Master’s in Fine Arts

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A Master’s in Fine Arts is a postgraduate program that is designed for students who want to further their knowledge and skills in the art world. There are many international schools that offer a general fine arts curriculum as well as a variety of specific art programs that students can study.

What is a Master’s Program in Fine Arts?

A fine arts program is usually designed with the purpose of preparing you for a career as a professional artist, although this can vary from one student to another. Most program participants are those taht are artistic, creative, and innovative, and who have completed an undergraduate art program. There are numerous programs that schools offer, so curriculum will vary depending on the program’s focus. However, most of the curriculum will integrate practical skills and knowledge with hands-on practice in the student’s specific area of study.

The fine arts represent an area of art that is developed mostly for beauty or aesthetics, as opposed to applied art that is meant to have a practical function. There are five major disciplines in the fine arts, which include:

  • Painting
  • Architecture
  • Sculpture
  • Music
  • Poetry

Some programs will have a more general approach to the different disciplines, while others will focus primarily on one of the specific arts. Along with classroom lectures, students will spend a lot of time in their own studio, where they will be able to create designs, work on their craft, and build a portfolio. There are also opportunities to visit and work with galleries and professional artists. Most programs will include a final thesis exhibition.

Some of the schools that have a strong fine arts program include:

  • Art Center College of Design
  • New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan
  • Wimbledon College of Art
  • Camberwell College of Arts
  • NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • New York University (multiple International locations)

What are the benefits of a Master’s in Fine Arts?

Students who take a Master’s in Fine Arts benefit in a number of ways. Although entering the art world is possible via other avenues, earning an advanced degree speaks volumes to hiring managers. Some benefits of earning a master’s degree include:

  • Competitive Advantage: Artists can be found in all corners of the world, and many of them have not had a formal education in their trade. Along with the advanced development of skills, employers appreciate the fact that master degree holders have also been exposed to other subject areas such as marketing, business, and social science. When applying for jobs or freelance projects, having an advanced degree is often beneficial.
  • Improved Employability: Unlike artists who have not had a formal education, graduating with a fine arts degree gives you a broad education base. Although graduates have unique skills, they also have transferrable skills that help them find employment in areas outside of fine arts.
  • Earning Potential: You have all heard of the term starving artist, that term became famous because the art world is a notoriously hard place to make a living. However, an artist with a master’s degree is often qualified for higher paying jobs or positions.
  • Increased Opportunities to Develop a Portfolio: Building a portfolio is very important for artists, and a formal education such as a master’s program gives students many different ways to build up a collection that shows off varying abilities and styles. Some programs also assist students with building a portfolio online.

What Kind of Career can you Expect with a Master’s in Fine Arts?

Students who earn a master’s degree in fine arts will find that there are many different career paths available, and what you choose will often depend on your personal interests as well as what your education prepared you for. Common areas that graduates find work in are arts and design, entertainment, and media and communication.

Some of the career titles that are directly related to a fine arts degree are:

  • Advertising illustrator
  • Animator
  • Art director
  • Art critic
  • Art historian
  • Art instructor
  • Background artist
  • Billboard designer
  • Caricaturist
  • Ceramist
  • Choreographer
  • Fashion illustrator
  • Graphic designer
  • Music specialist
  • Painter
  • Photographer
  • Set designer
  • Theater director

Just some of the careers that are indirectly related to a fine arts degree include:

  • Architectural technologist
  • Art dealer
  • Booking agent
  • Copywriter
  • Historic preservationist
  • Producer
  • Publicist
  • Stunt coordinator
  • Talent agent
  • Teacher

Examples of some of the places where alumni have chosen careers include the Walt Disney Company, Apple, BBC, and London College of Communication. Some graduates choose to work for themselves as freelancers and market to different clients such as individuals, galleries, or companies. If you would like to study the fine arts and have the chance to work in a variety of exciting careers, we have a number of international schools that you can apply to.  

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, United States

  • 83SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 28,000Average Tuition
  • 30%Acceptance Rate

The University of California - Irvine is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities with a campus in Irvine; a suburban area in California, U.S.A. Through its faculties, the university offers over master’s degree programs....

University of Buckingham

Buckingham, United Kingdom

  • 89SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,321Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of Buckingham (UB) is one of UK’S oldest private universities located in the city of Buckingham, England. Through its 14 academic schools, the university offers master’s programs in a wide variety of disciplines....

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff, United Kingdom

  • 90SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 16,716Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Cardiff Metropolitan University (Cardiff Met) is a UK public Institution with two central campuses located in Llandaff and Cyncoed in Wales, United Kingdom. Through its 6 academic schools, the university offers master’s programs in a wide range of disciplines....

Leeds Arts University

Leeds, United Kingdom

  • 96SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 18,755Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Leeds Arts University, established in 1846, is a small, specialist arts and higher education University located in Leeds, UK. The University offers two Master of Arts degrees....

University of Gloucestershire

Cheltenham, United Kingdom

  • 105SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,415Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire) has multiple campuses across Gloucestershire and Cheltenham, United Kingdom. Students at Gloucestershire are offered a wide range of master’s degree programs through its 8 academic schools, including: School of Art and Design; School of Liberal and Performing Arts; School of Natural and Social Sciences; and the School of Media....

University of West London

London, United Kingdom

  • 117SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 14,013Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of West London with campuses in Ealing and Brentford in London, UK offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies through its eight schools: the London School of Film, Media & Design; Claude Littner Business School; School of Computing and Engineering; London College of Hospitality and Tourism; Ealing Law School; London College of Music; College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare; School of Psychology, Social Care and Human Sciences....

University of Chester

Chester, United Kingdom

  • 118SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 14,563Average Tuition
  • 65%Acceptance Rate

The University of Chester is one of the oldest universities in the UK. Founded in 1839, it is a public university situated in Chester, England. The University has dedicated faculties, through which it delivers master’s degree programs to local and international students. ...

Trinity College Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

  • 122SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 14,342Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is located in Dublin, Ireland. Situated in the multicultural European Capital, TCD offers undergraduate courses in a wide range of disciplines that come under the faculties of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Science; and Health Sciences. ...

Bath Spa University

Bath, United Kingdom

  • 124SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 16,869Average Tuition
  • 89%Acceptance Rate

Bath Spa University (Bath Spa) has campuses located in Newton Park and Sion Hill, Bath, United Kingdom. Bath Spa also has a campus located in the market town of Corsham. Bath Spa offers over a 100 master’s degree programs across its 4 academic schools, namely: Bath Business School; Bath School of Art and Design; College of Liberal Arts; and the Institute for Education....

St Mary's University London

London, United Kingdom

  • 125SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,552Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

St Mary’s University London (St Mary’s) is located in Twickenham, London. St Mary's offers over 50 master’s degree programs across its 4 academic schools, namely: Arts and Humanities; Management and Social Sciences; Education, Theology and Leadership; and Sport, Health and Applied Science....