Goldsmiths, University of London

Course Introduction

Study a degree which develops your arts practice through the expressive world of creative computation. The Masters provides you with the historical foundations, frameworks and critical skills to produce a series of projects for public exhibition.

**What is computational art?**

Computation consists of all the changes brought about by digital technology. Art is an open set of ways of acting inventively in culture. Mixing the two together in a systematic way gives us computational art. This is a very open field, and one that is set to expand enormously in the coming years. It is where the most exciting developments in technology and in culture can already be found. This degree will place you in the middle of this fast'evolving context.

What will I learn?

This degree develops your arts practice through the expressive world of creative computation. Over a two years (full'time) or four years (part'time) you will develop your artistic work and thinking through the challenge of developing a series of projects for public exhibition which will explore the technological and cultural ramifications of computation.

You will learn the fundamentals of programming and how to apply this knowledge expressively. You will work with popular open source programming environments such as Processing, OpenFrameworks, P5.js and Arduino, and will learn how to program in languages such as Java, Javascript and C++.

Since computational artworks don’t necessarily involve computers and screens, we also encourage students to produce works across a diverse range of media. Supported by studio technicians in state'of'the'art facilities, our students are producing works using tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, robotics, wearable technologies, paint, sculpture and textiles.

You will also study contextual modules on computational art and the socio'political effects of technology. Modules provide students with the historical foundations, frameworks, critical skills and confidence to express their ideas effectively. You will have the opportunity to learn the cultural histories of technology, to reflect on computation in terms of its wider cultural effects, and to understand the way in which art provides rigorous ways of thinking.

Through our masterclass series, we regularly invite world'class artists and curators to explain their work and engage in critical dialogue with the students. This allows you to develop a wider understanding of the contemporary art scene and how your work sits within the professional art world.

**Keep up to date with the department**

Take a look at the MA/MFA Computational Arts blog on our website for the latest course news. For news straight to your inbox, why not subscribe to the course’s newsletter?

We are also happy to show people around our facilities, discuss the course in more detail and even give a taster of a class. Contact the course leader, Dr. Theo Papatheodorou ( to arrange a visit.

**Should I study the MFA or MA Computational Arts?**

As well as the MFA, we also offer an MA in Computational Arts. The MA is 1 year (full'time), the MFA 2 years (full'time).

The first year of the MFA is identical to the MA. You take the same classes and you learn the same things. The differences between the two courses is that in the MFA you get a 2nd year in which you take additional courses which help you develop your arts practice further. These courses mean that you get a space to work under a tutor's supervision.

Course Modules

Year 1 shares the same core learning as our MA in Computational Arts programme: Computational Arts'based Research and Theory, Workshops in Creative Coding 1, Workshops in Creative Coding 2, Physical Computing, Final Project in Computational Arts. You'll also choose options from a list of available modules.

In Year 2 you will study the following: Computational Arts Critical Studies, Studio Practice ' Computational Arts. You will also be encouraged to audit other classes offered by the department that fit your research interests and further develop your technical skills. Subject to agreement from the respective tutor, you can also audit other classes across Goldsmiths as well as classes across most Universities that form the University of London.

Subject to availability you will also have access to all the technical facilities in the department in order to further develop your practice.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
2 years
Full Time
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG) £9,840 Home Fees
2 years
Full Time
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG) £14,600 Overseas Fees
4 years
Part Time
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG)
3 years
Mixed Mode
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG)
2 years
Full Time
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG)

Qualifications required:

  • You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject or equivalent. You might also be considered if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements IELTS 6.5 with 6.5 in writing.
  • Having a creative/art background is what we require and not necessarily a technical one. We want to work with people that have some arts practice and want to introduce computation in their work. In the past, we have had performers, film-makers, architects, musicians, painters and some computer scientists join the course. The majority of people on the course don't know how to program when they join us.
  • When people join us we try to assess their level of skill in order to offer them a challenging learning environment. People that have previous coding experience are encouraged to take more advanced modules and are given assignments in lab and to take home that push their technical and creative skills further.
  • We feel that this diversity of skills and backgrounds contributes to the course’s great success over the years.
  • We do not require a maths background nor do we expect people to be strong in maths to do well. Basic arithmetic (addition/subtraction/division etc.) is all you need. We'll remind you in class of any new concepts you'll need. We have a wide range in the class from dancers, writers, film-makers, photographers as well as architects, to computer scientists, etc. We take pride in the diversity of backgrounds the students have and this contributes to the course's success.