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Master of Fine Arts programme in Fine Arts

Master’s programme
2 years
120 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Study form
Application open
Application code
Full education cost: 560 000 SEK
First payment: 140 000 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

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This international master’s programme will prepare you to make critical artistic contributions in the public sphere. Courses focus on the many challenges that face us in being public together and on debates over the roles artists can have in producing publicness. You will explore these themes via the development of artistic research practices. You will join a small group of students with diverse backgrounds and learn with teachers with considerable research expertise and professional practices.


Complex challenges in society demand that critical relations between art and concepts of the public are analysed and re-cultivated. Rethinking what artists may do and produce, the terms by which they engage, and the contexts in which they operate may bring further understanding of art and artists’ roles. The programme suggests that artists can challenge dominant ideologies, co-conceive of alternate states of being, and make critical contributions to society. You will develop strategies to test where, when, and how art can publicly operate—for whom, in what forms, and by what systems.

This MFA is dedicated to interrogating concepts of the public and the role of the artist in society. It is also research centric. This means that you will be taught how to develop and implement research practices of relevance to artistic practitioners. You will learn how to:

  • Analyse problems, challenges, and situations in society
  • Critically review and fuse theories with art production
  • Develop increasingly specific methods to nuance your investigations
  • Develop specific strategies and forms of dissemination appropriate to your investigations
  • Contextualise and communicate your artistic and research practices, and articulate a specific position

This is a process that, through multiple forms of experimentation, will take four terms to reach. It often requires simultaneously unlearning and learning. With your honed communication, and critical skills, you will be able to test what art is and does and contribute to the debate over what being an artist means.

Intensive teaching, via lectures, seminars, workshops, projects etc., is interspersed with self-generated, and co-operative learning. You will be assessed by coursework, and oral and written exams. We categorize your learning by three objectives:

  • knowledge and understanding
  • skills and abilities
  • judgement and evaluation

The Academy has multiple local, national, and international cross-sector partnerships, including with L’Internationale Online, Gothenburg Konsthall, the Hasselblad Center, and Röda Sten Konsthall, in addition to the PARSE platform for artistic research. Multiple public symposia, seminars, lectures, and conferences make our research public, and your development will benefit from them.

Learn more about the teaching staff: Jason E. Bowman, Ann-Charlotte Glasberg-Blomqvist, Dr. Daniel Jewesbury, Dr. Cathryn Klasto, and Maddie Leach.

Programme structure and content

Year one introduces concepts of publicness, the artist’s role in society and methods artistic research methods. You will learn to identify subjects for artistic research, test methods via practical experiments, analyse theories and develop writing skills. In terms 1 and 2 it is compulsory that you take an elective programme course. In these courses students from different artistic specialisations meet and expand their knowledge and further develop their skills and abilities. Students apply for the elective courses based on an annual course offering. In term 2 you can apply for exchange studies via partnerships with other institutions.

In year two you will rigorously test your artistic research skills, increasing your competence by accounting for strategies, decision-making, and theoretical relevance. In term 3 you will write a substantial text. Term 4 focuses on a final project, its contextualisation and dissemination; and you initiate your future path.

Who should apply?

We wish to hear from applicants—from diverse cultural backgrounds—who are alert to contemporary issues in the world and want an educational context to synthesize challenges in society and artistic practices.

You will want to critically question art and its conventions and the artist’s role in society. You will be motivated to gain research skills for artistic practice, be theory-curious, and willing to write. Our programme combines teaching, self-generated study, and group work. You should be willing to take part and benefit from all three.

Prerequisites and selection


Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts of 180 ECTS credits or evidence of equivalent. Equivalent knowledge can be skills developed through artistic or other practices and experience of the profession. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level.

Special instructions for application

Application instructions for our Master's programme in Fine Arts:

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The selection is based on an assessment of submitted work samples and a personal interview.

After graduation

Graduates receive the degree of Master of Fine Arts.

Graduates include artists exhibiting in galleries, museums, and biennials. Others have established alternative platforms to those of the conventional art world. We have educated activists, cultural producers, academics, curators, critics, writers, educators, commercial gallerists, DJs, tattooists, and farmers.


Based in the centre of Gothenburg, HDK-Valand’s facilities consist of lecture rooms, a cinema, large-scale studios that are shared but partitionable, project spaces, well-equipped workshops, and student-run galleries.

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