Fine Art MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£10,750 (total)
International fees
£22,250 (total)

Course overview

student artwork from postgraduate Fine Art degree show

This intensive MA Fine Art course allows artists to develop a body of work within the contexts of the studio, production, dissemination and audience.

We encourage applications from artists working, or wishing to work in, studio-based, socially engaged practice, or collaborative practice, as artist curators, as art writers or within art education.

This Masters degree aims to provide the basis for future professional art practice, curatorial engagement or academic research at a higher level.

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

The course is taught by practising artists, writers and theorists and supported by the region’s internationally recognised resources including the Henry Moore Institute, The Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds Art Gallery, the National Science and Media Museum, The Tetley and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

As well as studio and exhibition work, you will take an optional module to explore critical and theoretical issues such as aesthetics, deconstruction, feminist studies 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 digital video editing, animation, design and image manipulation;
  • printmaking workshops for etching, relief and screen printing;
  • a photography darkroom for film developing and printing;
  • woodworking, casting and ceramics;
  • 3D printing.

Additional facilities for digital and 3D printing are available at the University.

Project Space is the School’s multi-purpose space designed for the development of curatorial practice and visiting exhibitions.

The Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections - valuable assets for your independent research.

In addition to the wide range of museums and galleries in the city and beyond, the University campus features:

Course details

You will study compulsory modules and choose one optional module.

Appropriate critical and technical skills and methodologies are developed continuously throughout the course, as you engage in discussion and critique of your own practice and projects with other students, staff and visiting artists.

You will take full responsibility for your own programme of work, routinely engaging with contemporary issues in art, developing relationships across the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies and the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, 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 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 and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

We champion a School-based artist community ethos by providing shared studio space with 24 hour access, regular open studio and exhibition events, informal learning groups, opportunities for student-led social events and access to the city’s artistic scene.

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

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Fine Art MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Fine Art MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
MA Exhibition 50
Advanced Research Skills 1 5
Advanced Research Skills 2 5
MA Fine Art Dissertation 30
Studio Practice 60

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Africa Displaying / Displaying Africa 30
Derrida and Deconstruction 30
Reading Sexual Difference 30
Making Sense of Sound 30
Jewish Museums and the Display of Cultural Difference 30
The Margins of Medieval Art 30
Independent Directed Study (for full-time students) 30
Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30
Intersecting Practices: Questioning the Intersection of Contemporary Art and Heritage 30
Postcolonial Feminisms 30
Prehuman to Post-Anthropocene 30
Art of the Silk Roads 30
Procuring Representation: Contemporary Art, East Asia, Gender 30
Anthropology, Art and Representation 30
Humanity, Animality and Globality 30
Unmaking Things: Materials and Ideas in the European Renaissance 30
Creative Inquiry, Communication and Learning 30
The Costumed Body: Performance, Performativity and Politics 30

Learning and teaching

You will benefit from 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.

Throughout the course, you will develop a self-critical attitude within a rigorous theoretical environment, and will be 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.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


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.

The University Library offers free classes and resources on topics such as academic integrity and plagiarism, public speaking, searching for information and structuring essays.


Entry requirements

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

You must also submit a portfolio of recent artwork in one or more media which highlights your interest and understanding of global contemporary art practice.


Our admissions team are experienced in considering a wide range of international qualifications. If you wish to discuss whether your qualifications will meet the necessary entry criteria, contact the School’s admissions team.

You can also check the accepted qualifications for your country or region.

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).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page 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.

  • Evidence of your English language qualifications if English is not your first subject.

  • A portfolio of recent work, containing a maximum of 15 images in digital format or online.

  • A personal statement (maximum of 1,000 words) which should address the following questions. When answering these questions, please try to be as specific as possible, giving examples, where appropriate.

    • Please explain your reasons for applying to this particular course.

    • What specific fields within contemporary art practice most interest you, and why?

    • Which contemporary artists, texts, debates and theories surrounding art practice inform your current and future work?

    • What particular challenges and opportunities do you think postgraduate study will offer compared to undergraduate study?

    • What technical resources, equipment or software will you require to achieve your proposed studio work objectives?

Next steps

Qualified applicants will be invited to an interview. If you are based outside of the UK, your interview will take place via video link such as Skype. In the interview you will discuss your portfolio and how you hope to develop your practice through your postgraduate degree.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

Contact us

Taught Postgraduate Team



UK: £10,750 (total)

International: £22,250 (total)

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

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses 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, scholarships and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.

The School offers a Head of School Excellence Scholarship (International) for international applicants.

Career opportunities

You will develop your art practice and write critically about the context of artistic work and outcomes of your work.

Throughout this postgraduate Fine Art degree, you have the chance to gain skills in organising and curating events and exhibitions, researching, interpreting and analysing artistic work, as well as developing your cultural and visual awareness.

All of these traits are valuable in a wide range of careers.

Fine Art graduates have gone on to develop artist-led studios and galleries, and 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 at Leeds or at another institution, or have pursued careers in teaching.

Reach your potential

Hear more about the School and Faculty support you can access from our employability lead, Anna Douglas.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s 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 about Careers support.

Student profile: Louis Pawlett

The School's workshops were great and something that I used more of than at my last university. They really helped develop my practice as an artist.
Find out more about Louis Pawlett's time at Leeds