Course information

Department

Computing

Length

2 years full-time, or 4 years part-time, or 3 years combined full-time and part-time

Course overview

Study a degree which develops your arts practice through the expressive world of creative computation. The Masters provides you with the historical foundations, frameworks and critical skills to produce a series of projects for public exhibition.

What is computational art?

Computation consists of all the changes brought about by digital technology. Art is an open set of ways of acting inventively in culture. Mixing the two together in a systematic way gives us computational art. This is a very open field, and one that is set to expand enormously in the coming years. It is where the most exciting developments in technology and in culture can already be found. This degree will place you in the middle of this fast-evolving context.

What will I learn?

This degree develops your arts practice through the expressive world of creative computation. Over a two years (full-time) or four years (part-time) you will develop your artistic work and thinking through the challenge of developing a series of projects for public exhibition which will explore the technological and cultural ramifications of computation. 

You will learn the fundamentals of programming and how to apply this knowledge expressively. You will work with popular open source programming environments such as Processing, OpenFrameworks, P5.js and Arduino, and will learn how to program in languages such as Java, Javascript and C++. 

Since computational artworks don’t necessarily involve computers and screens, we also encourage students to produce works across a diverse range of media. Supported by studio technicians in state-of-the-art facilities, our students are producing works using tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, robotics, wearable technologies, paint, sculpture and textiles. 

You will also study contextual modules on computational art and the socio-political effects of technology. Modules provide students with the historical foundations, frameworks, critical skills and confidence to express their ideas effectively. You will have the opportunity to learn the cultural histories of technology, to reflect on computation in terms of its wider cultural effects, and to understand the way in which art provides rigorous ways of thinking. 

Through our masterclass series, we regularly invite world-class artists and curators to explain their work and engage in critical dialogue with the students. This allows you to develop a wider understanding of the contemporary art scene and how your work sits within the professional art world.

Keep up to date with the department

Take a look at the MA/MFA Computational Arts blog for the latest course news.

For news straight to your inbox, why not subscribe to the course’s newsletter?

We are also happy to show people around our facilities, discuss the course in more detail and even give a taster of a class. Contact the course leader, Dr. Theo Papatheodorou (t.papatheodorou@gold.ac.uk) to arrange a visit.

Should I study the MFA or MA Computational Arts?

As well as the MFA, we also offer an MA Computational Arts. The MA is 1 year (full-time), the MFA 2 years (full-time).

The first year of the MFA is identical to the MA. You take the same classes and you learn the same things. The differences between the two courses is that in the MFA you get a 2nd year in which you take additional courses which help you develop your arts practice further. These courses mean that you get a space to work under a tutor's supervision.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Theo Papatheodorou

What you'll study

Year 1

Year 1 shares the same core learning as our MA in Computational Arts programme:  

The follwing are core modules:

Core modules Module title Credits
  Computational Arts-based Research and Theory 30 credits
  Workshops in Creative Coding 1 15 credits
  Workshops in Creative Coding 2 15 credits
  Studio Practice - Computational Arts 120 credits
  Final Project in Computational Arts 60 credits
  Computational Arts Critical Studies 60 credits

You may then pick modules of your own choice from the indicative list of optional modules below:

Module title Credits
  Programming for Artists and Designers 15 credits
  Computational Form and Process 15 credits
  Advanced Audio-visual Processing 15 credits
  Physical Computing: Using Microcontrollers with Fabrication Techniques 30 credits
  Data and Machine Learning for Artistic Practice 15 credits
  Approaches to Play: Mechanics Dynamic, Aesthetics 30 credits
  3D Virtual Environments and Animation 15 credits
  Special Topics in Programming for Performance and Installation 15 credits
  Physical Computing 1 15 credits
  Advanced Audio-visual Processing 15 credits
  Physical Computing: Arduino and Related Technologies TBC
  Machine Learning for Artists and Musicians TBC
  Physical Computing 2 15 credits

Please note that the availability of optional modules depends on student demand and staff availability.

In year 2 you will study the following: 

Year 2 modules Module title Credits
  Computational Arts Critical Studies 60 credits
  Studio Practice - Computational Arts 120 credits

In year two, you will also be encouraged to audit other classes offered by the department that fit your research interests and further develop your technical skills. Subject to agreement from the respective tutor, you can also audit other classes across Goldsmiths as well as classes across most Universities that form the University of London.

Subject to availability you will also have access to all the technical facilities in the department in order to further develop your practice.

Assessment  

In Year 2 you will be assessed by: self-evaluation report of 2,500 words; essay of up to 6,000 words; viva voce; exhibition of final work.

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

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

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Do I need to know how to program in order to join this course?

Having a creative/art background is what we require and not necessarily a technical one. We want to work with people that have some arts practice and want to introduce computation in their work. In the past, we have had performers, film-makers, architects, musicians, painters and some computer scientists join the course. The majority of people on the course don't know how to program when they join us.

When people join us we try to assess their level of skill in order to offer them a challenging learning environment. People that have previous coding experience are encouraged to take more advanced modules and are given assignments in lab and to take home that push their technical and creative skills further.

We feel that this diversity of skills and backgrounds contributes to the course’s great success over the years.

Do I need a strong maths background?

We do not require a maths background nor do we expect people to be strong in maths to do well. Basic arithmetic (addition/subtraction/division etc.) is all you need. We'll remind you in class of any new concepts you'll need. We currently have in the class dancers, writers, film-makers, photographers as well as architects, computer scientists, etc. We take pride in the diversity of backgrounds the students have and this contributes to the course's success.

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 2019/20 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £10140
  • International - full-time: £15040

Please note that EU fees are being fixed at the above rate for 2019 entry. The fee level will be fixed for the duration of your programme.

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.

If you're an international student interested in studying part-time, please contact our Admissions Team to find out if you're eligible.

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.

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
  • 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

  • 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)
  • A portfolio of work (supplied as a pdf or a URL linking directly to a relevant web page). The portfolio can be in whatever form you feel is most appropriate (dance, painting, photography, digital art, music, film 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.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

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.

Find out more about applying.

Careers

The programme will equip you with a broad training in the use of creative computing systems that are currently most important in artistic, design and cultural practices and the creative industries, as well as technologies that are yet to emerge.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Staff

Staff who teach on this programme:

Student work

Generative art - student project
Metasis - student project
MA Computational Arts degree show
MA Computational Arts show
Page

 

Facilities

Goldsmiths Computing department has a wealth of specialist facilities and equipment for students to use. From digital studios to motion capture, and games labs to sonic media.

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