Art - Fine Art

Ulster University - Belfast

Art - Fine Art

Established in 1979, this rigorous studio-based programme is delivered with the expertise of a staff of internationally recognised artists. Within the studio environment, the diversity of the teaching staff's professional experience reflects the range of approaches and contexts the course embraces.

It recognises contemporary art practice as open and pluralistic, encouraging dialogue between diverse disciplines. This approach facilitates working in a flexible manner to offer maximum opportunities for individual practice and exploration of traditional exhibition formats, alongside broader models of production and dissemination.

Critical discourse on practice, with an emphasis on creative analysis and self-reflection, contributes to an understanding of art within larger cultural, social, and political contexts.

Many of our graduates go on to establish successful studios, exhibiting internationally, gaining public-art commissions, residencies, fellowships, and awards. Others develop careers in other arts sectors such as curatorial practice, art writing, community arts, education, research, and administration. Further information on the MFA Fine Art and its alumni activity is available at

Work placement / study abroad
On the programme you will gain work placement experience at one or more of our external partners, for example Catalyst Arts or Platform Arts. Within this process you will be tasked with developing a professional exhibition of your own work as a group within a partner organization. This usually is undertaken of several weeks – with an intense period working on-site alongside professional colleagues.

For further course details please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Art & Theory
This module will provide you with a historical and thematic introduction to current issues at the intersection of critical theory and practice in Visual Arts. It offers knowledge of key theoretical tools designed to encourage you to understand and evaluate established and emerging resources of representation across a range of cultural domains and media necessary to support your artwork and sustain a professional creative practice in an international environment.

Strategies for Professional Development
This module provides invaluable guidance for the enhancement of your professional skills, leading to the development of their future practice in a range of roles including; as artists, arts administrators and curators. It facilitates the acquisition of a range of key transferable, inter-personal, and practical skills, which are essential within a wide range of careers in the artistic and cultural sector.

It enables you to make a successful transition from post graduate study, to life after college and thus facilitates your progression into the professional arena.

Run by research active staff and supported by a range of experts in the field of contemporary art, this module provides you with a sound working knowledge, necessary for you to begin to situate and advance your own art practices in the professional contemporary art context. The experience gained from dialogue with those professional experts, also provides an expanded view of the professional arts environment, which encourages ambition and motivation within your student cohort.

Studio Practice 1
This module provides an stimulating environment, which fosters the experimental and exploratory development of a challenging and emergent art practice, as demonstrated through the presentation of artwork and verbal and written submission.

Studio Practice 2
This module provides an challenging environment, which fosters the experimental, consolidated and deepening development of a sustainable art practice, as demonstrated through the presentation of artwork and verbal and written submission.

Year two
Practice & Exhibition
This module facilitates you in advancing the sustained development of your practice, leading to the production of a highly resolved body of artwork for final exhibition.

It fosters a keen awareness of the key aspects of professional art practice, enabling you to make a successful transition from the educational institution to the professional art arena.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a degree with at least 2:1 Honours standard or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL).

Applicants must be able to satisfy the panel via portfolio and/or interview that their work is of a required standard that will allow them to deal with the creative, intellectual and material rigours of the course.

English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language this course requires
a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band
score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

This course is open to international (non-EU) students (full-time only).

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).

Post Course Info

Career options
As practising artists, many of our graduates go on to establish their own studios, successfully exhibiting nationally and internationally, gaining public art and gallery commissions, residencies, fellowships, awards and prizes. Others develop careers in other sectors of the arts, such as curatorial practice, arts writer, art critic, community arts, education, academic art research, art facilitation and administration, while others have built reputations in the wider creative fields where innovative artists are highly valued as problem solvers.

Alumni lists and example career profiles are available at:

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider