Art and Design Masters MFA / MDES

MFA / MDes Contextualised Practice

1. Overview

Our Masters in Fine Art or Design offers a comprehensive programme of advanced study in art and design.

This supports and mentors you in developing your work in creative, cultural, collaborative and professional contexts.

The course enables students to:

  • Apply creative practice in a contextual setting, developing flexibility and knowledge within professional creative environments.
  • Manage live projects and develop integrated research strategies.
  • Work with a variety of stakeholders, networks or community environments.
  • Develop a sustainable, individual and professional practice that can be maintained post-graduation.

The course offers two distinct pathways to best suit your individual requirements.

Studio Practice

This study option guides you in the development of your personal creative practice, based in a studio environment (on or offsite), which is supported by, and aligned to, subject specialist staff.

Contextual Practice

This study option is tailored towards a more collaborative and contextualised practice, where you can be based offsite but working in a negotiated professional environment and supported by our specialist staff together with an external professional mentor.

Supported specialisms:

  • MDes: Ceramics, Jewellery, Product Design, Fashion and Textiles Design, Communication Design, Graphics, Illustration, Photography.
  • MFA: Fine Art, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Contemporary Practice, Public Art, Curatorial Practice, Moving Image, Photography.

Please note: This course is dependent upon a sufficient number of students participating.

2. What you will study

Studio or Contextual Practice 1

Students propose and develop a self-directed research project based on their own creative skills, contextual interests and professional ambitions.

You will be advised and supported? to identify the most appropriate academic and practical strategies? for the progression of your creative practice. All students will be individually mentored by a specialist tutor and/or professional mentor.

  • Contextual Practice pathway students are situated in context with a professional mentor.
  • Studio Practice pathway students are situated on-campus.
  • Regular individual and peer-to-peer group tutorials.

Research Methods and Critical Enquiry 

This interdisciplinary seminar programme explores current issues and examples of research methods and critical enquiry relating to contemporary art and design practice. 

  • You will participate in bi-weekly seminar sessions that focus on defining and developing advanced research methods and critical enquiry for study.
  • Gray’s specialist tutors, researchers and other professionals lead the seminars. Subjects are explored through presentations, group discussions, field trips and related study tasks.
  • Seminar subjects can include Contextual Mapping, Writing in Practice, Collaboration, Curatorial Practice, Oral History as Research, Working in Public and Critical Practice. 

Studio or Contextual Practice 2

Students complete their individual Masters Project through further development, definition and resolution of outputs in relation to their selected pathway and negotiated collaborations.

The individual Masters Project consists of a portfolio of creative practice, a written thesis element and an oral presentation.

  • You will continue to be individually mentored by a specialist tutor and/ or professional mentor.
  • Presentation of the Masters Project output will be a curated contextual presentation such as an exhibition, exposition, performance, event, publication, product launch or other appropriate platform.

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our Course Disclaimer for more information.

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.

English Language Requirements

5. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2016/2017

Scottish/EU Students

Full-time

  • £3,400 .

Part-time

  • £1,700 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

Full-time

  • £6,750 .

Part-time

  • £3,375 per academic year

International Students

Full-time

  • £12,450 .

Part-time

  • £6,225 per academic year

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. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

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, please contact our Admissions Office: 

Please note: This course is dependent upon a sufficient number of students participating.

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. 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 2016

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

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781