Art, Society & Publics MFA

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 1 year
  • School: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

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.

Art, Society & Publics at the University of Dundee

The course will develop your skills in creativity, aesthetics and artistic technique.

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.

Watch a presentation from organiser Professor Tracy Mackenna to learn more about the course. 

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.

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.

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

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.

Ashley Nieuwenhuizen, graduated in 2010

"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."

Year of Entry: 2015

Entry Requirements: 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.

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

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 6.5 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

Please check our English 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.

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2015/16
Scottish students £4,500 per year of study
Rest of UK students £4,500 per year of study
EU students £4,500 per year of study
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

Please read the Postgraduate "How to Apply" section for information on how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Apply online via UKPASS

Course Contact

Professor Tracy Mackenna
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
+44 (0)1382 385225