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Art, Philosophy and Cultural Institutions

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What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

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  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Arts

A Master of Arts (MA) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

This exciting interdisciplinary master's programme combines philosophical aesthetics, art theory and hands-on experience in galleries and museums, bringing together both theoretical and practical interests.

Introduction

This course will give you the competence to pursue a professional career in the cultural sector, or a doctorate programme in the Arts and Humanities.

The emphasis in core modules is on current topics in the artworld, such as philosophy of museums, socially engaged practice, or art and climate change. This is taught both through seminars, and practical workshops at our partnering cultural partners in the city, giving you an insight into curatorial work.

For your elective modules, you can choose from a long list of subjects across the University, tailoring the programme towards your interests: be it Philosophy or another humanities subject.

A two-week placement during your MA will enhance your professional profile. This programme joins forces with Open Eye gallery, FACT, Victoria Gallery and Museum and other exciting museums in the city. The MA also offers the opportunity to apply for a three-month curatorial studentship with Tate Liverpool, exclusively offered to our students.

What you'll learn

  • Central themes in aesthetic theory, artistic and institutional practice
  • What matters to cultural institutions today and how they operate
  • Practical experience of work in a cultural institution
  • Depending on your electives, you can focus on philosophy, social issues, education, heritage and more
  • The role of culture in wider society, ranging from sustainability to equality
  • How to conduct research into your area of interest.

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Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

Aside from the core modules, this MA offers more than thirty optional modules from across the University to choose from. Typically, you will choose three optional modules. Depending on your preferences, you can gravitate towards Philosophy, Media Studies, Heritage, Literature and the Arts, or a mixture of these. Browse the selection below for a sample of what is available. In addition, MA Art, Philosophy and Cultural Institutions students can select all optional modules available to MA Philosophy students.

Compulsory modules

Aesthetic Theory and Practice (PHIL755)

Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 1

The module introduces central themes in aesthetic theory, artistic and institutional practice, as considered by current staff actively researching them. This research-led module serves both to introduce students with no previous detailed knowledge of the areas studied to such issues, and to show how active researchers approach them while actively engaging students themselves in research methodology and practices. The module thus functions both as a research-preparation module and a module for consolidating knowledge in these areas of philosophy. Students have the opportunity to consider aspects of the theoretical/historical background of the study of contemporary aesthetics and concentrate on the exploration of key concepts in modern and postmodern aesthetics and cultural practice.

Optional modules

AESTHETICS (PHIL716)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module intends to facilitate in-depth understanding of central themes of aesthetics and art theory, especially questions about aesthetic judgement, aesthetic experience and aesthetic value. Students will be able to further their knowledge of the history of philosophy as well as the connection between theory and artistic practice. The module is taught by seminar 1 hour per week; students are also advised to attend the PHIL 306 Aesthetics lecture 1 hour per week. Assessment is via a 3,000 essay. Students also take it in turns to give one 10-15 minute presentation in class, formative assessment.

Architectural and Urban Forms of the Islamic World (ARCH737)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module aims to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge about the urban and architectural forms across a vast geographical region, the Islamic world. Examples from both ‘high’ and ‘peripheral’ Islamic traditions are presented in lectures and interactive seminars and workshops, aiming at providing a thorough understanding of both the distinctiveness and diversity of cultures and their established architectural practices. Examples and cases of integrated restoration and rehabilitation within historical contexts, which bring together preservation and developmental approaches, as well as addressing community engagement, are embraced in this module. This module aims to provide opportunities for the development of presentation, academic writing, and time management skills via variable and flexible activities throughout the semester.

CONSCIOUSNESS (PHIL709)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module will provide a survey of some of the most significant debates in contemporary philosophy of mind; the topics of consciousness, perception and artificial intelligence will be examined in detail.

Philosophy and Social Change (PHIL771)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Philosophy is important because it helps us think about what matters most to us. Social philosophy is important because it helps us think about social issues and social change. Arguably, a proper understanding of social issues is a prerequisite for participating in meaningful social change. This module will look at what philosophy can contribute to our understanding of social change, and even social change in practice.

Staff will lead seminar discussions on topics relating to philosophy and social change, with the topics typically arising directly out of their recent research. Topics to be explored might include (dis)trust in science, political polarisation, science communication, propaganda, and philosophy of class, disability, gender, race and sexuality. Students will write a 1000 word op-ed and a 2000 word essay on topics of their choice. Two optional workshops will be dedicated to writing, and will include opportunities for students to get staff and peer feedback on their ideas.

The Modern (ENGL770)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module encourages students to engage with literary modernism in a range of contexts, from the cities in which it was made to the periodicals in which it was published and the theories that contributed to its development. As well as analysing the formal innovations of modernist literature, students will explore connections between writers, texts, works of visual art, geographic locations and mass culture, to understand modernism as a global network of people, objects, places and ideas. Conceptions of modernity will be studied, including approaches to the past and tradition, and ideas around novelty and fashion. Authors may include: T.S. Eliot, Hope Mirrlees, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, Jean Toomer and Nancy Cunard.

