MA Fine Art

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Introduction to our Fine Art Masters

Transform and refine your fine art or printmaking practice and professional approach as an artist. Extend your practical, contextual and research skills in a multi-disciplinary, constructive, discursive and critical environment.

Already have an ARU degree? You may be eligible for our Alumni Scholarship and/or our Mark Wood CBE Art and Design Scholarship for students starting postgraduate courses.

Our MA Fine Art is an intensive, critically engaged, studio-based full year (or two years if part-time) of advanced research and artistic practice development.

The program reflects the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary art practice/s, facilitating the exploration of a range of approaches, including, but not limited to:

  • drawing
  • painting
  • printmaking
  • sculpture
  • photography
  • moving image
  • digital media
  • installation
  • sound
  • performance
  • social and collaborative practice

You may choose to work across these media, or to specialise within a particular discipline, supported by our dedicated facilities in the Printroom, 3D/sculpture workshops and Futures Lab. You will also have access to photography darkrooms, digital computer suites and media resources for video production and digital imaging.

What will you do on our MA Fine Art?

By engaging with contemporary critical issues and with how artistic practices are understood in the 21st century and across different contexts, you will be encouraged to experiment, take risks, shift expectations and to strengthen the motivation, direction and ambition of your practice.

Full-time students are normally offered a dedicated studio space, while part-timers can access the studios as a shared work-base. All students can access all our facilities as outlined above.

The facilities within our specialist Printmaking Workshop in particular, along with those in the new Futures Lab, offer access to both traditional and emerging processes, including;

  • relief and intaglio printing
  • screen-printing
  • plate lithography
  • photo-based, digital media and 3D printing

These will enable you to engage with the histories of information and technological media as well as with contemporary approaches to reproducibility and the mediated image within the expanded field of print.

Similarly, our facilities in the 3D workshop and Annexe support traditional and new directions in contemporary artistic approaches in the uses of different materials, including wood, metals, clay, plaster, mould-making, laser cutting and related machinery, equipment and hand tools.

Technical demonstrations and refresher sessions are offered in both traditional and emerging processes and you are encouraged to experiment with these in your creative work, supported by staff who are experienced artists working across disciplines.

Teaching times

  • Full-time: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Part-time Year 1: Wednesdays; Year 2: Tuesdays

You will be expected to attend for the full day (10am-5pm) in order to engage with your peers, work independently and use other resources such as the studios, library, and workshops, and attend extra-curricular events such as talks and inductions.

Teaching is primarily through one-to-one and group tutorials, seminars, workshops and studio critiques, in which you will learn about recent theories, contexts and practices.

You are also encouraged and expected to develop your work and research independently. You will be supported by teaching staff who are themselves experienced artists, working across different fine art disciplines.

Our Fine Art Research Unit (FARU) series of artist talks – and other specialist talks across ARU – invite you to hear invited artists, curators, PhD students and staff talk about their work and engage in debates about contemporary art practice.

Course options

Course options

Key facts

Looking for different course options?
3D workshop

Close up in the 3D workshop

"As Fine Art Technical Officer I teach students how to use machinery and equipment including the potters’ wheel, laser cutter and hand tools. Don’t be scared to try things. Experiment. Step outside your comfort zone, work with materials and processes you have never used before."

Hear more from our Fine Art Technical Officer

Entry Requirements


Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Fees and Paying for University

Facilities and showcase

Someone standing at a bench in the pottery studio with a selection of brushes and tools and unfired pots in front of her

Industry-standard equipment

As well as our dedicated fine art studio with your own workspace, you’ll have use of facilities including:

  • Specialist printmaking workshop including etching, screen-printing, and lithography
  • Life drawing studio
  • Dedicated Mac and PC suites with the latest software including Adobe Creative suite
  • 3D workshops for physical media including wood, plastic, metal, and clay
  • Photography and media facilities including darkrooms; studios; film processing; digital printing suite; video editing; and professional equipment loans
  • Dedicated fashion workshops with industrial sewing, finishing, embroidery and seam sealing machines
  • Ruskin Gallery, a professional digital art gallery.
Students around a table discussing a model of a moose

Futures Lab and workshop equipment

Our new digital workshop includes a variety of computer aided manufacturing machines, helping you learn up to date manufacturing and design processes as well as supporting many traditional techniques. These technologies include:

  • 3D printers and scanners - FDM printers; material-specific extruders; SLA Formlabs printers; SLS Formlabs Fuse1; structured light 3D scanners
  • 2D printing and cutting machines - laser cutters; Roland BN20 vinyl printer & cutter; Gerber substrate cutter; Mimaki TX300P sublimation printer.
Artwork by Cami Rouhonen - a person' s head seen in profile with the top of the head portrayed as a mountain peak; on the mountain a person is looking through a telescope

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Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us. You can also explore the work of our graduating students in our digital graduate showcase.


What can you do with a Fine Art Master's degree?

Our MA Fine Art course will prepare you for work as a practicing artist, and you will also gain skills and knowledge that will equip you for related roles.

As well as continuing their artistic practices, through which they have taken up artist residencies, research and fellowship opportunities and public art projects in the UK and abroad, our MA Fine Art graduates also pursue careers in further and higher education, museum and gallery management and curation.

ARU's links with organisations including Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge Artworks, Commission Projects and Together Culture will give you opportunities to take part in artist studio visits, discussions, workshops, portfolio reviews, and other professional practice events and live projects.

While you’re studying here and after you graduate, you can access support through our dedicated Employability Service.

Graduation doesn’t have to be the end of your time with us. You could choose to continue your academic career with a research programme at ARU, such as our PhD Fine Art. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and save £400 on your fees.

Apply now for MA Fine Art

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Benefits of postgraduate study

Improve your employability, progress in your career, and take on an intellectual challenge with our flexible postgraduate degrees.

Postgraduate study at ARU