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Course overview

TThe Philosophy pathway is part of our MA Art and Design programme. It is intended for graduates who want to explore the relationship between philosophy and art and design practice, and to pursue the demands that creating and thinking make upon one other. It will suit art and design graduates who want to address philosophical themes in their practice, as well as graduates from humanities and science backgrounds who want to study philosophy through questions raised by art, design, and interdisciplinarity. The pathway also considers how art and design inform philosophy as a practice. It is a research-preparation programme that can be completed either through written, theoretical coursework or through a variable combination of written theoretical coursework and practice. 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 content covered on the pathway typically includes:

• Key philosophers and concepts in the history of aesthetics, from Plato to the present
• The phenomenology of art and design
• Contemporary debates in the philosophy of art and design, for example (to give three):
    – How might art and design constitute philosophical practices?
    – What is philosophy’s relationship with metaphor, imagery, architecture and technology?
    – What relationship do art, design and philosophy have with writing? How does writing change what we see and think?

The programme provides thorough engagement with key concepts and questions in the philosophy of art and design, and demonstrates with reference to contemporary examples how philosophical thinking and visual practice can address one another. The cultivation of a philosophical practice through art or design is encouraged. Training in a series of cross-disciplinary research methods is given, and from February, in the second semester, readings, seminars and workshops are tailored increasingly to the philosophical interests of the group.

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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.

Open Days

Our next Undergraduate Open Day for 2015/16 entry is 3rd June 2015.
Visit the Open Day web page for more information.

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Download a prospectus

Click here to visit our Prospectus page with links to pdf prospectuses for the range of subjects covered at CSAD, along with links to the websites for each subject.

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