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Contemporary Art Practice - MFA/MA
Please be advised that this curriculum is under review and changes may be applied to the programme from 2017/18 onwards.
Should they wish, it is possible for students enrolled on the MA Contemporary Art Practice to exit with an identified specialism of Sculpture, Painting or Photography on their degree transcript and certificate. You will be allocated a subject tutor related to your work. All students, regardless of subject, are taught as one cohort.
Our studio programme encourages practices that are speculative and reflective, encouraging work in a range of media. It is concerned with ways of learning that are experiential – embodied through and understood by the acquisition of a practice.
Students produce artworks and projects in a family of media, adapting approaches drawn from an increasingly wide array of subject disciplines. The programme also involves the theoretical study of this family of media and approaches, drawing on related fields and methods.
Media-related disciplines supported by the programme include sculpture, painting and printmaking, photography, a/v and new media. The programme also encompasses approaches to practice that are non media-specific, including intermedia, time-based arts, performance, installation, social-practice, education and artwriting.
The programme is aimed at professional artists who want to develop a more ambitious artistic practice by extending their practical, theoretical, organisational and economic knowledge. It develops from a broad to a specialist understanding of the technical resources and validating contexts in which artists work today, drawing inspiration and nourishment from the experience of our international student cohort.
A unique approach
A defining aspect of our studio programme is the emphasis it places upon speculative scepticism - not proceeding from the position of knowing what art is; rather, being motivated by speculation on what it might be. We generate an atmosphere that supports mutual co-operation, a dynamic, intellectually ambitious environment in which staff and students can learn together.
Our students often work collaboratively, therefore we are very eager to select applicants based on their ability to work well as part of a creative team as much as we are interested in their artistic and academic potential. We attract students from all over the world with very different backgrounds and experiences. The focus on building a supportive creative community, on the rigorous and experimental combination of theory and practice and the international profile of the student body makes our Masters programme unique.
Where it will take you
The School of Art contributes to Edinburgh’s contemporary art sector. Students benefit directly from our partners’ teaching and research input into their work, as well as from the considerable resources and experience they offer. Postgraduates exhibit their work in the Talbot Rice, Embassy and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop as well as in other venues in and beyond Scotland.
The School invites prominent artists, critics and curators to deliver our Friday Talks. Visitors also run workshops for our masters students and lead critiques. Additionally, the Embassy run a professional development programme for our students that features regular guests.
The programme will enable you to develop an ambitious art practice as well as provide you with the organisational and economic knowledge required to thrive as a self-employed artist. You will also be qualified to teach studio art in higher education and to work in the contemporary art sector.
Resources for History of Art, Art, Architecture and Landscape Architecture students.
Including journals, image databases, and local collections.
An amalgamation of the University's extensive art collection and ECA’s collection of prints, drawings, paintings and sculpture.
A fully operational, entirely student-run 90-seat theatre housed in a neo-gothic church.
Get information, advice and guidance about your career options.
Carving and mould-making facilities, a ceramics kiln, and casting amenities for bronze and aluminium.
The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh’s historic collections.
Work spaces are available across the University. ECA's computers include software tailored to the disciplines studied here.
At the heart of the Evolution House Learning and Research Zone, the ECA Library provides an innovative environment for learning, teaching and research resources in art and design.
ECAfé provides a full catering service to all staff, students and visitors to Edinburgh College of Art.
Edinburgh Global's mission is to encourage internationalisation, enhance the student experience, create and develop partnerships.
EUSA represent the student voice. They provide services, run events, and facilitate student societies.
Information and guidance on financial matters for all students of the University of Edinburgh.
A Georgian garden that doubles as a venue for performances in the centre of the city.
The primary collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and research material.
Welding torches, a forge, forming and shaping tools, and a 1-ton gantry crane with access to main workshop areas.
Used for displaying student work as well as hosting exhibitions and events.
Overlooking Edinburgh Castle, our painting studios provide a bright and airy space for working in.
By day, a café, bar and study space, and by night a club venue. Potterrow’s dome is also home to the Advice Place and the Potter Shop.
Includes a screen-printing room, relief room, lithography room, process room, intaglio room, and caseroom.
The neo-classical Sculpture Court in the ECA Main Building is home to the many pieces from the Edinburgh Cast Collection, and is regularly used for student exhibitions.
Caters to a diverse range of users from occasional exercisers to international athletes.
Offering counselling services for students, workshops, consultation and training for staff.
Supporting students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as those who have physical and sensory impairments.
Talbot Rice Gallery is the public art Gallery for the University of Edinburgh.
Home to six distinctive bars, Teviot is the oldest purpose built students' union in the world.
265 plaster casts of Antique, Renaissance, and Gothic statues, bas reliefs, and architectural passages.
A hub for the University Societies and setting regular live music, comedy, spoken word and poetry nights.
A bar at the Lauriston Campus which hosts regular events including club nights and gigs.
Woodworking tools and machinery include laser cutters, a vacuum former, and a 3D scanner and printer.
News & events
Gosia Walton's 'Laser Erotic' will be on show in Galerie Pact until 14th January 2017.
Tortsen Lauschmann’s work delighted visitors by continually repainting itself over the summer months.