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Fine Art & Art History

BA (Hons)
Fine Art and Art History
UCAS 2J89
3 years (full-time)
4 years (with placement year and/or overseas study)

In the contemporary art world, as the boundaries between fine art practices are crossed, so too are the distinctions between artist, theorist and curator. This distinctive course challenges these boundaries, offering students the opportunity to develop and expand fine art practice through a deep engagement with art historical knowledge and theoretical ideas. The course also offers a curating pathway, allowing students to explore exhibition-making in its own right and as a form of artistic practice.

As part of the undergraduate programmes in art theory and practice, the course shares much of its teaching with BA (Hons) Art History and Curating, and students from the two courses collaborate on projects and exhibition making. It is taught by a multidisciplinary team of practising artists, art historians, curators and theorists.

Special Features

  • Emphasis on integrating studio practice and academic study.
  • The opportunity for students to follow the curating pathway
  • Delivered by practising artists, historians, theorists, and curators.
  • Opportunities to learn a foreign language, visit international exhibitions and access international study programmes.
  • The course works closely with arts institutions and galleries.

Course Content

Teaching over the three years will allow you to synthesise art historical and theoretical knowledge into your studio work so that you may develop an informed contemporary fine art practice. This integration will challenge you, enriching your intellectual and creative ambitions, and encourage you to situate your art practice within a broader social and cultural context.
The staff team delivering the course are internationally exhibiting artists, curators, and art historians with expertise and research interests in the modern and contemporary period.

Year 1

In the first year, students begin to establish their fine art practice within our studios and specialist workshops. Alongside this, they study important movements in art from Romanticism to Modernism, placing these in their social contexts. 

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. 

Studio 1

The unit introduces students to methods, materials and processes relevant to fine art. Students will begin to explore approaches to the production of fine art studio outcomes that will be further developed in the second semester practice unit.

Art History 1: The Nineteenth Century

The unit involves an introduction to art c.1800-1900, addressing Romanticism, Realism, and Modernism in relation to modern life and modernity. It also introduces practices and concepts that are central to the discipline of art history.

Contextualising Practice 1: Critical Reflection

This unit is delivered and assessed by individual programmes and relate directly to students’ personal practice and the contexts that inform making in professional art, design and/or craft practices. The unit asks students to begin to form a critical understanding of their own practice.

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 the second and third years students continue to explore and define their fine art practice, articulating their approaches with increasing confidence as they develop their knowledge and understanding of art's historical, theoretical, and institutional contexts. Options in the second and third year introduce valuable curatorial skills and professional perspectives, and a curating pathway is recognised through its own degree award: BA (Hons) Fine Art and Art History (Curating Pathway).

Studio 2

The unit facilitates the development of an independent studio practice, providing an opportunity to further explore materials, processes and issues relating to fine art. Tutorials will support the student in selecting from the second semester practice options.

Art History 3: Post-war Art History

The unit explores art from the mid to late twentieth century in different geographical locations, considering categories of art practice, artists and groups, political and social conditions, and art historical issues arising from the study of art during this period.

Year 3

In their final year students will realise and produce a body of work or an exhibition project that demonstrates a critical and informed engagement with contemporary art practice and/or curating. Students will also conduct an independent research project leading to an extended piece of writing, which may be an extended essay or a full-length dissertation.

Art History 6: Framings

The unit will explore institutional contexts for the teaching, production, and use of art (such as the art school, the studio, patronage, the art market, the art museum). As part of this, the unit will also examine historical processes of change since the Renaissance that have resulted in the transformation of the institutional structure of art.

Studio 3

The unit expects students to work with increasing independence to create art works that demonstrate an engagement with contemporary art practices. Tutorials will support the student in selecting from the second semester practice options.

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 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 2 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 3 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
Assessment
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 75% coursework; 25% practical

Student Work

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


Staff

This course is taught by Fine Art and Art History staff.

  • Gavin MacDonald
    Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader, Undergraduate Programmes in Art Theory and Practice


Dr Fionna Barber's 'Elliptical Affinities' displays work by two generations of Irish women artists

Art History and Curating students and staff have created an open social space, workshops and activities

Graduates

The course allows students to develop into informed, critically capable art practitioners, able to take their place as professionals in the arts and the wider cultural industries. The course also offers students the opportunity of enhancing their employability through placement and overseas study years.

This course is appropriate for careers in a range of cultural roles such as artist, curator, journalist, arts manager, gallery assistant, teacher, as well being appropriate for postgraduate study.

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.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE grade C/4 in English language or level 2 

Equivalent qualifications (e.g. 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 £500* Students often choose to buy their own laptop in their first year. However there are computer facilities on campus. £200-£800.

Trips and Placement Costs

Optional £1,140* Educational visits to European centres during each year. These are optional and if related to a unit of study, local alternative are identified.

Professional Costs

There are no additional professional membership fees required for full qualification.

Other Costs

£600*  plus optional £2,400* The production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific materials and/or equipment relating to your area of fine art specialism. Audio visual equipment is available to loan. Depending on what you buy, additional costs could range from £150 - £800 per year. Books and digitised readings are available from the library. However you will be required to purchase a small number of core books approx £50 per year.

* All amounts shown are estimates.