Masters | Postgraduate Course - Art and Science MA, PG Cert Course Details within University of the Arts London

Course Fees
Home/EU: £4,250. International: £10,250. £500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.
Contact Name
Central Saint Martins
020 7514 7023
Art and Science MA, PG Cert

Study Details

Central Saint Martins - MA: 2 years full-time; PgCert: 15 weeks full-time

This pioneering course investigates the creative relationships between art and science and how to communicate them. With access to important collections in London you’ll explore the making and presentation of your work and pursue innovative outcomes in practice and research, towards professional engagement in art and science authorship and creative practice.

Reasons to Apply

  • MA Art and science  has been designed to enable you to pursue your studies whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. You are expected to commit 30 hours per week to your studies; your taught input will normally be scheduled over a maximum of two to three days per week during term time. 
  • Responding to fast-growing interest in interdisciplinary art practice, this pioneering You’ll learn from, and build working relationships with artists, scientists, curators and other professional practitioners engaged in research that investigates art and science.
  • You’ll benefit from established links with museums, galleries and institutions - this year included the Wellcome Trust, Science Museum, Gordon Museum, Grant Museum, Wakehurst (Millenium Seed Bank), gv Art and MRC Institute of Neuropharmacology, among others.
  • You’ll attend lectures and participate in seminars that provide a critical context for your research and practical work complemented by workshops and special access to places of particular interest.
  • You’ll take part in an exhibition or symposium, bringing together staff and peers as well as professional practitioners and critics.
  • Our graduates are attractive to organisations that value creative thinking and the effective communication of ideas. They also have the potential to develop their interest at research degree level.

Module details

 Synergies in our Fine Art Programme - incorporating BA Fine Art, MA Art and Science, MA Fine Art, MA Photography, MRes Art: Exhibition Studies, MRes Art: Moving Image, and MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy - create a dynamic context for exploring practices and issues within contemporary culture.

This pioneering postgraduate course responds to a fast-emerging territory for interdisciplinary and collaborative art practice. MA Art and Science gives students an opportunity to interrogate the creative relationships between art and science and how they can be communicated. You'll explore different approaches to making and presenting your work with the aim of proposing and realising innovative outcomes in practice and research.

In its extended full-time mode MA Art and Science gives you the flexibility to access London's richly varied opportunities for work and study while maximising your personal and professional development.

MA Art and Science provides an extensive final unit of 120 credits (45 weeks) enabling continuous development and realisation of a significant programme of work. MA Art and Science supports and is shaped by:

  • Exploration of the approaches of art and science to enquiry - how scientific ideas may inform and provoke the making of art, and how practices in art and science may correspond
  • Development of knowledge of historical and contemporary contexts, practical processes, research methods and writing
  • Learning from, and building, working relationships between artists, medics, mathematicians, anatomists, curators and other professional practitioners engaged in research that investigates art and science
  • Student projects through the use of established links with institutions in London such as the Wellcome Trust, Hunterian Museum, Gordon Museum and Natural History Museum
  • Development of current thinking on art and science towards further research

About the course

  • MA Art and Science lasts 60 weeks structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each (i.e. two academic years) in its 'extended full-time mode.'
  • MA Art and Science is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises 3 units. Unit 1 (40 credits) and Unit 2 (20 credits) run concurrently and last 15 weeks. Unit 3 (120 credits) follows after the completion of Units 1 and 2 and runs for 45 weeks.
  • Students successfully achieving Units 1 and 2 may exit at this point with the award of Postgraduate Certificate.
  • All three units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from the mark for Unit 3 only.
  • In year one we expect you to commit an average of 40 hours per week. In year two your study is predominantly self-managed but we expect you to commit an average of 20 hours per week. Across the two years, therefore, you're expected to commit an average of 30 hours per week.

Course rationale

Through their work, the artist and scientist contribute to a greater understanding of what it is to be human and how we relate to the world around us. Both need creative insight in their quest for knowledge and the desire to communicate it.

