Course Details

Course Information Package

Course Unit TitleTHESIS
Course Unit CodeMFA517
Course Unit DetailsMA Fine Art: Contemporary Art Practices (Masters Dissertation) -
Number of ECTS credits allocated30
Learning Outcomes of the course unitBy the end of the course, the students should be able to:
  1. Articulate and contribute to current research topics and support with the visual work produced.
  2. Address the theoretical and historical influences of contemporary art and their contribution to individual approaches to research projects.
  3. Produce a coherent and precise working methodology in respect to the visual and written work anticipated.
  4. Propose appropriate media for the practical work taking into consideration its significance in terms of its aesthetic and pragmatic values.
  5. Conduct a presentation on individual work in progress and /or final visual artworks, drawing upon ideas developed in the thesis/ written work.
  6. Gain insight into the significance and influence of art as a means of shaping, educating and questioning stereotypical behaviours
Mode of DeliveryFace-to-face
Recommended optional program componentsNONE
Course ContentsPreparatory work for the Dissertation begins during the First semester of studies through module MID501: Research Methods where students are asked to present research and a written proposal for approval. The proposal for the thesis is expected to be a transition from the studio practice I and 2 in the fall semester in which a significant body of work has been developed and discussed with a team of advisors. 
Students are exposed to a series of lectures organised within the university.  These cover important topics within the context of the course and are designed to act as useful guidelines for their initial ideas regarding the written proposal. Students are also expected to attend a number of events in the public domain relating to their area of interest.  Students then have the opportunity to work with a suitable tutor/advisor who can offer insight and advice during the progress of the thesis. The written work contributes up to 30 percent towards the final grade. A selection of practical work of high quality will be exhibited in a final degree show within the premises of the university and that will cover the remaining 70 percent.

Dissertation is expected to be developed during the 3rd semester for full time students and during the 4th and 5th for part time students.
The MA Thesis – both written and visual part - must be submitted in three copies, 15 days before the examination period of the semester.
Recommended and/or required reading:
    No specific textbook required
  • The work of Art in the age of Mechanical Reproduction, by Walter Benjamin. Published by Prism Key Press 2010.
  • The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard. First published as a paperback by Beacon Press books in 1969.
  • History Painting Reassessed-The representation of history in Contemporary art. Published by Manchester University press 2000.
  • The Originality of Avant –Garde and other Modernist Myths by Rosalind E. Krauss. First published by MIT Press 1985
  • Modern Art in the Common Culture by Tomas Crow. Published by Yale University Press 1998.
  • J. Cresswell, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed.
  • Wisker, Gina, The postgraduate research handbook: succeed with your MA, MPhil, EdD and PhD, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
  • Laurel, B (Ed)., Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. Cambridge MA, MIT Press, 2003.
Planned learning activities and teaching methodsTeaching for this course consists of individual academic supervision given over the semester. Students are obliged to select an academic advisor and meet regularly with throughout the semester. Student centered practical work, personal research, realization and manipulation in project work. The use of personal tutorials is an important and integral part of the teaching methodology.
Assessment methods and criteria
Interim Presentations10%
Final Presentation10%
Research paper50%
Final Exam30%
Language of instructionEnglish
Work placement(s)NO

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