Goldsmiths, University of London

Course Introduction

This programme is for those with a special interest in contemporary art, and an aptitude for theoretical work in the subject. The programme offers a challenging and advanced scheme of study, which explores a range of theoretical perspectives that shape attitudes towards visual art in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Invigorated by current research, the programme encourages you to explore conceptually and creatively the ways in which contemporary artistic practice and critical theory interrelate. It aims to expand your knowledge of contemporary artistic developments as well as to deepen your understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of academic discourses on visual culture.

The programme draws variously upon the fields of performance studies, art history, philosophy, museology, queer theory, post'colonial studies and cultural studies in addressing the critical challenges posed by artistic practice.

Course Modules

The programme comprises a non'assessed introductory module, the Core Module (comprising 4 blocks that thematically vary from year to year and of which students choose 2), and four assessed components: two Special Subjects, the MA Symposium and the MA Dissertation. Students also attend the Visual Cultures Public Programme of lectures and other events. You have the option of auditing another special subject should you wish to do so, subject to availability and in agreement with the course tutor.

The taught part of the programme runs from the end of September to the end of March, with additional guest lectures or workshops in May and June. It offers a framework to help you focus and develop your own understanding of contemporary art practice and its wider cultural significance. It is designed to develop your understanding of a range of critical and theoretical approaches that inform the heterogeneous field of visual art production whilst, at the same time, enabling you to identify and prepare the area of independent research you will carry out in your dissertation project.

Thematic pathways through the MA will be offered on a yearly basis. These will connect the annually changing themes of the core courses with the annual roster of special subjects. In any specific year three themes will be operative. They may include Global Arts; Sound; Politics and Aesthetics; Performance and Live Art; Critical Thought.

Full'time students attend on Thursday and one other day each week (determined by the choice of special subject); part'time students attend on one day each week in the first year and on Thursday in the second year.

Core module: The common core module: DEL: readings / processes; contemporary art theory dissertation. Special subjects: Curating and ethics; reading the performative; sex, gender, species; geopoetics; judgement and creation; transforming critical practices; dissonant images: questions of evidence; post capitalist desire; spatial bio politics.

Start Date:

09/2019

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
MA £7,520 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
MA £15,340 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
MA
1 year
Full Time
MA

Qualifications required:

  • You should normally have, or expect to gain, an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in art history, fine art, another studio-based practice, arts administration and related activities, or a humanities discipline other than art history which demonstrates your ability to undertake work at Masters level.
  • You don’t necessarily need a formal academic qualification in art history: we welcome applications from prospective students who do not meet the standard entrance requirements but can demonstrate appropriate knowledge and experience from outside academia in the world of work.
  • If you have little or no formal training in art history or a related humanities discipline, you may need to take a preparatory year of study on the Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Art History. You may also be required to attend an interview.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements of IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study with us.