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Overview Students' Work Modules Entry Requirements Fees How to Apply
Overview Students' Work Modules Entry Requirements Fees How to Apply
Duration: 2 Years
Mode: Full-time

Duration: 3 Years
Mode: Part-time

NAFA’s MFA Fine Art studio programme will prepare you to lead a future generation of artists and creative practitioners in the region. A first in Singapore, this two-year (full-time) or three-year (part-time) course is grounded in interdisciplinary art practice, critical inquiry, and cultural research within Southeast Asia.

The MFA Fine Art foregrounds forward-thinking and culturally progressive approaches to artmaking and art practice, as part of a broader journey of exploration that interrogates the artist’s role in today’s world.

You will be encouraged to challenge your own studio practice and embark on transformative artistic research. By the end of the programme, you will be equipped to address regional issues and contribute to the creative economy as an artist both skilled in your craft and sensitive to sociocultural contexts.

At the end of this programme, you should be able to:
  • Articulate and discuss critically a wide range of historical, sociocultural and current issues in society.
  • Analyse issues in-depth with an interdisciplinary perspective
  • Apply well researched concepts and demonstrate technical mastery in your portfolio. The graduating portfolios may be presented in a variety of traditional and new genre practices, in the format of on-site and online exhibitions, conference presentations and/or publications.
  • Conduct research projects that critically examine narratives in Singapore and Southeast Asia art, culture and heritage and connect the outcomes in a global context.

Rigorous Practice-as-Research Curriculum

Our framework puts your unique practice at the core of what we do. We will focus on developing your fine art approaches and refining your discursive strategies—all of which will be informed by contemporary sociocultural contexts. Our goal is the realisation of an independent, rigorous and critically engaged fine art praxis that brings together theory and practice.

Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Practice

You will engage with professionals from diverse sectors through interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches. This will expand your creative horizons and is part of the University of the Arts Singapore’s overarching endeavour to empower our students as versatile and confident thought leaders in Singapore, Southeast Asia and beyond.

Regional Engagement with Southeast Asia

You will immerse yourself in the diverse art practices of Southeast Asia through an intensive regional study trip, cross-disciplinary labs, workshops and seminars that foster collaboration across cultures. NAFA’s Institute of Southeast Asian Arts (ISEAA), Library and Archives will also be available as resources to strengthen your practice-based and/or practice-led research.

Read The Straits Times feature on our transformative programme.
Source: The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction

More Information
Graduation Requirements
In order to graduate from Master of Fine Arts Fine Art (MFA Fine Art) and be eligible for the award of the MFA Fine Art degree, you must fulfil the following conditions:
  • Attain a total of 240 credits, excluding credits associated with repeat attempts.
  • Attempt and attain a minimum Grade C for all modules.
  • Obtain a minimum CGPA of 2.50 at the end of the programme1.
  • Complete the programme within the stipulated maximum candidature period2.
1You will be graded on a 5–point Grade Point Average (GPA) system. Grades and grade points are assigned as follows:

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+ 5.0
A 5.0
A- 4.5
B+ 4.0
B 3.5
B- 3.0
C+ 2.5
C 2.0
D+ 1.5
D 1.0
F 0.0

The Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) represents the grade point average of all graded modules (including failed modules) attempted by a student. The computation of CGPA is as follows:

sum (module grade point x module credits assigned to module)
sum (module credits assigned to all modules used in calculating the numerator)

The MFA classification and corresponding CGPA requirement is as follows:

CGPA Range Classification of Award
4.50 – 5.00 MA/MFA (Distinction)
2.50 – 4.49 MA/MFA
0.00 – 2.49 Will not graduate

2The period of candidature for MFA Fine Art is as follows:

Mode Period of Candidature
Normal Maximum
Full-Time 2 years 4 years
Part-Time 3 years 5 years

Mode of Instruction

Various learning and teaching methods include regular one-to-one tutorials, studio critiques, group discussions, workshops, presentations, and monthly studio seminars/lectures. Peer and collaborative learning are fundamental to the programme. Key to the MFA delivery are the X-disciplinary labs and incubator spaces for students, staff, and invited prolific art practitioners of diverse fields and disciplines to convene around specific topic(s) of interest. A series of dedicated Master Ateliers and skill-based workshops will also be available for students to deepen their mastery of specific subjects and techniques. There are no taught modules on the programme.

