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Study Creative Arts and Design Abroad - the Definitive Guide

A postgraduate degree in Creative Arts and Design is a clear step forward for those looking to make a career for themselves in the Arts.

Mahesh Ramani
Creative Arts

The past five years have seen a rise in the number of Indian students going abroad for higher education in creative arts and design.

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Subject modules & entry requirements

“Creative Arts and Design” is a broad term used to cover a wide variety of courses in subjects like – Music, Art, Painting, Sculpture, Dance, Film, Fashion, Theatre and Graphic Design. Traditionally the UK has been the preferred destination for Indian students looking to study art. Those looking to study the craft of film-making and sound design have usually chosen the USA. The past decade has seen the growth of Singapore as a prime centre for education in animation and graphic design. This subject guide will offer an insight into universities offering the best Creative Arts courses abroad.

As per the Complete University Guide, the top-ranking universities in the UK to study Creative Arts and Design are:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Lancaster
  • University of Loughborough
  • University of Edinburgh

Postgraduate programme options

The Master of Arts and the Master of Fine Arts are the most commonly offered postgraduate degree options. View the detailed list of all postgraduate programmes available in Creative Arts and Design.

How long will you study?

Most programmes are usually one year long. The MFA programme offered by institutions like Massey University in New Zealand is a two-year programme.

What will you study?

The subject modules depend on the specific stream selected by the student. An MA in Dance and an MA in Modern Art would be completely different. The MFA is a longer more intensive course, which requires students to create a body of work that is analysed and graded by academics. Premier institutions offer dedicated studio space for students to work on their piece of art.

Typical entry requirements

English language proficiency

A score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 79 on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into a postgraduate Creative Arts and Design programme. Most institutions require students to submit a portfolio of their work as well.

Fees

The average cost of a postgraduate programme in Creative Arts and Design ranges from INR 12 lakhs to INR 25 lakhs.

Subject specialisations

The popular subject specialisations on offer are listed below.

Art

The MA in Art and the Master of Fine Arts are the most popular degree options on offer. Students study the theory of art and choose a specialisation in painting, sculpting, photography, or modern art. View all postgraduate Art programmes.

Music

The MA and the MMus are the popular postgraduate degree options available in Music. The MA in Music programme focuses on the theory of music. The MMus degree option allows students to pick up a specific skill like music composition or performance. View all postgraduate Music programmes.

Dance

Be it contemporary dance or specific styles like salsa, classical Indian dance or ballet, students can focus on a specific dance form and study it in detail. Dance Movement Therapy is a new subject area that has generated a lot of interest. It looks at the healing aspects of dance and how dance can be used to help patients heal faster. View all postgraduate Dance programmes.

Theatre and Drama

Does the stage inspire you? If you have a passion for acting or direction, a course in Theatre and Drama is a great choice. Students get to learn all aspects of performing on the stage, ranging from scripting, acting, directing and stage-management. View all postgraduate Theatre and Drama programmes.  

Graphic Design

Trained graphic designers are in high demand. With their skills required in industries as diverse as animation movie-making, game development and architecture the popularity of Graphic Design courses is at an all time high. View all postgraduate Graphic Design programmes.

Fashion and Textile Design

Be it an MA in Fashion or an MA in Textile Design students can choose from a number of specialisations that focus on apparel design. There are a variety of career options, from starting one’s line of clothing to working in movies and television designing costumes for the stars; fashion design is a lucrative career option. View all postgraduate Fashion and Textile Design programmes

Career prospects

From working on animation movie projects to shooting photographs for lifestyle magazines to writing scripts and painting landscapes and creating music, the sheer variety of career options that are available is mind-boggling. In India, graphic designers and animation artists are in high demand and skilled postgraduate graphic designers can earn anywhere between INR 20, 000 to INR 40, 000 per month. A similar role abroad in the USA, UK, or Australia can fetch anywhere from INR 250,000 to INR 350,000 a month. The salaries are higher if the employee has completed the programme abroad. This clearly highlights the importance of an international degree. 

Professional associations

TASI

The Animation Society of India - TASI is a non-profit registered society that brings together animation artists in India. TASI runs animation workshops and animation film festivals on a regular basis.

ADI

Association of Designers of India - ADI represents the design professionals residing and working in India. ADI connects students, the industry and users and offers a great networking platform for upcoming designers.

With numerous dance and music forms in existence in India, there is no single association representing classical dance and music performers. Every major city has its own association. Kalakshetra based out of Chennai is a globally recognised school of Indian classical dance and has been producing acclaimed dancers for decades.

Luminaries

M.F. Hussain featured in the image above remains India’s most renowned painter whose works of art have fetched record prices in auctions abroad. KG Subramanyan is one of the most accomplished artists alive in India and continues to produce contemporary art.

The Dhananjayans – VP and Shanta Dhananjayan are acclaimed classical dancers and have won many national and international awards. Both of them are products of Kalakshetra and hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Dance.

Image Source - Pinterest

Worried about choosing the right course?

Neha Jain Neha Jain,
Study abroad expert.
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