UCL Graduate degrees


Art and Design in Education MA

The MA examines the relationship between art practice, theory and pedagogy and enables students to develop a rigorous approach to educational research in art colleges, schools, galleries and alternative spaces for art education. It draws on the research expertise of staff at the UCL Institute of Education. Alumni go on to influence the expanded field of practice in art and design education.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Application dates

Visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£10,500 (FT)
£5,250 (PT)
£23,300 (FT)
£11,650 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in an art/art theory/art history specialism is required together with professional experience in formal or informal educational contexts e.g. in schools, colleges, galleries or residencies. All applicants, who meet the entry criteria, are interviewed and asked to show examples of their own artwork or curatorial practice.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Visa information

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa – study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

This programme enables you to explore the relationship between practice and theory and you will learn to conduct research using appropriate methodologies. It addresses key issues including globalisation, alternative models, the ‘educational turn’ in curation, digital technologies, social justice and embodied learning. It fosters a supportive and critically engaged community and you will gain valuable insight into different phases and contexts of education.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two compulsory modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Art and Design in Education.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Alternative Models for Art Education
  • Practice-based Research in Art and Design Education

Optional modules

  • Contemporary Art and Artists in Education
  • Material & Virtual Cultures: Trans-forming The Museum And Gallery Experience
  • Responsive Museums and Galleries: Inclusion and Outreach in Practice
  • Artefacts as an Educational Resource

Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.


All students undertake a dissertation in one of three modes:

  • a thesis of 20,000 words
  • an exhibition and 10,000-word report
  • an exhibition of a residency / placement and 10,000-word report



Visits to galleries, schools and alternative learning contexts are an integral part of the course. The course also gives you the opportunity to develop and put into practice an experimental workshop for a chosen context (e.g. a school, gallery or alternative site). This will provide invaluable professional experience, with critical support and feedback.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods include studio practice, lectures, seminars, workshops, reading groups, site visits and gallery-based learning delivered by IOE staff, visiting artists and professionals working in universities, galleries, schools and alternative contexts. Assessment is based on coursework assignments and the dissertation.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Digital Media Programme Bursary

£5,000 (One year)
Based on financial need

IOE Windle Trust Scholarship

Deadline: 31 December 2020
Full tuition fees and some allowances (Up to 3yrs)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE Centenary Masters Scholarships

Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


MA students develop confidence in articulating an educational philosophy and have a strong record of success in obtaining leadership roles in arts organisations and education.


Alumni are currently working as lecturers in further and higher education, heads of arts faculties in secondary schools, freelance artist educators in galleries and museums as well as careers advisers for the arts. Many students use the course to explore new areas of critical and creative inquiry which has led to the establishment of alternative models outside of formal education or the development of socially engaged art practices. Graduates have been very successful entering PhD programmes.


Recent graduate destinations include;

·           Head of Family Learning at the Royal Academy of Arts

 ·          Freelance Artist educator at South London Gallery and Wellcome Collection

·           Schools and Education Coordinator, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

·           Education Project Assistant at Whitechapel Gallery

·           Education Officer at The Roche Court Educational Trust

·           Educator for Family Programmes at Skirball Cultural Centre in Los Angeles

·           Research Assistant,  UCL Institute of Education

·           Community and Access at Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Why study this degree at UCL?

Art and design education at the IOE - the leading institution for education worldwide (QS World University Rankings by Subject for the eighth year in a row) - has a long and distinguished history which can be traced back to the work of pioneering art educator Marion Richardson (1892-1946).

Located in the heart of Bloomsbury, the MA works closely with galleries and museums continuing Richardson's quest to strengthen links between contemporary art practice and education. You will also have access to a diverse network of regional and international organisations that contribute to your modules. 

You will enjoy the use of purpose-built studio space in the IOE's Grade II* listed building and benefit from being part of a wider community of PGCE, MA and doctoral students.

The UCL campus also gives you access to the Institute of Making, many specialist libraries, and open access events organised by UCL faculties including The Bartlett School of Architecture and The Slade School of Fine Art.

Department: Culture, Communication & Media

What our students and staff say

Alumni view

"I am proud to have studied my MA at such a prestigious university. My lecturers were accomplished academics with wide-ranging experience in art, design and education, and I was able to meet and work with other successful creative practitioners. Together, we could discuss and reflect on current issues in our field. I created lasting contacts and connections with my lecturers and colleagues, and I continue to collaborate with them on creative and educational projects. Read Kremena's Q&A"

Kremena Dimitrova

Art and Design in Education MA (2016)
Student view

"Being able to have a studio practice that informed my research was really important to me. Prior to the course my art practice and my work experience felt like two very separate things but as my research developed the two began to intertwine and inform each other. Having a shared studio space helped me to develop great relationships with my peers and provided us with a space where we could have informal discussion."

Anya Mustoo

Art and Design in Education MA
Alumni view

"The course leaders really encouraged us to reflect on our experience in education to focus on issues we felt were important, which made the work personal and relevant. The support and feedback from staff on the course was excellent. I felt challenged and provided with lots of valuable insights and direction. I appreciated the balance of practice and theory which has helped define my interests and gain a better understanding of my approaches to working with others as a facilitator and my identity as an arts educator."

Jenny Pengilly

Art and Design in Education MA (2019)

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Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

We invite applications from artists, school teachers, university lecturers, curators and freelance arts educators working in formal and informal educational contexts (local communities, galleries, hospitals, museums, prisons, etc). We also invite applications from practising artists working or planning to work in schools, colleges and universities.

Application deadlines

Visa nationals
31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
30 July 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Art and Design in Education at graduate level
  • why you want to study Art and Design in Education at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021