The relationship between art and science continues to expand the boundaries of understanding and invention, challenging our view of the world. The desire of artists to find ways to understand, represent and reinterpret the world they live in gives rise to in an investigation of nature, perception and thought - areas of equal importance in the sciences. Scientists also define their research in ways that address questions of how the measurable can be defined, the invisible envisaged, the senses extended, and perceptions tested. Both artists and scientists seek to develop new ways to make the innovative nature of their discoveries comprehensible and communicable.

This MA offers a structured opportunity to investigate the contemporary and historical context of art and science, embracing the spectrum of interaction, endeavour and the making of forms. MA Art and Science explores how research and production might have implications for discovery and invention across and within both disciplinary fields and asks how these might relate socially and culturally.

Course outline

MA Art and Science explores the creative relationships between art and science and how they may be communicated. It offers a chance to investigate how scientific ideas can inform and inspire artistic practice, to question how art can relate to science, and to consider what the interrelationships between science and studio practice might be, informing new approaches to making and presenting your work.

MA Art and Science emphasises critical investigation through reflective practice, contextual awareness, practical processes, research, analysis and debate that will support and sustain your final major project. We support and encourage your ability to collaborate with other artists and scientists and institutions linked with the course.

From the outset, an essential programme of study develops your research skills and knowledge of research modes in art-related fields. Your learning extends across our Postgraduate Art Programme, offering invaluable opportunities for peer association and familiarisation with the college's research community. Research underpins the critical exploration of your work, its structuring, context and communication, and drives insight into contemporary cultural debates.

MA Art and Science supports the development of your thinking and practice through a 'project proposal', introduced, evaluated and developed during the first 15 weeks. The proposal helps you manage your work successfully and articulate concerns as they arise or develop. Your practice is supported through lectures and seminars exploring key theories and critical issues with a range of specialist staff and visiting speakers.

Your project proposal, considered alongside work in progress, leads to an agreed 'independent project' during Unit 3. The independent project reflects your specialist interests and learning objectives, addressing ideas, research methods and intended formats, as well as theoretical and projected professional contexts for your work.

Unit 1 - Art and Science in Context

This unit explores relationships between art and science, both contemporary and historical, and related critical issues. You'll develop your understanding through a series of projects that investigate topics such as Visualizations: Technology and the Extension of the Eye; Mathematics: Surface and Space; The Body: Anatomy, Biomedicine, Identity; Material and Process: Studio Chemistry.

Running in parallel with these projects is a series of seminars that provide a critical and historical context for your research and practical work. Seminars create a forum in which emerging issues in art and science and the contribution of cross-disciplinary engagement with public understanding are discussed. This focus is complemented by practical workshops in, for example, drawing, studio materials and digital imaging, and special access to places of particular interest. Venues include sites of scientific and historical significance where context is important to understanding.

A core element of lectures focusing on theoretical ideas, discourses and critical positions within contemporary art offers you important engagement across our Postgraduate Art Programme. In exploring the interface between practice and theory, lectures and seminars develop your ability to evaluate and progress your practice in relation to external bodies of knowledge while building articulacy in critical discussion and writing. Lectures and seminars draw on the research expertise and interests of staff across our art programmes as well as external guest speakers.

Project work, encouraged and challenged through regular group discussion and tutorials, informs your independent project proposal for Unit 3. The project proposal incorporates an outline of research methods (supported by studies in the parallel Unit 2), and addresses issues of relevance, validity and feasibility.

Unit 1 is assessed through a selection of project work and your independent project proposal document for Unit 3. Feedback at this point confirms your Unit 3 project proposal or advises on developments as appropriate.

Unit 2 - Thinking as Practice (Research Methodologies 1)

This unit, common to all courses within our Postgraduate Art Programme, helps you engage with the postgraduate and research community at CSM.

