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MFA Art, Society & Publics


Do you want to be part of a vibrant artistic community to develop your art practice and critical awareness of contemporary art discourse? The MFA course aims to challenge and extend its students' work and relationship to the visual world by providing the creative and intellectual framework for the exploration of current attitudes and phenomena in the context of contemporary art, culture and society.

Closing date: For entry Sept 2014, apply before 18th July 2014, if you need a visa to study in the UK

Why study MFA Art, Society & Publics at Dundee?

The MFA course draws on the diverse, unique and internationally acclaimed research conducted at DJCAD. In the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design was rated as the top institution in Scotland for research in art and design, and one of the best in the whole of the UK. We have been described as "the outstanding Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, regarded as one of the top colleges in Britain." (Sunday Times University Guide, 2008).

The current MFA group is developing a diverse range of individual projects supported by a high level of staff contact, and have collaboratively curated the joint public exhibition, A Matter of Process. Participation in public projects, seminars and conferences include DJCAD and Wellcome Trust's Shared Imagination, focusing on future art-science partnerships; DJCAD Exhibitions and Bruce McLean +, performance and exhibition A CUT, A SCRATCH, A SCORE and An Action of Words, with writers in residence from RCA MLitt Critical Writing course).

As part of MFA staff research activities, students are participating in public interdisciplinary seminars in the performative discursive exhibition environment The Museum of Loss and Renewal, Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen and WAR as EVER! exhibition and symposium at the Nederlands Fotomuseum; Missing, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, with Graham Fagen. Students are concurrently developing their work by undertaking placements with the National Health Service, StAnza and Discovery Point amongst others.

What's so good about MFA Art, Society & Publics at Dundee?

This course is taught by Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design which has been rated as the top institution in Scotland for research in art and design, and one of the best in the whole of the UK (RAE 2008). The MFA Art, Society & Publics course will develop your skills in creativity, aesthetics and artistic technique.

DJCAD is committed to the sharing of knowledge and experience across teaching resources and opportunities, and these include the possibility of collaborating throughout the year on creative and critical projects that aim to integrate art practice, art-writing and curating. For the individual student, the MFA course leads to a curated public exhibition, the Masters Show.

The course benefits from a truly international environment; postgraduate students come from all over the world including China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Ireland, Iran, Greece, USA and Germany.

Who should study this course?

Individuals with a first or upper second class honours degree in a visual discipline and a keen interest in advancing their knowledge and skills in art. Those with other qualifications or relevant professional experience will also be considered. We welcome art practitioners engaging in any form of art practice.

The MFA course at Duncan of Jordanstone was an exciting period in my development as a professional artist. It pushed me to really challenge my practice in the space of a very short year.
Ashley Nieuwenhuizen, graduated 2010

Visit the MFA Art, Society & Publics Gallery

Related courses

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by staff in the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

You will be stimulated to develop a highly ambitious and informed art practice by engaging in studio-based practice, research-based work and (interdisciplinary) seminars with international visiting artists and speakers. Professional skills such as presentation of practical and theoretical work will be developed through presentation opportunities and elective modules that focus on engagement and building professional relationships.

What you will study

This is a forty-five week course, across three semesters for full-time mode, or six semesters for the part-time route. The course comprises a complementary series of modules to form a structured programme.


Modules include:

  • Art, Society and Publics 1
  • Artistic Research & Writing
  • Art, Society and Publics 2
  • Futures Modules, Placement or Learning & Teaching in Higher Education
  • Arts, Society and Publics 3

All modules are relevant to future careers as an artist, in art, in creative practices or to academic progress through M.Phil/PhD.


For more information visit the course webpage

How you will be assessed

Students are assessed on studio work, evidence of inquiry, written work and oral presentation. At the end of the course a body of work is presented at the Masters Degree Show.

The programme has two early exit points: Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma.


"The MFA course at Duncan of Jordanstone was an exciting period in my development as a professional artist. It pushed me to really challenge my practice in the space of a very short year. I forged links with other artists and groups, and explored beyond the territories of my research, ecologies of the species; animal and human. I found the emphasis on research: artists, environments and happenings in my case, extremely beneficial to my creative practice, fuelling methods with deliberate madness (proven during a performance on the university roof). The experience on the MFA gave me an understanding and insight into why I do what I do. At present I am doing a lot of youth work alongside my practice. I was lucky to be given the time to participate at a recent month long residency at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, working beside renowned international artists in residence. I was involved in a group exhibition at this years Edinburgh Fringe titled, (Dis)ambiguation, and have an upcoming film screening at Sierra Metro. Having recently moved house, I have only just acquired my very first studio and I plan to focus on several drawings and small sculptural works.” – Ashley Nieuwenhuizen (2010)

Entry Requirements

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in a visual discipline. Those with other qualifications or relevant professional experience will also be considered.

IELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2014-15 £3,800 £13,500

Sources of Funding

Information about the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design scholarships can be found on the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design scholarships webpage.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

How to Apply

Apply online via UKPASS

You must read the information regarding how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

With the application form, candidates should upload the following:

  • Project Proposal
    300-500 words setting out the context and focus of your area of study. The proposal should state the research question or issue that you wish to address, demonstrating knowledge of work already done in the area by other artists and detailing your relevant skills. Outline what value the project will have for your practice as an artist and what benefits it will bring to others. The proposal will be treated as open and flexible and will evolve as your study progresses.
  • Portfolio
    An electronic portfolio (PowerPoint or PDF) of 20 images showing previous art work including a short explanation of the project and evidence of process. (Images 72dpi and no larger than 1024x768). For online portfolios, please provide the URL. All work in portfolios must be candidate's own work and a written declaration of this should be included in the 'Additional information' section. Group work may of course be included, indicating your contribution.

Postgraduate Secretary

Tracey Drummond
Duncan of Jordanstone College
of Art & Design
University of Dundee
Perth Road

Telephone: 01382 388 219 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 388 219 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 386 937 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 386 937 (from outside the UK)


Admissions Contact

Postgraduate Admissions
Admissions and Student Recruitment
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384 384 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384 384 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385 500 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385 500 (from outside the UK)