This programme gives artists, practitioners, and teachers 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 Tate Modern, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Showroom Gallery.
- 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 teacher 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.
- You’ll have access to an extensive programme of guest lectures, presentations and projects. In the past, this has included talks from: Grayson Perry, Yinka Shonibare, Sonia Boyce, Susan Pui San Lok, Danny Devenny, Mark Ervine, Marty Lyons and John Matthews, 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 Dr Esther Sayers
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 teacher practices: including artistic, theoretical, political and learning and teaching concerns.
The modules of the programme are all underpinned with theories of contemporary art, learning and critical and dialectical pedagogical theories and philosophies.
You'll attend all lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials where you'll engage in questioning the political, 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 MAAL, this typically involves critical reflection and development of your practices as artist teacher including: additional readings, preparing topics for discussion/presentations, working with fellow students, producing essays, artist teacher 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 own ideas and practices as artist teachers.
To enable greater flexibility for you and a more equitable experience for full-time and part-time students, the MAAL 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 MAAL you will need to complete 180 CATS at Masters level.
The MAAL comprises five core modules (150 CATS) and one option module (30 CATS).
|Revisiting Practice (RVP)||30 credits|
|Spaces of Practice (in association with the Whitechapel, Showroom Galleries and the South London Gallery)||30 credits|
|Critical Pedagogy and Contested Spaces (CP) (In association with Tate Modern)||30 credits|
|Independent Studies (IS)||60 credits|
You choose one of the following options:
- Location and Intersubjectivity in Art and Therapy
- One non-core module from the MA in Education, Culture, Language and Identity programme
- An MA option module offered in another department
Full-time and part-time study options
The MAAL can be completed in 1 year (full-time) or between 2-5 years (part-time). Routes below:
|Autumn||RVP, IS||OR||RVP, Elective, IS|
|Spring||SP, CP, IS||CP, SP, IS|
|Year 1||RVP, SP, CP||OR||RVP, SP, CP, Elective|
|Year 2||Elective, IS|
|Year 1||RVP, SP||OR||RVP, Elective|
|Year 2||Elective, CP||SP, CP|
|SP||Spaces of Practice|
|CP||Critical Pedagogy and Contested Spaces|
Practitioners who already have existing M-level credits may apply to have these transferred to the MAAL.
You may also take advantage of two exit points:
- Postgraduate Certificate in Arts and Learning (60 Credits)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Learning (120 Credits)
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.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in an appropriate arts-based area with additional experience in learning contexts and a commitment to arts education.
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
Find out more about tuition fees.
We produce reading packs electronically and in hard copy format. There’s a small charge for the hard copy reading packs. You may also be asked to contribute towards trips and some materials for your modules.
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 education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
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.
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:
- Centre for Arts and Learning (CAL)
- Centre for Language, Culture and Learning (CLCL)
- Centre for Identities and Social Justice
Find out more about research 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.