What to Expect
This course is open to students who have graduated in any art or design related degree subject and who already have the knowledge and experience of a specialist area. The MA will allow you to continue with your area of specialism whilst being supported by subject lecturers.
Alternatively, you may be looking for a Master’s degree, but you are not clear which specialism to focus on. From our experience with students from all over the world, we know that there is sometimes a mismatch between previous experience and future ambitions. This course is for you: MA Art & Design is flexible enough to provide opportunities for you to experiment by trying out new approaches and developing new skills before finding your focus. As you move through the programme you will then start to identify and execute your final project, and we can support you to move to one of our specialist MA programmes if you want.
The emphasis is on the design, delivery and exhibition of an enquiry-based MA project that expands your individual knowledge of art/design (e.g. fine art painting, sculpture, installation or mixed media, design, spatial or interior design/styling, 3D or product design, ceramics, craft or jewellery).
As the flexible course supports students across a range of subjects, you will have the unique opportunity to explore your area of focus within an interdisciplinary global culture as you collaborate with like-minded artists, designers and visual communicators, gaining experience and inter-disciplinary insight that could open up a world of career opportunities.
Specialist subject lecturers will work with you to develop your skills and ideas. Our inter-disciplinary staff team are available to support all students across our postgraduate programmes, giving you the flexibility to work across the field art and design in order to build a professional portfolio that demonstrates both core skills and creative flair.
Set and self-initiated projects will help refine core skills and develop the practical tools and awareness of current technologies, digital, material and experiential platforms and methodologies that engage you with audiences, users and communities as you explore the practices of art and design today. You will develop the research skills at the heart of the creative process and be introduced to current thinking in critical practice to help you develop your own voice and locate your own practice within relevant theoretical, ethical, technological and global contexts.
Opportunities for internships or mentoring within the programme help you make industry contacts, build your CV, and prepare you for future work. All MA students can apply for an internship with our partner Hearst Magazines UK. Workshops and talks from Visiting Lecturers from the creative industries provide professional insight and career advice.
The course offers opportunities for work experience or mentoring that helps you make industry contacts, build your CV and prepare you for work in a variety of roles in the cultural and creative industries, as well as independent art or design practice.
Our collaboration with industry partners including Hearst Magazines UK sets our programme apart. You can apply for an internship with one of their contemporary brands to gain experience of the creative and media industry. Previous students have interned with Hearst across departments at Esquire, ELLE, Red, and ELLE Ukraine, as well as fashion and jewellery design houses including Hussain Chalayan and Imogen Belfield, and photography agencies in London and worldwide. These placements have helped previous students develop lasting professional contacts —and even their first magazine job at Hearst.
Industry Projects & Live Briefs
In addition, you will gain insight into industry through competitions, projects and live briefs. These have included a project set by award-winning creative agency The District, a fashion editorial story set by ELLE, live branding project set by the entrepreneurial women behind new fashion launch Sosandar, and a digital content/social media project from Digital Spy. Our programme of Visiting Lecturers has included innovative professionals working across art and design, including inter-disciplinary fine artist Alison Gibb; Elana Elana Jeeaoo, Senior Visual Designer at ustwo, David Tang, lead motion graphics designer at NBC Universal, as well as leading Creative Directors Suzanne Sykes (Sunday Times) and Tom Meredith (ELLE), and top Editors Michelle Ogundehin (ELLE Decoration) and Anne-Marie Curtis (ELLE).
The course provides students with the experience and expertise to pursue career possibilities in the expanding creative industries and cultural sector in the UK and worldwide, including media, publishing and magazine opportunities offered by Hearst. Graduates of MA Art & Design have gone on to careers in magazine design and publishing; freelance and in-house graphic design; teaching and art and design education; fashion business and retail.
Career advice is embedded throughout the programme. Teaching is provided by a team of experienced and industry-active staff and supported by Visiting Lecturers in practice and/or industry, working in the fields of fashion design, graphic design, digital media and communications, photography, illustration, fine art, curating and criticism, craft and product design and design research.
Resources & Facilities
All students on our MA programmes have access to a wide range of resources to support their studies and the hybrid nature of contemporary practice across art and design including:
- Industry-standard software including Adobe Creative Cloud, Maxon Cinema 4D.
- Photography studios and access to wet darkroom.
- Digital Media Suite and technical support.
- Wood, Metal and Ceramics 3D workshops and technical support.
- Drawing studio.
- Prototype Lab (including 3D printer and laser-cutter).
- Industrial sewing machines and technical support from garment technician.
- Gerber technology.
- Academic Skills Advisor (available for group and 1:1 tutorials).
In addition to facilities and expertise offered at CSVPA, students have been supported to collaborate with technology experts in Cambridge including engineers at University of Cambridge, Cambridge Makespace, as well as local digital printing industries.
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