Key Information


1 year

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

MA Fine Art is a studio-based course that is aimed at those who wish to develop the critical, research, practical, and professional aspects of their art practice at the highest level. This interdisciplinary programme encourages creative risk-taking and intellectual enquiry. Alongside a strong emphasis on the richness and breadth of art from around the world, staff and students on the programme are encouraged to take an active role in Lincoln's contemporary art community.

Students will have access to studio space and benefit from strong links with national and international artists and curators, which in the past have included working with Lincolnshire Archives, The Blue Room, and others on collaborative projects. MA Fine Art has developed a close relationship with the Collection and Usher Gallery, General Practice (both based in Lincoln), and UK New Artists.

A range of artists and professionals are invited to deliver guest lectures and tutorials as part of ART TALKS. Recent speakers include Heath Bunting, Matthew Burrows MBE, Rachel Garfield, Etcétera, Joy Sleeman, and JJ Chan.

Medium-specific specialist themes are available, recognising the increased material focus of advanced practice in fine art.

Why Choose Lincoln

A studio-based course encouraging creative risks and intellectual enquiry

Take an active role in Lincoln's contemporary art community

Strong links with national and international artists and curators

A focus on independent research and practice

YouTube video for Why Choose Lincoln

How You Study

MA Fine Art is based in a dedicated studio and the production of work through studio practice is central to the programme. The structure of the course is designed to be supportive, but geared towards independent research and practice. Teaching occurs through tutorials, critiques, seminars, lectures, visiting artists and curators, study visits and, importantly, through sharing of research and ideas among the peer group. While student work must fulfil the relevant module assessment criteria, there are no limitations to the themes or topics.

