MA (Hons) Fine Art (5-year Undergraduate programme that combines Fine Art and History of Art)

What’s different about this programme?

Fine Art MA (Hons) is a five-year undergraduate degree, which unlike many other Fine Art degrees, is an equal split between History of Art and studio-based art practice. In the first two years, you will study core courses in both Art and History of Art, alongside a choice of courses offered by ECA and other Schools within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. You will have the opportunity to learn from specialists in a variety of periods and geographies. We offer courses in Global Art, including Chinese, Islamic, Pre-Hispanic and South Asian art; pre-modern, modernist, and contemporary European artistic movements, among them the Italian Renaissance, European Modernism and Scottish art; as well contemporary eco-critical art, feminist art and activism, and arts and crafts movements. In third and fourth years, you will choose from a range of specialised topics in History of Art and develop a more independent approach to your studio practice in Art. In you final year, you will write a 10,000-word dissertation a research topic of your own choosing and develop a body of work which you will exhibit in the Degree Show.


This programme prepares you for a range of careers in the art world such as curatorships in galleries and museums, art journalism, publishing and art dealing. Some graduates use their skills and experience for careers in management or teaching, while some choose to go on to further academic study. Other graduates establish themselves as successful independent artists and art historians.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder, where you'll also be able to

  • see the structure of the programme and what you will study each year
  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about fees
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder


If you have any questions about the application process, your qualifications or deadlines, our Undergraduate Admissions Office will be happy to help you.

Email the Undergraduate Admissions Office: futurestudents@ed.ac.uk


Application process

Assessors are looking for highly motivated applicants with the skills and attributes that will enable them to make the most of the programme. They are looking for evidence of creativity and individuality in the development and resolution of your ideas. The aim is to form an understanding of the potential of how you, as an applicant, might respond and contribute to the challenges of the programme.  

The portfolio allows us to build up a picture of your capacities to think creatively to embrace new ideas, manipulate materials, organize information, and identify the context in which you are working. 

We would recommend also looking at the BA (Hons) Fine Art programme page for more detailed information on putting together an art portfolio.  


What happens next?

We will contact you with our decision by mid-May. If you are made an offer, you will be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day.

Offer Holder Days typically take place in April and are opportunities for successful applicants to learn more about their subject areas and life as a student at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh. Whether you visit us in person or attend a virtual Offer Holder Day, you will have the opportunity to meet with academic staff and current students from your programme, tour the studios and other facilities and attend general information sessions.

Alumni profiles


Dr Cole Collins

Teaching Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art History

Programme Director Fine Art (MA)

Email: cole.collins@ed.ac.uk

Facilities and resources

Overlooking Edinburgh Castle, our painting studios provide a bright and airy space for working in.

These facilities are provided for both cold and hot casting processes, allowing you to work on small as well as large-scale pieces.

Welding torches, a forge, forming and shaping tools, and a 1-ton gantry crane with access to main workshop areas.

The Photography Suite provides facilities and studios for students to gain a grounding in nearly all aspects of photography including process and developing as well as printing of photographs.

This large wood workshop hosts a huge range of machinery and hand tools for the cutting, shaping, and general fabrication of woods, as well as metals, plastics, and cardboard.


College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Email: futurestudents@ed.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565