MA Fine Art

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Part-time (2 years)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (full-time, per year): £7,750

Home (per credit): £43.05

International (full-time, per year): £15,600

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

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About this course

Develop your artistic practice and understanding of contemporary art, relating to wider social and cultural contexts, with leading artists on LJMU's Fine Art MA.

Join a small group of students from a diverse range of backgrounds to develop your practice within a global context. You will benefit from a high level of discussion and reflection, test your artistic thinking, create exhibitions, events and collaborations.

We bring to the discussion of your work our expertise as artists with an established international exhibition practice. From our base in the shared cross-MA studio, we work in a number of architecturally diverse sites across the city for short projects and public-facing exhibitions. We see exhibition making as a medium to push your practice; to take risks, experiment and hone your professional skills. We invite curators and leading artists from the UK and internationally, to join us in crits and assessments. In many of these projects you take the lead, with our support – from scouting and negotiating sites to marketing and promotion. In doing so you are also building a professional network which will be invaluable to you after you graduate.

Our institutional partners Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial and FACT support our Masters programme, through participating in crits and collaborating on


events and international guest lectures. We collaborate every second year with the Liverpool Biennial in placing your Masters show within the framework of the Biennial programme. We also work closely with a number of dynamic local initiatives including MAKE Liverpool, The Royal Standard and CBS, to develop meaningful relationships with the wider cultural context of Liverpool.

The MA offers opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogues with students on our other Masters courses through the cross-school modules: Research and Practice 1 and 2 and Collaborative Practice. And we encourage exchange of perspectives, expertise or equipment with all faculties from Astrophysics to Zoology. You will also have access to the Exhibition Research Lab, a creative partnership led by the Liverpool School of Art and Design and, as previously mentioned, Liverpool Biennial, which acts as an interface for collaboration with national and international artists, designers and public audiences.

  • Matthew Merrick 2019 MA Fine Art student.

    Matthew Merrick is a multi media artist studying for an MA in Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University. Scratch on the retina, 2019 is a video he produced for his final project.


  • Gina's story

    With a BA and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Leeds, Gina came to LJMU to study for an MA in Fine Art.

    “I came here on the recommendation of a friend already studying on the...

    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)

Image showing assortment of notes and coins.

  • 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.

To be considered for the scholarship, you must submit a 500 word letter to after being formally offered a place on a Masters programme in the School of Art and Design. The application deadline to be considered for the Scholarship for entry onto a programme in September is 30 June.

Please ensure you include your name, contact details, the full title of the course you have applied to study on and 500 words stating why you should be awarded the scholarship, the benefits it will bring to your studies and any exceptional circumstances you face in studying for a postgraduate qualification. Further information for international students about finance, fees and scholarships can be found here.

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.

This Masters programme is entirely geared towards facilitating a practical understanding of how you might exploit your own practice in the professional sphere.

During your studies you will come across opportunities for networking, collaboration and work-related experiences, preparing you for roles in the cultural sector as well as for further research.

The John Lennon Art and Design Building is a knowledge hub for the region’s creative industries and studying here will enable you to establish significant links with the professional fields in which your future career will develop.

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"There have been lots of opportunities to take part in exhibitions and get feedback on our work."

Gina Tsang, Fine Art student

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

We’ve got lots of exciting events happening at our Student Life Building this week.😀 From free food to open top bus…

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.

Serah Stringer, Democratic Fragmentation
Core modules

Studio Practice (Fine Art)
30 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of Contemporary Fine Art practice. It encompasses a broad range of approaches to art making and:

  • develops your verbal communication skills in relation to your own practice and the broader context of Contemporary Fine Art Practice
  • provides you with the technical skills and methodologies relevant to the enhancement of the practice

Collaborative Practice
30 credits

You will have the opportunity to work closely with internal partners within the School of Art and Design, the wider LJMU academic community or external partners in the UK and internationally. Through key partnerships you will engage with a range of collaborative projects which challenge the notion of the interdisciplinary practice within the context of contemporary art and design and which enable you to propose, plan, organise, publish and promote your work within the context of an external body.