Students will be taught on a Tuesday and Wednesday (full day), as well as occasionally on other days. We expect all of our students to work independently in addition to taught hours, to make up the full five days. It is expected that a full-time student will work independently for a minimum of 30 hours in addition to taught sessions.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Artist-as-Curator 2024-25ART9012MLevel 72024-25This module has two aims: to think professionally about the work they are making and how it can be displayed beyond the studio; and to develop knowledge of the role of the curator in contemporary art practice. Students are supported to develop an exhibition proposal and to consider it in relation to an existing professional exhibition. They are encouraged to submit proposals for real-life exhibition opportunities. This module is a “live brief project” that requires students to consider practical possibilities and limitations, alongside curatorial theory by staging a public exhibition at an off-campus venue. Students have the opportunity to work with industry professionals (such as curators and exhibitions officers) to develop a thematic exhibition in response to an object, collection or site. A series of seminars introduces students to exhibition history and curatorial theory, and how artists have used curation as part of their practice. Workshop sessions to develop an exhibition proposal and how to locate and apply for exhibition opportunities at the beginning of the module. The workshops will then move on to the realisation of a professional and public exhibition. Typically, these might include site visits where students work alongside curators to analyse the installation of exhibitions (from the technical aspects to the conceptual ones); and/or access to archives or museum stores where students engage with teaching and learning strategies such as “object-based learning” (where students study specific artworks or other objects in a museum collection, in person). Students will be involved with both the production of practical studio work and a public exhibition off-campus. There is an expectation of independence individually and as a group, in addition to taught sessions that will offer staff and peer feedback on progress towards an exhibition. Students are expected to research and visit exhibitions to learn first-hand by example and pay attention to exhibition and display qualities in the ART TALKS lectures.CoreExhibition 2024-25ART9014MLevel 72024-25The MA Fine Art course culminates with a large 60 credit module focused on the production of a body of work for public exhibition and accompanying events programme. This module allows students to consolidate their knowledge and skills gained to date on the course in the self-directed production of artwork(s) for public exhibition. This intensive period of production provides students with the time and space to develop a substantial body of work that clearly evidences an understanding of, and critical engagement with, their chosen subject matter. Each student is assigned an “exhibition supervisor” with whom they have a set number of meetings. Students also receive input from visiting artists and/or lecturers with the intention to disrupt the relationship between the student and supervisor and encourage students to take ownership of their decision-making. Further support is provided through regular exhibition and production meetings (Discourse 5). Students are assessed on the professional finish, installation and display of their artwork(s) which they contextualise, evaluate and respond to questioning through a corresponding event of their choice – typically a public event such as a symposium, panel discussion, workshop or artist’s talk, or an individual 10-minute viva - and a written or video statement. The focus of the student and the support in this module is on the professional display of their art in a group exhibition. A central element of the module is the generation of practical self-initiated studio work for an exhibition. Students will be supported by a studio supervisor who will meet with them at key points in the module to develop their work and to consider the best presentation of their work. At set points in the module, students will respond to other feedback from peers, staff and visiting artists in intensive crit sessions. These seek to challenge the student and to ultimately push them on to make better work. It is important for students in this module to consider the audience and how to best articulate their work to others. Students will also visit exhibitions, both in taught sessions and independently, to learn from good (and bad) practice from industry. A seminar focused on curatorial issues will form part of the learning in this regard. Regular group preparation and planning sessions for the exhibition will help students to organise other aspects of the public exhibition than their individual works. Students should bring forth the learning and good practice from the Artist-as-Curator and other modules into this final module. These taught sessions should be supplemented by peer-led planning sessions. It is expected that students work professionally, are organised, meet deadlines set and are collegiate and considerate of others, In addition to the exhibition, the students are expected to plan, develop and deliver a programme of public events (symposium, exhibition tour, artist talk, workshop or similar). This is in line with professional practice, where exhibitions are supplemented by a public programme. This also offers students excellent experience for future practice, as such the exhibition and public events form a bridge to the professional world that begins at the close of this module and course.CoreFuture Thinking 2024-25ART9013MLevel 72024-25Transferable skills and professional practice are integral to this module, which aims to prepare students for life after the course. Students can reflect on the career choices and opportunities that artists and academics have taken by attending a series of visiting lectures called "ART TALKS", which are later unpicked in discourse seminars. After the midway point of the module, students will deliver their own public presentation in this vein, including detailed discussion about the development of new artwork produced as part of the module. This assessment component measures transferable skills such as documentation of artwork, and visual and oral presentation skills. Students are then introduced to future career options in fine art, arts journalism, and research. Students learn about the professional requirements for making funding applications, publishing in art magazines, and applying for doctoral research in a series of workshops. They then select one of these to develop further, as a piece of extended writing for assessment that puts into practice the research methods they learned about in the Research and Experimentation module. Whichever option they choose, it must contextualise the practical work that they made for the presentation. All students develop a public talk on their practice. This is supported through observation of visiting artists.CoreResearch and Experimentation 2024-25ART9010MLevel 72024-25This module enables students to explore the relationship between research and practice in fine art. Students learn about the historical, political and ethical contexts of this relationship and reflect on how this applies to their own practices. Students challenge their existing practice and establish the grounding for their art practice in future modules through practical experimentation. To do this they must explore new avenues, techniques, concepts and/or materials. The resulting body of artwork should be informed and developed by both practical experimentation and research into contemporary art practice and theory. Consequently, students contextualise their studio experiments by researching contemporary art contexts, issues and practices. This is achieved by visiting exhibitions; attending artist talks, symposia and/or conferences; and reading current articles in academic journals and art magazines, as well as recently published books. They are asked to continuously reflect on both their research and experimentation and their ability research and experiment is assessed through a portfolio of practical work and supporting documents. Students learn about the (inter)relationship between research and practice in contemporary fine art through the following taught sessions. A series of research methods workshops introduce how artists borrow research methodologies from philosophy, history and the social sciences - creating exciting interdisciplinary approaches and new hybrid models. This is contextualised within the changing role of research in art education (related practical, political and ethical concerns related to how and why research has emerged as such a key component to fine art education are explored here) and in contemporary art practice (e.g. artists who use archives or investigative techniques). All students attend a programme of artist talks by professional visiting artists and academics. In some cases, the visitor will also offer 1-2-1 tutorials or group workshops. In this way, students are exposed to a variety of professional opinions, experiences and feedback on their work. Exhibition visits and discourse seminars introduce and debate different examples of contemporary fine art practice and theory. They are designed to future proof the module by necessarily engaging with up to date developments in the field. Studio tutorials help students to develop an understanding of the relationship between their research interests and their experimental studio practice. Students will be expected to take on and synthesise different opinions on their work from a variety of staff.CoreStudio Culture 2024-25ART9050Level 72024-25This module enables students to develop a professional practice through a focus on the studio as a fundamental aspect of art education. This is achieved in three ways: An atelier is both the name of the artist’s workshop and the place where artist-apprentices used to be trained. This module resurrects this tradition in combination with new technology. Staff work in the studio, alongside students, using time-lapse cameras to analyse their use of time and studio space. The midpoint of the module is marked by an “open studio”, where the students will engage directly with the invited public in dialogue about their work in progress and process. An artist statement will be written for this, which will be reviewed following public feedback and subsequently honed for summative assessment. Students are assessed on their ability to document and critically reflect on their own use of studio space and to identify training needs or areas for improvement, to develop a personalised “best practice” for studio culture in a “Studio Culture Portfolio”. This experience is contextualised through “ART TALKS”, a programme of staff and visiting artist talks, which exposes students to a wider variety of professional practices. Students will focus on the importance of the studio to the making of work both physically and conceptually. Central to the module is the active use of the studio and an awareness of what works best for the student. By focusing on the what, why and how of making, rather than on final products, the learning in this module will shape the progress of work in other modules on the course and beyond. Students will keep an ongoing review and evaluation of best practice for studio work, based on observation of studio activity by staff and peers. The first part of the module will focus on the safe and efficient working procedures for materials, methods and processes. This will be done in the MA studio, the surrounding workshops and in other 'studio' type environments. Students will also have a workshop in professional documentation of artwork. Students will be asked to consider how they use the studio currently and what they want to test out that is new during the module. From this the students should identify and act on training needs or areas for improvement for studio activity. A weekly seminar (Discourse 2) will take place in the studio to encourage debate around recent issues regarding the artist's studio including traditional models, post-studio culture and the studio as artwork. There will also be a research trip to visit professional artist studios. At the midway point students will open the studio to the public. There will consideration of display of ongoing studio work to public, as well as how to market the event. At this stage the students will also write an artist's statement to articulate their practice. Feedback should be sought from the public and reflected on to form the basis for progression of work and the statement for final assessment. The open studio should be documented to a high standard. Consideration of the interpretation of studio work by others is a key part of the learning and will be engaged with through discussion with public, written evaluation and written artist statement. To succeed in this module the student should be actively involved with a studio culture through the whole module.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

