Taught course

Contemporary Art Theory

University of Edinburgh · Contemporary Art Theory

Entry requirements

To study at postgraduate level, you must normally hold a degree in an appropriate subject, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK).

Months of entry


Course content

Our theory programme encourages practices that are speculative and reflective, encouraging research on and in a range of media. It is concerned with research methods that are experiential – embodied through and understood by the acquisition of a practice. The Theory MA supports an applied knowledge of art now, grounding schooling in practice, curating and artwriting not only in contemporary art theory but in extra-disciplinary and intermedial approaches. You will originate new ways of contributing to contemporary art’s expanding field by drawing on related fields, specifically the latest theories and methods in visual cultures

Based in our masters studio, you will develop a distinctive and ambitious research practice by learning from and working as part of a community of artists. Taught in collaboration with local arts organisations, the curriculum is an innovative blend of projects, seminars and workshops. We place an emphasis on learning through doing and you will be involved in collaboratively developing exhibition projects in Edinburgh galleries with MFA and MA studio students. For assessment, you have the opportunity to submit project-work that utilises a variety of media, technologies, images, artefacts, tactics, texts, cultural contexts and professional practices.

The programme is aimed both at aspiring arts professionals and professional artists who want to develop a research-based practice by extending their practical, theoretical, organisational and economic engagement with contemporary art. It develops from a broad to a specialist understanding of the technical resources and validating contexts in which artists work today, drawing inspiration and nourishment from the experience of our international student cohort.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

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