University of the Arts London (UAL)

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1 Programme Specification Every taught course of study leading to a UAL award is required to have a Programme Specification. This summarises the course aims, learning outcomes, teaching, learning and assessment methods, and course structure. Programme Specifications are developed through course validation and are formally approved by UAL Validation Sub Committee (VSC). They are available to prospective students through the course web page, and must be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure currency of information (for example, following any minor modification or local developments). Awarding Body University of the Arts London (UAL) Teaching Institution Central Saint Martins Final Award Relevant QAA Benchmark Statement MA Fine Art Art & Design Date of production/revision March 2015 This section is available to provide any introductory information on the course. It might include explanation of the position of courses which form a named pathway within an umbrella programme. Course Aims The aims of the course identify the rationale underlying the student s educational experience and own personal achievement from studying on the course and its affect upon the student s long term achievement and career. This course aims to: develop students creative abilities to instigate and produce work that is innovative, critical and explores the boundaries and contexts of contemporary fine art practice and debates; enable students to evaluate and position their work within a contemporary critical framework; prepare students for ongoing professional practice or for progress to research degree registration; provide students with a challenging, supportive and inclusive environment for the production of art and related research. 1

2 Course Outcomes The course enables the student to demonstrate the following subject knowledge and understanding, intellectual and academic skills, practical subject skills, key attributes and transferable skills. Each outcome should be detailed below. As a consequence of successfully completing this course it is expected that students will be able to: develop a professional practice that engages in and /or challenges the field of fine art; articulate an in-depth critical understanding of theories, contextual issues and debates relevant to your practice; demonstrate a highly developed and appropriate synthesis of practical, research, evaluative and reflective skills; communicate creative concepts, complex knowledge and critical thinking effectively through both visual and written forms; initiate, manage and realise a purposeful and feasible programme of original creative practice. Learning and Teaching Methods: Provide a summary of the relevant learning and teaching methods for the course. We use a number of key teaching strategies within the MA that structure the course and provide a range of approaches for considering questions within students practice. Study statement: This is intended to help students identify the current interests and concerns in their practice as it undergoes changes over the first part of the MA course. As such it should help students clearly articulate their intentions for their individual study programme through the course Lecture Programme: There are a number of lecture programmes throughout the course to help contextualise and broaden students practice. As well as the lectures open only to the course there are also college and programme wide lectures and artists talks. Personal Tutorials: Students will have a minimum of 5 personal tutorials every year. Students will work with their tutor to develop their practice and their research 2

3 paper. Collaborative projects: An important aspect of the course is an emphasis on selforganisation and collaborative working as key aspects of contemporary practice. As students develop more independence over the course, they will have opportunities to engage with a variety of collaborative projects. These can include international exchanges, external exhibitions and trans-disciplinary partnerships, publication and site specific events. Practice Events: The unit is organised around a series of Practice Events. These are an opportunity to organize and curate finished work in a group context. Students will learn how to negotiate a space collectively and engage in critical discussion with their peers. Each student will produce a piece of finished and installed work and feedback will be through a day long crit with staff drawn from different subject areas and courses. Crits are documented by the student and the critical reflection will form part of students support portfolio for their Unit 2 Assessment. Interim Exhibition: In the spring term of year 1 the interim exhibition brings together students from across the CSM Postgraduate Art Programme. This is a point in the unit where students will receive formative feedback on their work and progress. Students will prepare their work for a public context in an external venue. Student-led, this initiative offers important experience of the skills required to organise a professional event and to present and test your work appropriately Postgraduate Auction: The auction happens in the Autumn Term of year 2 giving students a direct experience of a live commercial auction. Alongside donated works from alumni and supporters, each student is asked to put up a piece for sale. Proceeds pay for the Interim Show and the catalogue. Research Paper and Concept Groups: Students will conclude their Research Paper over the duration over Unit 2. We will start with Concept Group sessions to facilitate discussion of shared ground and/or differing concerns. Concept Group sessions are designed to facilitate discussion amongst all students in the year group to help them think through and develop their ideas towards the Research Paper proposal. Students will discuss their developing paper with their personal tutor and in group review sessions. Students will hand in their completed Research Paper in the spring term of Year 2 and from that point they will be working towards their final exhibition. Degree Show: Unit 2 works towards the presentation of finished work in the context of a curated MA exhibition at King s Cross in the summer term. This is a celebratory event of students individual and collective achievements on the course. Assessment Methods: Provide a summary of the relevant assessment methods for the course. 3

