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Thinking of studying for a postgraduate degree at the University of Hertfordshire? Let's Talk Postgrad is the perfect opportunity for you to speak directly to our expert academics to learn more about your course of interest, life as a postgraduate student and the opportunities that further study offers.

Hourly subject sessions take place from 18 - 22 March, at 16.00 or 17.00.

This online event will help you to:

  • find out more about module content, delivery and assessment methods
  • ask about employment prospects, our invaluable industry connections, accreditations and placement opportunities.
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MA Fine Art

Why choose Herts?

  • Teaching Excellence: You will be taught by creative practitioners/artists who are well-connected with national or international standing and expertise (see key staff).
  • Employment Prospects: Graduates have exhibited at Broadway Gallery and St Albans Museum & Gallery whilst others work as curators, teachers, and have set up studios. Some extend study towards a PhD.
  • Industry Connections: We invite industry speakers, creatives, curators, and theorists into workshops to support students in developing creative networks.

About the course

  • Fine Art has a proud heritage going all the way back to the founding of the St Albans School of Art in 1880
  • Perfect for students with busy lives, it runs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with elective workshops on some Thursdays 
  • You don’t need a BA if you have an equivalent track record of practice
  • Each student on the programme has their own studio space within the shared MA Art studio area
  • We have enviable in-house expertise and facilities to support a wide variety of media and processes including life drawing, painting, printmaking, darkroom and digital photography, ceramics, glass, metalwork, sculpture/installation, textiles, video, sound, 3D printing, digital and virtual practices.
  • The tutors are artists of national/international standing and expertise. Invited speakers, artists, curators and theorists also add to the creative mix. We are passionate about the work we make and the work you make!

Why choose this course?

Our MA in Fine Art offers a rigorous and exciting curriculum grounded in ecological thinking and practice. We focus on process - becoming an artist is to become adept at practice. In short, we aim to make your time with us nothing less than the vehicle of your artistic transformation.

Your learning journey starts from the unique artistic interests you arrive with. You will pass through thresholds of understanding, widening perspectives and expanded creative and critical capacities. You will hone your ability to engage with the contemporary world and attain a highly attuned and articulate artistic voice.  

On the way, you will attain a higher-level creative fluency, ability to cope with uncertainty, and become more astute in finding solutions and leveraging opportunities.

Our fine art program will be of particular interest to early and mid-career artists who wish to advance their artistry to a higher standard by acquiring the skills, knowledge and understanding required for a step-change in how you operate as an artist. You will work alongside other artists and benefit from our Art Talks which include Turner Prize winners amongst its eminent speakers. You will also have the opportunity to be involved with our international exhibitions programme and gallery environment. 

You will work with other students to explore and challenge the boundaries of your practice. Through a robust and supportive exchange of views, ideas and making methods, you will encounter some of the key ideas that inform contemporary art. We strongly encourage material and conceptual experimentation and development of originality. Seminars, research methods and debates will help you to advance not only your creative ideas and your technical skills, most importantly, your confidence and ownership of your work.

What will I study?

The Practice Modules 

These are the core of the course. Practice in flow comes from sustained commitment. We assist each student to develop their unique practice patterns and daily rituals. You will learn to “think through making” to let the material help guide you toward a finished work. This alliance grants you access to a creativity much larger than conscious thought.

Tuning in and being present underpin authentic art practice. You will unlock the key artistic skill of paying attention, tuning in to the world around you through exercises in deep looking and listening to amplify your practice. The better you get at paying attention the better you will become at creating the world anew. 

The Practice modules combine work-in-progress seminars, tutorials, guest lectures and making workshops. We assess your sustained body of creative practice and finished work supported by reflective documentation.

The Discourse and Reflection Module

You will explore contemporary issues and contexts in visual art practices. Weekly lectures, seminars and student research presentations culminate in a major project/essay that reflects and extends the ideas and concerns in your art practice.

The Professional Practice Module

The Professional Practice module on the MA Fine Art equips you to operate successfully as an professional fine artist. We investigate the habits and attributes of success. Fortnightly seminars include noticing and leveraging opportunity and professionalising your artistic voice amongst other topics. Guest gallerists and artists give insight into how their careers unfolded. Graduates go on to establish studios, exhibit, and work to commissions professionally, work as curators, work in the area of science and art as well as academia.

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Professional Practice 30 Credits Compulsory
    Discourse and Reflection 30 Credits Compulsory
    Practice 1 30 Credits Compulsory
    Practice 2 30 Credits Compulsory
    Major Study 60 Credits Compulsory
  • Key staff

    Kerry Andrews
    Programme Leader
    Find out more about Kerry Andrews

    Simeon Nelson
    Programme Leader
    Find out more about Simeon Nelson

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA Fine Art Download
    Programme specifications
    Postgraduate Art Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year

    n/a

    Applications open to international and EU students

    Yes

    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.