MA in the Contemporary - BNC Gallery Tour

MA in the Contemporary: London/Paris

"It is wonderful to see an MA programme dedicated to contemporary practice. The ICA has been the home of radical art and culture since the 1940s and the University of Kent has produced some of the most significant research within contemporary culture in the UK. The MA in the Contemporary underscores the ICA's commitment to nurturing learning and engagement within the arts." Gregor Muir, former Executive Director at the ICA 

Students can choose from a range of modules in areas of contemporary practice including: 

  • Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Film
  • Drama
  • History and Philosophy of Art.  

Jointly taught by academics and practitioners in the School of English, the School of Arts, The School of Music and Fine Art, and Curators at the ICA, the programme allows students to enrich their academic knowledge and undertake a study residency at the ICA. 

'"The MA in the Contemporary represents an exciting collaboration. Working with staff at both the University of Kent and the ICA, students will arrive at a deep understanding of contemporary culture and gain an invaluable professional insight." David Herd, Professor of Modern Literature from the School of English at the University of Kent

Students gain unparalleled access to state-of-the-art facilities at the University of Kent and the ICA and ‘behind the scenes’ access to the ICA Programme, as well as free membership of the ICA.

This image, “MA in the Contemporary – London and Paris” is a derivative of “Eiffel Tower” by Anna Fox and “Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – London” by Derek Key, both used under CC BY. “MA in the Contemporary – London and Paris” is licensed under CC BY by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Prospective students can now also apply for the MA in the Contemporary with a term in Paris, in the heart of Montparnasse. Students will participate in the collaborative module with the ICA in the first term, and in the Spring ICA curators will coordinate a study visit to Paris with key galleries and artists, in order to contextualise contemporary culture in an international setting.


MA in the Contemporary students are eligible for:

  • Five School of English MA Scholarships, to cover fees at Home/EU rate with an additional maintenance bursary of £1500
  • The School of English Fully-Funded MA Scholarship, to cover fees at Home/EU rate plus an additional stipend at the standard AHRC rate
  • An international scholarship (to cover fees at the international rate)
  • A fee-waiver scholarship for part-time students
  • The Ian Gregor Scholarship, which pays home fees and a £500 bursary for one year’s full-time study
  • The Sasha Roberts Scholarship, an award of £2,000

All students wishing to be considered for any of the above scholarships must have applied to the MA programme by Friday 24th March 2017.

  • The University of Kent, Paris taught MA scholarship fund. The opening date for accepting scholarship applications is Friday 7 April 2017.  Please do not send scholarship applications before this date. The deadline for scholarship applications is midnight, Friday 26 May 2017.

Learn more about scholarships.

Read a taster of MA in the Contemporary student Graysen Hall's thesis topic on the ICA Bulletin.

For further information on the programme please visit the MA in the Contemporary and MA in the Contemporary - Paris websites or contact

The ICA’s Peter Willis discussed zine production with MA in the Contemporary student Charlotte Mann.

"Being taught at the ICA as part of the MA is a great way to compliment your studies as it provides real insight into how institutions engage with art practice. Speaking to curators gives you a more direct approach to engage with contemporary issues in the art world and allows you to apply the theory learned in class to specific and relevant examples with artists who are making interesting work today. The course is unique because it offers the chance to be more directly engaged with contemporary art and doesn’t limit these discussions to a classroom." – Ella Goel (current MA student)

Join the conversation on social media with the #MAContemp hashtag.

Students of the MA in the Contemporary create a Contemporary Zine, first launched in 2015.

Read an interview with Dr. Juha Virtanen, who leads the collaborative MA in the Contemporary between the University of Kent and the ICA.

Read a report by the ICA's former Associate Curator of Education Sumitra Upham on the inaugural 2013 MA in the Contemporary on the ICA Bulletin.

Read a blog post by students from previous years, describing what they enjoyed about the MA.

In partnership with the University of Kent.