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The Margate School’s European Fine Art MA graduating students successfully complete the first DNSEP

The Margate School’s (TMS) first cohort of students have now successfully completed their European Fine Art Masters Programme; Art, Society, Nature DNSEP (National Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art). Congratulations to all six graduating students who received a pass or distinction in their assessments. Their group exhibition and final show Thinging the Thing opened last week, marking a culmination of the two years of study. You can still see the exhibition until 25 July, free admission.

The Art, Society, Nature DNSEP was initiated in 2019 and is not only the first higher education qualification in Fine Art offered and delivered in Margate but also the only European qualification of its kind in the UK. The European qualification, The Diplôme National Supérieur d'Expression Plastique is validated by the renowned L'Ecole Supérieure d'Art et Design Le Havre-Rouen (ESADHaR), one of the oldest art schools in France.

The collaboration between TMS and ESADHaR nurtures an intensive and dynamic educational and artistic relationship by jointly delivering the European Fine Art Masters Programme. It's an innovation in the world of art education provision in the UK.

“The ability to collaborate across Europe has been severely diminished, The Margate School is a small step in bridging this divide.” Jacob Calland — Graduating Student, TMS Fine Art MA.

Over the last ten years there has been much discussion about alternative art schools outside the mainstream university sector in the UK, mainly driven by the introduction of increasing student fees and the changing nature of university education that prioritises income generation over producing a generation of grounded and well rounded qualified graduates. On the other hand the world of education has long been the playground of experimentation and attempts to provide alternatives to existing school provisions. The Margate School is part of these explorations, yet doesn’t see itself as an alternative necessarily, but if anything an addition to the spectrum of art education opportunities.

The Margate School is about people and everyday life, it is a mirror to us, a space where we can critically and creatively reflect upon our lives, our actions, values and relationships to others and the world around us. Studying within the context of Art, Society, Nature allows students to explore the ‘artefact’ we are as human beings create, the actions we are pursuing in that social context, the challenges we face in terms of how we treat our environment. The French framework allows for a style of education centred around project based collaborative learning - possibly more so than in UK arts education.

The objective of this unique post-graduate programme is to strengthen students’ academic study, encourage independent thinking and practice and to support them in the development of a unique and personal approach in the field of contemporary creative and intellectual practice. To do this, students must refine their technical, practical and theoretical skills and knowledge they acquired during their previous undergraduate studies or in their professional life. ESADHaR is part of The Association Nationale des Écoles Supérieures d’Art (ANdÉA), an association which encourages and initiates situations of experimentation, teaching students to analyze oeuvres, images and signs, adopting a decidedly critical and practical perspective. This approach is reflected in The Margate Schools’ provision.

“The ANdÉA intends to fully and wholeheartedly contribute to the debate of contemporary ideas by arguing in favor of the unique, emancipatory model of art schools, at a time when both education and creativity have become political, social, and economic issues of the utmost importance.”

French language sessions feature as part of the course and students not only have the opportunity to collaborate with French students and artists but also participate in the School’s community outreach programme and arts events. Uniting further, The Margate School is an associate member of ELIA, a globally connected European network that provides a dynamic platform for exchange and development in higher arts education. ELIA advocates for higher arts education by creating new opportunities for its members and facilitating the exchange of good practice.

The Margate School’s Graduation Ceremony and Auction will take place on Saturday 11 September between the Turner Contemporary and The Margate School.

Applications are currently open for the 2021-2023 European Fine Art Masters Programme. Find out more here and apply before 27 August 2021.