Assessment Methods

The programme will have three main modes of assessment – a presentation of a fully realised artwork or body of artworks made during the MFA programme; a written manifesto of 4,000 - 6,000 words, which could be creative writing, art writing or academic piece of written work; and a portfolio of documentation of studio work.

Career Pathways

Postgraduate alumni will develop careers in the fine arts-focused trajectories as practicing artists, curators and social change-makers, as well as thought leaders and agents of change in both public and private sectors. Others will go on to pursue careers in a variety of areas such as communication, education, architecture, management, policy-making, and the film industry. Graduates will be able to consider progression to PhDs that are relevant to their practice and research areas.

Students' Work


The MFA Fine Art programme is for practitioners who wish to focus on interdisciplinary art practice, critical inquiry, and cultural research in Southeast Asia. The programme is rooted in the NAFA heritage of connecting and impacting cultures and communities through art, focusing on the role of artists today and tomorrow and how their ideas are understood and grounded in various sociocultural contexts. It is proposal-driven and structured around thematic areas of investigation, situating students within certain research interests and fields of practice. It challenges students to respond to the region's sociocultural issues with courage, focusing on historical narratives, preservation of artistic practices, and urgent research in cultural economy, wellness, and sustainability relevant to Singapore's art and cultural visions.

The programme encourages experimentation and critical focus within studio practice, encompassing a diversity of disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, performance, installation, video, sound, digital media, and other expanded forms of art. Students are encouraged to test, disrupt, and deep dive into their practice, extending their research beyond the studio environment into areas of curatorial thinking, intercultural dialogue, and socially engaged art practices.

Code Title Semester Credits

Reflexive Practice

This studio-based module directly engages with the evergreen key questions of “What is the role of the artist today/tomorrow?” and “Beyond the studio environment, how are an artist’s ideas understood and grounded in various sociocultural contexts?”

Learning is facilitated through tutorials, seminars, presentations, and robust discussions with peers, to holistically approach practice in a contemplation of the pluralistic/multiple/diverging roles of the artists (artists as curators, artists for social change, etc).

You will be assigned supervisors to oversee your creative development as you employ the studio environment as a flexible space for self-directed artistic production and practice. You are encouraged to critically unpack and understand your work contextually and to discuss it in relation to contemporary, social, cultural and historical discourse. At the end of the module, you will develop and/or reframe the hypothesis from your initial proposal for presentation at a public showcase.

During this module, you are expected to self-initiate connections and collaborations and have access to industry lectures and seminars in affiliated programmes and across the University. The University’s specialised workshops and libraries are open to all NAFA students, as are activities generated by the schools. NAFA offers a wide range of cultural engagements, including with the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts, Asian Civilisations Museum, Indian Heritage Centre, Malay Heritage Centre, National Gallery Singapore National Heritage Board, Singapore Art Museum and Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.
Year 1
Sem 1

Expanded Practice

This module is designed to foster an intensive period of practice development, and to expand your ideas and articulate them to different audiences. Responding to the changing nature of the artistic field, you are expected to disrupt and delineate existing models, and focus on an expanded approach to practice throughout this module.

Given the diverse backgrounds and experiences of creative practitioners on this course, the studio environment is shaped by the cohort’s fields of study and research. You will continue to interrogate and test the diversified roles of the artist and work with your peers to develop interdisciplinary thinking and making, to reframe, situate, position and align your practice in expanded contexts. Alongside both faculty and visiting experts, you will (re)appropriate, (re)adapt and (re)adopt tools, techniques, media, and methods to move beyond discipline-specific approaches to artmaking.
Year 1
Sem 2

Transdisciplinary Practice

This module is about positioning your studio inquiry and will take place partially off campus. In taking an artist-centred approach, you will use the collected information from the regional study trip/placement and off-campus engagement in Module 2, and establish a transdisciplinary position, forging an intentional social collaboration, engagement or partnership (of your choice) to test your studio inquiry and hypothesis, by making use of the University's links with external organisations. Through collective investigation and imagination, you will undertake a self-designed, self-led study trip in the Southeast Asia and the Asian region where you will interact directly with communities, expand your inquiry/practice with a transdisciplinary intent and develop a deeper understanding of the role of artists in heritage preservation in the region.

