Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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With a heavy weighting of art history, students are encouraged to make sure their work is well informed, and I found that the theoretical nature of the course suited my conceptual practice.

Annie CarpenterGaduated 2009

MA in Fine Art

This intensive programme allows artists to develop a body of work within the contexts of the studio, dissemination, value and audience. The course is open to artists working in, or wishing to work in, socially engaged practice, collaborative practice, as artist curators, as art writers or within art education.

You will develop your art practice in purpose built studios, working towards a final exhibition and dissertation, supported by a series of conversations, seminars and a visiting speaker programme.

In a region full of cultural resources, from The Hepworth Wakefield to artist-led spaces such as Seize Projects, you will gain experience from expert practitioners and researchers, visiting artists and speakers.

Through our optional module array you will have the opportunity to explore critical and theoretical issues such as aesthetics, feminist studies, deconstruction and museum practice.

Specialist facilities

Housed within a single central campus location, the School offers a modern and well-equipped learning environment providing 24-hour studio access and versatile exhibition spaces. Resources include dedicated Mac and PC computer suites for video editing, animation and image manipulation, printmaking workshops for etching, relief and screen printing, and a photography darkroom for film developing and printing. A woodworking and casting area are also housed within the School, with additional facilities for digital and 3D printing available at the University.

At the heart of the School is Project Space – a multi-purpose space, designed for the development of curatorial practice and visiting exhibitions.

The University incorporates world-class library resources and special collections, the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Treasures of the Brotherton, the Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles and the Stage@Leeds performance venue.

Appropriate critical and technical skills and methodologies are developed throughout the duration of the course, as students engage in discussion and critique of their own practice and projects with peers and academic staff.

Students take full responsibility for their own programme of work, routinely engaging with contemporary issues in art, developing relationships across the School and Faculty, and working with local partners. This combines the production of work in an active studio and workshop environment with a programme of academic research and study, culminating in a public presentation/exhibition and critically reflective dissertation.

The course is also supported by a network of regional galleries, museums and artist initiatives with which the School has direct links, including The Tetley, The Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds City Art Gallery, Seize Projects, Pavilion, Henry Moore Institute, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Tate Liverpool.

You will also have the opportunity to expand your studies when you choose from a wide range of optional modules, and by becoming involved in many of the School’s public-facing initiatives such as the Project Space, the Wild Pansy Press and the International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair.

If you choose to study part-time, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • MA Exhibition 50 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 1 5 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 2 5 credits
  • MA Fine Art Dissertation 30 credits
  • Studio Practice 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Derrida and Deconstruction 30 credits
  • Reading Sexual Difference 30 credits
  • Making Sense of Sound 30 credits
  • The Margins of Medieval Art 30 credits
  • Capitalism-Criticism-Contemporary Art 30 credits
  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
  • Aesthetics and Politics 30 credits
  • From Chagall to Kitaj and Beyond 30 credits
  • Encountering Things: Art and Entanglement in Anglo-Saxon England 30 credits
  • The Origins of Postcolonial England 30 credits
  • Anthropology, Art and Representation 30 credits
  • Humanity, Animality and Globality 30 credits
  • Unmaking Things: Materials and Ideas in the European Renaissance 30 credits
  • Individual Directed Study 30 credits
  • Assessing the French Revolution 30 credits

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars, group critiques, one to one tutorials, field trips, workshop inductions and an extensive visiting speaker programme.

Students develop a self-critical attitude within a rigorous theoretical environment, and are helped to identify and negotiate personal and shared positions within current practice/theory through ongoing discussion and review, providing opportunities to build skills in research, analysis and interpretation.


The assessment methods you come across may vary depending on the modules you choose. However, they are likely to include your studio project/exhibition and supporting written work, in-course assessment, essays and presentations.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject area. Professional experience will also be considered.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

  • Your degree certificate and transcripts, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying
  • Two academic references
  • A personal statement
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications if English is not your first subject.
  • A research study proposal of no more than 1,000 words
  • A portfolio of recent work, containing a maximum of 15 images in analogue or digital format or online.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: £7,250 (total)

International: £17,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

This programme will allow you to develop your practice as an artist and write thoughtfully about the practice and context of artistic work.

It will also give you the chance to gain skills in organising and curating events and exhibitions, researching, interpreting and analysing artistic work and cultural, visual and critical awareness.

All of these traits are valuable in a wide range of careers. Fine Art graduates have gone on to work in curatorial and educational roles around the world, both on a freelance basis and for major art institutions. Others have decided to develop their research interests through PhD study and academia, or pursued careers in teaching.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

If you choose the Museum, Object, Practice optional module, in Semester 2 you’ll undertake a negotiated work placement to gain first-hand experience of contemporary museum and gallery practice.

We have close links with many of the major cultural institutions and organisations in the region, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore. If you have a particular ambition in mind for your placement, we usually try to find a role that suits you.

Students have completed placements in organisations such as Leeds Museum and Art Gallery, Harewood House, the Henry Moore Institute, National Media Museum, York City Art Gallery, National Railway Museum, Impressions Gallery, Fairfax House, Lotherton Hall, Abbey House Museum and the Royal Armouries.

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