4 Holistic assessment of achievement as demonstrated through: research and preparatory work study statement outputs from group project work and assignments documentation of work verbal and visual presentations written work participation in activities and debate self-critical evaluation realisation of individual programme of practice Reference Points List any policies, descriptors, initiatives or benchmark statements used in the development of the course. The following reference points were used in designing the course: The Learning and Teaching policies of the University of the Arts London College policies and initiatives HE Level Descriptors Art and Design Benchmark statement Experience of contemporary fine art practice External professional organisations Programme Summary Programme structures, features, units, credit and award requirements: List the course details that constitute the agreed student entitlement for this course. This should include unit titles and credit, types of learning, learning hours per week and details of tutorial support. The Course is of 60 weeks duration, arranged in two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each, i.e. two academic years, in what is known as an extended full time mode. In year one students are expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week. In year two study is predominantly self-managed but students are expected to commit an average of 20 hours per week. Across the two years, therefore, students are expected to commit an average of 30 hours per week. The course comprises two Units. Units 1 lasts 15 weeks. Unit 2 follows and runs for 45 weeks. Students successfully achieving Unit 1 may exit at this point with the award of Postgraduate Certificate. Units are as follows: 4

5 Unit 1: What is Practice? (60 credits) In this Unit students will explore and develop the relationship between their research and their evolving practice. Drawing on tutorials, critiques and technical workshops, this unit enables students to orient and develop their practice by investigating and implementing practical and critical processes in line with the aims set out in their Study Statement. Students will also be introduced to research skills and methods to help them make informed decisions about appropriate approaches and methods to use in their chosen area of study. Through the Unit students will develop their Study Statement, evaluating their research interests as they change over the first part of the course. The student statement grows through a process of continuous reflection that helps students understand their practice and its contexts more clearly. It will provide a considered and focused evaluation of their current concerns and development as artists, in addition to helping them define their objectives for the rest of the MA course. Each student brings a body of knowledge and a cultural perspective to the course and the teaching events in Unit 1 stimulate encounters between these different perspectives through peer presentations, group crits, study statement workshops and a weekly seminar programme. Running in parallel are lectures introducing students to ideas, discourses and critical positions in contemporary Fine Art Lectures are given by external guest speakers and by staff across the Art Programme, introducing students to their research expertise and interests. These lectures also explore the interface between practice and research and provide a context within which students will become familiar with different approaches to research methods. The diverse range of staff research enables the course to support a broad range of experimental practices, research methods and forms of enquiry. We aim to establish a cohesive and active community within the course, building a learning environment that questions established Fine Art practices and allows new forms of practice to grow. Trans-disciplinary exchange, collaboration and technical investigation are encouraged. The course fosters a collective engagement with making, speaking and writing. This unit supports students in developing confident, self-directed practice led by an appetite for material exploration, ideas, research, discourse and risk taking. We expect students to integrate their own research concerns within the culture of the course, being open to questioning and change. 5

