Public Art and Performance - MA

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Why study this course?

Our Public Art and Performance MA prepares artists and art professionals for the increasing demand in the sector to develop publicly interactive, performative and immersive work.

In association with Tate Exchange at Tate Modern and in collaboration with national and international art organisations and institutions, this MA degree encourages a practical and industry-minded approach to exploring how contemporary art experiences engage with the public.

The course is designed to develop career paths for artists, curators and facilitators interested in any creative medium (visual art, performance, video, installation, sculpture and digital art), with a specific focus on developing public-facing projects.

All tutors are internationally recognised industry professionals, approaching this subject from different angles and areas of expertise.

More about this course

During this course, you’ll take a detailed look at the performative relationship between artworks and their viewers/participants, whilst developing new interdisciplinary projects in this respect.

With public engagement at the core of current programming by art institutions worldwide, museums and galleries are increasingly experimenting with innovative ways to make the public directly involved in their experiences. Funding bodies like Arts Council England demand that their supported artists and institutions champion inclusivity and audience engagement. Joining this master’s programme is your chance to be at the forefront of this movement.

This course places a strong emphasis on the idea that all public art can be seen as performative, regardless of the disciplines an artwork entails. The ideas of public work and performativity will therefore represent interdisciplinary stimuli for a variety of tasks and topics.  

In the autumn and spring terms you’ll follow Public Art and Performative Practices, which will provide an overall artistic and conceptual path for your learning. With regular visits to London art galleries and an association with Tate Exchange, you’ll have the chance to explore the artistic and cultural potential of developing public art works, as well as making professional contacts in the process. Practical projects and workshops in studio will complement these, enabling you to creatively test the ideas you have explored.

The Research for Practice module will support you through this creative journey, helping you develop your research awareness and providing you with a greater understanding of the implications of developing methodologies and academic inquiries. In turn, this will inform your artistic perspectives with theoretical and methodological rigour.

The above modules are complemented by two Professional Focus units. In the autumn term, Professional Focus 1: Public Art Funding and Commissions  will give you inside knowledge into aspects of public art such as fundraising, searching for commissions and promoting yourself as an artist / art professional.

The spring term will see you delve into the logistic implications of public art experiences as you undertake Professional Focus 2: Project Managing Public Art,. Here, you’ll explore best practice in project management and learn technical skills, including risk assessing, public liability, access and inclusivity.

All four modules will inform your final project during the summer term. At this point you will conceive and produce a work of public art to professional standards and exhibit this in the Cass MA show and/or in a chosen public location.

Based at The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to study at our renowned school of art in the heart of London, a global hub in the art world, home to hundreds of art galleries and museums, art events and a range of other artistic institutions and businesses.

Assessment

You will be assessed through individual and group presentations, practice-based activities, written assignments and a final project made up of a practical assignment and/or written thesis. All assessments are designed to draw on relevant industry standards and on the current discourses in the related research area.

Fees and key information

Course type
Postgraduate
Entry requirements View

This course is subject to validation.

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum of a 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject discipline

A full university application form will need to be submitted, which includes a detailed statement to support your application to the course. You should also submit an up-to-date CV and copies of award certificates.

All candidates will be invited for an interview, for which they need to prepare either a portfolio of work or a detailed example of a subject-related project.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

Autumn term modules:

  • Public Art and Performative Practices
  • Research for Practice
  • Professional Focus 1: Public Art Funding & Commissions

Spring term modules:

  • Public Art and Performative Practices (continued)
  • Research for Practice (continued)
  • Professional Focus 2: Project Managing Public Art

Summer term modules:

  • Project as Professional Practice (incorporating the course’s Public Art/ Performance major project)

After the course

Build your knowledge of the art world and discover careers in a growing field within the industry.Career opportunities include:

  1. professional artists, whose work explores the idea of public engagement, communicated in any medium, including visual art and performance
  2. performance practitioners, exploring audience interaction and participation
  3. project leaders and facilitators in the field of public engagement, working creatively with teams and partners
  4. managers and administrators in public art, outreach and participation
  5. curators of public programmes and events
  6. academics and communicators in the field of public art and public engagement

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How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

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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