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The University of Edinburgh: Contemporary Art Practice

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department Edinburgh College of Art
Study type Taught


This programme offers a constructive, critical environment for artists wishing to develop their practice.

Our students produce artworks in a range of media, using:

  • paint

  • sound

  • performance

  • photography

  • video

  • sculpture

  • digital animation

How will I learn?

Teaching is primarily by one-to-one tutorials and mixed year group critiques with a year-round programme of visiting artists.

We emphasise the centrality of conversation and dialogue to developing innovative art. We also create a supportive environment to nurture risk-taking as fundamental to producing ambitious original art.

Courses examine key contemporary art developments and ways in which artists can self-organise, collaborate and curate opportunities to exhibit.

We emphasise the application of theory to practice and vice versa. You will collaborate on self-organised exhibitions at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and at our external gallery partners. Theory courses encourage creative and academic responses to key contemporary art debates and we insist on research projects that are connected to practice.

Our graduates

Graduates produce exhibitions internationally, and have been selected for major residencies, exhibitions and prizes, such as:

  • Bloomberg New Contemporaries

  • Saatchi New Sensations

  • Glasgow Film Festival

  • Edinburgh International Art Festival


University of Edinburgh 


Be open to possibilities. Be open to the extraordinary.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 15th in the 2023 QS World University Rankings Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts students and staff from across the globe, creating a unique Edinburgh experience. Whatever excites you, whatever your ambition, whatever makes you ‘you’, we know one thing; nothing ordinary comes from this extraordinary place.

Our students have been making an impact on the world for more than 400 years. Each year is different – every …

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