Program Profile

Qualification Awarded

MA in Fine Art: Contemporary Art Practices

Level Of Qualification

Masters in Arts

Offered by

Department of Fine and Applied Arts

Mode of Study

Full Time or Part Time 

Department's Website

The MA in Fine Art: Contemporary Art Practices program encourages students to challenge and explore contemporary art practices in and across the Fine Art field, working in a variety of methods and approaches that may range from an in-depth investigation of a research area within a specific art discipline to exploring issues of interest in an interdisciplinary manner; emphasis is placed upon pushing forward critical discourses in a challenging and provocative way, indicating relations to key discourses within the contemporary arena, as well as building upon a personal visual language that is both informed of current trends and innovative.

The program, therefore, respects, encourages and promotes critical theory as well as in depth understanding of material, concept and subject matter regarding the practices of fine art making. Furthermore it offers a close relation with the professional industry and provides opportunities for collaboration on real life local and international projects.

The program is anchored in the wide area of Fine Art, allowing each individual student to indicate and follow a specific research area of personal interest within and across the various art disciplines, building upon and demonstrating a strong personal vocabulary and contextualization of the core research area. It provides a strong practical and theoretical platform through an intrinsically study path of key lessons that respond to a demanding and high academic level.
The students are, therefore, introduced and ‘guided to’ contemporary methods, techniques, approaches and practices of the fine art field through systematic exploration and work development primarily in the art studio through the courses of Studio Practice 1, 2. These fundamental courses will enable students to locate practical areas of study, to experiment and resolve problems relating their medium, materials, concepts and methods through ongoing practice, group and one to one tutorials, critiques, exhibition visits as well as local and international project initiations. In addition, the students will be presented with a series of talks and presentations by renowned artists, theorists, curators, art historians, thinkers and cultural producers in order to become engaged in contemporary disputes, subjects and art processes.

Conceptual and theoretical issues will be relatively brought up, studied and tackled at the Art in Context - Aesthetics and Critical Theory unit as well as in the unit of Contemporary Art – Cultural and Contextual Concepts both of which are, primarily engaged with the systematic study of core notions, concepts and disputes of and around critical theory, philosophy, the art history, aesthetics and relative studies.
To assist students in building research and strong methodological skills needed for such a demanding course, the program offers the unit of Research methods that will introduce and provide students with all necessary and relevant competencies and tools in order to encourage and engage them into the culture of research.

The program is strongly engaged in this very interrelation of contemporary cultural debates to contemporary art practices and for this very reason the students will be further exposed to critical and current disputes as reflected in the art processes, applications, mediums and materials through the courses of Visual Processes and Applications; a course that examines critical positions, histories and renderings/interpretations of the art object through praxis and theory. This approach is furthermore strengthened through the course of Creative Methods in Contemporary Art where various current subjects are brought in and studied through theory and studio, fostering critical approaches, practical experimentation, appropriate associations and concept development.
Students will be introduced to a variety of subjects and media through the art and design electives, such as Form and Concept, Design Applications and New Media that have been methodically structured to provide students with in-depth understanding of primal issues and crucial lines of enquiries in the Art and Design Field; in response to this idea, students will be introduced and consequently employ creative approaches to new media, working along the areas of the moving image, animation, sound and video, where they will be involved in originating issues relating art and design concepts and initiating creative and innovative solutions. In regards to applications and technology, the program will be providing students with all necessary equipment, studios and technical support.

Furthermore, core concepts of the Fine Art field such as Space and Body will be re-visited, through the electives of Experimental Spaces and Space and Display where students will enrich and extend their understanding into the concepts and ideas of the fundamental notion of Space and into modes of display, working in close relation to the idea of the body. Experimental work will not only be encouraged through installations, performances and situations but through alternative possibilities of displaying and exhibiting that cross over conventional boundaries and traditional academic areas, touching upon non-conventional spaces/cyberspaces/web spaces that could eventually relocate and restructure current cultural agencies.

It is in this respect that the program has developed the course of Curatorial Practice that offers students the chance to undertake an artist led curatorial project where awareness of past and current exhibition models and approaches will be developed, experimental curatorial methods will be encouraged as well as a set of networks and relations will be pushed forward within the wider art market, locally and internationally.
The program places great importance on innovative research that expands relations and opportunities towards the formation of resourceful relationships with other cultural agents and universities. It is under this scope that particular emphasis will be placed in looking at how artists, art producers and art mediators as well as the art body itself has taken an affirmative shift towards major sociopolitical themes; it is, thus, important to examine how Cypriot artists and cultural producers have dealt with current and relative subjects. This research-area fosters a current tendency towards bringing about, as well as re-assessing and re-structuring the connections, affiliations and relations of the Cypriot cultural production with our wider Middle East and Mediterranean area. A major objective and aspiration of this program will be to create tighter cultural bridges with our neighborhood areas and strengthen at the same time ingenious positions and claims towards the major art centers. It is a strong belief that such practices will result in achieving an effective and closer interconnection of cultural foundations and universities in the area of innovation, as well as promote artists’ mobility, cultural interaction and fertile exchange of cultural ideas and products.

