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Arts University Plymouth: Painting

Institution Arts University Plymouth View institution profile
Department Arts, Design and Media
Study type Taught


Plymouth College of Art has been granted full university status and formally recognised with the new title of Arts University Plymouth, following approval by the Privy Council. This makes us the City of Plymouth’s first specialist arts university.

The title of Arts University Plymouth signifies a change to the way that the world will see us, our position within the sector and the mobility of our graduates; but not a change in the way that we see ourselves or what we do. Arts University Plymouth will build upon the existing strength of our unique culture and incredible community; we have no plans to change the specialist focus of the work we do together. The name Arts University Plymouth will appear on our qualifications, making it easier for employers and peers to recognise that our students were taught at a leading specialist arts university.

In May 2022 we were awarded the Best Small or Specialist University at the 2022 WhatUni Student Choice Awards, coming top in a list of well-respected specialist UK universities, based on unbiased and honest reviews from students across the UK, in a category that highlights the quality of our provision as a specialist creative university.

Our MA Painting programme will challenge and accelerate your individual practice, providing you with the opportunity to explore a discipline that, in a digital age, is constantly widening in scope.

Ethos Our MA Painting encourages you to explore the varied models of practice that are available for the painter today, examining the notion of painting as research, and testing the boundaries of this medium in order to engage with the wider research culture in painting, both nationally and internationally. This programme examines current debates in painting, working to extend your knowledge of paint as a material and as a process. You will use concepts, methods and materials to develop a critical relationship to tradition, while engaging with the diverse agendas of contemporary art practice.

Outline You will be part of a dynamic studio environment that supports the development of your practical, professional and research skills. The programme encompasses a range of diverse conceptual and technical approaches to painting, encouraging you to work in a variety of media as your research develops. You will be supported to develop an approach to your painting practice where methods, materials and iconography have clearly articulated relationships to one another. Taught delivery within the programme provides a mix of discipline-specific methods and cross-disciplinary approaches that can be applied across creative and commercial sectors. Our shared module structure allows you to develop a dialogue with creative practitioners across the Graduate School.

Supported practices This programme supports a wide range of approaches to painting, including painting in an ‘expanded field’, exploring intersections between painting, film and performance.


Arts University Plymouth


Winner of Best Small or Specialist University at the 2022 WhatUni Student Choice Awards.

Voted as the top Arts University in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2022). Overall student satisfaction is 81% at Arts University Plymouth, significantly above the national average of 76%.

Founded in 1856, the institution has been granted full university status and formally recognised with the new title of Arts University Plymouth following approval by the Privy Council, becoming the city of Plymouth’s specialist arts university. Arts University Plymouth is a specialist arts university offering a comprehensive range of undergraduate and …

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