June 22, 2020

Lauren working in the garage

My name is Lauren and I have studied Fine Art at Cardiff Met all the way from undergraduate up to postgraduate, and here are some reasons why you should too!

To start off with, my experience at undergraduate level was a blast. I came straight from my A-Levels without much knowledge about the contemporary art world or practices, however this didn’t hinder me at all. I was able to try lots of different things, meet lots of people, learn so much from the tutors and technical demonstrators and have the freedom to explore.

Lauren at the summer degree show with her art
Standing by my Degree Show work in 2019

I always thought of my practice as not being tied down to any themes. I didn’t think there was anything specific that I was interested in, until the moment of realisation at the end of 3rd year where I found the links between all the works I had made.

So, if this sounds familiar or you are thinking about studying for your master’s, here are the reasons you should!

1. It gives you a whole extra year to develop and make

I realised that I could have an extra year on a master’s course to really grapple with the ideas that arose from my degree – another year for research, making and developing.

It also means continued access to a studio space and facilities, as well as fantastic tutors and other artists around to inspire you. The masters’ courses in art and design have an emphasis on research, but research through practice, and all the modules have been beneficial to each other. They intertwine concept, theories and ideas with practice, and help you to understand where this positions and contextualises your practice against the contemporary art world.

2. It helps build your confidence

I have never been the most confident person; however, the MFA has helped me grow in confidence when talking about my work to other people, as well as when submitting work for exhibitions, which I had only done a few times in my 3rd year.

The course size is a lot smaller than the undergraduate too, which was perfect for me, with only around 15 of us at one time, including part-time students. It takes the pressure off, making seminars more intimate and group crits a bit less scary!

3. It’s a chance to work on your professional development

Professional development becomes a big part of the undergraduate course, however it’s even more important at master’s level. You are expected to be much more independent and to get involved with the local art community and enter open calls.

The MFA gave me the extra push I needed to apply for everything I could, as well as to learn how to make my own catalogue for exhibitions, build a website, create business cards and a whole range of other types of publication to promote my work.

Covid-19 unfortunately caused many exhibitions to be cancelled or to go virtual, but I’m hopeful that this means opportunities can be more accessible for the future!

4. It’s a chance to stay longer in a great city

I know that Covid-19 has cut short my time here and I have had to find space to work at home, but when I moved from Berkshire up to Cardiff, I instantly loved the sense of city life and the student community.

The MFA gave me the chance to stay in Cardiff for an extra year, as well as study something I love!

I would definitely recommend anyone thinking of doing the MFA at Cardiff Met to go for it. It’s only a year and it will fly by, but it will be the most valuable year of your studies and you’ll have a great time.

I’d like to thank everyone at Cardiff School of Art and Design, especially from Fine Art, for making my university experience unforgettable. I am now excited to get out into the world and see what it has to offer!