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MA by Project - MA

Why study this course?

Our MA by Project is a master’s degree that offers you the opportunity to develop a research project based on your own unique and distinct practice. This arts-related course will offer you the skills and support to position yourself as a practitioner or to take your next step towards doctoral research. The course draws on the multiple subject areas of The Cass, offering both an interdisciplinary context and the subject specific expertise of project supervisors from across the School.

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The MA by Project is an innovative multidisciplinary research degree that gives you the opportunity to set your own agenda as a practitioner / researcher. You’ll be introduced to the theoretical, methodological, and practical tools with which to undertake an independent research project as preparation for doctoral study or professional practice.

Through one-to-one supervision and a series of seminars and forums you’ll be supported to pursue an individual practice-based research project, making your own work central to your programme of study throughout the duration of the course. Research outputs may take many forms including made objects in a variety of media, performances, exhibitions or live events, a portfolio of work or a text-based output.

Research projects can be developed in all of the Cass subject areas including architecture; curating; creative writing; fine art; furniture and product design; film and animation; graphic design and illustration; interiors; photography; silversmithing and jewellery; textiles and theatre and performance. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the course, supervisors will also welcome project proposals that work across or combine any of the above disciplines.

For more detailed information on the course programme and modules, please see the Programme section.


At the end of each semester work is submitted for assessment.

You will be required to have:

  • an honours degree in the subject of the project

Applications are also considered from those with degrees in related disciplines and those with related professional or BTEC qualifications.

Consideration will be given to those without standard entry qualifications who have gained non-certified experience through prior learning, provided evidence is given that this is commensurate with entry qualifications for a postgraduate course.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    The main focus of this module is the development of personal practice that establishes the basis for the student’s output in their major project, which will be developed into a substantial body of work, including that for public presentation

    Through the thematic context set by the studios (Master of Fine Arts (MFA)) or individual student (MA by Project (MAbP)) at the start of the year, students will be expected to propose and test out a range of propositions to identify and develop their practice. They will explore approaches to work through technical and conceptual explorations, contextualising their practice in group presentations, seminars and discussions. Students will be encouraged to participate in outward facing activities, such as, exhibitions, blogs, workshops and live projects, which will enable them to understand through direct experience some of the complexities of the social and cultural functions related to their field of study.

    Students’ work will be contextualised in relation to contemporary technologies, networking strategies and practices. The development undertaken in this module will make use of the learning achieved in the concurrent (or prior for part-time students), module ‘Research for Practice’ (MFA) or ‘Research Methods in Art, Architecture and Design’ (MAbP).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    This module provides an introduction to research methods, and is particularly suitable as an introduction to practice-based and practice-led research in creative practice. It offers research training that can be used as preparation and foundation for MA, MPhil and PhD research and the development of professional practice. Research approaches, suitable for practice-led disciplines, such as literature reviews and formal case studies will be undertaken, and written work will make use of scholarly conventions.

    The module explores the nature and definitions of research in art, architecture and design based disciplines. Students are introduced to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research methods from a range of perspectives. Understanding of research is demonstrated through the development of a research proposal, and through practical exploration and experimentation conducted, recorded and analysed as a research project.

    Research will be undertaken within the module to support the understanding of research methods, and the project being proposed, through practical exploration of, and experimentation with methods related to the research project under development.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    This module supports the completion of the research project, commenced in the Research Project Development Module. It builds towards the completion of a body of work for final submission. It is suitable for carrying out practice-based and practice-led research, as well as research involving a range of qualitative and quantitative methods.

    This module supports the completion of project work across the final phase of full-time and part-time study. Reflection upon practice and review of the overall direction of project work, research questions, aims and methods are important aspects of this stage of the course. The project will be completed to an appropriate standard and presented in a manner consistent with the project aims, agreed by the appropriate course team and subject supervisor.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    Sustainable Practice will offer MFA and MA by Project students an opportunity for wider peer group interaction and collaboration. The module provides students with the opportunity to:

    • acquire agility and adaptability with a core underlying personal philosophy
    • diversify or draw upon their practice to generate professional opportunities
    • work towards establishing and communicating a sustainable characteristic, asset or legacy that enables them to sustain their practice after degree award
    • explore themes and practices that are complimentary to their main area of study and/ or investigate a specific aspect of their field of practice in more depth.

    Studio themes will be proposed by the course at the start of each year.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester

    This module examines a number of key perspectives from which students may explore the contexts and implications of their own practice and the works that they produce. Seminars encourage group discussion of a range of theoretical frameworks, and their controversies and criticisms, through examination of selected texts and projects.

    The module culminates in the production of an essay on themes and issues identified as relevant to the student’s own practice and evolving research project, through negotiation with the student’s supervisor.

    Read full details.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

The MA by Project will help you further your practice, cultivate your professional profile and explore new careers in the creative fields. You'll be encouraged and supported in building your own network of contacts as your progress towards the next stage in your career.

Past students have used the MA to launch new businesses as well as further their careers in a variety of professions. The MA by Project provides the opportunity to progress the theoretical development of your practice to a higher level and is a suitable base for the development of a PhD.

From the outset, you’re encouraged to think about your practice as a process of research. The Research Methods module explores the nature and definitions of research in art, architecture and design based disciplines. You’ll be introduced to interdisciplinary research methods from a range of perspectives, and your understanding of research will be demonstrated through the development of a research proposal, practical exploration, experimentation and the recording and analysing of your findings as a research project.

The Sustainable Practice module offers you the opportunity for wider interaction and collaboration with your peers. You’ll make important connections between your own area of practice and the wider concerns that cut across subject disciplines, audiences and markets. By understanding the context in which your practice operates, you’ll better position your research in an identified professional field.

Through the Theoretical Studies module, you’ll have an opportunity to interrogate the relationship between theory and practice, and to consider what it might mean to “practice” theory. This builds upon the Research Methods module to engage with theory as a critical methodology, which will inform the development of your research project. You’ll examine a number of key perspectives from which you may explore the contexts and implications of your own practice and the work that you produce. Seminars that examine selected texts and projects will encourage group exploration of a range of theoretical frameworks as well as their controversies and criticisms.

The Project Development module offers an opportunity to develop your personal practice with support from an assigned supervisor and developing conversations amongst fellow researchers. This project development establishes the basis for the major research project output.

Throughout the summer study period (or the second year for part-time students) you’ll work towards the completion of the Research Project. This is a substantial body of work that will include a public presentation and may take the form of made objects in a variety of media, a performance exhibition or live event, a portfolio of work, or text-based output. This work is accompanied by a critical and evaluative report which draws upon the personal investigation of methodology, theory and context.

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Initial enquiries can be made to the Course Organiser, Danielle Hewitt, at

Please submit the application form, which is available online, with a portfolio of work related to the proposed project if this is appropriate, and a brief outline of the project.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

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