Skip to content

Fine Art MFA

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: 2 Year(s)
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


This course allows you to develop your artistic practice whilst engaging professionally with the rich and vibrant arts community in Nottingham, which is recognised as having one of the most active artist-led scenes outside London. You will critically engage with, interrogate, and resolve your own practice, as you develop an informed and established body of work.  

With an emphasis on professional practice and audience engagement, you will widen your network with partners across the city, including Nottingham Contemporary and New Art Exchange.

This will prepare you for the rigours of contemporary practice as both an artist and researcher. Successful completion of this course will give you grounding to progress to PhD study, or our Professional Doctorate course.

Key features:

  • Dedicate yourself to the studio, focusing and exploring your practice
  • Work with the arts community in Nottingham to widen your practice and professional network
  • Take part in a programme of professional practice, including career development planning and professional work experience
  • Be supported by staff who are practicing artists in their own right.
  • Participate in a School-wide Masters 20-credit Culture and Collaboration module
  • Choose between 20-credit modules Professional Pathways in the Arts or Advancing Research Design, the latter ideal for students thinking of progressing to PhD or Professional Doctorate study.
  • Opportunity to go on study trips both in the UK and abroad, to locations including Berlin and New York. You will also have the opportunity to study abroad with a partner institution, through the Turing Scheme
  • Benefit from working in a close-knit community; with just ten places available per cohort, the MFA offers great opportunities to forge strong working relationships with academic staff, technicians, and fellow students
  • Benefit from our extensive links with festivals, arts organisations, and artists’ groups locally, nationally, and internationally, including our own Bonington Gallery

What you’ll study

On our MFA Fine Art course, you will be able to develop a specific focus to your practice and studies according to your individual needs and abilities while participating in critique, the exploration of relevant contexts and theories of art in order to engage critically with your practice.

Year One

Research and Development

(80 credit points)

This module starts with you focusing on the critical review of your practice. Studio practice and theoretical investigation will be integrated, and you’ll be supported and encouraged to engage in research and develop a reflective journal. A study trip will help to create a community in which you’ll work together and support each other.

With support from your tutor, you’ll create and develop a learning agreement that will outline your plans for the development of your self-directed practice. During the research and development of your practice, you’ll be encouraged and supported to create closer working relationships with organisations outside the University, focusing on professional practice and creating a basis for your future beyond this course. This stage of your studies is also a good time to engage in pushing the boundaries – taking risks, experimenting, exploring, and questioning.

Working with your tutors, and through discussion with your peers, you’ll be encouraged to evaluate the development of research, personal engagement and critical reflection that feed your practice. You’ll attend the Live Lecture programme organised by our Fine Art staff team. These will support you in the exploration of relevant research material and will provide additional feedback opportunities.

You’ll continue to develop your reflective journal, including all the material relevant to your work, providing detailed critical reflection of your journey. External exhibitions will provide you with an opportunity to engage in preparing your work for an audience, and to receive critical feedback.

You’ll also be asked to present your work to date in the form of an audio-visual presentation, and to submit your learning agreement, reflective document, and artwork for assessment. You’ll be asked to effectively articulate, critically analyse and reflect upon your progress through presentations of your work, and in your reflective document.

Culture and Collaboration

(20 credit points)

Advancing Research Design

(20 credit points)


Professional Pathways in the Arts

(20 credit points)

Year Two

Project Realisation and Presentation

(120 credit points)

During the first part of this module, you can choose from one of the following options:

  • Intensify your professional engagement through activities such as work placements (in Nottingham, or abroad), international collaborations, or the development of a group exhibition.
  • You’ll critically engage with your chosen activity at the start of the module, and integrate it into your reflective journal, which forms a useful resource when you come to write your reflective document, which is reviewed and assessed holistically together with your artwork at the end of each year-long module.

The course culminates in a presentation and celebration of your work, held at a venue outside of NTU and organised by you and fellow students as part of your professional practice.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Szilvia Ponyiczki

Fine Art

Having the chance to try out lots of different ideas in the workshops is great. It enables me to complement my painting practice with ceramic, wood, and metalwork too.

Richard Emslie

Fine Art

'No' is a very underused word here, so if you can imagine it then the chances are you can probably do it!

Yajie (Sophie) Jiang

Fine Art

I chose to study at NTU because of the great reputation of the School of Art & Design and its high graduate employment rates.

Alasdair Ambrose-Thurston

Fine Art

“I have found the input from the tutors invaluable; they really push us towards standing on our own feet and being prepared for life outside of university.

Emily Simpson

Fine Art

The course staff are really friendly, helpful and amazing. They offer a lot of support both in terms of practical and theoretical work and on a personal level. I can’t fault them!

Video Gallery

Video Icon

How you’re taught

You'll spend most of your time in a creative studio environment. Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • independent studio practice
  • feedback tutorials
  • studio seminars
  • individual and group presentations
  • study visits
  • self-directed research
  • workshop inductions
  • technical surgeries
  • self and peer evaluations
  • Live Lecture programme

Find out when our postgraduate term dates for the Nottingham School of Art & Design are. Please note that these are slightly different to other Schools within the University.


Assessment is 100% by coursework and involves:

  • presentation of your work in the form of an exhibition
  • reflective document
  • learning agreement
  • documentation
  • verbal presentation of your practice

Staff Profiles

Andrew Brown

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Andrew Brown is Course Leader for the MFA (Masters in Fine Art) and an HEA Fellow.

Benedict Carpenter van Barthold


Nottingham School of Art & Design

Dr Benedict Carpenter van Barthold is a research active expert in Fine Art practice and education with experience of Knowledge Transfer with industry.

