Graduate Study in Fine Art

Graduate study in Fine Art offers you a uniquely demanding and supportive opportunity to engage with what it means to work as an artist today. There are two main graduate programmes in Fine Art at Oxford: the Master of Fine Arts, or MFA, a taught postgraduate course that runs for three terms full-time (or six part-time); and the doctorate, or D.Phil., which focuses on both the making of contemporary art (the practice-led D.Phil.) and contemporary art history and theory.

All graduate education is tailored to your key concerns and ideas through Oxford’s famed tutorial system of one-to-one dialogues with your tutor or supervisor. Studio seminars and artist talks further stimulate the collective dynamic of mutual participation in generous and robust discussion. In addition to working with core staff members at the Ruskin, you have the opportunity to have tutorials with visiting speakers (recent speakers have included Bonnie Camplin, William Kentridge, Mark Leckey, Renzo Martens and Shirin Neshat.

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MFA

The Ruskin MFA degree is an intensive, interdisciplinary programme in the practice of contemporary art, designed to support studio-based and theoretical components of your artistic practice.

The MFA provides an intensive course of one-to-one tutorials and weekly studio seminars, focused upon your own art making, its key concerns and ideas, and your inter-dependent development with the other artists in the MFA group.

The studio-based learning programme is supported by a regular seminar series engaged with current debates in contemporary art history and theory. The curriculum of reading and discussion will be tailored to the emergent concerns of the group and their dialogue with wider discourses of contemporary art and visual culture.

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DPhil

The Ruskin can offer supervision across a wide range of research projects. In the case of the contemporary art history and theory DPhil, these may include aspects of exhibition curating and organisation, as well as the historiography of twentieth-century art and the theorisation of contemporary artistic practices. In the case of the practice-led DPhil, studio work will be undertaken as a central component of the registered research programme, and will be presented in relation to the argument of a written thesis that engages with the art project’s relevant theoretical, historical, or critical context. 

The two strands of the DPhil programme are brought into a productive dialogue, both in a structured way at the weekly research seminar and informally in the studios.  For an indication of the range of practical, historical and theoretical topics that are addressed in the School, please have a look at the website for the Ruskin’s DPhil programme.