Unit 2 introduces the fundamental research skills that enable you to make informed decisions about appropriate methods to use in your chosen area of study and your professional future. The unit examines specific research skills and different kinds of research. Skills and knowledge areas covered include interviewing, literature search and review, archival skills, software for use in research and e-resources, feasibility studies, data analysis, referencing, citation and bibliographic conventions, and ethics. Seminars and workshops emphasise participation and the building of core research skills through practical exercises and small group projects.

Lectures ask how arts research and discourse is developed, shared and understood. The focus is on methods of learning, thinking, evaluation and interpretation as both practice based and theoretical forms of enquiry. The diversity of research activity at Central Saint Martins provides a broad range of models and examples, with particular attention given to the place of practice in research projects.

Unit 3 - Independent Project

This unit has two parts. You'll undertake the first in the second half of year one and the second (more independently) in year two.

The unit's 45 weeks represent a substantial opportunity to realise your independent project successfully. The project takes the form of an in-depth investigation according to an agreed programme of study leading to practical and written outcomes. Written elements normally include a symposium paper and a dissertation.

Throughout the independent project you develop the practical aspects of your work and identify and establish access to relevant resources. Although we can introduce you to a number of significant sources of knowledge and information in London (e.g. Wellcome Collection, Natural History Museum Library, and Gordon Museum), we encourage you to develop links with organisations and institutions that will support and inform your particular research and project development. You'll have a supervisor or mentor (i.e. personal tutor) who'll guide the progress of your independent project. Progress is supported through ongoing tutorials, critiques with professionals in relevant specialist fields, and student-directed group discussions.

If not fully resolved at Unit 1 assessment point, your independent project proposal is reconsidered at a progress review (weeks 28-30). The review involves presentations, debate and feedback on work to date. All project agreements include a commitment to forms of submission and to appropriate mentoring and supervision arrangements.

In the unit's second part (i.e. year 2) you're supported in independent engagement with the realisation of your project and written work. You'll continue to meet for critical debates and tutorial support, and lead interim presentations about your work - both in person and online - discussing progress, challenges and discoveries, and issues of form, audience and presentation.

A spring term presentation or symposium bringing together staff and peers from across the Postgraduate Art Programme, as well as professional practitioners and critics, challenges you to debate key questions arising from your work. Student directed, this initiative offers useful experience of the skills required to organise a professional event and to present and discuss your work.

A professional practice lecture series across our art programmes offers insights into publishing practices, intellectual property, funding sources and other areas.

Unit 3 is assessed through your independent project and written work (forms of submission as agreed), and a report documenting and evaluating changes and progress. Your mark for Unit 3 determines the classification of your MA award.

Entry Requirements

Selection to MA Art and Science is determined by the quality of your application (including a written indicative project proposal and supporting material). You'll also need to meet the minimum entry requirements as indicated below, but please note that these qualifications alone won't be sufficient to secure entry to the course.

Minimum entry requirements

We consider applicants who have already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours degree. You can demonstrate this educational level by:

  • Having an Honours degree or an equivalent academic qualification
  • Having a professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required
  • A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning that, taken together, can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required

English language requirement

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you send us an English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the Language Centre website.
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the External English Tests page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

Student Destinations

Our Postgraduate Art Programme offers valuable opportunities to build transferable professional knowledge and skills. The exchange of perspectives with others through shared units, reading groups and debates helps establish stimulating and productive networks.

The focus on proposing and developing a major independent programme of study is supported by a shared professional practice lecture series featuring guest speakers plus opportunities to attend symposia and critique work in progress across subject areas. The Postgraduate Art Programme has wide-ranging links with professional organisations, collections and galleries, and includes opportunities for interaction and networking according to your personal career direction.

MA Art and Science graduates will be able to enhance communications and creative exchange between areas of art and the sciences, participate effectively in creative projects with an interdisciplinary perspective, work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams, and exercise initiative and personal responsibility in advancing research skills and subject knowledge as well as in managing their career or further studies. With these attributes and the abilities that underpin them, MA Art and Science graduates will be attractive to organisations that value creative thinking and the effective communication of ideas. They'll also have the potential to develop their interest at research degree level.