Lorrain Mailer, MA Fine Art, UCA Canterbury

Fine Art MA Canterbury

Fine Art MA

Canterbury 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Course overview

Understand and build upon the relationships between art, design, architecture, and curation, and develop your own innovative approaches to fine art, on our MA Fine Art course at UCA Canterbury.

This course attracts students from around the world resulting in a vibrant, diverse, and international community, and you’ll be moving across key areas in visual and material culture as you produce complex and extended projects, full of speculation and experimentation.

You’ll be encouraged to develop research strategies reflecting contemporary contexts in both your theoretical thinking as well as your own creative practice. You’ll benefit from insight from our academic team as well as esteemed visiting lecturers and artists and enjoy visits to international exhibitions in major institutions in London such as The Tate, The Royal Academy, Whitechapel Gallery, Zabludowicz Collection and The Hayward Gallery.

You’ll also have the opportunity to discuss your work with industry specialists from some of the world's most innovative organisations such as The Tate, The Turner Contemporary or The National Gallery.

A one-year course of advanced study for furthering your research skills and specialising within your discipline.

A year-long preparatory course of study to ready you for your Master’s, developing your specialist skills, research acumen and confidence in working autonomously.

A year-long preparatory course of study to ready you for your Master’s in the UK, developing your English speaking and writing together with your specialist skills, research acumen and confidence in working autonomously.

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Course details

Course details

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

Get ready for your chosen postgraduate course with this preparatory year of specialist study. With a mix of online and face-to-face learning, UCA’s Integrated Pre-Masters is designed to give you insight into the study skills required to complete a Master’s, within the context of your creative subject. You’ll build skills in autonomous learning, forming your own targets and goals, honing your research skills, time management and professional practice.

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.

Context and Method
In this unit, you’ll be asked to consider specific texts to address key themes and ideas, which have influenced thinking and practice in contemporary art. In seminars and lectures you’ll discuss texts drawn from artistic, literary and philosophical contexts. This will help you consider your own ideas, and you’ll also learn about what research methods are available to you for your studies.

Exploring Practice
Running in parallel with Context and Method, you’ll explore your own creative practice - and how it fits into the wider context of contemporary art - through practical enquiry, group discussion of ongoing work and one-to-one tutorials. This will help you refine what areas of art interest you most, and help you put together your MA project proposal, a written document, which is assessed at the end of the unit alongside a presentation of your practical work.


Project Development
You’ll begin developing your MA project proposal, evaluating and testing out methods and theories as you go. You’ll be guided and questioned through one-to-one tutorials and group critiques and you’ll be encouraged to continue questioning and exploring your ideas throughout. Additionally, you’ll produce a critical research paper, and you’ll be actively encouraged to show and distribute your work outside the university context.


Final Project
The culmination of what you’ll have learned through the course, your final project is the focus of your final term. You’ll generate an idea for a piece which can be either disseminated, displayed or published, either for the public or to other professionals. You’ll be encouraged to produce something ambitious but to a professional level of resolution. As well as your final body of work you’ll produce a critical evaluation paper and a professional practice folio.

Tuition fees - 2023 entry

UK students (full-time):

  • Integrated Pre-Masters course - £10,500
  • MA course - £10,500

UK students (part-time):

  • MA course - £5,250

EU students:

  • Integrated International Pre-Masters course - £10,500 (see fee discount information)
  • MA course - £10,500 (see fee discount information)

International students:

  • Integrated International Pre-Masters course (30 weeks) - £17,500
  • Integrated International Pre-Masters course (15 weeks) - £8,750
  • MA course - £17,500

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. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Further information
For more detailed information about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

To support our students and alumni to progress to the next level of study, we have developed a new range of fee discounts across a range of courses.


You'll enjoy being able to create in our large purpose-build studios and flexible project spaces. Our facilities include workshops for plaster and rubber casting, glass casting, slumping, fusing and enamelling (kiln), ceramic bisque and gloss firing, low melt metal casting, and carving (wood, stone and polystyrene). You'll also have access to machinery to create artwork in wood, metal and plastics. A printmaking studio includes relief and block painting, plate or stone lithography and intaglio and screen-printing.

Fine Art studios, UCA Canterbury

Sculpture workshop, UCA Canterbury

Fine Art studios, UCA Canterbury

3D workshop, UCA Canterbury

Career opportunities

Career opportunities

Working internationally with other universities, local and national galleries and museums, and specialist partners within industry, our course draws on a number of industrial links and expertise from a range of creative fields.

You'll be actively encouraged to show and distribute your work outside of the university context. And guest lectures and professional practice seminars will enable you to develop your personal networks and awareness of professional practice.

Connections include local arts organisations such as:

  • Stour Valley Arts
  • Strange Cargo
  • The Creative Foundation
  • The Whitstable Biennale
  • Turner Contemporary

Our MA Fine Art course features regular Professional Practice talks, tutorials and crits with the likes of:

  • JJ Charlesworth, Editor Art Review
  • Jean Wainwright, independent curator and art critic
  • Emma Lewis, Curator Tate Modern
  • Sid Motion, Gallery Owner Sid Motion Gallery London
  • Priyesh Mistry, Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Projects, National Gallery London

Lots of our graduates go on to develop careers in fields such as:

  • Arts administration
  • Creative media management
  • Curatorial practices
  • Education
  • Filmmaking
  • Fine art
  • Freelance photography
  • Pre and post production work
  • Printmaking and reprographics
  • Producing
  • Public art
  • Publishing
  • Sound production
  • Video editing.

You may like to explore an MPhil or PhD to deepen your knowledge even further.

Explore our Gradshow

Visit our grad show site to see the incredible work created by our graduating students

Visit the Gradshow website
Ian Palmer
Ian Palmer

"I speak as a mature student and can recommend this course without question. Without realising it, the structure of the course, the external speakers, masterclasses and administrative and library support creates an environment that encourages discussion, experimentation and enquiry that drives developments in your artistic practice. I benefited greatly from this environment in ways I had not anticipated at the start. If this was not enough, it was fun, a true collegiate experience."

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

MA course

  • An honours degree or equivalent qualification in the subject or 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.

MA course with Integrated Pre-Masters course

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

Check the equivalent qualifications for your country and the English language requirements:

  • Non-UK equivalent qualifications
  • English language requirements
  • MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course
    A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

    Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?
    You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

    MA course
    MA course with Integrated Pre-Masters course
    MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

    For these courses, we’ll need to see your visual or written portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to upload your portfolio online via your Applicant Portal – further information will be provided once you have applied. If you would prefer to meet the Academic Team in person for a review of your work on campus, this can also be arranged for you.

    More portfolio advice

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