Hannah Marsh

Art aesthetics and cultural institutions MA

Why did you choose this MA programme?

I chose this MA programme to continue studies initiated during my undergraduate degree in Fine Art and History of Art, but to look at it through a more philosophical lens. I wanted to be able to discuss and consider art through different theoretical perspectives to strengthen my skill set and understanding. I was also very drawn to the practical placement element, and the opportunity to critically discuss cultural institutions- this was not something I had ever done.

What was the best thing about studying on the course?

Producing a Masters dissertation - this is a body of work I am very proud of and refer to now in my current role. It is a piece of writing I would not have been able to produce without the content of the modules and inspiration and knowledge from the tutors on the MA.

What do you do now and has postgraduate study in Liverpool helped with your career prospects?

I now work as a Curatorial Assistant in British Contemporary Art at the Tate. My MA from Liverpool has been incredibly useful in both getting this role and fulfilling it. I constantly refer to research established during my MA, and have a deep understanding of contemporary art, art history and theories of art and institutions. The MA also very much improved my writing skills, presentation skills and research skills, and has very importantly instilled a certain confidence when discussing art. I was also been placed at Liverpool Biennial as a student curatorial assistant as part the MA Placement, and so as a result of that I had some experience working with artists and curators.

What kind of support did you get from your lecturers?

Throughout the course, I felt incredibly well supported by tutors. I always felt I could ask my tutors for additional support when anything was not clear to me. I was able to consistently discuss the content and therefore improve my understanding and writing. I also really enjoyed being able to discuss art more broadly with tutors beyond academia. The tutors’ handling of teaching through a pandemic was totally fantastic.
I was also incredibly well-supported by tutors and the School of the Arts team with emotional wellbeing, and will always feel very grateful for the support I received for my mental health during my MA.

How have you found Liverpool as a city?

I very much enjoyed my time in Liverpool; it’s a great city with such a range of fantastic galleries—some of the best in the country in terms of contemporary art. I have particularly enjoyed FACT and the Output gallery.

What advice would you give to anybody considering the study on this programme?

Have a look at the modules in detail beforehand and think about how the content might suit or support your academic interests and career prospects. I also found it very useful researching what the tutors on the course specialise in, as a Master’s is a great opportunity to work with an expert in a certain field.

What facilities, clubs or extracurricular activities did you find useful at the University / in Liverpool?

I was unfortunately only in Liverpool for a few months due to the pandemic; but I used the gym, the Student Union and engaged with various cultural institutions outside of university. If I had had more time in the city, I would have been interested in joining Student Action for Refugees, the pottery society and life drawing.