Fine Art MA

The Fine Art MA at York St John University focuses on progressing and professionalising your practice. The aim is for you to produce a body of rigorous creative practice that is underpinned by a theoretical understanding.  Its emphasis is on practice, supported by theoretical knowledge and framed through the application of clear research methodologies. 

York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 20 Full-time Home & EU students: £6,500, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
1 year full-time | Part-time options available on request
Start date
September 2019
Art, Design & Computer Science

Course overview

As a student on our Fine Art MA you will develop a deeper knowledge of your Fine Art practice that will enable you to cultivate appropriate methodologies and formulate propositions.  The programme has been designed to meet the needs of both students who have just finished undergraduate programmes in the UK/EU and internationally and returners to learning.

The programme supports you to identify, develop and professionalise your particular approach to Fine Art practice through a combination of taught sessions, tutorials, critiques, briefs and live projects, field trips and participatory events. You will be supported to work independently to explore your own potential, focusing on practices that are directly relevant to your interests. You will be expected to think globally, produce work of high quality and develop your professional networks. You will be supported to build on your knowledge of Fine Art practice through both material thinking and critical theory in order to underpin your studio practice and situate your work in the professional and scholarly field. You can expect:

  • A supportive community of artists working at different levels in related disciplines.
  • The opportunity to incorporate professional practice, live projects into your course

 Special Features Include:

  • Guest speakers
  • Master classes
  • Access to specialist studios and workshop spaces
  • National and international field trips e.g. art fairs, biennials and galleries
  • Group exhibitions
  • Networking opportunities
  • Opportunites to be involved with staff research and symposiums

Course structure

The programme is taught across three semesters, which includes a Summer semester from May-September.



The modules are a balanced set of four 30 credit practice led investigations with theory embedded throughout. You will be introduced to new approaches to your practice as well as new ways of thinking; you will develop research methodologies alongside professional practice skills. Your final Masters project is a 60 credit self-directed body of research informed by the trajectory of the four previous modules. 

Modules Include:

  • Material Intelligence
  • Specialist Expansive Studio Practice
  • Navigating and Locating Practice 
  • Specialist Professional Practice
  • Masters Project 


Teaching and Learning

The teaching methodology is informed by an in-depth knowledge of pedagogy and it incorporates a broad range of good practices. These diverse practices are relevant to both studio-based practice and also experience-based learning and are aimed at challenging the boundaries of your practice. The teaching and learning environment is informed by workshop facilities, teaching spaces, technologies and intermedial exchanges between analogue and digital cultures.

You will be exposed to a range of teaching and learning strategies across the modules. These will include workshop and studio sessions, seminar discussions, supervised projects, crits, professional experiences and project work. Your creative development will be underpinned by an ongoing process of action, reflection and evaluation, facilitated by action research methodologies and expanded through different modes of reflective practice. As a result you will gain an in-depth understanding of the different modes of artistic production and will be able to re-define and also situate your creative practice within the wider visual arts landscape.

Assessment and Feedback

Formative assessment will be employed throughout the programme through a range of tasks, projects and presentations. Summative assessment will take a variety of forms including presentations, portfolios, exhibitions and written work. Summative assessment happens at the end of each module. Feedback is delivered in written or recorded verbal form within three weeks of the assessment.

Research Opportunities

There are many opportunities available to be involved with staff research and symposiums. 

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


Requirements for entry are currently being developed. Please register your interest in this course using the form below.


Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of visual work, this can be done digitally.



Some applicants may be invited for interview.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For part-time options, see the  webpages for more information

Postgraduate Loan: A Postgraduate Loan is available to help you pay for your Master’s course. Find out more about the .

A 10% discount is applicable to all YSJU Alumni (subject to a minimum of 120 credits and achievement of a recognised award) undertaking PG level study (excludes PGCE).

Overseas 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the  webpages.


How to Apply

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full-time or part-time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now: Full-time

Apply now: Part-time


Thank you for bearing with us while our online application form has been undergoing maintenance. We are pleased to confirm that it is now up and running, and you can submit your application using the link(s) above.

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876598.

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