The five-year MA (Hons) Fine Art (MAFA) degree exemplifies the symbiosis between practice and theory that many contemporary artists consider essential to their making process. The students are uniquely skilled in their ability to look backwards and forwards at the same time: drawing on historical examples to envision and understand their own processes; sometimes to even further them and experiment with historic traditions, which have fallen out of fashion. Their processes are innately research-led and this is due to the nature of their studies, inhabiting both practical and historical disciplines. 

You can find their work here on this website.

This particular cohort have forged deep bonds and have on many occasions shown real community spirit, organising engaging exhibitions, working collaboratively with other students from within and without the University. They’ve shown care for one another and operated as a collective. All of this will only help them as they move forward onto great things. 

The breadth of dissertation topics produced by the MAFA students is indicative of the wide range of expertise of the teaching and research staff in the department, but also the levels of enquiry our students have for their subject. We often see in our MAFA cohort the blending of their own practice into their research for History of Art and this makes for some really fun dissertations. This year we’ve had projects on everything from mining community banners to Digital Art and drag queens. 

The students on our single-honours and joint-honours four-year MA (Hons) History of Art programme can breathe a huge sigh of relief and, we hope, satisfaction at making it to this point. Studying art history is a truly interdisciplinary endeavour and each individual has to rise to the challenges demanded by the art and material culture they chose to focus on. This year we have some amazing work submitted as the “cap-stone” dissertation project that culminates our degrees. Here are just a few examples to highlight the range and relevance by means of which our students discover their voices: 

  • Museums in Soviet and Post-Soviet Uzbekistan 
  • Lens-based art of the HIV/AIDs crisis 
  • Shanghai courtesans in late Qing visual culture 
  • Images of subversive gender in Mexican lucha libre wrestling 
  • The symbolic power of the pineapple in early modern art 
  • Chief Mkwawa and the appropriation of Western displays of human remains 

Congratulations to all of our students, and thank you for sharing your learning journey with us!