About the Program
The MA in Contemporary Art is the longest running specialized Master’s program of its kind in the world. Established in 1991, it focuses on art in the period from 1968 to the present, with strands on art history, curatorial studies, and critical theory, and a strong emphasis throughout on professional career development. We have a longstanding, proven track record of academic excellence and high-level graduate employment worldwide.
The program covers developments in contemporary art from around the world, concentrating on the most recent practices and on changing institutional structures. An intensive program of lectures by faculty members and guest speakers of international standing, guided visits to major London venues including Tate Modern and Frieze, small group seminars, workshops, and individual presentations, help students gain confidence in reflecting and speaking on all forms of contemporary art – from painting and sculpture to video and installation as well as the most recent web-based, collaborative, and multidisciplinary practices.
During the first semester, following the institute-wide shared core curriculum, Navigating the Art World, students move on to the specialist study of contemporary art, focusing on the period between 1968 and 1990. Semester 1 also includes regular gallery visits and extended study visits to Paris and Northern Germany. In Semester 2 we look at the period between 1990 and the present, concentrating on a small number of topical issues and debates. The second semester includes an extended study visit to the Venice Biennale or to Holland and Belgium, and studio visits. The flexible structure of the Master’s program allows students to concentrate their studies on a chosen field by selecting two elective units, either pursuing further specialization in contemporary art or undertaking options that will broaden their understanding of other areas of study, such as fine and decorative art and design, modern and contemporary Asian art, or art business. In Semester 3, students prepare and write their dissertations under the supervision of their tutors.
About Our Students
The MA in Contemporary Art program welcomes prospective students who have an interest in gaining a strong understanding of historical developments, critical debates, and institutional networks in the increasingly global world of contemporary art. Students graduate from this intensive year-long program with in-depth knowledge and professional preparation to work in any area of contemporary art. Our graduates are subsequently employed in private galleries, auction houses, museums and foundations, private and public collecting, art publishing, art investing and consulting, visual archives, charities and not-for-profits, art services and e-commerce, and academia.
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