Art and Design Masters MFA / MDES

MFA / MDes in Contextualised Practice

1. Overview

Would you like to become a creative practitioner? Our Masters degree has been designed to help you explore your own creative pathway whilst enabling you to apply your work in context.

We recognise that the ‘linked-in’ practitioner plays an integral role in our creative and sustainable future. By encouraging practitioners to work creatively in context we can help to develop and engage the community at large in a purposeful way.

You will have the opportunity to work with people, place and projects, to connect communities and contribute to a sustainable creative future. All the time, developing valuable skills, knowledge and experience to pursue your own professional development as a creative practitioner.

Our Masters in Fine Art or Design offers two self-selected pathways to suit your own development needs:

MFA or MDes Studio practice pathway guides you in the development of a personal contextualised practice-based programme and course of study that is individually tailored, to meet your needs in conjunction with academic subject specialist staff.

MFA or MDes Contextual practice pathway is tailored towards a more collaborative contextualised practice-based programme offering you the unique opportunity to develop your professional skills and research needs through a structured and mentored liaison with local external mentors in education, health organisations, social enterprise and arts organisations. This pathway situates the learning experience within real life briefs and live research projects, relationships and networking opportunities developed in conjunction with academic and stakeholder mentors.

Each pathway is modularly delivered covering specific topics of studio/contextual practice, research methods, critical and theoretical studies and social, curatorial, community and collaborative practices. Tuition and expertise support is drawn from Studio, Contextual and Research staff from across the School, together with wider external partner support based on your individual needs and interests.

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Art and Design Masters

2. What you will study

Studio Practice Pathway

  • Studio practice
  • Theoretical, Critical and Contextual Studies
  • Research Methods
  • Professional Practice
  • Final Project*

Contextualised Practice Pathway

  • Social, curatorial, community and collaborative practices
  • Theoretical, Critical and Contextual Studies
  • Research Methods
  • Professional Practice
  • Final Project*

* This course culminates in a final project where you will work on and resolve a formal presentation of your individual practice. It is expected that this project will fully contextualise your creative practice through exposition and thesis.

3. How you will learn

Full-time Study

In full time mode, you will learn through the development of your own personal individual practice supported by specialist academic staff and technical facilities. You will also learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshop sessions. You will work primarily as an individual practitioner but also when required as part of a collaborative team on developing projects, team activities, presentations and discussions.

Studio Practice Pathway students will be sited in a negotiated studio practice environment in relation to their own individual practice.

Contextual Practice Pathway students will be sited in a negotiated professional mentor environment in relation to their own individual practice.

Lectures, seminars and workshop sessions are group activities and held either at Gray’s School of Art or contextually related sites.

Part-time Study

Our part-time delivery mode combines aspects of distance learning and on-campus delivery. You will benefit from the support of the virtual learning environment but also face-to-face tutorials with tutors and attendance at a related number of lectures, seminars and workshop sessions.

Access to our virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle, is also provided giving you access outwith the School to learning materials. Elements of social media are also used in communicating with students.

4. Entry requirements

Applicants should have completed an Honours degree in Art or Design (or equivalent) with a minimum of a 2:1. Applicants with Degrees in other subjects will be considered. Applicants with substantial professional experience in Art or Design will also be considered.

All applicants should also submit a portfolio of recent creative practice and a project/study proposal. 

Portfolio

This portfolio should clearly evidence examples of your previous and current creative/artistic achievements. Please consider your examples of work and/or projects that demonstrate your skill, innovation and creativity.

We recommend that you provide us with an edited selection of material that you believe best illustrates the ideas and concerns relating to your project/study proposal. As guidance you should focus on a maximum of 10 works/projects that you have completed. This portfolio material should be initially submitted in a digital format.

Project/Study proposal

This proposal should state (in 500 words) your project/study interests and ambition for the work that you intend to develop on the course. It should discuss and identify the context(s) that you are interested in, any potential creative, cultural and professional mentors that you are interested in collaborating with and also propose what your initial ideas are and what potential there might be for the outcomes of your work.

International Students

All international students, for whom English is not their first language, must provide evidence of linguistic ability, by getting either IELTS 6.5 or its equivalent in TOEFL prior to receiving an unconditional offer.

Please note, UKVI are currently not accepting TOEFL as proof of English Language for Full Time International Student Visas.

English Language Requirements

5. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2015/2016

Scottish/EU Students

Full-time

  • £2,700 .

Part-time

  • £1,350 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

Full-time

  • £6,750 .

Part-time

  • £3375 per academic year

International Students

Full-time

  • £11,000 .

Part-time

  • £5,500 per academic year

For Academic Year 2014/2015

Scottish/EU Students

Full-time

  • £1,820 .

Part-time

  • £910 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

Full-time

  • £6,750 .

Part-time

  • £3375 per academic year

International Students

Full-time

  • £11,000 .

Part-time

  • £5,500 per academic year

For Academic Year 2013/2014

Scottish/EU Students

Full-time

  • £3400 per academic year

Part-time

  • £1700 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

Full-time

  • £6,750 per academic year

Part-time

  • £3,375 per academic year

International Students

Full-time

  • £10,350 per academic year

Part-time

  • £5,175 per academic year

All course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change. Published fees apply to the course's mode of delivery.

For further information see Student Finance pages

 

6. How to apply

Applications for admission to taught postgraduate courses should be directly made to the University's Admissions Office online at www.rgu.ac.uk/applyonline.

If you have any queries then please contact our Admissions Office on +44 (0) 1224 262132 or email PGOffice@rgu.ac.uk

7. Prospects

This course will enable you to work independently as a creative practitioner as well as within any cultural and creative organisation. Target roles would be artist, designer, curator, exhibition manager, project manager, studio manager, institution director, educator and researcher.

8. Meet your course leader

On this course you will have the continued support of a course leader to guide you through your studies. The course leader for this programme is Iain Irving.

Iain has 27 years’ experience working in the Cultural and Creative Industries. He started as a graduate artist/designer and worked in a variety of cultural institutions in Scotland for over 14 years. During this time he curated, managed and interpreted a vast range of contemporary art exhibitions and projects. Iain joined Gray’s School of Art/RGU as a lecturer in 1999, with particular responsibility for the Postgraduate Art and Design programme, Undergraduate Critical and Contextual Studies and the Guests@Grays Visiting Lecture programme. He has extensive supervisory experience of course departments, student creative projects, seminars and written work. His own current research is focused on definitions of independent Curatorial Practice.

9. Professional Mentors

The following organisations are professional mentors to the course. Students can develop their work in the context of these or other negotiated organisations.

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MFA / MDES
Start date
September 2015
Course length
Full-time 1 year
Part-time 2 years
Mode of Attendance
On campus - studio practice, off campus - contextualised practice
Academic school
Gray's School of Art
  1. Iain Irving - Course Leader for MFA/MDes Contextualised Practice

    Iain Irving

    Iain tells us about his Contextualised Practice course. He explains the different pathways that students may choose to take during the course and its benefits to those who choose to study it.


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