Art Writing

Key Facts


Programme Overview


Master of Letters (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.

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.

Through select partnerships, the programme offers applicants a direct point-of-entry into contemporary art’s broad communities of practice and systems of distribution: economies of post-net and self-publishing, galleries, project spaces, sited work, live-art, DIY etc. Graduates of the MLitt Art Writing will be prepared for a multitude of careers in visual art, criticism, media and literature. Graduate destinations include editorial, critic and/or independent artist in particular and a diverse range of roles including curator and producer; arts management; journalism; outreach and marketing. Graduates will also be prepared for research careers, progressing to practice-based PhD in art writing or cognate area.

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

Indicative Additional Costs
Individual departments levy material fees as indicated on this page. You should budget for each year of your programme of study and should allow for costs over and above your fees and maintenance, particularly if expensive materials or projects are chosen.

Programme Leader:
Laura Haynes

Visitors and Tutors include:
Clare Bogen
Dr Kate Briggs
Lauren Dyer Amazeen
Lauren Elkin
Sarah Forrest
Laurence Figgis
Cristina Garriga
Chris Kraus
Daisy Lafarge
Dr Elizabeth Reeder
Ainslie Roddick
Dr Susannah Thompson

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 masters award 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 partnerships with local organisations or bodies. 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, writing with, 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 genre 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 creative 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. Students are expected to write effectively from a position of curiosity, knowledge and purpose and to publish and present within the expanded field of art criticism and interdisciplinary writing.

Key to the programme is the writing studio. The MLitt Art Writing cohort are accommodated alongside other SoFA 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 is 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 specialists and organisations 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, the ethos of the Art Writing programme and the city at large.

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

Publication and Exhibition

Engagement and participation in local cultural activity is seen as crucial to both individual student development and the ethos of the Art Writing programme. Students are expected to engage in critical exchange and bring their work to a public audience or readership throughout Stages 2 and 3 of the programme. This is facilitated by partnerships with external organisations and close links to city-wide programming and activity. In Stage 2 students partner with external organisations or bodies to test and develop work in a public forum. These projects are presented as part of a symposium at Glasgow Women’s Library at the end of Stage 2. In Stage 3 students publish and/or exhibit work at Graduate Degree Show and the CCA Theatre.

Entry Requirements

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, painting, performance and sound-based work). The portfolio may provide links to websites or blogs should this be appropriate. 

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

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