The program aspires to bring together students from diverse backgrounds that will have the opportunity to interact and develop skills and profound understanding of the creative areas of a rapidly growing interdisciplinary culture.
Committing to a balanced input of theory and practice, the program fosters professional initiative, self-motivation and ambition, desire for positive social change, cultural responsibility and a profound drive to original and creative cultural activity, products and ideas.

The vision of the MA program is to strengthen, develop and promote a contemporary visual perception, identity and approach that goes beyond the conventional boundaries and traditional art practices; it wishes to promote and foster the idea of the artist as a creative and informed individual who works in an open, fluid contemporary, transcultural art map, where critical awareness of current themes is as vital as an in-depth understanding and decisive positioning towards the current debates and themes within the global contemporary art context. The program highlights its tendency and aspiration to build bridges within and across other cultural foundations and universities, to promote cultural exchange and innovation and become a vital centre itself that both, inspires and promotes creative individuality and artistic excellence.

The language of instruction is English.

The specific goals of the program are:

    1. to develop critical perception and insightful understanding of contemporary art practice and build on an innovative and creative visual language;
    2.  to develop in depth awareness of the major themes and current debates of the contemporary art world and be in a position to make appropriate associations between crucial current ideas and their studio practice;
    3. to reflect on critical theories, develop innovative experimentation and demonstrate strong concept development in their studio work;
    4. to develop interdisciplinary skills and obtain in depth comprehension of various interacting fine art, design and cultural areas and investigate and experiment with interdisciplinary methodologies aiming at the advancement and development of contemporary art, design  and theory discourses;
    5. to build strong relations between the students and the art communities and other research centers, universities and foundations in order to create  space for creative initiatives and cultural interaction;
    6. to develop, principal and specialist skills, techniques and practices;
    7. to be able to apply this knowledge directly to complex applications;
    8. to develop a strong and personal creative identity and originality through their individual practice and area of investigation;
    9. to communicate and work effectively with peers and academic staff in a variety of tasks, demonstrating appropriate levels of autonomy and responsibility;
    10. to critically review existing art practice and make an original contribution in  their practice-research areas that will make them professionally compelling in the  wider art market;
    11. to position their art practice in the current art and cultural map and develop strategies to make their practice and critical positionings visible in the art arena;
    12. to plan and execute a significant project of research, investigation or development in a specialist area of interest within or across the area of Fine Art practice, demonstrating extensive, detailed and critical understanding, initiative, innovation and  creative originality

Key Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the students should be able to:

  1. Indicate and carry an in depth studio-base research that reflects on advanced critical theory and original and creative visual language;
  2. Locate and position personal studio practice within the wider art context and art market  and develop strategies in relation to professional opportunities;
  3. Develop and execute a self-initiated project that makes an original contribution to the field;
  4. Develop methodological and interdisciplinary skills and demonstrate competencies in forming, developing and communicating interesting positions and claims that create and push forward new possibilities and imaginative associations of art practice to other areas and disciplines;
  5. Articulate concepts and notions of interest that reflect on current disputes and themes and creatively reflect issues related to them  in studio practice;
  6. Master skills and experiences that reflect on appropriate subjects and themes of the wider area of interest, in ways that challenge conventional boundaries  and re-approach in unpredictable ways,  traditional methods and mediums;
  7. Apply strategies of appropriation and translation of both medium and ideas to re-define practice-based applications and processes and produce art works that are well-articulated and informed of contemporary issues, processes and applications;
  8. Demonstrate ingenious ways of synthesis of theory and praxis that reflect on artistic excellence and engaging critical thinking;
  9. Utilize effectively state-of-the-art software tools embracing the impact of technology and new media in the area of contemporary art practice;
  10. Promote the development of practices which facilitate sustainability, social and cultural perspectives;
  11. Demonstrate the ability for using research results in education, within their professional environments and in society.

Occupational Profiles of the Graduates

Alongside a continued professional art practice graduates from the MA Fine Arts course will be able to pursue opportunities in art education, curatorial practices, art counseling and other areas within the local and international creative industries. These may include involvement in theatre, television and advertising. Graduates can also pursue opportunities to initiate artist led, community based projects.