Master of Arts (MFA, Professional Degree in Art and Design Field)

Specialty introduction

Master of Arts MFA (professional degree, art design field) focuses on cultivating talents who possess Chinese cultural heritage and international vision, possessing systematic art design expertise and high level of artistic creativity, with strong artistic understanding and performance. It can adapt to the needs of the current art design development era, and can be engaged in the art design discipline and related fields of professional technology or management work, application-oriented, composite design senior professionals.


Please visit the Hunan University Graduate School website for the latest admissions brochure.


Please visit the Master's Tutor page for information on tutors.


Please visit the Graduate Programs page for course related information.

Subject introduction

Art design is a new and comprehensive application discipline, which mainly studies the law, behavior and cultural value of design art innovation. Founded in 1977, School of Design,Hunan University is one of the earliest art design disciplines in the country and has extensive influence at home and abroad. In 1993, School of Design,Hunan University won the first batch of master's degree granting right in industrial modeling arts (now design art) in China. In 2005, we obtained the right to confer doctorate degree in design art. In 2012, we obtained the first batch of doctoral degree Granting right in design discipline in China. In 2006, our college was named one of the 60 best design art schools in the world by Business Weekly. In 2006, we joined the International Union of Arts, Design and Media (Cumulus). The discipline has an academic echelon with high academic level and strong scientific research ability, and has formed the characteristics of the discipline of "scientific and artistic combination, coordinated development of production, study and research". The discipline relies on a number of teaching and research laboratories such as the State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Automobile Body, China-Italy Industrial Design Center, and undertakes the National Science and Technology Support Program, the “863 Project”, the “973” Project and the National Natural Science Foundation Project. And a large number of horizontal design topics. There are 4 doctoral tutors, 16 master tutors, 10 professors and 10 associate professors in this subject. It is a strong and well-structured academic team.

Training goals

1.Has a good grasp of Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, supports the party's basic line and principles and policies, loves the motherland, abides by the law, has good professional ethics and entrepreneurial spirit, and has a scientific rigor and a realistic and pragmatic attitude towards learning and work style. , physical and mental health, and actively contribute to the development of the country to promote the cause of art and culture.

2.Possesses Chinese cultural heritage and international vision, systematic artistic design expertise and high level of artistic creativity, with strong artistic understanding and expressive ability, can adapt to the needs of the current art design development era, and be able to independently engage in art design disciplines and Application-oriented, composite design senior professionals in professional or management work in related fields.

3.Master a foreign language and can communicate with others in the field of art design.

research directions

  • 1.Product art design

  • 2.Media art design (digital media, print media)

School system & training methods

1.Full-time MFA professional degree students adopt a full-time postgraduate management model and implement a centralized school-based learning approach.

2.Implement a dual tutor system or a tutor group mentoring system, and employ high-level design artists and experienced designers as external tutors. The dual tutor system consists of one academic tutor in the school and one tutor in the art practice department outside the school,Mainly guided by the school tutor. And the external tutor should participate in the guiding work of the practical process, project research, curriculum and graduation design. The tutor group mentoring system is the instructor team cooperation guidance system. One of the instructor cooperation teams must as the chief tutor, and one person is the tutor of the off-campus art practice department, consisting of 3-5 people. The tutor team cooperation guidance should be carried out throughout the training process. The tutor responsibility system is mainly responsible for postgraduate business guidance and ideological and political education, and the off-campus practice department tutor participates in the guidance of the practical process, project research, curriculum and graduation design.

academic year & credits

1.The full-time MFA professional degree postgraduate students have a three-year flexible academic system, and the length of study is generally 2-4 years. The off-campus study and professional direction courses run through the whole course.

2.Implement the credit system. Total credits are 70 credits. Including the course(34 credits),the practice section(6 credits), the opening report(2 credits), and the graduation design and dissertation (28 credits).


Curriculum &credit requirements

The curriculum emphasizes the characteristics of art design, focusing on practice, taking into account the cultivation of theory and internal quality; the teaching method adopts the combination of classroom teaching, individual skills and skill training, collective design training workshop and art design practice. The course study adopts a combination of face-to-face, self-study, discussion and design practice to enable students to master the basic theories and professional knowledge of art design and cultivate the comprehensive ability of art design.

