2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2023/24

MA Art in Science

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Course duration:
1 year

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International full-time per year
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About this course

This unique Art in Science programme provides exciting opportunities for artists and scientists to collaborate and explore the boundaries of art and science.

  • Enrol on an innovative programme, collaboratively developed with academic experts across a number of disciplines that include: Art and Design, Sports Science, Public Health, Evolutionary Anthropology, Astrophysics, Technology and Museum Practice
  • Enjoy access to a number of different established research centres across Liverpool John Moores University
  • Explore the relationship between art and science, including the historical and theoretical connections between art and science as cultures and practices, and understand how these ideas translate into contemporary experiences
  • Develop real world skills on a programme unique to the UK and decide which areas of art and science you wish to investigate as you progress through the programme
  • Explore art-science project briefs in unexpected forms
  • Take advantage of the generous Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy £1000 scholarships offered to postgraduate applicants

Art and science are often seen as two different entities with very separate ideas of what constitutes research. The MA Art in Science programme at Liverpool School of Art and Design aims to bring together artists and scientists to explore collaborative approaches in art and science.

Increasingly, collaborations between artists and scientists are a feature of our cultural landscape. Traditionally this relationship has been perceived as art in the service of science, whereby artists use their skills to visually interpret or communicate complex scientific ideas, objects or forms. However, a hybrid form of research has emerged over the last 30 years where artists and scientists are interested in the creative possibilities and speculative futures of the intersection of these two cultures.

This programme provides an opportunity for collaborations across the visual arts and the world of scientific enquiry, and encourages transdisciplinary creativity based on the skills that you bring with you to the programme and those you develop during your research experience.

The programme has been established under the guidance of Professor Caroline Wilkinson, Director of the Liverpool School of Art and Design and the Face Lab. Professor Wilkinson is an experienced practitioner in the collaborative fields of Art and Science with a specialist interest in Forensic Art. She has worked with museums, forensic institutes and archaeology groups around the world. Other members of the programme team have specialist interests in Medical Art, Facial Identification, 3D Technologies, Critical Visual Studies, Curatorial Practice, New Materialisms, Cultural Anthropology and Medical Humanities.

As a student on this course you will explore art-science project briefs in unexpected forms in readiness for application in the world of work. You will enjoy access to a number of established LJMU research centres and will work collaboratively with other students, practitioners and researchers across art and science disciplines. As a graduate you will be able to apply critical and practical skills, research techniques and understanding in your chosen career.

  • Mark Roughley: Programme Leader, Art in Science

    The MA Art in Science programme at Liverpool School of Art and Design facilitates discussions and interactions between subjects that have traditionally been studied in isolation. This provides oppo...

    Read more..

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.

Bursaries and study awards

The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers students across all taught postgraduate programmes opportunities to apply for scholarships aimed at broadening student knowledge and experience.

The Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy scholarships consist of a number of 1,000 awards and are open to full-time and part-time home and international students who wish to study for a postgraduate qualification in art and design with LJMU. Part-time applicants can only apply once over the two years of their course.

The School's main travel bursary for existing students, The Susan Cotton Travel Awards, consists of three European Awards of 1,600 and two International Awards of 2,300. The awards are intended to help you undertake significant domestic or international travel in support of your work and personal development. The awards aren't necessarily about academic study, instead they focus on the spirit of travel and adventure. Previous winners of the bursary have travelled to a tropical island to experience life at its most basic, cycled the length of the Danube, spent a month in Morocco and inter-railed through Europe.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Our aim is for students to complete the programme in readiness for self-employment or the world of work within their chosen specialist field. On graduation this MA may be used for a range of purposes within public health, biomedical communications, scientific illustration, public engagement with science, and STEAM education. Many graduates may go on to work freelance, however there are also career opportunities in a range of related sectors. Graduates have gone on to secure Artist Residencies with METAL (Liverpool), Independents Biennial (Liverpool) and Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), and exhibit work nationally at venues such as Plas Bodfa (Wales), or internationally, including at the Science Gallery Melbourne (Australia). Some have worked with national and international museums to engage the public with science in a range of contexts Additionally, graduates have worked as Medical Writers for the National Institutes of Health (USA), and as Production Coordinators for the Science Museum Group (National Science and Media Museum, Bradford). Others have gone on to work as Research Assistants for research institutions with roles that include scientific illustration, public health communications, and public engagement with science through comics and games (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and University of Liverpool). Some have trained as School Teachers or educational technologists, and others have gone on to complete Doctoral Research.

"This programme offers a unique opportunity for artists to collaborate in the world of science and provide impact and knowledge exchange from a number of different fields across LJMU."

Professor Caroline Wilkinson, Director, Liverpool School of Art and Design

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

The Art in Science MA at Liverpool School of Art and Design focuses on transdisciplinary practice and discovery at its core. You will be encourage to work across disciplines and critically analyse the concepts, values and debates that inform study and practice in the field.

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework, and feature a dissertation and extended research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Guest lecturers working across art-science disciplines expose you to critically engaged making and design practices, and by visiting, learning from and interacting with globally renowned practitioners and researchers at our partner institutions; you will receive a rich and diverse introduction to a range of international collaborative practices that are at the root of cutting edge art-science collaborative research.

To foster a collaborative research culture, students from all taught postgraduate programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design share a creative studio. This studio space aims to cultivate an interdisciplinary community that provides students with opportunities to work across disciplines.

Core modules

Research and Practice 2 - Art in Science
30 credits

This module places emphasis on engagement with current debates and issues within contemporary art practice and its relationship with science, through analysis of the concepts, values and debates that inform study and practice in the field. This includes being aware of matters relating to the ethics of display; consent and data protection; bioart and transhumanism; working with vulnerable people and human materials. The module will enable you in understanding research happening in collaborative areas in art and science, supported by guest lecturers who will expose you to various areas of art-science collaboration. You will produce an illustrated and designed written project relating to your specific research interests and relevant to a specific area of art-science.

