Course information


1 year (full-time) or 2-5 years (part-time)

Course overview

This programme gives artists, practitioners, and educators the opportunity to enrich and consolidate theories of contemporary art and learning. Engage with practice and theory, develop innovative research approaches, and critically debate the changing nature of contemporary art.

Why study MA Arts and Learning (MAAL) at Goldsmiths

  • You’ll be taught by staff who are nationally and internationally renowned and published artist researcher teachers.
  • You’ll draw on the international scope of contemporary art practices in London. This degree has partnerships with international galleries including Goldsmiths CCA, the Whitechapel Gallery and Gasworks.
  • The programme places a strong emphasis on student-centred and directed learning. Teaching sessions and personal tutorials will draw on the critical reflection and development of your artist educator practices, including artistic, theoretical, political, and learning and teaching concerns.
  • You’ll be part of a diverse student community and will have the opportunity to develop and maintain collaborative peer networks and support.
  • Full-time students will be allocated a dedicated studio space at Goldsmiths
  • You’ll have access to an extensive programme of guest lectures, presentations and projects. In the past, this has included talks from: WochenKlausur, Raju Rage, Erin Manning, John Baldacchino, Grayson Perry, Yinka Shonibare, Sonia Boyce, Susan Pui San Lok, hosted through our Centre for Arts and Learning (CAL).
  • The MAAL can be a pathway before or after the completion of a UK QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) programme, such as the PGCE (Secondary): Art & Design.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Kimberley Foster.

What you'll study


The programme places a strong emphasis on student-centred and directed learning, where teaching sessions and personal tutorials draw on the critical reflection and development of your artist-educator practices: including artistic, theoretical, political and learning and teaching concerns.

The modules of the programme are all underpinned with practice and explore theories of contemporary art, learning and critical and dialectical pedagogical theories and philosophies.

You'll attend lectures, seminars, workshops, and tutorials where you'll question the politics, ideas, practices, theory, and philosophy related to the specific topics of contemporary art practice, teaching and learning, identity and place/space construction, dialectical pedagogical theories and practice, social engagement, and research-led practices where you'll be encouraged and expected to critically discuss and debate the issues raised.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. Independent learning/research (practice with theory) is expected throughout the programme, this typically involves critical reflection and development of your practices as artist-educator including additional readings, preparing topics for discussion/presentations, working with fellow students, producing essays, artist-positioning statements, research, planning, organising and producing practice-based work and/or projects, curating exhibitions and presentations, both individually and collaboratively.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be deeply engaged with theory and practice to develop and sustain your ideas and practices as artist-educators. 


To enable greater flexibility for you and more equitable experience for full-time and part-time students, the MA Arts and Learning programme has a modular structure, with the majority of teaching sessions usually conducted in the evenings.

This also enables part-time and full-time students to attend the same evening teaching sessions and therefore form a collaborative and supportive learning environment.

For you to obtain the postgraduate degree of MA Arts and Leaning you will need to complete 180 credits at Masters level.

This MA consists of four compulsory modules (150 credits) and one option module (30 credits).

Compulsory modules

You'll complete the following compulsory modules:


Module title Credits
Revisiting Practice 30 credits
Spaces of Practice (in association with the Whitechapel, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gasworks) 30 credits
Critical Pedagogy and Contested Spaces (CP) (In association with several small London galleries) 30 credits
Independent Studies (IS) 60 credits

Option modules

You then choose either:

  • An approved module offered by another department.
  • A non-compulsory module from MA Social Justice in Education.

Full-time and part-time study options

This MA is offered on either a 1-year full-time or 2 to 5 years part-time basis. There are multiple ways of splitting your studies, please speak to the programme leader for further information.

Practitioners who already have existing Masters-level credits may apply to have these transferred to this degree.

You may also take advantage of one of the following exit awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Arts and Learning (60 Credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Learning (120 Credits)

Individual Modules

Some of these modules are also available to be taken as part of a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.


The MA Arts and Learning utilises a number of complementary assessment strategies. These have been devised to appropriately assess the range of learning outcomes and are underpinned by the ethos of the programme these include, exhibition/presentation/performance, essay, viva voce.

Download the programme specification.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

What our students say

Jonathan Beecroft

I felt valued and pedagogically engaged, philosophically and creatively.

Inspiring, supportive and progressive 

The course created an authentic participatory and collaborative learning experience, celebrating while also interrogating the critical valency of art and learning for educational contexts today. This was empowering. Beyond mere lecturing, there was an ethos of engaging the diversity of student experiences and backgrounds in collaboration with experts leading courses. This constituted for me a community of practice that was inspiring, supportive and progressive, and in which I felt valued and pedagogically engaged, philosophically and creatively. 

A community of engaged practitioners

The Educational Studies Department presented to me a community of engaged practitioners working together with students to critically question, reflect on and change education systems where they present injustices at systematic, structural and institutional levels. 

