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Course overview

The Philosophy pathway is part of our MA Art and Design programme. It is intended for artists and designers who want to rethink their practice from a philosophical perspective, or for anyone with an interest in the demands that creating and thinking make upon one other. The pathway explores the interaction between philosophy and art and design, including how art and design inform philosophy as a practice. It is a research-preparation programme that can be completed either through written coursework or through a variable combination of writing and practice. The form that your work might take is one of the philosophical questions we discuss. Some familiarity with philosophy is desirable but not essential.

Course content

Art and design are fundamentally philosophical. In different but related ways, art and design challenge the meanings and values we attach to objects and situations, and have the potential to transform human being and action. These challenges and transformations invite philosophical appraisal, but not just in order to preserve truth or to keep things in check. Philosophy offers some of the most stimulating and influential ideas about art, the senses, technology and culture in modern thought. Putting philosophy and art and design together will generate proposals, challenges, artefacts and situations which will alter and expand what it means to think, make and experience.

The pathway has three main components: (1) foundations and key concepts in aesthetics; (2) contemporary debates in the philosophy of art and design; and (3) student-directed projects. Some of the topics covered typically include:

• Key philosophers and concepts in the history of aesthetics, from Plato to the present
• The phenomenology of art and design
• Aesthetics and ecology
• What is technology? How does it affect what we can do?
• What forms are appropriate to art and design as critical or ethical practices?
• What relationship do art, design and philosophy have with writing? How does writing change what we see and think?

Training in a series of cross-disciplinary research methods is given. Over the course of the year, your own philosophical and studio interests are developed in relation to key concepts and contemporary debates, and as the year progresses, readings, seminars and workshops are tailored increasingly to the philosophical and studio interests of the group. The programme culminates in a self-directed major study that is either a written thesis or a combination of writing and practice. The cultivation of a philosophical practice through art or design is encouraged.

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Career potential:

Graduates of the Philosophy MA (Art & Design) programme are well placed to pursue their career in a variety of professional or creative industries contexts, including art or design practice, arts administration, journalism, marketing, new media, and publishing. 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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