Fine Arts - 2245

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Art & Design


Campus: Paddington

Career: Research

Typical Duration: 2 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 12

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 96


Master of Fine Arts (Research)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The Master of Fine Arts program enables students of proven ability to engage in the sustained investigation at an advanced level of an area of interest or concern in their visual arts practice. This inquiry takes the form of a supervised research project and leads to the exhibitions, performance, publication or screening of artwork/s that are complete, coherent and appropriate to the stated inquiry.

The significance of the research outcomes may be the contribution of new knowledge to the fine arts, the innovation of a distinctive methodology or approach in visual arts practice, poetics or the new application of technologies in visual arts practice. The products of the inquiry should be the creation of high quality studio based work accompanied by a written component containing documentation of the project and its development.

MFA studies are available in the discipline areas of Digital Imaging, Drawing, Film, Installation, Interactive Media, Painting, Performance, Photomedia, Printmaking, Sculpture, Sound, Time-Based Art, Video, Ceramics, Jewellery & Textiles. Studies in a combination of discipline areas are possible. Students work under the guidance of a qualified supervisor who is usually a member of the Faculty's full-time lecturing staff. Regular seminars are held at which MFA candidates are required to give a presentation of their research at least once during their program.

Some individual on-campus studio space is available to MFA students; all general college facilities and equipment may be accessed. Research students are encouraged to take an active part in college life.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Please refer to the Program Description.

Program Structure

Please contact UNSW Art and Design for information.

Academic Rules

The degree of Master of Fine Arts by research may be awarded by the Council on the recommendation of the Standing Committee of UNSW Art and Design [hereinafter referred to as the Committee] to a candidate who has demonstrated ability to undertake research by the submission of the results of an original investigation.

1. A candidate for the degree shall have been awarded an appropriate degree of Bachelor with Honours from the University of New South Wales or a qualification considered equivalent, from this, another university or tertiary institution at a level acceptable to the Committee.

2. In exceptional cases an applicant who submits evidence of such other academic and professional qualifications as may be approved by the Committee may be permitted to enrol for the degree.

3. If the Committee is not satisfied with the qualifications submitted by an applicant the Committee may require the applicant to undergo such assessment or carry out such work as the Committee may prescribe, before permitting enrolment.

1. An application to enrol as a candidate for the degree shall be made on the prescribed form which shall be lodged with Faculty Administration at the prescribed time before the commencement of the session in which the enrolment is to begin.

2. In every case before making the offer of a place the Committee shall be satisfied that initial agreement has been reached between the appropriate School and the applicant on the topic area, supervision arrangements, provision of adequate facilities and any coursework to be prescribed and that these are in accordance with the provisions of the guidelines for promoting postgraduate study within the University.

3. The candidate shall be enrolled as either a full-time or part-time student.

4. A full-time candidate will present the advanced work for examination no earlier than two years and no later than three years from the date of enrolment and a part-time candidate will present the advanced work for examination no earlier than four years and no later than six years from the date of enrolment except with the approval of the Committee.

5. The candidate may undertake the research as an internal student, i.e. at the College, or as an external student not in attendance at the College except for periods as may be prescribed by the Committee.

6. The research candidate will normally carry out the research at the College except that the Committee may permit a candidate to spend a period in the field, within another institution or elsewhere away from the College provided that the work can be supervised in a manner satisfactory to the Committee. In such instances the Committee shall be satisfied that the location and period of time away from the College are necessary to the research program.

7. The research shall be supervised by a supervisor or supervisors who are members of the academic staff of the appropriate school or under other appropriate supervision arrangements approved by the Committee. Normally an external candidate within another organisation or institution will have a co-supervisor at that institution.

1. The progress of the candidate shall be considered by the Committee each session following report from the appropriate school in accordance with the procedures established within the School and previously noted by the Committee.

2. A candidate for the degree shall be required to submit to such assessment or conditions as prescribed.

Advanced Work**
1. On completing the program of study a candidate shall present for examination:

a) an exhibition or appropriate presentation of work; and

b) a catalogue or relevant supportive material such as a script; and

c) a written component containing comprehensive documentation of all stages of the studio study in three bound copies, each containing as far as practicable a visual record of the work presented for examination.

2. The candidate shall give in writing to the Faculty Manager two months notice of intention to present for examination.

3. The advanced work shall present on account of the candidate's own research. In special cases work done conjointly with other persons may be accepted, provided the Committee is satisfied on the candidate's part in the joint research.

4. Three copies of the documentation of the advanced work shall be presented in a form which complies with the requirements of the University for the preparation and submission of theses for higher degrees.

** or equivalent work as determined by the Standing Committee.

1. There shall be no fewer than two examiners of the advanced work, appointed by the Committee, at least one of whom shall be external to the University unless the Committee is satisfied that this is not practicable.

2. At the conclusion of the examination each examiner shall submit to the Committee a concise report on the advanced work and shall recommend to the Committee that:

a) The advanced work merits the award of the degree;

b) The advanced work merits the award of the degree, subject to minor corrections, as listed, being made to the satisfaction of the Head of School;

c) The advanced work requires further work on matters detailed in the examiner's report. Should performance in this further work be to the satisfaction of the Committee, the advanced work would merit the award of the degree;

d) The advanced work does not merit the award of the degree in its present form and further work as described in the examiner's report is required. The revised advanced work should be subject to re-examination;

e) The advanced work does not merit the award of the degree and does not demonstrate that re-submission would be likely to achieve that merit.

3. If the performance in the further work recommended under 6.2(c) above is not to the satisfaction of the Committee, the Committee may permit the candidate to re-present the same advanced work and submit to further examination as determined by the Committee within a period specified by it but not exceeding eighteen months.

4. The Committee shall, after consideration of the examiners' reports and the results of any further examination, recommend whether or not the candidate may be awarded the degree. If it is decided that the candidate be not awarded the degree the Committee shall determine whether or not the candidate be permitted to resubmit the advanced work after a further period of study and/or research.

A candidate shall pay such fees as may be determined from time to time by the Council.


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Area(s) of Specialisation