Creative Arts at Graduate Level: An Introduction
Master's degrees in creative arts subjects, such as fine art, design and fashion, allow graduates to turn their passions into careers.
The creative arts industry is dynamic, exciting and offers plenty of opportunities to hard-working creatives. However, it can also be extremely competitive. A graduate qualification can help you stand out, as well as allowing you to hone your technical and creative skills. Here's our guide to master's level creative arts programs, and the paths on which they can take you.
If you’re interested in the creative arts, chances are that you’ve already studied, or are studying, an undergraduate degree in this field. If that is the case, you’re almost guaranteed entry into a postgraduate creative arts qualification. However, the admission requirements for postgraduate qualifications will depend on the university that you are applying to so make sure you research their specific websites. In some instances, if you do not hold an undergraduate qualification in the creative arts or an approved subject area, you may be required to complete some extra papers incorporating relevant subject areas to gain extra credits. You may also need to have professional experience within your chosen area of study.
Skill sets you will acquire:
Studying for a graduate qualification in the creative arts will help you to develop an independent way of thinking. You’ll be encouraged to think outside the square and obviously get creative. As the University of Exeter’s program in the UK identifies, students will become “knowledgeable, critical, creative and confident professionals able to meet the wide-ranging and changing demands of the workplace with integrity, vision and intelligence.” Students will also be able to “recognise and develop their existing professional knowledge and experience.”
These skills are invaluable in the work place. If you can show your future employers that you are capable of thinking and working independently and coming up with new ideas, you’re already one step towards your dream job.
Creative arts graduates are well equipped to pursue a wide range of careers in the creative industries, from portrait painters to advertising exec roles, and beyond, says a spokesperson from the University of the Arts London. “As well as learning and exploring the technical and creative elements of their chosen fields, the rigours and challenges of successfully completing an arts degree equip graduates with key transferable skills including:
- The ability to work within a team
- Time management skills
- Project management skills
- Organisational skills
- The ability to effectively promote both oneself and one's organisation
- Presentation and networking skills
- ... and an ability to hit the ground running due to extensive real life work experience secured during study.”
There is certainly no shortage of work but the art world is highly competitive from student to professional level and it takes ambition, hard work and a strong character to succeed. It is also an industry where many jobs don’t even exist yet. They’re still being created! However, for starters you may look at jobs such as a graphic or web designer, visual artist, painter, sculptor or performer. You may choose to go into policy work, devising strategies, creating business plans or developing arts programs.
You could work for someone, or work for yourself. Work in an office, or work from home. All you need is ambition and attitude. Just get creative!
This article was originally published in October 2012 . It was last updated in September 2021