Art Writing at UCA

If you want to play an influential part of the art world’s future and be ready to drive the conversation, then our MA Art Writing degree course at UCA Canterbury is an ideal choice. 

This course is rooted in the conviction that art writing is not merely a supplemental art practice but a critical, expansive field that mirrors the dynamism of contemporary art itself. It offers an engagement with art that encompasses the inclusivity of global discourses, the regional specificity of art communities, and the evolving platforms of communication of the art world, from social media and blogging to meme culture. 

You’ll have the space for innovative thinking and independent research so you can use writing for critical research and express complex artistic ideas and navigate the digital landscape where contemporary art discourse thrives.  

This course runs alongside our MA Fine Art degree and there will be many opportunities to meet other students, develop collaborative projects and form a professional network that will give you a strong foundation on which to build or extend your career ambitions. 

The MA is also available as an MFA route which offers a further enhanced opportunity for students wanting to develop their professional portfolio to the highest level, or to build a proposal for Doctoral level study, and pursue an academic research career path. Applicants can apply to undertake the full MFA, or undertake an MA and transfer to the MFA at the end of the MA period.  


Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

What you'll study

What you'll

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year, which is based at UCA Farnham.

On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

Experimental Writing 
You’ll undertake an in-depth exploration of writing practices in the arts, whether that’s viewed in the guise of art history, arts journalism, or creative and conceptual writings by artists and makers.  

Research Contexts 
You’ll explore the design, construction and expression of language as a fluid and complex tool and explore writing as a creative practice and writing as research. You’ll be introduced to critical research methodologies which you’ll employ in your independent research enquiries.  

Art Writing as Practice 
You’ll explore and examine methodologies in research to determine the relationship and balance between textual and artistic production, using this knowledge to create a body of work that could manifest as a book, an art form publication, interventions, reviews, catalogues, artist books, or artist writing.  

Professional Contexts 
Focused on professional development, this unit engages you with industry through opportunities and projects developed with partner organisations. Through group work and individual research, you’ll establish and develop a sense of your position in relation to your identified subjects, interests and practice areas. This unit also includes the opportunity to develop a creative business start-up or collaborative practice project.  

Major Project 
You will undertake a sustained, in-depth and critically informed research inquiry, defining your practice through your own work and an understanding of how it sits in relation to others, whether that’s identified industries, professional contexts, collaborators and/or audiences.  

The extension of your degree to an MFA means studying this Advanced Practice unit in addition to the units listed above. This unit is dedicated to developing, extending, and furthering your professional practice. Through advance research methods, you will have to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, confidence, and originality that you have developed as a curatorial practitioner. You will be supported in preparing PhD applications, curating exhibitions, organising public events, and seeking external platforms to work with artists and engage audiences.  

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (full-time): £10,500
  • 2024/25 entry (part-time, year 1): £5,250

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (full-time, year 1): £7,000 

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry: £10,500  (see fee discount information)

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (year 1): £7,000  (see fee discount information)

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (MA): £18,000
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - Sept & Jan): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - May): £8,750

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (MFA year 1): £11,700

Please note: the fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. For more detailed information about our course fees please see our fees and finance pages

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Current UCA students and alumni may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make.  


At UCA Canterbury you'll have everything you need for your studies - three fully-equipped digital media suites with the latest Macs and PCs running up-to-date software, extensive library resources on-site and across all UCA campuses, and access to our fine art studios for collaborative work.

View 360 virtual tour

Fine Art studios, UCA Canterbury

Library, UCA Canterbury

Fine Art studios, UCA Canterbury

Digital media suites, UCA Canterbury


Existing and emerging professions might include: 

  • Art criticism or reviewing for print and online publications 
  • Writing for exhibition catalogues and art journals 
  • Art Writing as practice 
  • Art editing and/ or content creation for cultural organisations 
  • Art publishing, editing and research

You may want to undertake further study or research to specialise even more.

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio

MA course

  • A good honours degree or equivalent qualification in a related discipline


  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. You can either submit a digital portfolio or request an in-person portfolio review with the course team. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

More portfolio advice

MA course

The entry requirements for this course will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.

MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

  • A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.

English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please check the level of English language required:

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Apply now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you: