Master of Fine Arts in Digital Arts

Master of Fine Arts in Digital Arts

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Course information

Course title Master of Fine Arts in Digital Arts
Course code PMFADGAFET6
Postnominal MFA (Melit.)
Level of qualification Second Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 7
Duration 4 Semesters
Mode of attendance Full-time Evening
Total ECTS credits 120
Coordinator Vince Briffa
Delivered by Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences
The influence of technology and scientific innovation is profoundly changing the way we create and interact with images and our artistic expression in general. The cross-disciplinary employment of the digital medium as tool for creative expression and communication is a relatively new and exciting field of research that covers the convergence of technology with established and new practices in the fine art, video, film, performance, games, design and online art fields of discipline.

The MFA Digital Arts programme is a practice-oriented, postgraduate award in digital art practice and theory. It is an umbrella programme that seeks to develop a learning environment in which historical traditions and new practices confront and influence each other within a contextual, cultural and theoretical framework. The programme seeks to offer a comprehensive approach to image-making that not only encourages innovation by students through a practice-based research methodology, but also endeavours to provide the same students with the creative, artistic, intellectual and theoretical foundation upon which they can build their contributions to this dynamic field.

Through a combination of practical and theoretical modules, the course encourages the development of critical and original approaches to contemporary creative production and enables students to actively investigate the influence of new digital technologies in relation to creativity and communication. The programme provides a framework within which students are prepared for further academic research as well as integration into the various industries requiring digital creativity.

The programme recognises the importance of theoretical foundations for the formation of responsible digital media creatives in today’s information age. It acknowledges the fundamentals of design, film, media, and the visual arts through providing extensive contextual, historical and critical modules while encouraging experimentation and innovation. The theoretical input fosters an analytical and creative exploration of established and emerging forms of visual art, moving image and visual communication practices and their relevant areas of specialisation, while the practical modules include the application of essential techniques for contemporary creative practice within a variety of digital media.

‘Making’ is central to the research process encouraged throughout the MFA programme. The development of skills is coupled with a solid foundation in traditional and new media theory, and a historical understanding of the discipline’s ongoing development. The course explores the interdependence of culture, creative practice and technology, and the ethics and representation of digital culture and new media.

Students of the MFA Digital Arts programme realise a final project and a contextual dissertation which, apart from having a specific research focus, also explores the relationships between the project itself and the roles of the artist/designer within the contemporary digital art and moving image world. Location, site-specificity, audience reception and interaction with the project realised are also considered of paramount importance as the project is ultimately presented in the public domain or other appropriate context.

Final projects are created through an ongoing reflective process of experimentation connecting evolving artistic concepts and techniques. The interdisciplinary nature and the level and depth of the course prepares students to fuse theoretical knowledge with the use of contemporary technologies to conceive, develop, produce, and present innovative artworks and provides them with the opportunity to conceptually and technically refine their work in preparation for professional artistic practice. Skills attained will allow graduates to significantly contribute to the development of content in a variety of fields and to become eligible for gainful employment in areas with a focus on creative digital media production, such as in the video and contemporary arts fields, the graphic design industry as well as in more generalised fields which increasingly draw upon the creation of new media talent such as those of the audio-visual, serious gaming, mobile services, social software, and IT.

Programme of Studies

Students of the MFA Digital Arts Programme will realise a project that is presented in the public domain or other appropriate context, together with a contextual thesis which together explore the evolving roles of the visual creative within contemporary cultural production, focusing on his/her relationship to digital art and the moving image as well as giving value to issues of location, site-specificity and audience reception and interaction.

The programme aims to give students the opportunities to demonstrate a significant creative and contextual practice related to appropriate debates in the contemporary, the social and the historical. It helps them demonstrate creative ambition through the production of an advanced project and contextual thesis.

The programme is intended to develop strategies, skills and creative networks to facilitate professional practice and employability.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The programme is taught through a mixture of lectures, studio workshops, tutorials, student led seminars and group presentations.

Request more information

The Course is open to applicants in possession of either:

(a) a Bachelor’s degree obtained with at least Second Class Honours or with placement in Category II from this or another university, together with a substantial portfolio of recent works or

(b) a professional qualification/qualifications and/or experience deemed by Senate, on the recommendation of the Board, to satisfy in part the admission requirements to the Course, provided that applicants may be required to complete a preparatory theoretical programme as specified below, together with a substantial portfolio of recent works.

All applicants who are not in possession of a first degree in Art shall be interviewed and evaluated by an interviewing board composed of at least three members. Applicants shall be asked to provide evidence of their professional experience in Art by means of a portfolio.

Preparatory Programme

All applicants may be required to follow a preparatory programme as specified by the Board.

The preparatory programme shall comprise study-units to which not less than 30 credits and not more than 60 credits are assigned. It shall include a synoptic assessment and shall be governed by the Principal Regulations.

Students shall be required to successfully complete the preparatory programme of study with an average mark of 55% or better prior to their registration for the Course.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2021.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 6,400
Fee per semester: Eur 1,600

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 21,600
Fee per academic year: Eur 10,800
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2021/2.

Last Updated: 29 March 2021

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.