Louisa Chambers

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Louisa Chambers is a Lecturer in Fine Art and has taught across all levels on the undergraduate programme and into the MFA.

Katja Hock

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

As Course Leader, Dr Katja Hock is responsible for the MA Fine Art course and MFA in Fine Art courses.

Careers and employability

Professionalism is at the heart of this course, helping you to gain experience and make lasting connections with arts organisations outside of the University. The opportunity to undertake work placements and to engage in professional practice is embedded into the course, that also features a Professional Pathways in the Arts module, helping you to gain insight and knowledge in preparation for a career after graduation.

If you're thinking about progressing to further study, you'll have the option to undertake a module Advancing Research Design, to help prepare you for a Professional Doctorate or PhD.

Connections with industry

A key aim of this course is to develop your ongoing professional practice, through exhibiting and audience engagement. The course is outward-facing, embracing, and engaging with the creative art scene within Nottingham and the surrounding region. It will help you to widen your professional network and create a sustainable practice.

Our MFA Fine Art course is supported by a partnership between NTU and Nottingham Contemporary. Staff and students from the course are invited to engage with Nottingham Contemporary’s programme, including lectures, symposia, workshops, reading groups and screenings. This partnership also includes a student placement scheme, providing opportunities for you to gain insight and knowledge to help prepare you for your career.

Live Lecture programme

You will also benefit from our Live Lecture programme. It welcomes national and international artists, creative practitioners and theorists including:

  • Hetain Patel
  • Michael Forbes
  • Lindsay Seers
  • Larry Acheampong
  • Pil and Galia Kollectiv
  • Lerato Shadi
  • Jane Rendell

Nottingham Contemporary

In the first year of the MFA, you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work as part of Aftermath – a group show in The Space at Nottingham Contemporary.

"Nottingham Contemporary has been a close partner and neighbour of NTU for more than a decade now. An important part of this relationship is the annual Aftermath exhibition, where MFA students have the opportunity to exhibit their work with us, working closely with our programme teams and technicians to develop and install their work."

Sam Thorne, Director, Nottingham Contemporary.

BACKLIT gallery opportunities

BACKLIT provides opportunities for postgraduate students at NTU to gain professional studio practice and experience working within a community of artists in an independent studio complex. BACKLIT has provided studio and exhibition space for Masters students from Nottingham Trent University and involves them in critical sessions with established practitioners and critics from the arts.

"As an organisation it hosts artist from across the city providing studios, exhibition and project spaces. Nottingham has benefited from BACKLIT as a contemporary art space over the last five years since its establishment in 2008 by NTU graduate artists and is support by Nottingham City Council and Arts Council England."

Matthew Chesney, BACKLIT


Explore our showcase ‘We Are Creatives’ - celebrating the work of the Nottingham School of Art & Design students. You will find a sneak peak of some of our students’ work and gain a real insight into what it’s like to be part of the NTU creative community at

YouFirst – working with our Employability Team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and up to three years after completing your course.

Re:search Re:imagined

To us, research is about more than writing papers and proposing new ideas. By daring to think differently, we’re disrupting the research landscape and finding the answers to the questions that really matter. From electronic textiles to the history of lace, we’re inspiring the brightest minds to rise up and find solutions to some of the most significant global challenges facing society.

Find out more:

Campus and facilities

For workshops and seminars, you will mainly be based in our Bonington and Waverley buildings on the City Campus – dedicated hubs for art and design students. Students will be given their own workspace within external studios at partner organisation BACKLIT, a short walk away from our City Campus.

You can view all of the facilities and equipment available to students in our Nottingham School of Art & Design Facilities Hub.

Boningtons Art Shop

Our specialist in-house art shop is based in the Bonington building. Run by experienced and friendly University staff, the shop stocks a wide variety of arts and crafts materials.

The shop responds to the requirements of our students, and the stock on offer grows each year to support the courses offered within the Nottingham School of Art & Design

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

Please note that there are limited places available for this course.

  • 2.1 honours degree in a related subject.
  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and / or relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Other requirements:

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

  • 2.1 honours degree in a related subject.

Other requirements:

International qualifications 

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements 

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

MFA Fine Art £7,600 per year

* Fee amounts are per year and will increase each year in line with inflation, capped at no more than 5%.

Alumni Loyalty Scheme - 20% fee discount

We're happy to be able to offer a 20% fee discount to most current NTU students and recent NTU graduates.
See if you're eligible.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on
+44 (0)115 848 2494.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

Postgraduate loans

The government introduced a new postgraduate loans scheme for the 2016/17 academic year for Masters degrees. The loan will be a contribution towards the costs of study and it will be at the student's discretion to use the loan towards fees, maintenance costs or other costs.


We are offering a number of scholarships for Masters study.

Now/Black Fellows scholarship

We are offering a full bursary for up to 3 students, who have been offered a place on the MFA Fine Art full-time course for September 2022. You could gain a full tuition fee reduction and a £1,000 cash bursary for materials, at the start of the academic year. Visit our Now/Black Fellows page for details about eligibility and to find out more about the bursary.

International / EU fees for 2022 entry are:

MFA Fine Art £14,700 per year*

* Fee amounts are per year and will increase each year in line with inflation, capped at no more than 5%.

Alumni Loyalty Scheme - 20% fee discount

We're happy to be able to offer a 20% fee discount to most current NTU students and recent NTU graduates.
See if you're eligible.

International scholarships

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying.

Application deadline

You can apply for this course throughout the year, but we'd recommend that applications should be received by the end of July for entry in September.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieve, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates' guide. Here you'll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Apply online through our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Your portfolio 

If your initial application is successful, you may be asked to upload a portfolio of your work and you may also be asked to attend an interview.

Portfolio advice

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.