Fine Art MFA

Fine Art MFA

Full time: 24 months


The Fine Art MFA enables you to establish or extend your position in the art world. Our distinguished artists and historians will nurture your practical, professional and intellectual skills. You will also develop your critical understanding of the discourses relevant to your work.

Applications for this course are now open

You can now apply for September 2021 entry.


Video: Our students talk about studying fine art at Newcastle.

About the course

This two-year full-time studio-based course is designed for fine art graduates and for those with other backgrounds who wish to establish or extend their position as practitioners in the contemporary art world. It also offers a solid grounding for those hoping to progress to PhD degree study. We support practice and research in:

  • painting
  • sculpture
  • digital media
  • drawing
  • performance
  • photography
  • printmaking
  • installation
  • video art
  • art history

You will be taught by a range of distinguished practising artists and historians in an exciting and well-equipped environment. Our teaching is research led and we have a committed and dynamic team of academic staff who are all excellent teachers, active researchers and artists of international standing. In addition, a wide range of national and international artists, curators and art theorists come to work with us through our weekly visiting lecture programme. Some of the most interesting and original artists, critics, curators, historians and art professionals working today present and discuss their projects.

Whether your practice involves painting, sculpture, digital media, drawing, performance, photography, printmaking, installation or video art, the MFA enables you to pursue professionalism and excellence in your practice. We encourage and support the practice and study of art through thoughtful and informed investigation, experimentation and speculation.

We provide a community for creative collaboration, exchange and discussion. You can sound out ideas and materialisations in a challenging, critical and nurturing environment. You will direct your studies by setting goals and managing time and resources effectively. The MFA creates a platform to help you push your current practice forward through exploratory experimentation, working in a way that is inventive, rigorous, focused, and confident.

Our course equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career as an artist or in a related profession. Our graduates gain employment and make significant contributions in the national and international arts arena, in areas such as:

  • curators
  • art historians
  • educators
  • gallery or arts administrators

We expect you to question orthodoxies and cross boundaries. We encourage participation in the research culture of the department through workshops and research seminars, including:

  • chairing seminars with eminent visiting artists and researchers
  • involvement in exhibitions
  • professional networking
  • collaborative activities

Quality and Ranking

We rank in the top 150 for Art and Design - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020


MFA Exhibition 2011

The Fine Art MFA is a two-year full time studio-based course. Approximately 80% of the course is self-directed studio work. A dissertation and professional practice training make up the remaining 20%. You will be supported by a supervisor who regularly meets with you to discuss your work.

Modules in the first year include fine art training, which investigates exhibition practice and the practical, professional and intellectual skills needed to practice as an artist. It also encourages you to exhibit in the city, make connections in the region, and set up contacts for use beyond the degree.

You will be expected to participate as an active, thoughtful and responsible member of a community with the ultimate aim of defining you own professional identity through self-reflection and an understanding of the creative economy. 

The course culminates in a final exhibition. You can view the most recent 2020 MFA Degree Show exhibition. This is usually held throughout the Fine Art Building and in the Hatton Gallery.

You'll have regular meetings with your tutor and can discuss your work with all fine art staff, so that you benefit from the full range of expertise available. The course is taught through:

  • one-to-one studio tutorials
  • seminars
  • lectures
  • workshops

We encourage and support the practice and study of art through lively debate, thoughtful and informed investigation, experimentation and speculation. We encourage you to have an understanding of cultural, social and political contexts, related to the art world and beyond. This is encouraged through exhibiting, seminars and peer group discussions

There are regular study trips abroad, usually one each semester for four to seven days. We organise these optional trips at an additional cost. Recent trips have been to New York, the Venice Biennale, Berlin and Amsterdam. Our exchange scheme also gives you the chance to study in Europe or overseas at one of our partner institutions.

We aim to admit approximately ten students per year.

School of Arts and Cultures

Placed in the top five of all UK art schools, we are concerned with the education and training of artists, together with the associated discourses around the practice, exhibition, history and theory of art.

Home to a wide variety of courses from music, media and cultural studies, digital media, and museum, gallery and heritage studies, we can offer you exciting possibilities for collaboration, interdisciplinary practice and research.

Based in the heart of the city centre campus, Newcastle is a great place to study contemporary visual art. As well as the city's vibrant arts scene, there is the potential for interdisciplinary research and engagement with centres such as the Culture Lab and the Institute for Creative Arts Practice.

MFA Exhibition 2012 Wall Art
Student Profile

I enjoy having the freedom to make my own work and have access to the great facilities and technical and academic staff.

Helen's student profile
Helen S

Related Degrees

  • Fine Art MPhil, PhD

    We offer supervision in a wide range of contemporary art practices, in Fine Art, Digital Cultures and Art History. The internationally significant research profile of our staff and our excellent facilities, have created a stimulating environment for you to undertake your practical or theoretical research.

  • Research Training PGCert

    This course equips you with the knowledge, understanding, skills and aptitudes to undertake advanced research. This includes doctoral research in the social sciences, arts and humanities, or in either the public or private sector.

All related programmes


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2020 entry

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Fees & Funding

2021-2022 fees

EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

All students

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A good honours degree in fine art, or international equivalent, plus a portfolio of recent work. Applicants who hold non-standard qualifications and/or have other relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis.

If you are based in the UK you will be invited to attend an interview. For those applicants outside of the UK, we may choose to conduct an interview with you via Skype.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at for further information.

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a Pre-sessional English course. 

How to Apply

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.

Applications for this course are now open

You can now apply for September 2021 entry.


Applications for 2022/23

You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021


You need to submit a completed online application form together with 15-30 images of your studio work. There are no set requirements in terms of the work that the images should represent. You should include recent work, but you may also wish to submit past work that you feel is relevant to your application.

You should collate your images in a PowerPoint or Word document and attach this to your online application. Large files should be submitted on CD/DVD and sent by post to the Fine Art Department.

Personal statement

On your application you need to provide a statement about your studio work and how you hope to develop your practice, as well as outlining your reasons for wanting to study at postgraduate level at Newcastle. We are looking for evidence of independent, innovative practice and motivated, ambitious individuals who are looking for a challenging and inspiring educational environment.

We would normally expect applications to be submitted by 31 May, but late applications will be considered on an individual basis if places are still available.

Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.


If you are an international student or a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you need a visa to study in the UK, you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study with us. The deposit is non-refundable, but we will deduct it from your tuition fees when you register.


Miss Irene Brown
Degree Programme Director for the MFA
School of Arts and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3487