About the Program
The MA/PG diploma 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 proven track record of academic excellence and high-level graduate employment worldwide. The program covers developments in contemporary art from around the world, examining the most established and the more recent practice and institutional networks and structures. An intensive program of lectures by faculty members and guest speakers of international standing, visits to major London venues including Tate Modern and Frieze, and small group seminars, workshops and student 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 1995. Semester 1 includes regular gallery visits in London and an extended study visits to a major European centre for arts (Venice for the Biennale or German cities). In Semester 2 we look at the period between 1995 and the present, concentrating on a number of topical issues and debates. The second semester also includes two extended study visits (to two of the following: the Venice Biennale, Germany, Amsterdam and Paris).
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 (MA-registered students only) 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 nine-month (PG diploma) or year-long program (MA) with in-depth knowledge and professional preparation to work in any area of contemporary art. Graduates gain employment in private and commercial galleries, art fairs, auction houses, museums and foundations, private and public collections, art publishing, art investing and consulting, visual archives, not-for-profit organizations, art services and e-commerce, and academia.
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