Master of Fine Art

Our Master of Fine Art (MFA) is a two-year full-time studio-based programme in Fine Art. It is designed for graduates in Fine Art and for those with other backgrounds who wish to establish or extend their position as leading practitioners in the contemporary art world.

The programme seeks to provide a community for creative collaboration, exchange and discussion, where students can sound out ideas and materializations in a challenging, critical and nurturing environment. It is one in which students take responsibility for directing their studies through setting goals and managing time and resources effectively.

The programme is run by Professors Jane Wilson and Louise Wilson.

We admit a maximum of 15 students per year on to our MFA course. 

The course

The MFA at Newcastle University is designed to enable students to develop careers as professional artists. The programme also offers a grounding for those hoping to progress to PhD degree study. 

You will 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 MA creates a platform to help students push their current practice forward through exploratory experimentation and to nurture an environment for the development of a method of working that is inventive, rigorous, focused, and confident.

We want to enable students to become articulate, curious and generous, willing to step out of their comfort zone, but also to stand by their intentions and own their practice. We expect students to have an understanding of cultural, social or political contexts, related to the art world and beyond. This is encouraged through exhibiting, seminars and peer group discussions.

The course is based in excellent purpose-built studio space and combines intensive personal studio practice with critical scrutiny. Approximately 80% of the course is your self-directed studio work, and your dissertation and professional practice training make up the remaining 20%. The course also encourages you to exhibit in the city, make connections in the region, and set up contacts for use beyond the degree. Each year culminates in a Degree Show held throughout the Fine Art Building and the Hatton Gallery.

You will be taught by a wide range of distinguished and internationally celebrated practicing artists and you will be working in an exciting, well-equipped and expanding practice-led research environment. Whether your practice involves painting, sculpture, digital media, drawing, performance, photography, printmaking, installation or video art, the course at Newcastle enables the student/artist to pursue professionalism and excellence in their practice. We encourage and support the practice and study of art through thoughtful and informed investigation, experimentation and speculation.‌

You are expected to pursue your practice and research with a high level of independence but are supported by a supervisor who regularly meets with you to discuss your work and through cross-disciplinary seminars, group studio discussions and lectures by distinguished visiting artists. Our weekly Visiting Speakers Programme enables some of the most interesting and original artists, critics, curators, historians and art professionals working today to present and discuss their projects.

You will have 24-hour access to your studio and towards the end of June, when the undergraduate students are no longer in the building, the MFA students have access and the use of all the studios in the building in which to work over the summer and to subsequently exhibit.

We very much 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