Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio Art or Photography


  • Are you passionate about fine arts or perhaps an artist yourself?
  • Are you a potential Warhol or a gifted Van Gogh?
  • Perhaps you have a research interest in the fine arts that you would like to see to fruition?

To be an artist is to be burdened and blessed with the “freedom of no choice!”

The need to express oneself through art is as essential to the visual artist as food and water. Art is continually being redefined, which makes it very exciting! Warnborough College recognises that much of the work defined as “art” is comprised of crafts and minor arts. Hence, the WC studio art program welcomes artisans as well as fine artists to its graduate programs. At Warnborough, “fine arts” includes photography – so get snapping!

The MFA in Studio Art or Photography qualifies the graduate to work as a professional artist in numerous arenas, depending upon the graduate’s area(s) of expertise. Professional opportunities might include: Fine arts, Graphic arts, Illustration, Fashion, interior design, Advertising and Teaching (which may require additional credentials).

Master of Fine Arts recipients are also qualified to work in a variety of employment capacities in Arts Administration, Program Development, Travel and Tourism.

MFA students will also work in museums, galleries and a host of arts organizations. The MFA program includes in-depth courses on the business of being an artist.

Students will start out with a broad range of options and choose an area of specialty. Master’s candidates will be required to pass a minimum of 120 ECTS credits, which include an independent Master’s Project. Compulsory and elective modules must equivalent at the 500 level or above. See full module list here.

The following modules are compulsory: (6 modules, 8 credits each, total of 48 credits)

  1. ART501 Studio Methods, Practices and Procedures
  2. ART502 Critical Terminology for Art Studio Majors
  3. ART503 Building a Portfolio
  4. ART504 Cultural History of Art for Fine Arts Majors
  5. ART506 The Business of Being an Artist
  6. Choose one from the following modules:
    ART 511 Career Development for the Professional Artist
    ART 512 Designing and Executing an Exhibit
    ART 505 Topics in Critical Analysis

The following modules are elective: (8 modules, 8 credits each, total of 64 credits)

  • A Choice of 1 Module selected from CAH 801 through CAH 815
  • A Choice of 6 Modules in or directly related to the major area of fine arts emphasis
  • A Choice of 1 Module outside of the major area of fine arts emphasis

See full Fine Arts module list here.

Because of the enormous flexibility of the WCI program, learners may work with their mentors to structure their program in the context of their individual interests, talents and professional and goals. Read the complete course descriptions for information as well as ideas! Think of them as a set of guidelines, rather than a set of rules. The descriptions will give you a sense of areas in which to proceed, at the graduate level, and professionally.

This program is offered via distance learning, or via a fully open-learning version (on-site and virtual). Regardless of the venue, MFA candidates will be expected to complete a substantial and significant body of work independently. All students work independently under the guidance of a mentor or tutor. We expect students to be motivated and have plenty of initiative, as ‘spoonfeeding’ is not encouraged.

On-site and virtual courses will be taught in atelier style. All graduates will be required to submit a professional portfolio, as per standards established by the art department and Warnborough College, and to complete program projects.

In addition, students will be required to participate in a graduate exhibit. The Canterbury Arts Conference is sponsored by Warnborough College Ireland each year, and students are actively encouraged to participate in this. It is a great opportunity to present research or workshops, and to meet other like-minded contacts.

Dr. Jill Kiefer is a teaching artist and arts historian. She is the Director of What About Art? — an organization devoted to bringing Art to Everyone. Jill has developed and implemented comprehensive academic and lifelong learning programs at prestigious institutions in the USA and abroad. She was a member of the graduate faculty of the Humanities Dept. of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, and also taught for Pasadena City College, Glendale College, Westwood College, the Palos Verdes Art Center and the University of New Mexico. She has received a number of “Best Faculty” awards. Jill was a Federal Title V Grant Recipient four times for her work in Hybrid Learning, and she is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the oldest and most selective academic honor society in the USA, dedicated to the recognition and promotion of academic excellence in all fields of higher education. Jill is the Director of Warnborough’s Master’s and Doctoral programs in Fine Arts, Cultural Art History, Humanities, and Film, Radio, TV and Media Studies. A published writer and artist, Jill has an impressive and extensive resume.  You may also contact Jill about the Warnborough programs she leads at