Working collaboratively with creative practitioners, independent organisations and established institutions will bolster your individual practice and professional experience. This collaborative engagement serves as an incubator and creative disruption, leading to work that is potentially experimental, relevant and ambitious. You will document your artistic thinking and process, uncovering and curating narratives, expanding forms and unexpected approaches to artmaking in Singapore or abroad.

You will initiate student-led collaborative seminars, supported by faculty and peers, in discussion of topics and research areas of mutual interests. You will engage and collaborate with other institutions and/or independent practitioners, culminating in an open event or publication.
Year 2
Sem 1

Year 2
Sem 1 & 2

Independent Practice

This module is a culmination and realisation of your self-directed and independent artistic practice. You will use the semester to strengthen and ascertain your key motivations, concerns and ideas. You will refine your artistic manifesto and articulate an independent practice that is progressive but also thoughtful, critical, and situated within the complex realities of the world.

As future thought leaders and agents of change, motivated by a conceptually-driven and technically-grounded Fine Art practice, your work during this module will define your practice in relation to others – your peers, your communities, your collaborators, your readers and audiences. The module will prompt you to reflect on your professional development and position yourself in context to your chosen fields, communities and networks of practice at the highest level.
Year 2
Sem 2

Year 3
Sem 1 & 2
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entry requirements

NAFA hopes to attract applicants with the potential to become excellent arts practitioners. Applicants are selected by merit, based on the following criteria:

  • Portfolio and Interview Requirements
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Language Proficiency
  • Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (APEL)

Selection is competitive and is subject to the availability of places. However, the Academy may give consideration to talented applicants who excel in Artistic Talent and Creativity, but have not fully met the education qualification stated.

  1. Research proposal (800 - 1000 words): The proposal requires you to identify the area of art practice that you intend to focus and develop during their study period, and your artistic position upon graduation.

  2. Personal statement (400 - 500 words): Your statement of purpose introduces you to the Admissions Committee. This is an opportunity for the committee to know more about you, your interests and background, and why you wish to pursue an MFA.

  3. Portfolio submission: Your portfolio should contain artworks documented in digital format (up to 15 images and/or 10 minutes of moving images or sound work). This should be submitted via a URL within a PDF document.

  4. Performance at interview: Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process. Interviews are conducted in-person, or via an online platform if you are located overseas.

  5. Reference letters: You will need to register two referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course.
Interview Date
6 June 2024

Note: You will be notified of the outcome of your application 4 to 6 weeks after your portfolio interview or audition. Some application outcomes may take longer than expected.

A Bachelor's degree from a recognised local or international institution in Fine Art or related disciplines. Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases.

The programme team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional references
  • A combination of these factors
Each application will be considered on its own merit, but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.


An English Language proficiency* of at least*:

MFA 7.0 100 65

*Not applicable to applicants who have completed their NAFA degree or degrees from other institutions where English is the medium of instruction.


How to Apply

Pioneering creative thought leadership in Southeast Asia and beyond

Apply online

Application for the August 2024 intake has closed. Please visit us on 1 October 2024 to apply for the August 2025 intake.

Keep the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit copies* of the following documents

Keep the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit the required documents

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
Campus 1 (Admissions counter at level 1)
80 Bencoolen Street
Singapore 189655

Operating Hours
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Closed on Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holidays

Alternatively, you can email a copy of the required documents to [email protected].

Required documents for verification:
  1. NRIC for Singapore Citizens (SC) or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR), passport and valid Student’s Pass card (if applicable) for international students

  2. English qualifications (e.g. IELTS/TOEFL iBT), if applicable

  3. Academic certificates and transcripts

Make payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter in NAFA or online

Make a payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter in NAFA or online at

Upload portfolio

Upload your Research Proposal, Personal Statement, Portfolio and reference letters here.

Receive an email with the portfolio interview details

You will receive an email from the Student Admissions Office with the details of your portfolio interview upon receipt of all required documents and portfolio.

Application outcome

Receive the outcome of your application via email within 4 – 6 weeks after your Portfolio Submission/Interview/Audition or Admission Test.