Creative exchanges

I completed research for a Goldsmiths assessment at the school where I worked as classroom support staff. Collaborating with a group of neurodiverse children, we made artwork together. This formed the basis for creating artworks for exhibition that embodied this work of facilitation and teaching – a process of creative exchange or material dialogue that questions art's relegation in school curricula, while interrogating traditional understandings of artistic skill and expression. I felt I was able to demonstrate or practise philosophical ideas and concepts pertinent to a critical pedagogical art and education practice. 

An artistic and cultural hub

The area around Goldsmiths presents an emblematic milieu of London life and culture, easily linking to other South London artistic and cultural hubs. 

Eimear Murphy

The time we spent in the studio was playful, creative and critically active.  

Explorative and creative

As an artist and educator who was really questioning my position in the field, the MA Arts and Learning degree gave me the scaffolding to explore wider theories critically, while building on my own unique experiences and practice.

I enjoyed the community of practice between the Masters programme and the PhD – the time we spent in the studio together was playful, creative and critically active. Through completing MA Arts and Learning I feel more empowered within my unique art practice and the wider arts education arts community.

Advice for prospective students

Peer engagement is crucial – chat as much as you can to BA, MA and PhD students in your department. Also branch out and meet people from other departments – there are so many student-led shows, events and screenings. Look out for things that you’re interested in.

Alba Maderuelo Solera

I had the opportunity to leave my comfort zone and experiment with my praxis.

What Alba enjoyed about studying at Goldsmiths

My favourite part was finding inspiration from great artists and educators I met during my two years on the MA. Also, I had the opportunity to leave my comfort zone and experiment with my praxis.

Networking opportunities in London

Do not be afraid of getting lost in this big city; you will find the right people, and your way of making things happen, and you will find yourself. Work hard and get to know the wonderful people you can find at this uni.

Advice for future students

The area is packed with libraries, galleries, and quirky places to eat, have a drink and meet people. The east gathers the best essence of London, take advantage of that!

See more profiles for this programme

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second-class standard in an appropriate arts-based area. You should also have experience of working in an educational context, this could be in a formal or informal educational setting ie. a school, college, gallery or community context. This should be included in the personal statement.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £10350
  • Home - part-time: £1870
  • International - full-time: £25270

Please note, the part-time fee listed above is per 30 credit module.

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Funding may be available from schools’ CPD budgets.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online. Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement
  • A portfolio as a URL or uploaded as a PDF – you'll be asked to upload/include up to 10 images of your practice/art work as part of your application. The images can be of present and/or past personal art work/performance/installation etc

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

If you're invited to interview, you may be asked to bring a small portfolio of work (electronic or hard copy) as a starting point for discussion, comprising of either current or past practice.

Find out more about applying.


The Department is committed to research that is conceptually and intellectually rigorous, and which has the capacity to inform professional practice. Research is conducted in three main areas:

  • Bilingualism and biculturalism in education
  • Equity and social justice in education
  • The arts and education

We have the following research centres in the department: 

Find out more about research in the Department of Educational Studies.


Staff who teach on the programme include:

Find out more about staff in the Department of Educational Studies.



Through the programme, you’ll develop independent thinking, understand theoretical underpinning, and the ability to question and have confidence in your ideas and practice - skills that will benefit you throughout your chosen career. You'll also develop:

  • critical and analytical skills
  • creative and practical skills
  • ability to express complex and sophisticated ideas with clarity and confidence
  • the ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • IT skills

As a MAAL alumna, you’ll continue to research and engage in the presentation of your practices through practice, exhibitions, socially-engaged projects, international conferences and international journals.


Our graduates have an outstanding employment record in the fields of education, galleries/museums, social work/charity, health, public administration and welfare with the majority of graduates gaining full-time employment in a variety of careers including:

  • Teacher, lecturer, tutor
  • Heads of Faculties/Departments
  • Community artists
  • Gallery educators/curators
  • Practicing artists/photographers

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.


The Educational Studies Building offers a wide range of seminar and larger teaching rooms designed for flexibility and practical work, and two IT/ICT suites with state-of-the-art computer equipment. 

288 New Cross Road houses the Centre for Arts and Learning and is where most of MAAL teaching sessions and presentations are conducted. There are staff offices, three teaching/workshop spaces, and a suite of Mac computers.

All full-time MAAL students will be allocated an individual studio space at 288 NX Road for the duration of their study. 

Similar programmes

MA Creative Writing & Education

You might be a teacher who writes; a writer interested in education; a poet, a novelist or a short story writer. Whatever your background, this course will help you develop your creative writing skills and learn how to teach them.

MA Education: Culture, Language & Identity

This programme will enhance your understanding of educational theory and practice by focusing on issues of culture, language and identity, and is taught by internationally-renowned experts.

Related content links