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. Access to 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 & 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 research and practice-based PhD in art writing or cognate area.

Organisation Affiliates
Centre for Contemporary Arts
David Dale Gallery & Studios
Good Press
The Poetry Club
Glasgow Women’s Library
LUX Scotland
MAP Magazine
The List

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:
Dr Laura Haynes

Programme Administrator:
Silas Lehane

Programme Tutors include:
Lauren Dyer Amazeen
Daniela Cascella
Laurence Figgis
Dr Colin Herd
Dr James N. Hutchinson
Dr Francis Mckee
Dr Elizabeth Reeder
Ainslie Roddick
Margaret Salmon
Prof. Susannah Thompson

Programme Visitors have included:
Clare Bogen, Fitzcarraldo Editions, 3 of Cups Press
Dr Kate Briggs
Jess Chandler, Prototype Publishing
Dr Lauren Elkin
Dr Sarah Forrest
Cristina Garriga, My Bookcase, Readers & Publishers, Publication Studio
Jack Halberstam
Jennifer Kabat
Chris Kraus
Dr Daisy Lafarge
Melissa McCarthy
Victoria Miguel

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 external 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 are encouraged to consider art writing as 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 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 progress, and supported by group critiques, writing 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. Student-initiated project-based partnerships are supported by the Programme team. Students have the opportunity to work with local specialists and organisations in order to test and develop their practice in an external environment and 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 as part of the GSA and Programme specific postgraduate showcase events.

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 are supported to work with external organisations or bodies to test and develop work in a public forum. In Stage 3 students publish and/or exhibit work as part of the GSA and Programme specific postgraduate showcase events.

The Yellow Paper: Journal for Art Writing is a programme-led imprint edited by Laura Haynes, publishing new writing online and annually in print.

Soft Shell is an open-mic, performance and broadcasting project ran in partnership with the Creative Writing department at University of Glasgow.

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, event/install documentation 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)