About your course
Taught by leaders in their field, this Masters programme provides you with the opportunity to investigate all proponents of fine art and its practice in production, material intervention, media and curation.
- Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years, day study)
- Develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within the modern, purpose-built and RIBA award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building
- Direct links with Liverpool’s most significant arts organisations, such as TATE Liverpool, Biennial, Bluecoat and FACT
- Career opportunities through networking and collaboration in professional fields
- Studio space provided for full-time students
- The School of Art and Design offers a unique collaborative environment for postgraduate students. VIDEO: Hear about postgraduate research from the Director of School
If you study this programme full-time, you will be offered studio space in our award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building.
Introduction to the School
Liverpool School of Art and Design is organised around strong disciplinary cultures within a dynamic environment that supports interaction and debate between staff and students within and across subject areas.
Our programmes are geared towards combining teaching and work-related learning with practical knowledge, enabling you to succeed in your chosen career beyond graduation. Teaching is individually tailored and oriented around each student, with the week divided between lectures, seminars, tutorials, studio supervisions and workshops.
In the 2014 REF, 85% of research submitted by Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory at LJMU was either recognised internationally, or considered as internationally excellent. This research helps ensure that our postgraduate courses are positioned at the leading edge of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.
Research is organised thematically to bring together disciplines and exploit their methods to address issues of significance and concern to the broader culture of the city and beyond. Our internationally excellent research informs our curriculum and underpins our teaching, and all our staff, including Readers and Professors, are involved in the day-to-day delivery of undergraduate as well as postgraduate and research programmes.
- contemporary art and design practice
- international art
- sound and the visual arts
- art history
- curatorial practice
- art and creative technologies
- environmental art
- contemporary printmaking
- urban architecture
We are also particularly interested in interdisciplinary methodologies.
Why study this course at LJMU?
The programme offers tremendous opportunities to develop interdisciplinary approaches with programmes in Architecture, Sociology, Film, Media Studies and other disciplines within the University. The final Masters project will be exhibited as a curated event within the Liverpool Biennial.
The Programme offers you the opportunity to complete a work placement at either Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial or FACT. There are also opportunities to work with other UK and overseas partners such as Grizedale Arts and Van Abbemuseum. You will be encouraged to develop further collaborations with partners in business, neighbourhoods and the public sector in the realisation of projects.
Top class facilities
Studying at the Liverpool School of Art and Design will give you the opportunity to develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within a stimulating and critically demanding environment. Lectures, seminars and tutorials take place in the John Lennon Art and Design Building and are also hosted by some of our partner organisations. This enables 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.
Once enrolled on the programme, you will also have access to the Exhibition Research Lab (ERL). The ERL is a creative partnership led by Liverpool School of Art and Design and Liverpool Biennial, which acts as an interface to collaboration with local, national and international artists, designers, creative industry commercial partners and public audiences.
Renowned guests/visitors to the Fine Art programme have included:
- Laura Sillars, Director, Site Galley Sheffield
- Paul Sullivan, Director, Static Gallery
- Paul Domela, Deputy Director Liverpool Biennial
- Ceri Hand, Director, Ceri Hand Gallery
- Bryan Biggs, Director, Bluecoat
- Adam Sutherland, Director, Grizedale Arts
- Alistair Hudson, Former Deputy Director Grizedale Arts and now Director of Mima
- Charles Esche, Director Vanabbe Museum
- Annie Flecther, Curator and Turner Prize Judge
- Peter Gorschlueter, MMK, Frankfurt
- Francesco Manacorda, Director Liverpool Tate
- Sally Tallant, Director Liverpool Biennial
- Gary Charnock
- Misha Kuball
- Andy Holden
- Paul Rooney
- Nina Edge
- Merlin James
- Paul Sermon
- Centre of Attention
- Imogen Stidworthy
- S Mark Gubb
- Robert Wilson
- Derek Tyman
Programme outline and structure
LJMU’s Masters in Fine Art provides an opportunity for a small group of students, from a diverse range of backgrounds, to develop their practice in relation to a global context that is filtered through the rich artistic infrastructure of Liverpool.
The programme is open to those wishing to develop a broad range of practices, including the production of objects and material interventions, the development of media-based projects and those wishing to pursue critical, theoretical and curatorially-based approaches. Taking Liverpool as a starting point, the programme explores wider questions of art production, distribution and reflection in an age of globalisation.
The course encourages artistic research and the development of new ways of working which challenge our assumptions around culture, identity and ecology. Taught in consultation with significant international institutions such as Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool and FACT, the MA Fine Art offers unique access to specialist knowledge and experience of working in the public realm, museums and galleries and with technology.
The course is offered full (1 year) and part time (2 years). As a full-time student you will be offered studio space at the School’s John Lennon Art and Design Building.
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.
