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Fine Art, MFA

Newcastle University, the United Kingdom

Newcastle University

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The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
MFAFull-time24 monthsfind outfind outfind out

About Fine Art, MFA - at Newcastle University

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.

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


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. 

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.


We provide well-resourced workshops and student studios, from the open-plan first year studios designed for project work to purpose-built painting, sculpture, printmaking and digital media studios, all with full technical support. You will benefit from 24/7 access to the studios.

Our facilities also include designated gallery spaces, seminar rooms, a large lecture theatre and all students have the use of the award winning Peter Robinson Library and computer clusters around the University.

We are based in the same building as the Hatton Gallery, one of the largest exhibition spaces in North East England. This accommodates both student shows and large touring exhibitions. The Hatton's permanent collection consists of works of art from five centuries and includes the Elterwater Merzbarn construction by Kurt Schwitters.

Notes about fees for this course

See our course fees and funding webpage -

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.

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 7 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry: IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-skills)

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

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

Pre-sessional English Course Requirements

  • 6 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)     
  • 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)

You can study a pre-sessional English course at our INTO Newcastle Centre.

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