adh-fine-art-ma-hero-02

Contemporary Art Practice MA

Develop your artistic practice, contextual awareness and theoretical understanding of contemporary art within a stimulating and supportive studio environment. We will introduce you to emerging trends in contemporary practice and enable you to find your voice in a fast-evolving visual culture.

Overview

The Contemporary Art Practice MA is designed to prepare you for continuous artistic, professional and academic development. We will support you to develop research methods and personal goals tailored to your creative practice and professional ambitions. You’ll be introduced to emerging trends in contemporary practice including presentation, installation, curatorial and representational issues, and learn how to develop research methods to inform your creative decisions.

You will be encouraged to ask questions and take a personal and critical position in the globalised creative world, equipped with the skills to produce and exhibit your work, to embrace change in the fast-evolving creative industries and challenge artistic conventions.

Teaching takes place in our creative studio environment with support from a highly skilled team of technicians, and you will have access to a range of workshops to experiment and innovate with materials and processes. Our exhibiting artists and research-active academics have interdisciplinary expertise in drawing, painting, sculpture, analogue and digital photography, digital media, printmaking, public art, installation and relational practice. You will build important professional practice skills throughout the course with opportunities to curate and exhibit your work. Develop a dialogue around your work by participating in discussion groups and seminars and be part of a dynamic cohort of visual arts students, from BA to PhD.

Key features

  • You can exit the course with a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate award depending on the credits you have successfully achieved.
  • Through bold experimentation we will encourage you to forge your own path in the globalised creative world.
  • Benefit from collaborative learning in studio groups alongside personalised teaching experiences.
  • Our team of exhibiting artists and research-active academics will ensure that your teaching is informed by current research and the latest technologies.
  • Our partnerships with the city’s creative and cultural centres, including Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre, Curve, Embrace Arts and Leicester Print Workshop offer opportunities to promote your work and provide access to professionals in the creative industries.
  • Our award-winning  Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of  our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish.
  • You will be supported by a highly skilled team of technicians with access to a range of workshops including metal, wood, plaster, resin and other processes, as well as CAD facilities, photographic darkrooms, studios and editing suites.

Talk to our course team

If you would like to find out more about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, send a message to our course team [Dr Carina Brand] and [Dr Isabella Streffen] who would be happy to chat to you. Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate event or call our course enquirers team on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70  / WhatsApp: 0797 0655 800.



Award-winning student work


Scholarships:

DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students. 

 

 

 

  • UK
  • EU/International

Programme code: W10081

Duration: One year full-time. Two years part-time.

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,435 per year.

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Programme code: W10081

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time.

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for EU and international students: £15,800

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in Fine Art or a related subject.

If you have other professional qualifications or industry experience we will consider your application on an individual basis.

Interview and portfolio

Applicants with relevant qualifications should submit a portfolio of work and an artist statement (please see our Contemporary Art Practice application portfolio advice for full details). 

 

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

 Partnerships

 

 

Block 1: Research Lab 1

This creative research module is designed to initiate you into creative research methods and enables you to develop your own reflective and critical methodology. You will learn via a combination of workshops and lectures about existing artistic methodologies and then develop your own research that utilises a wide range of contextual and theoretical sources. You will be encouraged to develop personal philosophies with regard to your own creative practice and the ways in which you might seek to find creative solutions within your work. You will be supported in developing an understanding of the precedents, frameworks and debates that form the nature of the context for your discipline/s. A series of structured learning activities provide a multi-disciplinary platform that will support you in extending and developing your portfolio of creative research skills.

Block 2: Experimental and Curatorial Practice

This module supports you to develop and evaluate a contemporary art practice, and the production of an individual body of work, as a means to a tacit and articulate understanding of the contemporary subject at an advanced level. You are encouraged to extend the learning of Research Lab 1 and demonstrate creative strategies relevant to the context of contemporary fine art. The module supports you in the production and articulation of a peer exhibition that employs the use of critical reflection in the editing and selecting of work in the context of contemporary debates and strategies of display. At the end of the module, you will collaborate with your fellow students in the production of a group show in a gallery space.