Students are assessed in a variety of ways, including spoken presentations, written submissions, and the presentation of critically grounded artwork or curated exhibitions.

MA Fine Art Degree Show

Explore the creative outputs of our MA Fine Art students through an interactive tour.


MA Fine Art students have previously organised group exhibitions, including at The Collection Museum, The Usher Gallery, General Practice, The Blue Room, and Project Space Plus (all in Lincoln). They have also had the chance to work with UK New Artists, and Two Queens (Leicester) on exhibition opportunities. The course provides the opportunity to visit exhibitions and local galleries in Lincoln and there have been visits in previous years to Sheffield, Nottingham, and London.


A range of artists and professionals are invited to deliver guest lectures and tutorials as part of ART TALKS. Recent speakers include Heath Bunting, Matthew Burrows MBE, Rachel Garfield, Etcétera, Joy Sleeman, and JJ Chan.

Programme Leader Martin Lang is part of the University’s digitalisation steering group. He makes paintings at the intersection of the digital and the analogue, has presented his findings at conferences, and is featured in the book Painting, Photography, and the Digital: Crossing the Borders of the Mediums (2022). Martin has been publishing research on art activism since 2012. His forthcoming book Militant Aesthetics: Radical Art After 9/11, which will be published with Bloomsbury, is based on fieldwork research and interviews with a variety of art activist collectives over the last decade.

