Masters of Contemporary Art
Contemporary art is a catalyst for change. Artists, critics and curators need to expand the art world’s values by nurturing a democracy of creative experience. Edinburgh’s model of art education is founded on the Scottish ‘Democratic Intellect’ in that it aims to encourage a holistic educational experience, a genuine understanding of the relatedness of all knowledge and peoples.
Participants in education in Edinburgh College of Art are ‘makars’ – artists, writers and scholars who fully contribute to intellectual and social life – they are people who make things happen. It is by following this model that Edinburgh has established a particular place in the recent history of art as a supportive yet critical environment wherein practitioners – be they artists, critics or curators – can develop a distinctive practice. The programme nurtures the educational value of students’ achievements, encouraging them to make their imagination social.
Our students often work in groups as part of the programme, therefore we are very eager to select applicants based on their ability to work well as part of a creative team as much as we are interested in their artistic and academic potential. We attract students from all over the world with very different backgrounds and diverse previous academic experience. The focus on building a supportive creative community, on the rigorous and experimental combination of theory and practice and the international profile of the student body makes our Masters programme unique.
The Masters programme functions within a dynamic art school and visual culture studies paradigm. It demands a full contribution and commitment to the developing community of practice. Students on the programme are expected to play their vital part in contributing to this.
Permanent Faculty includes a mixture of practicing artists, critics, visual culture scholars and curators. Many members of staff combine two or more of these roles bringing an exceptional diversity of expertise and experience to our postgraduate programmes.
School of Art
With a shared passion for making interesting things happen, and a willingness to participate, staff and students are the School of Art’s greatest resources. Our studios lie in the heart of the magnificent Beaux-Arts Main Building on Lauriston Place in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Studio and Theory postgraduates share these spacious purpose-built studios. Here, students quickly build a supportive community, one founded on the rigorous and experimental combination of studio, curatorial and theoretical practice. Postgraduates in the School of Art also have their own Project Space. In addition to being a site for guest workshops, Studio C02 hosts a new student exhibition weekly.
Our studios are surrounded by the Printmaking Workshop, Metal Workshop, Wood Workshop, Casting Room, Kiln Shed, Carving Bays, Spray Room and the Printmaking suite – all with specialist technical support. Students also have access to our darkrooms and photographic equipment as well the College’s Digital Suite. Our studios are adjacent to the College of Art library and close to both the University Main Library and the National Library of Scotland and just ten minutes walk from Edinburgh’s major centres for contemporary art.
The School of Art contributes to Edinburgh’s contemporary art sector. Students benefit directly from our partners’ teaching and research input into their work, as well as from the considerable resources and experience they offer. Postgraduates exhibit their work in the Talbot Rice, Embassy and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop as well as in other venues in and beyond Scotland.
The School invites prominent artists, critics and curators to deliver our Friday Talks. Visitors also run workshops for our masters students and lead critiques. Additionally, the Embassy run a professional development programme for our students that features regular guests.
Students make regular applications for funding and exhibition opportunities as part of their studies. Many have been selected for major residencies, exhibitions and prizes such as Bloomberg New Contemporaries and CuratorLab. Students are encouraged to join the Embassy Gallery, Generator Projects, Transmission Gallery, the International Association of Art Critics, the College Art Association and the Scottish Artist Union.