6 Unit 2: Realisation of Research and Practice (120 credits) This unit has two parts. Students will undertake the first in the second half of year one and the second (more independently) in year two. The first 15 weeks focus on students developing practice according to questions raised in their study statement and the aims of their research paper. The Unit takes an ambitious approach to practice, heightening their awareness of current ideas and placing their practice in context. During year two students are supported in the production of a body of work for exhibition, and in the completion of their agreed written work. Support takes the form of tutorials, technical advice and bookable workshops. By the end of Unit 2 students exhibited and written work should reflect a synthesis of reflexive, conceptual, practical and professional abilities. The mark for Unit 2 determines the classification of the MA award. Distinctive features of the course: Identify and list those characteristics that distinguish your course from other, similar courses. Refer to both the student experience on the course and future possible career opportunities. Artists today recognise the breadth and diversity of the social, cultural, economic, technological and political contexts for contemporary art. MA Fine Art at CSM engages with and contributes to the change and development in this expanded field of art. We promote a broad range of experimental practices, encouraging a responsive environment for research questions to be brought into play. The international profile of the course means that the community we foster is ideologically and culturally diverse. Building debate and practice in this context is the challenge and currency of the course for both staff and students. The course seeks to support enquiry through trans-disciplinary exchange and a collective engagement with making, speaking and writing. Research based teaching strategies including events and discussion, seek to engage and extend students experience, skills and critical thinking in ways which stretch their individual and collective practice. The course actively maintains its longstanding links with cultural institutions and professional organisations initiating exhibitions, events and collaborations which seek to challenge orthodoxies of production and reception. Through these opportunities students will bring works into a public 6

7 context, experiment with forms of exhibition making, learn about gallery education and professional presentation skills. Together with MA Photography and MA Art & Science, MA Fine Art is situated within the Art Programme. Cross-programme lectures and regular installs offer the opportunity for cross-course engagement. As well as this the interim and degree shows are organised and installed jointly across all three postgraduate courses. Studying Fine Art at MA level is an opportunity to examine students practice and consider questions that emerge through it, addressing them in a focused way and drawing on their experience since they were last in an education. The course operates in extended full time mode over two years; having a taught component of 2.5 days a week, college access 5/6 days a week and library access 7 days a week during term time. This allows for flexible learning on students part, so that they can balance elements of the course according to their individual work and personal commitments. The pacing of the course allows for informed risk taking and thoughtful development over the two years. Most importantly, it allows time for questioning and radical change. MA Fine Art studios are sited in an independent building at Archway, offering a reflective space of self-determination for the student as an artist whilst access to the extraordinary workshops and facilities of the King s Cross campus provide opportunities for exhibition, seminars and lectures. Students will establish shared studio and project spaces within a framework that forefronts both autonomous practice and collective responsibilities, emphasising how to collaborate professionally. A broad extracurricular offer of lectures, events and seminars within and beyond the postgraduate programme at UAL extends these debates in more depth. From the outset, an intensive programme of study develops students research skills and knowledge of research modes in art-related fields. Students learning extends across our Postgraduate Art Programme, offering invaluable opportunities for peer association and familiarisation with the college s research community. Research underpins the critical exploration of their work, its structuring, context and communication, and drives their expanding knowledge of contemporary cultural debates. The course supports the development of students thinking and practice through a study statement, introduced and developed during the first 15 weeks. The statement helps students manage their individual practice and articulate concerns as they arise or develop. Students practice is supported through lectures and seminars exploring key theories and critical issues with a range of specialist staff and visiting speakers. 7

8 The student s study statement, considered alongside work in progress, leads to an agreed individual study programme for Unit 2. This programme addresses students learning and aims, as a whole, taking in ideas, research methods and projected forms, as well as the theoretical and professional contexts for their practice. Recruitment and Admissions Admission Policy/Selection Criteria Summarise relevant details contained in the validation papers i.e. list the methods used in selection such as interviewing. Selection criteria should be fully listed. The course welcomes applicants representing a wide range of ages and life experiences, educational and working backgrounds, cultural roots and nationalities. Selection is based on: 1: The application form, with an initial, indicative written Study Statement. This is an initial outline proposal of the applicant s intentions for the course. A template is provided to help structure this. This must be accompanied by a submission of selected images of the applicant s work on CD or DVD, evidencing your current creative practice, and a short contextual statement (see Admission procedures below for further details). The application should also be accompanied by two references, at least one of which should be academic or professional, and copies of the latest qualifications certificates. The application, indicative Study Statement and supporting material will be assessed for: the quality of the applicant's practice the appropriateness of the applicant s skills, experience and practice to the area of interest identified for development in the course effective communication of intentions, purposes and issues the level of contextual awareness the potential for realisation of the stated objectives within the timeframe of the course and envisaged resources evidence that the applicant has the confidence and ability to benefit from and contribute to the learning environment at postgraduate level 8

