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Course overview

‘Ecologies’ is a specialism within the Philosophy pathway on our MA Art and Design programme. ‘Ecology’ is taken in its widest, philosophical sense to mean the study of connection, interrelationship and belonging. It is intended for art and design graduates who wish to develop the ecological dimension of their practice, and for humanities or science graduates who are interested in how ecology and visual practice can inform one another. It is a research-preparation Masters programme that can be taken either as a theory–practice or a purely theoretical route. The form that your work might take is one of the philosophical questions we discuss. Some familiarity with ecological theory or practice is desirable but not essential.

Course content

The Ecologies pathway focuses on the capacity of art and design to generate ways of acting and making that explore the connection between self and world, and enhance our relationship with others, where the ‘other’ might be, for example, an animal, a community or a location. Subjects covered extend from environmental questions of participation, landscape and place, to economic and philosophical questions of embodiment, work and institutional critique. We also incorporate ecological theory and practice in the design of the seminars and assignments, by considering the forms they might take and the relationships they might create. Other core elements include:

• Key thinkers and concepts in the philosophy of ecology, from Plato to the present
• Aesthetics as ecology
• Contemporary debates in the art, design and philosophy of ecology, for example (to give three):
    – A world of objects versus a world of relationships. What’s the difference?
    – What can the senses teach us about our immersion in the world?
    – The possibility of ways of acting, making and thinking that do not rely on a dualistic, subject–object worldview.

Training in a series of cross-disciplinary research methods is given, and there is thorough engagement with key concepts and questions in ecology as it applies to art and design. From February, in the second semester, readings, seminars and workshops are tailored increasingly to the ecological interests of the group.

Career potential:

Graduates of the Ecologies MA (Art & Design) programme are well placed to pursue their career as communicators in a variety of professional or creative industries contexts, including art or design practice, arts administration, journalism, marketing, new media, publishing, and social enterprise. Others may seek to develop their careers in education and academia, for example, teaching, lecturing or further research.


Dedicated studio space for those engaged in full time practice. Cardiff School of Art and Design offers an extensive range of spaces, workshops and equipment, creating a vibrant and creative learning environment, within a new purpose designed building and a fully renovated extension. Workshop and technical facilities include a foundry; and access to other workshops across the full range of Art and Design disciplines. Cardiff School of Art and Design has a wide range of tools and equipment for use by students; necessary workshop training in their use includes access to materials used as part of timetabled workshop inductions. You also have access to and use of recycled materials within workshop areas.

Indicative Coursework Costs for those engaging in Practice

If you engage in practice during the MA, you will need to purchase materials for individual projects used in studio and workshops as appropriate. Please note that costs will vary depending upon the scale and individual requirements of your work. Typically we suggest that you budget £600 for such projects during the MA Art & Design Programme.

Other Additional costs

Additional costs will be incurred for the one-off purchase of personal tools and equipment (particularly any personal equipment appropriate to your own field of practice or enquiry) and study trips if you participate in these. Other costs such as printing, the purchase of textbooks; and cost of optional placements will also need to be accounted for. Please ask your Programme Director for specific guidance when you accept our offer of a place.

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Our Students' work

The 2014 Masters Exhibition was held between 6th and 12th September 2014. On show was work from our Master of Fine Art (MFA), MA (Art & Design), Master of Design (MDes), MA Ceramics and MSc Advanced Product Design programmes. View the 2014 Masters Exhibition online catalogue here.

Below is a list of other related courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Visit the courses page for the full list.
Postgraduate Certificate in Research Skills: Art & Design (CRS)
Ceramics - MA
Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Cardiff School of Art & Design is home to 1200 students, united by ambition and a true passion for creative enquiry. We are makers and thinkers in the fields of fine art, design, architecture and a range of craft practices. We have workshops and studios that ensure our students can operate as professionals from the moment they start their studies.

Why choose CSAD? Read three big reasons here.

150 years of Cardiff Metropolitan University

2015 marks our 150th anniversary.

Read more about the events to celebrate the occasion on the Cardiff Met website.

Open Days

Dates for Undergraduate Open days for 2016/17 entry will be posted on the Open Day web page.

The next Masters Open Day is on Friday 19th June 2015 at 12pm. Please email to book a place.

Visit the Open Day web page for more information.

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Download a prospectus

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Research & Enterprise Newsletter

CSAD releases a regular pdf newsletter featuring the latest Research & Enterprise news from across the School. Click the links below to view a selection of recently published R&E Newsletters (pdf format):

Spring 2015 | Autumn 2014 | Summer 2014 | Autumn/Winter 2013/14 | Summer 2013 | Spring 2013 | Autumn 2012 | Summer 2012 | Spring 2012 | Autumn 2011 | Summer 2011 | Spring 2011 | Winter 2010 | Autumn 2010

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