MA Fine Art

Want to develop your artistic practice to a higher level? Building on your previous studies, our Fine Art Master’s degree aims to develop and broaden your knowledge and skills using new and alternative media. External partners and arts-based agencies provide opportunities to engage directly with the world of contemporary fine art.

MA Fine Art

Course details

Our MA in Fine Art offers an exciting opportunity to explore, develop and create. This course gives you the freedom to enhance your practical and creative skills, underpinned by a contextual research-based programme of critical studies. You’ll have a personal supervisor and work in the studio alongside your fellow MA Fine Art students. In addition, sessions focusing on entrepreneurial and contemporary exhibition/curatorial skills will help to extend your understanding of current practice and business management.

During your studies, you’ll develop a body of work for exhibition in the purpose-built fine art studio/exhibition area, to be held at the end of the course. You’ll have the chance to apply for commissions and work for external agencies, and be encouraged to make external links through exhibition or artist-in-residency opportunities.

Former Fine Art students were instrumental in founding Neo:artists Studios, a Bolton-based internationally-recognised contemporary art group with a dynamic exhibition programme. As an MA student you’ll have opportunities to access the facilities and mentoring at Neo:artists, in addition to the tuition and guidance you receive at the University.

  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: MA
  • Duration: 1 year

Course highlights:

  • Our collaboration with studio groups gives our students access to vibrant, professional artists’ studios and galleries, with many of these artists involved in delivering specialist workshops and lectures.
  • Guest speakers from a wide range of Fine Art practice, both national and international, are invited each year.
  • Our Fine Art students have been very successful in winning major regional and national competitions, including first prize in the NADFAS awards, winning of public art commissions, and awards in national and international art gallery shows.
  • Our dedicated tutors are practising artists with extensive experience of exhibiting their own work (nationally and internationally), group exhibition organisation, and public and private commissioning. We also have strong connections to arts organisations and commissioning agencies nationally and internationally.
  • We have the expertise and experience to support you to develop essential business management skills, such as business planning and writing proposal briefs for commission, exhibition and project work.
  • Through the wider networks of the tutors and Neo:artists you’ll have opportunities to access to the wider Greater Manchester contemporary art community, including Castlefield Gallery and Rogue Artists’ Studios. Central Manchester is just a 20-minute train ride away.

Key features:

  • Aimed at equipping you with discipline-specific and transferable employability skills, our MA Fine Art programme is practice-based and industry-focused. It offers rich learning experiences that emphasise live briefs and partnership working.
  • We focus on developing your professional studio practice, and examining the exhibition as a vehicle for the promotion of ideas, as well as a marketing device for artists.
  • You can examine contemporary practice across the board from traditional processes right up to the digital age. Access to Bolton-based studios and project spaces offers the additional stimulus of a wide range of working artists.
  • Our facilities include large, well-lit, dedicated open studio accommodation with an adjacent 2D art workshop that includes a range of printmaking processes, and a 3D art workshop that includes ceramic, glass and casting workshops. Technicians for the different specialisms are available to provide practical support and advice.
  • We have large shared wood and metal workshops that provide access to industrial-level processes and allow for large and small-scale construction.
  • We organise talks and lectures by artists in residence and guest speakers working in the field of fine art and related specialisms. These broaden your palate by providing insights into the life and influences of other creative professionals.

Entry requirements

  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: MA
  • Duration: 1 year

Normally, you should have an Upper Second Class (2.1) Honours degree (or higher) in an Art and Design related subject.

We’ll be happy to consider your application if you have alternative qualifications and/or experience demonstrating appropriate knowledge and skills at HE6.

You'll be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.5 with normally no less than 6.0 in any band (or equivalent). Find out more

Career opportunities

Fine art postgraduates are highly regarded for their abilities to visualise, think creatively and ‘outside the box’ and for their acquisition of specialist skills in both 2D and 3D areas. They are highly adaptable individuals who possess a range of specialist skills and are able to move into careers covering a wide spectrum of the creative industries.

This course allows you to develop your practice as an artist, and provides opportunities to gain skills in organisation and planning, researching, interpreting and analysing work, and curating events and exhibitions.

What can I do with this qualification?

Postgraduates with a fine art degree are increasingly embracing an interdisciplinary approach and finding new ways to blend different media. Fine Art Master’s graduates can fill a wide range of roles in public and community art, illustration, photography, interior design, curatorial positions in galleries and museums, art therapy, exhibition design and teaching. Some use their skills and experience for careers in management or teaching, whilst others establish themselves as independent artists with their own studio space.

Alternative career options

  • Arts administration and management
  • Interior and spatial design
  • Exhibition work
  • Multimedia programming
  • Publishing
  • Web design
  • Arts consultancy
  • Commercial art
  • Teaching and education
  • Art journalism
  • Art dealing
  • Art historian

Professional recognition

The programme is a member of NAFAE (National Association for Fine Art Education).

Fees & funding

Home/EU fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/21
2019/20 £5,400-£5,400
2020/21 -£5,400£5,400

International fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/21
2019/20 £12,450-£12,450
2020/21 -£12,450£12,450

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Advanced Fine Art Practice 1
  • Advanced Research and Study Skills
  • Advanced Fine Art Practice 2
  • Critical Thinking in Practice
  • Advanced Fine Art Practice 3
  • Critical Analysis and Reflection

Teaching, learning and assessment

We take a blended approach to learning and teaching, where you’ll have face-to-face sessions as well as engaging with online learning. Studio, workshop, computer suite, and lecture room activities are the main features of the programme, and you can expect to spend most your time in these specialist areas.

Lectures, seminars, demonstrations and masterclass workshops link specialisms across the traditional boundaries of painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and theory, and help to combine traditional techniques with modern technologies. You’ll also engage in self-directed study with support from a range of staff, including our expert technicians and library/learning resources staff.

You’ll receive formative feedback on your progress during one-to-one tutorials and peer review sessions. In terms of summative assessment, you can expect practical modules to involve an exhibition or other form of presentation, such as a portfolio of drawings and developmental work, and project outcomes in the form of artworks produced. These should be backed up by technical note files, sketchbooks, research files and reflective journals. Presentations may also include verbal presentations to clients or staff. Critical and theoretically-based modules typically require you to submit written reports or essays.

We invite visiting speakers, for instance prominent artists, designers, gallery administrators, or film makers to give lectures about their practice. These are opportunities to hear from successful practitioners about their careers and to ask detailed questions about how they’ve achieved this. We also bring in artists to run specialist masterclass workshops.

We make use of the University’s virtual learning environment, Moodle, and other e-learning facilities. This is important resource contains digital versions of all projects and book-lists, plus links to relevant websites, video materials, and other sources of learning.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (100%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (80%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (20%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
  • Duration:
    1 year

Contact us

Martina Mullaney
Programme Leader (Fine Art subject area)
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903378

Ged Young
Programme Leader (MA)
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903215

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903