  • Guest lecturers will expose you to areas of collaboration
  • 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

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

Research and Practice 2 (Fine Art)
30 credits

This module aims to develop your skills to carry out research in the field of history and theory. It:

  • develops your ability to construct a coherent written argument in essay form
  •  provides knowledge of various modes of writing 

Major Project (Fine Art)
60 credits

This module enables you to plan, organise and deliver a final exhibition project or equivalent, through effective time and resource management, demonstrating a high level of critical engagement, creative achievement and appropriate technical ability. It develops your ability to speak publicly about your work and enhances your capacity to engage in professional practice.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

You will have around nine hours guided learning each week, although we would expect your self-directed input to be substantially more. There will also be blocks of time scheduled for concentrated research activity, critique and symposium throughout the programme.

Teaching methods

Your lectures, seminars and tutorials will take place in the John Lennon Art and Design Building and at some of our partner organisations. This will enable you to benefit from University academic debate and the practical input/critical discussion generated from the presentation of your work and ideas in a range of professional environments.

Applied learning

As a student on this course, you will have access to the Exhibition Research Lab (ERL) - a creative partnership led by Liverpool School of Art and Design and Liverpool Biennial. It acts as an interface to collaboration with local, national and international artists, designers, creative industry commercial partners and public audiences.

MA Fine Art exhibition

You will also have the opportunity to complete work placements, abroad and in the UK, with partners such as Grizdale Arts and Van Abbermusem. You will be encouraged to develop further collaborations in the realisation of projects with partners in business, neighbourhoods and the public sector.

Person sat using laptop


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. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

Our expert academics have designed course delivery and assessment around contemporary research, focusing on the development of Fine Art practice and appreciation.

The high level of seminar and tutorial contact on this programme allows for a considerable amount of formative assessment and feedback before the summative assessment for each module. You will be assessed via: presentations, proposals, practical projects and the production of supporting documentation.

Course tutors

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

Imogen Stidworthy

Imogen Stidworthy

Programme leader

What happens to language and sense-making in encounters with unfamiliar or even unknowable forms of voicing? What different forms of relationship and understanding emerge in the spaces between languages? My work grapples with the impossibility of glimpsing language from the outside. It takes the form of films, sound works and multi-part installations involving sound, video, sculptural and technological elements. I engage with these questions through encounters with people whose relationship with language is in some sense radically affected, whether by life experiences, cultural practices (shamanism, ventriloquy), neurological or physical conditions (aphasia, non-verbal autism). My current work engages with relationship between verbal and non-verbal being and involves people who have no practice of language at all. This is the focus of doctoral research I am now completing in the framework of the PhD programme (faculty of Visual Arts) at Lund University (SE) and my dissertation, 'Voicing on the Borders of Language'. 

Participate in the annual postgraduate degree show, which allows students to showcase and curate their work to an audience of artists, fellow students and members of public. See last year's show

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Learning takes place in the Liverpool School of Art and Design, part of the Mount Pleasant Campus. Here you will have the opportunity to develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within a stimulating and critically demanding environment.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • Applicants will normally hold a good honours degree (normally 2:1 or above) in a visual arts related subject or professional qualifications and industry experience. However, please note that applicants who hold a degree from another discipline, or have experiential learning in lieu of a degree, will also be considered for entry on an individual basis
  • a reference
  • a satisfactory portfolio of work - please note we are unable to consider your application until this is received. When applying please attach photographs of examples of your work in the form of JPEGS. Please add up to 10 jpegs, video or sound clips or a link to an online portfolio to enable us to consider your application. If you do not provide a portfolio at the point of application you will be contacted to submit this to our upload attachment facility.  
  • to attend a Skype/Zoom interview during which you will provide evidence of your learning capability, study opportunity and commitment to postgraduate study. Applicants should put together 5 slides of work to look at during their Skype/Zoom interviews. These should be images which relate to your most current interests - this may include some old work only if it makes sense in relation to the kind of direction/thinking you are interested in developing on the MA
  • We recommend applications are submitted by Friday 16th July 2021 to allow sufficient time for these to be considered and for interviews to be arranged before the programme commences. Applications will however be considered up until the end of August.

Additional information:   
  • IELTS English language requirement: 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson PTE Academic 64 (minimum 59 in each component for UKVI)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme

If you have any specific queries, please contact

Image of student in library with book

Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Your application information should demonstrate that you have a sufficient level of knowledge to embark on the programme (including the required linguistic competence) and complete it within the time limits.

When you submit your application form you will receive a confirmation email, which will include your Applicant ID. Please ensure you quote your name and Applicant ID in any correspondence.

Image of Students in classroom

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.

Important info about this course