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Programme syllabus:

Master's Programme in Fine Arts, 120 Credits

Swedish name: Masterprogrammet i fri konst

This programme syllabus is valid: HT17 and until further notice

Programme code: HAFRM

Credit points: 120

Registration number: 511-3078-07

Responsible faculty: Faculty of Art

Revised by: Faculty of arts, 2017-01-23

Entry Requirements

Bachelor´s degree in Fine Arts or equivalent, approved work samples as well as approved project description and interview. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.


After completing the training program, students may on application obtain a Master of Fine Arts in accordance with local qualification description.


Description of the education for current education cycle

According to the Higher Education Act (2006: 173), Chapter 1 § 9 applies:
Second level education shall essentially build on the knowledge that students acquire in first level education or equivalent. Second level education shall involve a deepening of knowledge, skills and abilities relative to first level education and, in addition to what applies to first level education,

  • further develop the students' ability to independently integrate and use knowledge,
  • develop the students' ability to handle complex phenomena, issues and situations, and
  • develop the students' potential for professional activities that demand considerable independence or for research and development.


National goals for current degree

Knowledge and understanding
For artistic Degree of Master the student should

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both, broad knowledge in the area such as substantially deeper knowledge of parts of the field, as well as insight into current research and development, and
  • demonstrate familiarity with methods and processes to deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations in the area.

Skills and Abilities
For artistic Degree of Master the student should

  • demonstrate the ability to independently and creatively formulate new questions and contribute to the development of knowledge, solve more advanced problems, develop new and individual styles as well as critically reflect on their own and others' artistic approach in the main field of study,
  • demonstrate an ability to develop a personal expression to create and realize their own artistic ideas, independently identify, formulate and solve artistic and design problems and to plan and carry out advanced artistic tasks within given time frames,
  • demonstrate the ability in both national and international contexts, orally and in writing or otherwise clearly present and discuss their activities and artistic issues in dialogue with different groups, and
  • demonstrate the skills and knowledge required to work independently in professional life.

Evaluation ability and approach
For artistic Degree of Master the student should

  • demonstrate skills in the main field of study and make judgments with respect to relevant artistic, social and ethical aspects,
  • demonstrate insight into the role of art in society,
  • demonstrate an ability to identify their need of further knowledge and take responsibility for developing their knowledge.

Independent work (thesis)
For an artistic Master degree the student must have completed an independent project (degree project) of at least 30 credits in the main field of study within the framework of the course requirements. The independent project may comprise less than 30 credits with a minimum of 15 credits if the student has already completed an independent project at the second level of at least 15 credits in the main field of study or equivalent foreign educational program.

Local goals for current degree

Students in the Master’s programme in Fine arts should

  • have the ability to work independently as professional artists or in areas in society where artistic knowledge, artistic exploratory development and research is of importance,
  • have good knowledge of the legal, economic and social conditions for professional artistic work in Sweden and abroad,
  • demonstrate the ability and skills to initiate discussion and debate, argue and present ideas,
  • demonstrate knowledge, ability and skills to design, organize, run, evaluate, report and communicate their own artistic research,
  • have the skills to critically analyze and discuss their own and others’ artistic work, also from the social, legal and economic points of departure, and in this context also be able to take into account class, ethnicity and gender, and
  • demonstrate the ability to critically analyze their own framework of methodologies and knowledge.

Examination format

Examination of courses is continuous and usually by assessment in seminar form of the artistic practice. Assessments of oral and / or written presentations may occur additionally. For more information, refer to the current curriculum.

During term 4, a special examination is organized, which consists of a presentation of the final degree project - an artistic work with a focus on investigative artistic practice (30 credits). Compared with the final degree project on candidate level, the final degree project at Master´s level exhibits a significant degree of specialization and independence. Examination of the project takes place at the end of term 4 in connection with the final group exhibition in which the degree projects are presented. The examination of the student takes place in seminars and primarily include assessment of:

  • the students’ exhibited artistic work,
  • documentation of the artwork on display in a suitable format for this,
  • a reflective text on the basis of the exhibited artistic work that, amongst other things, relates to contemporary theory and practice in the main field of Fine arts,
  • oral presentation during the thesis in the final seminar in connection with the degree show,
  • the student's oral defense of her/ his own work during the final term, as well as
  • opposition on another student’s thesis.


As grades Pass and Fail are used.

Transfer of Credits

The student has the right to be tried on a previous education or activities. For more information, see the Higher Education and www.umu.se/utbildning/tillgodoraknande

It is possible to appeal a negative decision on credit transfer to the University Appeals Board.


The program is internationally oriented with many guest teachers from abroad and aimed at students who want to work professionally as artists in Sweden and abroad, in areas in society where artistic knowledge and research is important.

The students have access to a studio space during training.

For students who have not previously studied at the Art Academy, a mandatory review of the use of the school's workshops is organized at the beginning of the first term of studies. Each of the two grades in the Master's programme is then divided into a number of courses in the areas of artistic practice, art theory and history, critical writing, art in contemporary society and artistic processes and research methods. The course Artistic practice runs throughout the term. Other courses during the term run parallel with this course.

The courses Artistic practice A, B and C occupies most of the studies in each of the terms. Within these courses the student is working mainly individually but also in groups within artistic practice. This is reported and discussed upon individually in supervising studio talks but also in seminars in the student group. Usually each student is presenting their own work at least once per term and also actively participates in the seminars where the other students present their artistic practice. During the third term the students plan individually or in a group an exhibition and during the fourth term, a group exhibition where the degree projects are presented is implemented. By participating in the workshops that the school offers, students specialize in different artistic fields such as painting, space, photography, graphics and / or video. Great demands are placed on the student that he/she together with his/her supervisor plans the development, the main focus and approach of the artistic practice in the form of studio talks.

The studies end with a thesis of 30 credits. The study is completed with an artistic work presented in a group exhibition which students plan and implement under supervision. Within the thesis the student is involved in the planning and editing of an exhibition catalogue, which in printed or digital form is part of the group exhibition. The thesis also includes a text by the student reflecting on his/her own artistic practice and how it relates to contemporary art theory and practice. The own artistic work will show a clear progression compared with the candidate level, and a significant degree of specialization and independence.


Approved leave from studies

If specific reasons exist, approved leave from studies can be granted. The application is filed with the prefect. A negative decision can be appealed to the University Appeals Board.


The application for non-completion of studies is filed with the prefect.


The language of instruction is English.

Umea Art Academy collaborates with other universities within and outside of Sweden in different networks and mobility programs. Student exchanges are recommended during term 2 and 3.


Valid from: HT17

Semester 1

Artistic practice, A, 25,5 credits
Artistic research, A, 3 credits
Art in today's society, A, 1,5 credits

Semester 2

Artistic practice, B, 21 credits
Art history and theory related to curatorial practice, 7,5 credits
Art in today's society, B, 1,5 credits

Semester 3

Artistic practice, C, 25,5 credits
Artistic research, B, 1,5 credits
Critical writing, 3 credits

Semester 4

Thesis Master's programme in Fine Arts, 30 credits