9 2: The interview, for those applicants selected following submission of the form, indicative study statement and supporting work. The interview is used to evaluate the extent to which a candidate demonstrates: a thoughtful and responsible approach to practice the capacity for independent research appropriate critical and reflective abilities an awareness of the cultural and social context within which they practice appropriate communication skills a preparedness to participate collaboratively in debate, practice and presentation References and interviews help determine whether the personal and professional aspirations of the applicant are compatible with the aims and outcomes of the course. Interviews also give the opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate an objective, critical and reflective relationship to their work. Entry Requirements List the entry requirements relevant to the course. An applicant will be considered for admission who has already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours Degree. This educational level may be demonstrated by: possession of an Honours Degree or an equivalent academic qualification; possession of a professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours Degree; prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required; a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning, which taken together can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required. Possession of entry qualifications alone does not entitle a candidate to be admitted to the Course. Evidence of ability is demonstrated by the applicant s application and accompanying materials. Advanced entry: applicants may be considered for admitted at a point later than the start of the Course, provided that they have fulfilled, in a way judged to be equivalent, the requirements of the Course prior to the proposed point of entry. 9

10 Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their competence in English to IELTS Level 6.5 by the production of an IELTS Certificate with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or evidence of an equivalent level of achievement. Admission Procedures The selection procedures for the course must adhere to the Equal Opportunities Policy of UAL. All applicants should apply directly to the College using the College s application form and Project Proposal template. This must be accompanied by a submission of up to 20 images or relevant documentary material evidencing their current creative practice. This may be in the form of slides, or images up to 4Mb each on CD, and/or DVD of 10 minutes maximum duration accompanied by a short introductory contextual statement ( words). Text files should be in Word 2007 or PDF format. The total amount of all submitted work must fit within a posting bag measuring a maximum of 30cm x 48cm. Applicants with a Home or EU status, should send their completed application direct to : Student Administration, MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA International applicants should send the completed application to: The International Office, MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA. The form should also be accompanied by two references, at least one of which 10

11 must be academic or professional, and copies of latest qualifications certificates. The Course welcomes discussion with potential applicants regarding the appropriateness of initial proposals, and encourages applicants to take every opportunity to make contact in advance of application. It is not essential that EU or international applicants attend an interview, but the Course Leader would seek to discuss the application by telephone. For applicants who are unable to attend for interview, (for example overseas candidates), a decision regarding the offer of a place on the course will be made on the basis of review of the application materials. Notes are kept in relation to decisions made following the initial application review and the interview process. Selection is conducted by two members of staff (normally the Course Leader and one other member of staff) and offers of places are made on the basis of the selection criteria above. Applicants are informed of the decision via either the College Office or the International Office. The selection procedures for the course adhere to the Equal Opportunities policy of the University of the Arts London. Course Diagram Insert a course diagram which includes; units and their credit values, plus credit values per year/level, category of units (i.e. core or specialist), progression routes, years/levels of the course, any other relevant characteristics that distinguishes the course See below 11

12 MA Fine Art Course Diagram and Assessment Map red lines = unit assessment points; grey squares = personal tutorials Year One Winter Spring Summer wk Unit 1: What is Practice? (60 credits) Unit 2: Realisation of Research and Practice (120 credits) progress review wk Year Two Winter Spring Summer wk Unit 2 cont : Realisation of Research and Practice wk

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