Taught course

Contemporary Art Theory

University of Edinburgh · Contemporary Art Theory

Entry requirements

You should hold an honours degree with classification 2:1 or above or an equivalent professional qualification in a related field of study. This programme requires the submission of a portfolio and study proposal. All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

The Theory Programme encourages creative, holistic, and practicable knowledge of this increasingly polymathic field, grounding practical schooling in criticism, artwriting and curating in knowledge of key histories and theories of contemporary art. The programme addresses issues raised by the practices of contemporary art, criticism and curating as a means of encouraging you to contribute both critically and practically.

Artists think and act. Being contemporary means engaging with multiple perspectives and different ways of learning. Students of Contemporary Art Theory conduct research in relation to a broad range of creative, cultural and historical contexts in ways that are speculative, writerly, philosophical, organisational, social and economic.

Students apply aesthetics, art theory and criticism, art historiography, anthropology, cultural geography and critical theory to engage with Contemporary Art’s variety of media, technologies, images, artefacts, tactics, texts, cultural contexts and professional practices.

Students on the Theory Programme choose to study towards either the:

  • MA in Contemporary Art Theory | The MA theory programme is one year full-time or two years part-time.

or towards the:

  • MFA in Contemporary Art Theory | The MFA theory programme is two years full-time only.

Information for international students

To find out about the support offered to International Students at Edinburgh from arrival to graduation visit: http://wwww.ed.ac.uk/studying/international.

Fees and funding

Visit Scholarships and Student Funding Services at http://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0) 131 651 5736