The University of Macau (UM) will launch the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Doctor of Fine Arts (DFA) programmes in the 2024/2025 academic year, with the aim of fostering the growth of Macao’s arts and cultural industries and contributing to the economic diversification of the city, as well as nurturing scholarly and creative talent with theoretical expertise in the arts for the world at large.

According to Li Jun, head of UM’s Department of Arts and Design, the MFA and DFA programmes, led by distinguished art historians and creative artists in the department, will provide high-level training and development opportunities for artistic talent in Macao, the region, and the world, and promoting research and innovation in the field of art. ‘These programmes will nurture artistic talent with interdisciplinary creativity, who will not only be able to develop their talents in the field of art, but also be able to engage in dialogues and collaborations with scholars from other disciplines and fields, thereby creating more possibilities and opportunities.’ In addition, UM’s Museum of Art, which was inaugurated in May this year, combines the functions of collection, exhibition, teaching, and exchange. It not only creates a favourable teaching and learning environment for teachers and students, but also promotes the development of disciplines in the field of art and serves the public at the same time. Prof Li hopes that ‘in an era marked by the rapid development of artificial intelligence and digital media and the coexistence of crises and opportunities, UM will fully leverage Macao’s unique position in China and the world, and explore a development direction of art innovation that merges the ancient and the modern, the Chinese and the Western.’

Lampo Leong, director of UM’s Centre for Arts and Design, believes that the establishment of the more specialised MFA and DFA programmes at UM will attract more talent in the field of art and design, which can develop Macao into an important base for artistic creativity and training in art and design, as well as give new impetus to the development of art, design, and digital media arts in Macao. ‘The programmes will cultivate students’ contemporary, unique, and international character in artistic creativity through cutting-edge international teaching methods that integrate Eastern and Western elements. Prof Leong noted that in recent years, UM has produced many outstanding master’s and doctoral students in the field of visual communication. Although the department has only a few dozen of students, the students have consistently achieved remarkable accomplishments. Each year, the department’s students win numerous national and international prizes, including prestigious international design awards such as the Red Dot Best of the Best Award and the iF Design Award of Germany, as well as the A’ Design Award of Italy. They have also received national grants from the National Arts Fund and the National Social Science Fund of China, both of which are part of the country’s three major national research funds. In addition, one of their research papers published was honoured with the Great Wall Award.

The MFA programme is a three-year programme that combines theory and practice in a cross-media approach to nurture creative artists with a solid theoretical foundation. The programme covers the history and theory of contemporary art, as well as the practice of different art forms, enabling students to create a range of works that embody personal, contemporary, and international elements by employing unique artistic concepts and techniques. Graduates of the programme will be able to undertake research, creative work, and teaching assignments in a variety of art organisations, educational institutions, and other related fields. They will also be equipped with the skills necessary for admission to the DFA programme.

The DFA programme is a four-year programme that explores in depth the knowledge and skills required of artists, teachers, and researchers in the arts with the notions of ‘greatness’ and ‘creation’ as the foundation. The programme covers art history, art theory and research methods, academic writing, and the creation of a series of personal, unique, contemporary, and international works of art or design. To graduate, students must pass a qualifying examination and thesis proposal assessment, hold a graduation exhibition, complete a doctoral thesis, and pass a thesis oral defence. Graduates of the programme will become professional artists who have received rigorous training in artistic creation, art theory, and art writing. They will be eligible for a professorship in higher education institutions.

Applications for the MFA and DFA programmes are now open. Online applications and admission guidelines are available on the Graduate School website at For enquiries, please call 8822 4898 during office hours or email

UM launches master’s and doctoral programmes in fine arts to nurture interdisciplinary and innovative talent