Master projects will be realised within curated events held in and around Liverpool. 2016 MA students recently held a show at The Royal Standard, titled Fantastic Rubbish
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
- Studio practice
This will help you to develop your practice in relation to your own concerns and locate it within the broader context of Contemporary Fine Art practice
- Collaborative practice
You will be introduced to various strategies, examples and processes in the planning and delivery of art project initiatives. Through collaborative practice you will test and develop a relevant working process within the safe environment of the Fine Art peer group
- Research and Practice 1 and 2
You will select topics relevant to your practice and overall concerns in consultation with tutors. These could be particular artists, biennial and survey themes, arts policy and infrastructure, or your own work. Research and writing will be supported by tutorials and writing workshop
- Major project
Develop an initial proposal through to an exhibition or equivalent, developing a body of work and reflection along the way
Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require further guidance or clarification.
How will I be assessed?
Our expert academics design the course delivery and assessment around contemporary research and give focus to your development in Fine Art practice and appreciation
Assessment methods differ slightly for each of the modules but usually involve presenting practical work in a viva voce situation with supporting research or textual material.
Staff research interests
Research in the School of Art and Design is centered around the ART LABS research centre.
ART LABS comprises four research labs focused on the following themes: contemporary art; 3D digital art and applications in the real world; the uses of art and cultural enrichment; exhibitions and curatorship and design discourse and practice.
Academics teaching on the MA Fine Art who are internationally-recognised for their academic excellence include:
Rosalind Nashashibi’s research consists of art works and exhibitions, she is an artist working in film, sculpture, print and photography. Her best known films combine close observation of everyday life with constructed scenes, inhabiting the same place or time to capture the friction that occurs at the border between the real and everyday and the fantastical or mythological.
Imogen has worked as a tutor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Lyons (BA) and the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (MA), and as an external examiner at Middlesex College of Art, London and The Royal College of Art in The Hague (NL); from 2006-2012 she worked as an Advising Researcher at the Jan van Eycl Academy in Maastricht (NL), and was appointed at LJMU as a senior lecturer in 2012.
John Byrne’s research is based around an analysis of the terms ‘autonomy’ and ‘use value’ as a means to re-investigate the complex relationships between the production of art works and the kind of labour, or work, that making art might be in a globalised neo-liberal economy. Byrne is a founder member and member of the editorial board of The Autonomy Project - an ongoing investigation and reformulation of the notions of autonomy and use value within contemporary and modern art.
More information on ARTS LABS can be found on the Centre's web pages.
Entry requirements (Home)
You will require a degree classification 2:1 or above.
Applications from non-standard applicants are welcomed. In exceptional circumstances applications from mature Fine Art practitioners without sufficient qualifications will be considered.
International qualifications considered inline with UK qualifications plus IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each subtest) Applicants should be able to demonstrate a sufficient level of knowledge to embark upon the programme (including the linguistic competence) and to complete the programme within the time limits.
A satisfactory reference is required and a portfolio of work must be presented at interview. Applicants must provide evidence, in the interview, of their learning capability, study opportunity and commitment to a postgraduate programme of study.
Entry requirements (International)
LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application. In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website.
For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.
Application and selection
Application to study Fine Art at postgraduate level will normally be considered in the light of an your ability to meet the following criteria:
- a good first degree in a visual arts related subject
- two references
- portfolio of work presented by the student at interview
The above should demonstrate that you have a sufficient level of knowledge to embark upon the programme (including the required linguistic competence) and to complete the programme within the time limits. You should provide evidence, in the interview, in view of the assessors, of your learning capability, study opportunity and commitment to a postgraduate programme of study.
6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.
Sources of funding
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 scholarships, you must submit a 500 word letter to email@example.com after being formally offered a place on a Masters programme in the School of Art and Design. The application deadline for scholarships is the 16 June 2017.
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 £1,400 and two International Awards of £2,200. 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.
Postgraduate Masters loans are available for the 2017/18 academic year. The new loans, of up to £10,000, are available for students attending eligible full and part-time Masters courses, in line with the existing qualification framework for England. Administered by the Student Loan Company, the loans will be available to those under 60 at the start of their course.
Loan repayments will begin the April after course completion, with the first cohort of borrowers commencing repayments in April 2019. Repayments will be made at a rate of 6% of income above an earning threshold of £21,000. This threshold will be frozen until 2021. For details of loan terms, conditions and eligibility, go to: ljmu.ac.uk/postgraduate-funding LJMU Alumni AwardFinal year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 20% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).
Postgraduate International Scholarships
LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants.
English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary
A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.Earn While You Learn Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.
LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)
Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs.
Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.
Support for disabled students
Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.
Council tax exemption
All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.
This Masters offers opportunities for work-related experiences and will prepare 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 we will enable you to establish significant links with the relevant professional fields in which your future career will develop. We aim to expose you to artists and protagonists on the international stage of current contemporary art practice, which will offer opportunities for networking and collaboration.
You are encouraged to exploit the networks you encounter during the course to further your employment and career opportunities. The whole programme is geared towards facilitating a practical understanding of how you might exploit your own practice in the professional sphere.
International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.
Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.
Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.
Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.
These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.
You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international
Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:
- new international applicants
- current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
- LJMU international alumni
English for Postgraduate courses bursary
A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.
This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.
The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where 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.
Further guidance on programme changes