Master of Letters Art Writing

Key Facts


Programme Overview


MLitt Art Writing. All GSA degree programmes are validated by the University of Glasgow. Established in 1451, the University of Glasgow is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities and a founder member of Universitas 21, an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education.


All components of the programme are at SCQF Level 11 and will be assessed via a combination of formative and summative peer and staff review assessment methods. Feedback from tutorials, critiques, seminars and professional practice engagement will be provided throughout the programme. There are three summative assessment points, each representing an exit qualification.

Organisation Affiliates:
Centre for Contemporary Arts
LUX Scotland
The Scottish Poetry Library
MAP Magazine

Dedicated flexible studio space. Workshop and technical facilities including the Media Studio which offers facilities in computers, digital sound, video and editing and access to workshops across the fine art disciplines. GSA Library and Archives and Collections.

Programme Leader:
Laura Edbrook


Dr Sarah Tripp
Dr Susannah Thompson
Dr Elizabeth Reeder
Dr Sarah Smith

Programme Overview

A one-year taught postgraduate programme based in the School of Fine Art. The programme offers full or part-time study, with a Master of Letters gained after 12 months/24 months of study.

The MLitt Art Writing is based on two principal elements: a unique understanding of art writing as an interdisciplinary studio practice and the opportunity to bring new work to a public audience or readership through project-based placements with external cultural organisations. With emphasis on reflexive and critical practice-based enquiry, the programme reflects the increasing interest in the development of alternative forms of critical and theoretical writing and the reconfiguring of the relationship between writing and artistic practice.

The practice and study of art writing involves creative, philosophical, critical and theoretical approaches to writing about art, writing with art and writing as art. Drawing from disciplines including visual art, art criticism, art history and literature, this interdisciplinary field is as much about creative production as it is concerned with critical discourse. Students will be encouraged to consider art writing as an emergent field and to examine its cultural and literary forms, histories, content and contexts. Encouraging self-directed exploration and practice, and supported by peers and access to the wider community of Glasgow, students will focus on the development and dissemination of their own expansive, innovative and impactful modes of creative critical writing, reading, editorial and research practices and to write effectively from a position of curiosity, knowledge and purpose, publishing and presenting within the expanded field of art criticism and experimental writing.

Key to the programme is the studio-based nature of approaches to writing. The MLitt Art Writing cohort will be accommodated alongside other School of Fine Art postgraduate students, allowing for discourse between students and fostering critical reflection and experimentation. Questioning the ‘studio’ as both a physical and pedagogical space and as it pertains to writing and practice-led methodologies, the writing studio will be a flexible space that accommodates a number of core writing practices: writing; reading; editing; dialogue between writers, presentation/performance/readings and peer reviewing. The writing studio also accommodates a learning and teaching model that is distinctive to studio-based teaching, namely one rooted in experimentation, where students are encouraged to take risks and to reflect upon failure, and supported by group critiques/workshops, individual tutorials and seminars, all taking place within the making/writing space.

The programme offers a series of research and practice visits, professional practice workshops and masterclasses, and a series of visiting lectures from leading experts in the field. Project placements with local industry specialists and organisations will allow students to test and develop their practice in an external environment and to bring new work to a public audience or readership. Engagement and participation in local cultural activity is seen as crucial to both individual student development and the culture of the Art Writing programme and the city at large.

Students are expected to present final project work in the Graduate Degree Show and also as part of a satellite MLitt Art Writing event at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow.


A good undergraduate Degree (normally 2:1 or higher) in a relevant subject area (e.g. Contemporary Art Practice/Theory, Art History, Creative Writing, Literature, Critical Studies, Museum and Curatorial Studies) or equivalent professional practice.

Candidates will submit a 500-word programme of study proposal in addition to a portfolio of writing practice (candidate portfolios may include, but are not limited to, creative critical writing [including non-published, independently accredited or self-published work], moving image work, performance and sound-based work). The portfolio may provide links to websites or blogs should this be appropriate. Candidates will also undertake interview before selection.

IELTS Score Required on Entry: Academic IELTS 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each component)