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Fine Art

BA (Hons)
Fine Art
3 years (full-time)

The BA (Hons) Fine Art programme is a studio-based programme that provides students with the platform to confidently enter the professional world of the artist and arts professional. Students will actively investigate universal approaches and practices in contemporary fine art that will test their knowledge, creativity and understanding. The Fine Art programme is taught by professional artists who are actively engaged in contemporary practice who will encourage the exploration of the broader social, political and community context to assist students to define a personal mode of study that will equip them to continue their development post-degree. 

The wide range of teaching approaches, facilities and opportunities support our students to acquire skills and varied methodologies that allow them to either specialise or engage with a pluralistic approach to exploring fine art.  The diversity of content results in a distinctive group of students that engage with and question a divergent range of approaches to studio practice and externally engaged projects. The international exchange programme, national and international study trips and the acquisition of foreign language skills also enable students to develop their practice within an international context. There are opportunities to engage in the contemporary art world through study trips, exhibitions, student exchange programmes, visiting artists’ lectures, specialist masterclasses and Whitworth Gallery talks.

Special Features

  • You can choose to specialise in painting/print media and sculpture/time-based art. These areas are not descriptive and allow students to experiment with broad and expansive approaches to fine art. 
  • The main focus of the course is on the production of art work within the studios and workshops.
  • Study trips include gallery and museum visits to national and international centres. In Year 2 students have access to the ERASMUS international student exchange programme.
  • Programme of visiting artists. We also collaborate with the Whitworth Art Gallery for regular public talks from internationally acclaimed speakers.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in Unit X, an innovative unit offered to students across Manchester School of Art that encourages interdisciplinary study and collaboration on an external-facing project.

Course Content

Central to the course are studio critiques, tutorials and practice-led seminar programmes. Additionally, you will select seminars and lectures from the faculty-wide historical and critical framework, the transdisciplinary Unit X and the language department. You will be encouraged to take an open-minded and investigative approach and consider your work in relation to the developments in the subject area.

In addition to the core curriculum, the programme provides a unique opportunity to engage in a vertical teaching framework that has been created to offer creative opportunities through which students may gain direct experience of working with professionals within fine art and related fields on curatorial projects, cross disciplinary opportunities, specialist masterclasses, skills building and diverse practices, external live projects and research based activity. The programme is also supported by extensive workshop provision, academic and technical expertise and access to the cultural sector in the North West of England and beyond. We provide opportunities to engage in the contemporary art world through study trips, exhibitions, student exchange programmes, visiting artists’ lectures and Whitworth Gallery talks.

Year 1

In Year 1, after a period of induction and familiarisation, you will begin to build upon your subject area interests, and develop a body of work that responds to a growing understanding of concerns and debates within visual art. Through an open minded and investigative approach, you will be encouraged to enquire, question, and consider your work in relation to the subject area and its relation to the world at large.

Fine Art Studio Practice 1 (Materials and Processes)

You will be introduced to a course wide project through specialist workshops that will enable you to develop a range of skills. You will generate ideas in your personal studio space, establishing yourself within the learning environment.

Unit X

At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities. 

Fine Art Studio Practice 2 (Individualization in Specialist Area)

In this unit you develop your understanding of a studio and workshop based fine art practice and apply this to the production of work within the disciplines of sculpture and time-based art, painting and print-media.
The unit covers: Production of work is supported by the development of an individual learning outline, journal, workshops, peer interaction, lectures, artist talks, seminars, group critiques and visits to exhibitions of national significance.

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice. The 15 credit option is taken when you opt to do a 15 credit Uniwide languages unit as well (

Contextualising Practice 1

30 credit unit. You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice.

Year 2

In Year 2 you will develop a sound understanding of artistic concerns, with guidance, support and critical input from both staff and invited visitors. Through an increased scope of research, critical awareness, and development, you will learn how to articulate your work with reference to an engagement with recent and current issues within the field. Your improved skills base will allow you to select and investigate materials in closer accordance with your ideas and their translation into the visual domain.

Fine Art Studio Practice 3 (Experimenting and Exploring)

By facilitating the development of an independent studio practice, this unit provides an opportunity to explore materials, processes and issues relating to the field of contemporary fine art.  Through the development of an individual learning outline, you will indicate and plan your approach to producing a body of work that will articulate your current artistic concerns. Production of work is supported by tutorials, group critiques, artists talks, lectures, seminars and peer interaction in the studios.  You will also have the opportunity to engage in debate, reflect on your own work in relation to others and present ideas to an audience of tutors and peers.

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the University and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

Art and Audience 2

You will work in groups, and individually, to seek and secure an opportunity to exhibit your artwork at recognized or alternative venues, indoors or outdoors, in a public context outside of the studio.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will begin to demonstrate a heightened understanding of your work within the contemporary visual art landscape, and will be encouraged to sustain an open minded, inventive, and highly creative attitude to your chosen area of enquiry. By introducing a sense of refinement towards both established and new materials, and technological processes, your chosen ideas will begin to be reflected through an understanding of your own artistic voice.

Fine Art Studio Practice 4 (Defining and Consolidating)

Following an initial evaluation of work produced in Studio Practice 3 you will be expected to work independently employing self management skills to create a body of work which demonstrates technical proficiency and intellectual coherence.

Contextualising Practice with a Language 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Contextualising Practice 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

Art and Audience 3

The unit explores professional fine art practice in relation to its audience. The units main thrust is the production of art works for exhibition in a public context (degree show) demonstrating interdisciplinary, curatorial and organisational skills

Assessment Methods

Formal end of unit assessments. Ongoing formative assessment, feedback, advice and discussion.

Assessment Weightings & Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A three year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be—

  • Year 1 30% lectures, seminars or similar; 70% independent study
  • Year 2 30% lectures, seminars or similar; 70% independent study
  • Year 3 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 80% independent study
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 100% coursework

You can find further details about the curriculum for the current academic year in the Programme Specification Document

Student Work

Visit our online Degree Show galleries to see examples of work by final year Fine Art students.



Graduates have gone on to study MA’s in fine art, curating and art history in Britain, Europe and the USA. They have also gone on to become artists, freelance curators, teachers, gallery assistants and technicians and teachers.

Making an Application

How to Apply

Apply through UCAS.

If you meet our criteria we will invite you to an Interview and ask you to show us a Portfolio of your work.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required

112 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Learn more about MMU's Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate26 Points

International Students

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 is required.

Check our MMU International site for further information if you are applying with non-UK qualifications.

Tuition Fees 2019 Entry

Tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are still being finalised for all courses. Please see our general guide to our standard undergraduate tuition fees.

See Money Matters for further information and advice.

Additional Costs

Specialist Costs

Optional £600* All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing. Total optional cost: £600.

* All amounts shown are estimates.