- Entry requirements: Related 2:1 degree (or equivalent)
- Full-time: 12 months
- Part-time: 24 months
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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.
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.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This module introduces students to the theories, processes and practical conditions which result in exhibitions of art within cultural institutions. The relationship between the artist, art, curator and institution will be addressed. The module includes issues of curation, as well as the broader functions of the cultural institution, such as collecting, education, and marketing. The place of cultural institutions in broader cultural and social structures within society will also be considered by students. Students attend a 2-day curating skills workshop at Victoria Gallery and Museum and further two workshops at local cultural institutions. They also receive study support sessions. Assessment is by a 15-minute group oral presentation, and a 4,500 word essay.
This module will examine digital media from the audience’s perspective. It will consider contemporary debates on the changing audience’s practices and the attention economy. Students will be introduced to the notions of the audience as a user and as a producer of media in the digital age. The module will focus on digital news audiences as well as the audience of entertainment platforms (like Netflix and Spotify). Different audience research methods like tracking data, surveys and focus groups will also be discussed.
The module provides students with knowledge of conventional and innovative ways of recording, digitizing, visually presenting and virtually experiencing different heritage assets. These come in different forms and shapes from architectural to archaeological sites and artefacts, and from movable heritage to oral history. Students will produce a fieldwork report, including images and text, or portfolio of digital heritage records, including images and metadata. Therefore, along with digitisation and IT skills specific to heritage contexts, students will acquire heritage drawing, communication and teamwork skills. Hands-on workshops with heritage experts will enhance students’ experience and employability skills. Assessment is based on a coursework assignment consisting of fieldwork report, or portfolio of digital heritage records, and an oral presentation of the findings.
At the end of the sixteenth century, England was making its first attempts to build a tradition as a nation of travellers and unsuccessfully attempting to establish colonies in north America. By the end of the Eighteenth century the European Grand Tour was a standard part of a British aristocratic education, and the British Empire was a global force actively participating in the international slave trade. This module looks at both literary and non-literary records of and responses to: the relationship between the ‘old world’ or the Mediterranean and the ‘new world’ of the Americas; the encounter with unfamiliar people and lands; the rise of and debate about the international slave trade, from the perspective of both the enslaver and the enslaved; the literary and cultural importance of these developments for the city of Liverpool.
This module takes as its central starting point the idea of media as forms of social and cultural practice. That is, it is concerned with the way media forms and digital (and non-digital) media technologies shape our everyday experiences of the world, whether in terms of our sense of self and identity, the everyday rhythms that structure our lives, the way we move through or apprehend the everyday spaces we variously inhabit, or the sensory, affective and material impacts of media on our embodied sense of being-in-the-world. By placing its focus on media practices and the everyday, the module draws from recent debates in so-called ‘non-media-centric media studies’ and related perspectives from anthropology, cultural studies and cultural geography which examine not so much the meaning invested in the content of media texts as the performative question of what it is we do with media, and what it, correspondingly, does with us. In a contemporary world where the mediatisation of everyday life seemingly extends to every sphere of routine activity (such that at times we hardly recognise its presence at all), the project of scrutinising and critically reflecting on the relationship between media practices and everyday life has never been more urgent.
This module will help students to gain detailed insight into key contemporary debates in the philosophy of religion (predominantly in the Western tradition). Students will have the opportunity to confront and respond to challenges that arise, metaphysically and epistemologically, in this field. Questions that arise include whether ‘God-talk’ is merely nonsense, as some have claimed. Is the concept of ‘God’ even logically consistent? What is the relationship between faith and reason? How serious a threat is posed to coherent religious belief by the existence of evil and suffering?
This module considers what it is to think philosophically about the nature of film. It critically discusses philosophical approaches to the medium. It examines the thinking of philosophers, critics and filmmakers on vital issues encountered when discussing film as art. It considers the importance of film and its relation to other art forms. It familiarises students with works by key filmmakers, and encourages students to engage with these works. The module will enhance students’ abilities to think critically about fundamental issues surrounding film, and about what philosophers, critics and filmmakers have said about the medium. It is taught through weekly seminars (1 hour per week) and film screenings. Assessment is by one 3,000 word essay.
This module will familiarise students with the various traditions of belief and practice associated with ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Buddhism’. It will help students to understand the ways in which Indian philosophers have considered topics that are also discussed in the Western traditions and provided distinctive approaches to them. There will be one seminar per week. Students are also encouraged to attend the undergraduate lectures on Indian Philosophy. Assessment is by one 3,000 word essay.
This module focuses on theories of the body in contemporary critical thought and in modern and contemporary literature using relevant theory to support readings of a range of literary texts. We will study politically informed theories such as critical race studies, feminist, queer and disability studies and topics such as the maternal body, the body in pain and the ageing body. In all these cases the body emerges as a concept marked by internal division in terms of sex, gender, age, size, and race. We will study bodies as organisms and bodies as social phenomena, exploring the tension between the body’s material manifestations and its sites of immateriality such as the mind, spirit, psyche and affect.
This module asks students to consider the question ‘What is the Contemporary?’. How can literature help us to understand our sense of ‘the now’ and locate us in the present? And what does it have to tell us about our past and our future? These enquiries take in a series of literary and critical positions on matters of ‘the present’ and ‘contemporariness’ as explored through literature and theory. Over a series of seminars, students will be required to conceptualise and understand the different ways that we can understand the idea of the contemporary, contemporaneousness as a historical term and as a term of theoretical discourse.
This module aims to introduce students to historical and contemporary media practices and approaches within visual culture, including museum exhibitions, cultural interpretations, institutional policies and artistic interventions in the city. The module will examine a broad range of modes and methods to investigate the promotion and representation of culture and national heritage, the transformations of these activities over the years, and their analysis within media studies and cultural theory. Students will read and discuss past and present activities of cultural institutions and artistic activists, as well as theorisations of art and anthropology museums, World’s Fair exhibitions, cultural programmes and other visual and cultural media. Students will examine different conceptions of museums, sites of memory, and cultural events as potential arenas of public transformation, de-colonisation, community activity and public fora. The module will more broadly address social and ethical questions; concepts and practices of cultural appropriation and representation; ideas of power relations and self-reflexivity; and definitions and conversations around ‘otherness’ within and beyond contemporary cultural institutions.
Students will write a dissertation (15,000 words, maximum) on a topic that they have researched in depth, under the guidance of their supervisors. You will be able to delve deep into a topic of your choice, gaining confidence as a researcher and an expert on a subject you propose.
Students will write a dissertation (15,000 words, maximum) on a topic that they have researched in depth, under the guidance of their supervisors. There will also be two seminar sessions focusing on the development of dissertation preparation and writing skills.
The module gives students the opportunity to experience practical experience of work in a cultural institution.
WHY STUDY ART AND PHILOSOPHY AT LIVERPOOL?
Assessment is by submitted coursework; there are no exams. Other assessment methods also include group presentations, a reflective log on your placement, and a dissertation.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
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.
Dr Vid Simoniti, Director of the Art, Philosophy and Cultural Institutions MA introduces the programme.
From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:
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.
Graduates of the MA Art, Philosophy and Cultural Institutions have gone on to a variety of careers within the cultural sector including
Our recent alumni have been placed with:
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.
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
|Full-time place, per year
|Part-time place, per year
|Full-time place, per year
|Part-time place, per 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..
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.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
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|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.
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.
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
6.5 overall, with writing at 6.5, and no other component below 6.0
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
Higher Level (Grade 5)
|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.
|C6 or above
Last updated 29 February 2024 / / Programme terms and conditions