MA Fine Art for postgraduate study
You will study:
- Fine Arts Critical Review (30 credits) - Through this module you'll build your knowledge of a range of contemporary fine art practices, develop an understanding of current debates and demonstrate your ability to critically review contemporary artworks relevant to your practice.
- 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.
- Developing Practice (Fine Art) (30 credits) - During this module you'll begin to substantially develop and articulate your own distinctive practice. You will build an ambitious Fine Art practice while exploring the cultural implications of your work.
- Consolidating Practice (Fine Art) (30 credits) - During this module you will refine, document and present a body of work. The emphasis is on the production, presentation and curation of your artworks.
- Practice and Evaluation Document (60 credits) - This module combines the production of artworks alongside an in-depth artist publication, 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 for taught sessions arranged as appropriate. There are seminars and events throughout the year.
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, for example, exhibiting, networking and gaining professional contacts.
Full-time you will study for three semesters over 12 months, beginning in September. Learning and teaching sessions on this course generally take place over the course of two days per week. Students have the opportunity to exhibit their work in the postgraduate degree show.
You're likely to present artwork in reproduction and written work for assessment.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
You'll visit galleries both locally and in London. This includes trips to commercial galleries, museums and artist run spaces and often includes a bespoke talk.
As an MA Fine Art student you'll meet regularly at Spike Island, where you'll also benefit from Spike Associates membership during your studies. You'll also meet regularly at Arnolfini, part of our City Campus. Leading arts professionals from both leading arts organisations will contribute to this course.
You'll also have access to extensive and industry-standard 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 this international arts organisation. This is where our studios for our Fine Art courses are located along with technical support.
You'll be able to access the full range of resources available at 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.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Take a Virtual Tour of the Art facilities and see what's on offer here for you.
Studying in Bristol
You'll 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 and Arnolfini, you'll form part of active and lively arts communities.
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.
Applicants will be asked to provide a portfolio of practical work and a personal statement for review.
Your portfolio should consist of no more than 10 pieces of work and should show your current work, evidence of developmental stages as well as final outcomes. We look for an awareness of current debates within visual arts and a growing interest in what research can be for artists. Further information will be provided on receipt of your application.
The personal statement should be 500-600 words with detailed responses to:
- why do you feel a postgraduate qualification is the place to achieve your goals?
- what are your creative influences and how do these frame your thinking?
- what creative work or collaborations have you initiated yourself?
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online interview on Microsoft Teams, where your portfolio and statement will form the basis of discussions.
For country specific entry requirements, please find your country on the Country Information pages.
English Language Requirement
International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
*The University accepts a large number of UK and international qualifications in place of IELTS. To find details of acceptable tests and the required grades, please visit English Language requirements.
English language support
If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.
Read more about our pre-sessional English programme.
How to apply
We accept applications throughout the year but if you are working to a funding deadline, you should build this into your application process.