The course framework is as follows:

1.Public Foundation Course (8 credits). Including the ideological and political theory course, foreign language and master basic courses in art.

a.Ideological and Political Theory Course (3 credits). The ideological and political theory course includes《Theory and Practice of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics》 (2 credits) and 《Introduction to Dialectics of Nature》(1 credit).

b.Foreign language (3 credits). Foreign language is based on Basic English. The basic English for postgraduate students practices course exemption system. Those who take the CET-6 after June 2005 and be qualified to take the test of spoken English will be exempted from basic English course; or had taken academic visits in English-speaking countries for one year and one year in the past five years,and with the related certificate of  Ministry of Education; or the undergraduate is an English major graduate, can be exempted from basic English, count 3 credits.

c. The Master of Arts Basic Course (2 credits). The master of arts basic course is 《Western Art Review (Art Principles)》(2 credits).

2.Professional Foundation Course (16 credits). There are 7 professional basic courses, including 《Marxist Literary Theory》(2 credits), 《Art Design Methodology》(2 credits) and 5 professional theoretical basic courses, totaling 16 credits.

3.Professional elective course (10 credits). Choose at least 5 doors and count 10 credits.

4.Remedial course. Interdisciplinary graduate students are required to complete two undergraduate major courses in the subject, which are added into the postgraduate training program, but do  not count credits.

The specific course schedule is as follows:

Compulsory part & requirements

1. Opening report (2 credits)

The master's degree report for the master of art design must be completed more than one year before the defense. The opening report must be supported by a clear artistic design and creative topic. The topic has certain artistic value and standard. The literature review reads no less than 30 articles, of which no less than 10 foreign documents.

The specific requirements refer to 《Interim Provisions on the Opening Ceremony of the Graduate University (Graduate) Thesis of Hunan University》.

2, professional practice (6 credits)

Professional practice is an important part of MFA training. The full-time art design professional master's degree is not less than one year. Full-time art and design masters can combine the research platforms of schools and research institutions to carry out art design professional practice. At the same time, it also actively encourages graduate students to conduct internships in art design creations in enterprises, governments, and non-profit organizations. At the same time, they can also take professional design practices in the form of art design practices (such as capture and professional creation).

Before the professional practice begins, the graduate student must submit a professional practice plan to the instructor, and then the professional guidance can be confirmed before the professional practice begins. In the professional practice process, the instructor needs to provide management and service for the whole process of postgraduate professional practice. The graduate student should report the progress of the practice in time. After the completion of the professional practice, the wizard is required to submit the 《Professional Practice Summary Report》and provide relevant internship and practice proof materials before the professional practice credits can be obtained.

3. Mid-term examination of the dissertation

The specific requirements refer to《Regulations on the Interim Inspection of Postgraduate Thesis of Hunan University》.

Graduation design (dissertation)

The full-time Master of Arts (MFA) degree in the field of art and design graduate degree work is carried out in the form of “graduation design + dissertation”.

Graduation design and dissertation need to be the same topic. The topic should be from art design practice, art design application topic or practical problem. It must have a clear artistic design and professional background and application value, and must be completed under the guidance of the tutor. Graduation design and dissertation can be completed on campus or in related companies, as determined by the instructor and students.

Graduation design must be done in the form of an art design. The dissertation must be completed independently of the graduation design and related topics, and it should reflect the ability of graduate students to comprehensively apply art design theories, methods and techniques to solve practical problems. The dissertation should be the creative thinking and theoretical exposition of the practice of the work, in line with academic norms, and the number of words is 1-2 million words. Graduation design and dissertation should be evaluated by two experts with applied research experience in the field or similar fields.

Graduation design and dissertation are conducted in the form of graduation design presentations and thesis defense. The level of graduation practice is an important aspect of the full-time Master of Arts (MFA) degree in art design. It must be carried out in the form of a graduation exhibition before graduation. The work must have a strong professional level and should generally be a complete design. The work is completed independently. Graduation design presentation and thesis defense are carried out at the same time. 3-5 experts with senior professional titles or equivalent level (including one peer expert from the enterprise or applied research department) should be organized to verify the graduation practice level and the dissertation defense.