Senior lecturer Andrew Bracey is part of a research collective (Danica Maier, Andrew Bracey, Lucy Renton and Sarah Bennett) that has developed the notion of the “controlled rummage as artistic strategy”. Working with the Lace Archive (Nottingham Trent University), they developed a body of artwork that was exhibited at Backlit Gallery (Nottingham, 2018), Ruskin Gallery (Cambridge, 2019), Constance Howard Gallery (London 2019), and which led to the publication of a book and journal article. Following this, Andrew has worked with the Tennyson Archive (Lincoln) to develop the method further, leading to new outputs and exhibitions – this time at The Hub/National Centre for Craft and Design (Sleaford) and the Collection Museum (Lincoln), and another book with critical texts by art historians and experts on archives and other arts experts. Both iterations of this research project were awarded Arts Council Funding.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
A student listening in a seminar

Interviews and Portfolios

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview, where they will present a portfolio of their recent artwork to be assessed. International applicants are offered a video call interview and must submit a digital portfolio of twelve images, saved as a PDF, prior to interview.

The purpose of the interview is to discern whether this is the right course for you. You should prepare for interview by re-reading this course page, so that you are familiar with the course (especially if you have not previously attended an open day). We will assess your potential to benefit from the course, your ideas, and your understanding of contemporary art. We are therefore more interested to learn about the journey, curiosities, and drives behind your portfolio of work than assessing your technical abilities. The interview is very much a two-way process and you will have a chance to ask questions.

Portfolio Advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate:

  • Your art practice in 12 images. These may include original artworks (if you are interviewing in person) or documentation of artworks (if they cannot be brought to interview). Examples of documentation of artworks include:
      • Finished artworks
      • Sketches and plans
      • Film stills
      • Multiple angles of a single artwork (e.g. installations)

  • Your interests (e.g. artistic, conceptual, political, technological)
  • Your ambition and a sense of your future direction at Master's level study

Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

First or upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent professional experience.

Not sure if your undergraduate degree is relevant? In most cases, as long as you have a degree, an awareness of what contemporary art is, and a portfolio of recent artwork, the subject of your undergraduate degree is not a concern.

Equivalent industry experience typically includes:

• Maintaining a studio over several years (ideally, working alongside other artists)

• Exhibiting your artwork in galleries (including open calls such as the Creekside Open, the RA Summer Exhibition, or EASTinternational)

• Setting up your own, artist-run exhibitions (possibly in alternative spaces, such as disused shops or warehouses)

• Working as an artist in residence (e.g. in a museum, cathedral, community centre, archive or other).

• Being shortlisted for national prizes and competitions (such as the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award, First Plinth Public Art Award, the Contemporary British Painting Prize, or the Threadneedle Prize - there are many more).

Contact Programme Leader Martin Lang, or attend an applicant day to discuss in person, if you are unsure about your suitability.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications:

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page:

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses:

These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

You will need to pay for your own art materials. As each student develops their own artwork, in their own choice of medium, material costs can range widely. In some cases, there is no cost at all, for example, for digital work (projected or shown on monitors) and some performances.

Students have access to workshop facilities such as sculpture (including wood, metal, plaster, plastics, and resin work), ceramics and printmaking (including acrylic resist etching, digital print and screen-printing). Consumables for these workshops can be purchased through our online shop.

We typically run 2-3 compulsory UK trips per year. We usually visit cities that are accessible for days trips from Lincoln, such as Nottingham, Sheffield, and London. Usually, the only cost involved with study trips is for travel, but sometimes there might be an entrance fee (and you will have to budget for lunch).

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
Two students working on a laptop in a study space

Career Development

Previous graduates have gone on to have successful careers as artists, exhibiting their work (X-Church, Gainsborough; 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe; Ferens Gallery, Hull), undertaking commissions (by UK Young Artists, and No Jobs in the Arts), and residencies (such as the Environmental & Sustainability Artist Residency at the Collection Museum and Usher Art Gallery, Lincoln). Some have been selection for prestigious exhibitions (such as New Contemporaries), have won art prizes (like the Artescape fellowship), and received Arts Council funding. Other graduates of MA Fine Art have set up (and run) Turntable Gallery in Grimsby and Lumo Workshop – an artist-led community arts organisation. Others still have undertaken curatorial internships and doctoral research.

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact the Programme Leader.

Dr Martin Lang

Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
A group of students sat around a table, working together on a project
The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.