Block 3: Research Lab 2

This module follows on from Research Lab 1 and develops the ideas you have initiated into an extended piece of critical writing. The aim of the module is to support you in critical research and developing and refining writing for a targeted audience and platform. You will learn about a variety of potential locations for your written work and will use a variety of different forms of writing which could include a journal article, a review, an essay, a piece of art writing or critical creative text. You will gain an in-depth theoretical insight into your practice and its contexts.  

Block 4: Research Residency

In this module you will negotiate a project with an external partner, understand how a residency functions and learn how to set up a project independently. Putting into practice you research objectives from previous modules, you are encouraged to engage with the site in conceptual and material processes. You will be required to do research on the site to situate your response. You will produce both a project outline that demonstrates the research done prior to the residency and the work you set out to make. The exhibition should evidence a genuine engagement with site and situational specificity.  

Blocks 5 and 6: Exhibitionary Practice

This practice-based module considers the practical, conceptual, theoretical, and perceptual processes of Fine Art. The module is the culmination of a sequence of practical modules designed to support you through the establishment, development and evaluation of a contemporary art practice, and the production of an individual body of work, as a means to a tacit and articulate understanding of the contemporary subject at an advanced level. The module supports you in the independent development, refinement, and evaluation of a body of experimental work and culminates in the curation of a major professional exhibition.

 

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

 

See pre-Education 2030 version of this course.

Teaching is delivered through a combination of one-to-one tutorials, group seminars, lectures, workshops, field-trips, and artists’ talks. We have dedicated studio spaces, and all students have a space in which to work.

You will be introduced to contemporary debates relating to presentation, installation, curatorial and representational issues, and assessed on your independent and creative response to these issues. Assessment tasks include portfolios, a written reflection, presentation, and exhibitions.

You will learn how to develop appropriate research methods in order to inform your creative decisions and written work will develop you as an art-writer, with specific skills that are tailored to your practice. You will build significant professional practice skills throughout the course and exhibit your work to the public three times, both individually and in groups, gaining first-hand professional experience in the art world.

The teaching team is comprised of practicing artists. This ensures that you will learn real-world skills that are in touch with the commercial sector, the latest technologies and current thinking. You will be supported by a highly skilled team of technical demonstrators with access to a range of workshops including metal, wood, plaster, resin, and other processes, as well as CAD facilities, photographic darkrooms, studios and editing suites.

Contact hours
In your first two terms you will normally attend around 4 hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake at least 31 hours of independent study each week. Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your tutor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week.

 

 

Partnerships and collaborations

DMU enjoys partnerships and collaborations with the city’s creative and cultural centres, including Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre, Curve theatre, Embrace Arts and Leicester Print Workshop. Working with various arts organisations in the East Midlands, the staff will help you to get your work publicised and afford you access to the advice of professionals in the creative industries.

Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. 

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building prepares students for industry and helps develop them as future leaders in their respective fields. 

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at dmu.ac.uk/aad.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team
placements-img-01

Careers and employability

We want to help you develop skills that are based on real-world experience. Our Careers Team, are on hand to support you with finding placements, volunteering opportunities, CV writing skills, research opportunities and much more.

DMU students are encouraged to pursue their entrepreneurial spirit and the Enterprise Team can help you explore your business idea, business growth, the option of freelancing or being self-employed. There are lots of events, workshops, one-to-one consultation opportunities and enterprise competitions that you can get involved in to progress in your chosen career path. 

dmu-global-img-01

DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers. 

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.

 

Previously, students have explored historical and contemporary Danish design first-hand in Copenhagen and examined the city’s art, artists and museums in Berlin to gain a broader design perspective. DMU Global trips have also taken students further afield to India and New York.

graduate-careers-img-01

Graduate careers

The course will prepare you with the professional skills, flexibility and independence needed to adapt to the changing pressures and opportunities in contemporary art practice. Many of our graduates pursue careers as practicing artists, or in other closely related areas of contemporary art practice such as curation, public and community art, education, and cultural journalism. Others have used the transferable skills gained on the course in a diverse range of industries in the wider creative sector.

Take your next steps