Research and Practice 1
30 credits

This module is shared by all students studying on taught postgraduate programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design and allows you to collaborate across programmes.

  • A series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and visits will introduce you to current and emerging practice in relation to a diverse range of historical, theoretical and critical principles
  • Guest lecturers will expose you to areas of collaboration
  • Seminars and tutorials will require you to share, discuss and evaluate your ideas and practice with others

Transdisciplinary Practice
30 credits

This module intends to promote in depth investigation into contemporary creative practices and provide, through the possibilities of transdisciplinary participation in live Institute of Art and Technology research projects, an understanding of the social, cultural and economic environment of the city.

Within the module, you will facilitate an engagement with cultural and regulatory institutions and organisations to enrich your experience of the professional environment of contemporary urban art and design.

Through key Institute of Art and Technology projects and partnerships, a range of transdisciplinary projects which challenge the notion of the interdisciplinary practice within the context of contemporary art & design, and which enable you to propose, plan, organise, publish and promote your work and research within the context of The Institute of Art and Design.

Optional modules

Studio Practice - Art in Science
30 credits

The Studio Practice module concerns the development of your individual practice. The module’s structure fosters an inquisitive approach whereby the focus is on introductory gestures with new or existing practical skills, or engagement with current ideas opened up by new technology and science. This is achieved through exploration of art-science projects designed to challenge preconceived notions of the disciplines. You will get challenging practical experience through an exploration of practice led projects proposed by scientific and cultural partners that replicate and simulate real world interactions for making, research and collaborative practice. The module also equips you with a baseline of theoretical understanding and practical experience in applying ideas that challenge existing knowledge.

Major Project - Art in Science
60 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to bring together the skills and knowledge that you have acquired throughout the programme and undertake and complete a sustained project on a topic agreed with your supervisor and closely linked with your career aspirations.

You will exhibit your project during the Liverpool School of Art and Design Masters Degree Show.

Studio Practice - Art in Science
30 credits

Studio Practice encompasses a broad range of approaches to art making. This module aims to:

  • help you develop and challenge your practice and locate it within contemporary art in science practice
  • develop verbal communication skills in relation to your own practice and the broader context of the field of art in science
  • enable you to undertake self-initiated or set projects that demonstrate a high level of engagement with technical processes and production methods
  • provide an opportunity to present work which demonstrates and enhances their practice.

Major Project - Art in Science
60 credits


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Teaching across each semester is intensive and varies depending on the modules being studied. The two main teaching days are Mondays and Tuesdays and you are expected to be based in the studio Wednesday to Friday to develop your practice.

Teaching methods

The programme aims to provide a balance of opportunities for you to acquire and develop advanced skills and academic knowledge plus multidisciplinary transferable skills.

Learning on the programme combines experiential elements with more formal lecture and seminar based delivery. This is a student-centred programme that recognises the need for you to establish a deep and inquisitive relationship with art and science critical theories and practices, the contexts within which they are deployed and the research against which they are evaluated.

You will participate in lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, group crits, studio practical work, presentations, exhibitions and publications.

Applied learning

As a student on this programme you may become linked to Liverpool School of Art and Designs Research Institute Institute of Art and Technology (IAT).

The IAT is a world-leading centre for artistic, technological and transdisciplinary research and hosts inquisitive and creative researchers from around the world: all teaching, all learning, all working together for a better future.

As Liverpool's international flagship for cultural and creative research, the IAT is a collective network of artistic research and technologies laboratories, each with a team led by inspiring researchers from four collaborating Schools: Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool Screen School, School of Education and Department of Computer Science. The MA Art in Science programme operates Liverpool LASER talks across Liverpool City region.

Liverpool LASER is part of the worldwide series of Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) Talks sponsored by Leonardo, the International Society for Art, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST). LASER talks are an international programme of free evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations on art, science and technology. 

Keep up to date on programme activities by following us on Twitter and Instagram @ArtinScienceMA and with student projects via the School of Art and Designs postgraduate project microsite https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/microsites/art-design-postgraduate-projects


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

The programme is assessed through presentations, proposals, practical projects, reports and supporting documents. The high level of seminar and tutorial contact allows for considerable formative assessment and feedback ahead of the summative assessment for each module.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

I enjoy collaborating across disciplines and there is a buzz about artists and scientists working together in innovative ways. With exciting collaborative research happening in research centres across LJMU, I am excited to bring together interested individuals to explore and cultivate the growing art-science community in Liverpool and the UK.

Where you will study

What you can expect from your School

This programme is based in the Liverpool School of Art and Designs John Lennon Art and Design building, a purpose-built facility in the Mount Pleasant Campus which encourages interaction between different disciplines and the sharing of ideas and expertise. During your studies you will access our ARTS LABS research centre, including: Design Lab, Contemporary Art Lab, Exhibition Research Lab, Face Lab, FACTLab and Uses of Art Lab.


Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

  • minimum 2:1 honours degree in a related subject area (those with a 2:2, non-related degree or non-standard background will be considered on an individual basis and will need to attend an interview and provide a portfolio (plus a CV for non-standard applicants)

International requirements


    • IELTS English language requirement: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
    • to submit a portfolio of 8-12 images of any subject in any media or written work, that demonstrate your own practice and/or interest in Art/Science
  • RPL

    • RPL is accepted on this programme

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

All applicants should be able to demonstrate a sufficient level of knowledge to embark on the programme (including the linguistic competence) and to complete the programme within time limits. Your personal statement should detail why you wish to study this programme and include personal experience and particular aspects of the programme that you find interesting.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.