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Fine Art

BA (Hons)
Fine Art
UCAS W100
3 years (full-time)
4 years (with placement year and/or overseas study)

BA (Hons) Fine Art 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 programme is taught by professional artists that are actively engaged in contemporary practice and will therefore will encourage students to explore the broader social, political and community context 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 will support 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 creates a distinctive group of students that engage with and question a divergent range of approaches to studio practice and externally engaged projects.
Students also have the opportunity to develop their practice within an international context through the international exchange programme, national and international study trips and the acquisition of foreign language skills. There are opportunities to engage in the contemporary art world through study trips, exhibitions, student exchange programmes, visiting artists' lectures, specialist masterclasses and gallery talks at The Whitworth.

Special Features

  • You can choose to specialise in painting/print media and sculpture/time-based art. These areas are not prescriptive 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 international student exchange programme.
  • 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 seminars. 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.

The programme provides a unique opportunity to engage in a vertical teaching framework that has been developed to offer creative opportunities so students can 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.

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. 

Working in a Studio

Students begin to explore their own creative interests, learning to use the studio and workshops, experimenting with different approaches to Fine Art practice, beginning to push boundaries and developing approaches to making. Students will develop a range of skills, generate ideas in the studio, and establish themselves within the learning environment. Production of work is supported by personal tutorials, induction to workshops, peer interaction, briefings, and artist talks

Exploring Approaches to Contemporary Art

Students are introduced to a variety of approaches to making in the studio through short staff-led and independent study projects which orientate them in the art school and the city allowing them to understand how they can begin to successfully resource an artistic practice and how to work in the studio as a creative community.Students are introduced to a variety of approaches to making in the studio through short staff-led and independent study projects which orientate them in the art school and the city allowing them to understand how they can begin to successfully resource an artistic practice and how to work in the studio as a creative community.

Contextualising Practice 1: Critical Analysis

Students are allocated to a pathway according to their programme to introduce ideas relevant to their studies. The unit introduces some of the broad over-arching themes and concepts – historical, cultural, social, political, and economic – that affect and inform the production of art, design and/or craft.

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.

Optional Units

Talking About Art: Understanding Your Position

This unit expands the students’ critical strategies for talking about art allowing them to clearly understand and articulate their position in relation to their particular  interests through reflecting on work made in the studio. Students are expected to define their own gallery visits and identify appropriate areas for research with the support of their personal tutor. Teaching includes tutorials, critiques and lectures, the content of artists’ talks, and where applicable engagement in the vertical teaching programme. In doing so it develops the communities of practice and learning in the studio.

Contextualising Practice 2: Critical Analysis A

For ‘Contextualising Practice 2: Critical Analysis A’, students can choose to study up to two thematic sub-units to develop their contextual studies in new directions. The CP2 Critical Analysis units encourage students to develop their critical analysis skills gained in L4 to further investigate the broad over-arching themes and concepts – historical, cultural, social, political, and economic – that affect and inform the production of art, design and/or craft.

Studio Practice: Experimenting and Exploring

By facilitating the broadening of an independent Fine Art studio practice, the unit provides an opportunity to explore materials, processes and issues relating to the field of contemporary Fine Art. Through an experimental approach to making students will begin to develop a body of work that reflects their current concerns and research. Production of work is supported by tutorials, workshops, artists’ talks, briefings, and interaction in the studios.

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. You also have the option to undertake a placement in this unit.

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.

Optional Units

Defining and Refining Contemporary Art Practice

Following initial evaluation of L5 work, students are expected to work independently to create a body of work which demonstrates proficiency, intellectual coherence and a deepening understanding of contemporary Fine Art. Core seminars (group crits), tutorials and research notes facilitate articulation and critical evaluation skills and foster a deepening enquiry into independent studio practice in the specialist fields and broader context. This will be supported by tutorials involving critical disscusion of works in progress and finished pieces. Lectures by visiting artists and professionals from specialist fields provide opportunity for elective tutorials. Use of PDT underpins the practice in a wider cultural framework. Students can sign up to masterclasses, conversations in curation, reading groups and for tutorials with any Fine Art member of staff/visiting artist to further critically challenge and contextualise their practice.

Contextualising Practice 3: Critical Analysis

Students are allocated to a pathway according to their programme and are encouraged to develop their independent research, critical analysis methods and writing or other appropriate form of dissemination in a direction relevant to their studio practice. The CP3 critical analysis Contextualising Practice units may cover any of the broad over-arching themes and concepts – historical, cultural, social, political, and economic – that affect and inform the production of art, design and/or craft.

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.

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—

Study
  • 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
Assessment
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 100% coursework

Student Work

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


Staff


We are delighted to announce a series of Fine Art Scholarships generously funded by the Haworth Trust

New role will further support the partnership between the two creative institutions

Erin Taylor's logo design will be shown on national television all week

Professor Bashir Makhoul recognised for his significant contribution to the arts and arts education

Graduates

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.

We will ask you to provide a Digital Portfolio to support your application.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required

104-112.

A levels ­– e.g. BCC-BBC

Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma – DMM

Pass Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 106 UCAS Tariff points

Equivalent qualifications and combinations will be considered, including Extended Project (EPQ). AS levels (or qualifications equivalent to AS level) are not accepted.

Please contact the University directly if you are unsure whether you meet the minimum entry requirements for the course.

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

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE grade C/4 in English language or level 2 

Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

International Baccalaureate26 IB Diploma Points or 104-112 UCAS tariff points from Higher Level. Points

International Students

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

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Tuition Fees 2021 Entry

UK and Channel Island Students

Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

EU and Non-EU International Students

Full-time fee: £17,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

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.