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The MFA at Falmouth is a project-based, interdisciplinary Masters course which is designed for creative practitioners from all backgrounds; theatre makers, photographers, environmental artists, visual artists, performance and creative writers, sustainable designers, fashion designers, musicians and sound artists, film-makers, digital artists, craftspeople, and games designers. Or any combination of the above. More a framework than a curriculum, the MFA is set up so that each student can tailor their degree to their own ambitions, aims and desires.

In the first two semesters, you undertake in-depth interrogation of your own practice using two approaches. Firstly, in partnership with your two supervisors and through a series of practice-based exercises, you deepen your understanding of where your practice lies and of what it consists. Secondly, you will enrich and widen your practice through critical discussion within the multi-disciplinary cohort of fellow students as well as via contact with other artists, including practitioners/tutors based at Falmouth. The creative synergy of this group is an important aspect of this course.

From this interrogation emerges a proposal for a substantial independent project which takes up the remaining two semesters. This project may lead to further professional engagement, a practice-based PhD, a teaching qualification or new, unexpected directions for your practice.

Unashamedly contemporary in its approach, Falmouth's MFA is rigorous and demanding, but its rewards are exponential. 
From within the course, other possibilities will emerge. These include the possibility of studying abroad, showing work-in-progress in public venues in the region and beyond, and collaborating with international arts organisations.

As part of the Graduate School at Falmouth, MFA students also benefit from regular contact with researchers and PhD students.

The MFA is a nationally and internationally recognised qualification with particular status in North America (US and Canada) and in China where it is regarded as a terminal degree. It is widely understood to hone an individual's talent, motivation and interest while establishing an awareness of market for their creativity and experience.

Course outline

The MFA differs from other taught Masters courses at Falmouth in that it has a lower number of teaching hours and a much greater emphasis on practice-based inquiry and critical discourse between student and supervisor. The MFA does retain some aspects of academic study in core areas such as research methods and theoretical studies/contextual critical practice. Over time, the practice-based inquiry informs the academic study and vice versa.

Entry point to the course is in September: 15 months full-time or 30 months part-time.

Lectures and seminars on site at the Penryn Campus over the first half of this period. Students can expect to attend one evening per week during a typical term time. In the second half, the independent project can be carried out wherever the student wants. Supervision can then be provided remotely.

We are currently looking at the possibility of adding a PGCHE teaching diploma to your MFA in the final phase of study, through integrating your practice with teaching methodologies.


MFA students are generally expected to have an established practice with their own studio or workspace off campus, but access to Falmouth's extensive workshop facilities and equipment at Falmouth can be negotiated, including:

  • The Media Centre and Photography Centres, which include hi-spec still and digital video equipment
  • The Design Centre with CAD machines, laser cutting and printing equipment
  • The Performance Centre with designated spaces, practice rooms and recording equipment

Students will have full access to our IT facilities and comprehensive library resources.

Interview and selection process

Applicants will be required to submit a portfolio, study proposal and a written application, and will be expected to attend an interview. International applicants may submit these documents online, and we may conduct a Skype interview if travel to Falmouth is not possible.