This programme gives artists, practitioners, and teachers the opportunity to enrich and consolidate theories of contemporary art and learning. Engage with practice and theory, develop innovative research approaches, and critically debate the changing nature of contemporary art.
Why study MA Arts and Learning (MAAL) at Goldsmiths?
- You’ll be taught by staff who are nationally and internationally renowned and published artist-researcher teachers.
- You’ll draw on the international scope of contemporary art practices in London. This degree has partnerships with international galleries including Tate Modern, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Showroom Gallery.
- The programme places a strong emphasis on student-centred and directed learning. Teaching sessions and personal tutorials will draw on the critical reflection and development of your artist-teacher practices, including artistic, theoretical, political, and learning and teaching concerns.
- You’ll be part of a diverse student community, and will have the opportunity to develop and maintain collaborative peer networks and support.
- You’ll have access to an extensive programme of guest lectures, presentations and projects. In the past, this has included talks from Grayson Perry, Yinka Shonibare, Sonia Boyce, Susan Pui San Lok, Danny Devenny, Mark Ervine, Marty Lyons and John Matthews, hosted through our Centre for Arts and Learning (CAL).
- The MAAL can be a pathway before or after the completion of a UK QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) programme, such as the PGCE (Secondary): Art & Design.
What you'll study
The programme places a strong emphasis on student-centred and directed learning, where teaching sessions and personal tutorials draw on the critical reflection and development of your artist-teacher practices: including artistic, theoretical, political and learning and teaching concerns.
The modules of the programme are all underpinned with theories of contemporary art, learning and critical and dialectical pedagogical theories and philosophies.
You'll attend all lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials where you'll engage in questioning the political, ideas, practices, theory and philosophy related to the specific topics of: contemporary art practice, teaching and learning, identity and place/space construction, dialectical pedagogical theories and practice, social engagement, and research-led practices where you'll be encouraged and expected to critically discuss and debate the issues raised.
But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. Independent learning/research (practice with theory) is expected throughout the MAAL, this typically involves critical reflection and development of your practices as artist-teacher including additional readings, preparing topics for discussion/presentations, working with fellow students, producing essays, artist-teacher statements, research, planning, organising and producing practice-based work and/or projects, curating exhibitions and presentations, both individually and collaboratively.
This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be deeply engaged with theory and practice to develop and sustain your own ideas and practices as artist-teachers.
To enable greater flexibility for you and more equitable experience for full-time and part-time students, the MAAL programme has a modular structure, with the majority of teaching sessions usually conducted in the evenings.
This also enables part-time and full-time students to attend the same evening teaching sessions and therefore form a collaborative and supportive learning environment.
For you to obtain the postgraduate degree of MAAL you will need to complete 180 CATS at Masters level.
The MAAL comprises five core modules (150 CATS) and one option module (30 CATS).
The MA Arts and Learning utilises a number of complementary assessment strategies. These have been devised to appropriately assess the range of learning outcomes and are underpinned by the ethos of the programme these include, exhibition/presentation/performance, essay, viva voce.
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You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in an appropriate arts-based area with additional experience in learning contexts and a commitment to arts education.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
How to apply
You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.
Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:
- Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF or completed online
- If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
You'll be asked to upload/include up to 10 images of your practice/artwork as part of your application. The images can be of present and/or past personal artwork/performance/installation etc.
You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.
When to apply
We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.
We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.
Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.
Through the programme, you’ll develop independent thinking, understand theoretical underpinning, and the ability to question and have confidence in your ideas and practice - skills that will benefit you throughout your chosen career. You'll also develop:
- Critical and analytical skills
- Creative and practical skills
- Ability to express complex and sophisticated ideas with clarity and confidence
- The ability to work independently and collaboratively
- IT skills
As a MAAL alumna, you’ll continue to research and engage in the presentation of your practices through practice, exhibitions, socially-engaged projects, international conferences and international journals.
Our graduates have an outstanding employment record in the fields of education, galleries/museums, social work/charity, health, public administration and welfare with the majority of graduates gaining full-time employment in a variety of careers including:
- Teacher, lecturer, tutor
- Heads of Faculties/Departments
- Community artists
- Gallery educators/curators
- Practising artists/photographers