Understanding Media Change B (COMM757)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

To understand contemporary media and its place in social and cultural life we need to understand past media, not only as historical origins or predecessors of the new, but in order to understand how change is produced, experienced and negotiated. This module will consider processes of ‘remediation’, ‘transmediality’ ‘intermediality’ , as well as the recurrence of past ideas, forms and sensibilities in the present; arguments about planned obsolescence, newness and innovation; critiques of progress and theories of technological and media change; ideas of maintenance, residual and emergent media. The module will introduce you to key theoretical and historiographic approaches, from German media theory and ‘media archaeology,’ to Benjaminian, phenomenological and everyday life approaches. ‘Media’ includes both communication and storage media and as extending beyond the practices and technologies we might normally consider (computer based media, film, television, radio, photography, video games and so on) to include neglected and ‘grey’ media associated with everyday experience (databases, telephony, fax, photocopying, photobooths, etc). The module is both concept and topic-driven with lectures and seminars focussing on key theoretical texts, and testing out concepts on a range of different media examples.

Words and Ideas: Realism, Nominalism, and the emergence of the modern concept of the Individual. (PHIL772)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

A series of seminars presenting some of the disputes between ontological individualism (‘nominalism’), which holds that there are only particular things and ontological holism (‘Platonism’), which maintains the basic reality of properties, structures, forms and Ideas. There will be close attention to the etymology and semantic history of philosophically relevant words.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Placement opportunity

This course offers a placement opportunity so you can combine your studies with practical experience with industry professionals. It is a great way to develop key employability skills and get a head start in your career with key industry partners. View more information on the course page.

Explore more about Careers and Employability at Liverpool.

Your experience

The Department of Philosophy is based in the School of the Arts.  Our staff and students have created an environment where critical, independent thinking flourishes. Liverpool has a huge range of museums and galleries, and a flourishing music and arts scene. Our friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere makes the exchange of ideas enjoyable, as well as intellectually stimulating.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Why study Philosophy at Liverpool?

  • Our students’ study some of the most profound questions facing humankind, in a city renowned for its rich history of culture, protest and philosophical debate
  • Our friendly, down-to earth atmosphere makes the exchange of ideas enjoyable as well as intellectually stimulating
  • We have a long history of combining research excellence in core areas of philosophy with innovative work at the frontiers of the discipline: from literature to spirituality, Chinese philosophy to animal ethics, neo-Platonism to feminism
  • Ranked 4th in the sector for outstanding (4*) research impact (REF 2021)
  • PHILOS-L. Established in 1989, PHILOS-L is the largest Philosophy mailing list in the world. The list boasts over 13,000 members in over 60 countries
  • We work as part of our amazing city; working with partners in the Bluecoat Gallery, Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool, NHS and more to inspire our thinking and the practices of our communities

Careers and employability

The theoretical parts of this programme acquaint you with the key issues facing the cultural world, while the guaranteed placement immediately adds experience to your CV. While on the programme, you’ll begin to build your professional arts network, and meet many curators and other arts professionals teaching on it.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Graduates of the MA Art, Philosophy and Cultural Institutions have gone on to a variety of careers within the cultural sector including

  • Curating
  • Development
  • Marketing
  • Teaching.

Our recent alumni have been placed with:

  • Tate Britain
  • Open Eye Gallery
  • Liverpool Biennial,
  • Somerset House
  • Aand many other arts charities and museums nationally and internationally.

Dedicated funding is available to our MA students (via our Research and Professional Skills Fund), which allows you to put on exhibitions, organise zines, or partake in other activities that enhance employability. Each year, one student is granted the Tate Studentship, which provides a unique 3-month placement with Tate Liverpool.

As well as pursuing careers in the arts, other MA graduates have continued their studies through a PhD, be it in an art-related subjects or philosophy. Depending on the modules you choose, the programme gives you a basis for several PhD subjects.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £10,800
Part-time place, per year £5,400
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Part-time place, per year £11,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.


Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your tuition fees.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HLC Scholarships for Postgraduate Study

  • Home and international students

The competition is open to all students who have applied for a relevant HLC programme by 3 July and commence study in the course in the first semester of 2023.

The HLC School comprises the following Departments:

  • Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
  • History
  • Irish Studies
  • Languages, Cultures and Film
  • Politics

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website https://meb.gov.tr/ for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Sustainability
Women in STEM
Community
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in a relevant subject.

You should submit a personal statement as part of your application. This should summarise why you wish to study the programme, outline relevant personal experience, and highlight particular aspects of the programme that you find interesting.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with writing at 6.5, and no other component below 6.0
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Higher Level (Grade 5)

TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, reading 19, writing 21 and speaking 20
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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Accommodation

To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Art, Philosophy and Cultural Institutions MA

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.