Picture of people looking around an art gallery

MA/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate

Fine Art

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Art and Design
City Campus
MA 18 months full-time, 36 months part-time. Postgraduate Diploma nine months full-time, 18 months part-time.
Part-time, full-time, starts September
Programme leader:
Roy Voss
Key fact:
Exhibiting work is part of the ethos of the course and students regularly exhibit in galleries and studios in Bristol, Bath, London and occasionally abroad.

Page last updated 31 August 2017


MA Fine Art at UWE Bristol is designed for individuals who wish to pursue their practice to a professional level and gain knowledge and insight into contemporary practice. The course provides a structure to enable you to extend your practical, critical, contextual and theoretical knowledge of Fine Art and gain skills and experience in order to operate in a professional context beyond University.

There is no emphasis on a particular type of work. Students work in painting, installation, performance, sculpture, photography, moving image and drawing. This reflects contemporary practice and allows you to explore and experiment with a range of formats throughout your time here.

Teaching is based at Spike Island, within this internationally renowned contemporary art venue on Bristol's harbourside and part of UWE Bristol's City Campus. Here you will benefit from a vibrant creative environment, free studio space and a range of work and volunteering opportunities. You will also have full access access to other City Campus sites and all that they have to offer.

A professional learning environment

You will study alongside a small yet diverse group of students providing support and sharing insights and perspectives. Students highly value the teaching input and experience of research-active, practicing artists all of whom exhibit nationally and internationally.

Teaching is centred at Spike Island an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design - bringing further expertise, opportunities, access to public events and regular guest speakers.

At Bower Ashton you will have access to cutting-edge resources and workshops including sound, film, casting, photography, textiles and print which extend knowledge, methods and techniques and support your creative development.

See our Flickr gallery for some examples of our student's work.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



The full Master's course comprises 180 credits divided into three 60 credits stages: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and Master's. Students work incrementally through the three stages and must pass all modules at each stage in order to progress to the next.

  • Fine Art Critical Review  (30 credits) - Through this module you will develop and demonstrate knowledge of a range of contemporary fine Art practices, an understanding of a range of written critiques and develop and demonstrate an ability to critically review contemporary artworks in exposition.
  • Fine Art Practice (60 credits) - During this module you will research and develop a Fine Art project/area of study/practice in order to produce conceptually coherent, quality artwork. You will also develop your ability to reflect critically on your own artwork and the artwork of others.
  • Practice and evaluation document (60 credits) - The emphasis is on the production of artworks alongside the production of a structured and in depth evaluation document reflecting on your practice.
  • Research Practice (30 credits) - Primarily concerned with building academic skills, this module offers a series of choices, each of which has specific sets of concerns related to the practice and theory of art, media and design. These options are: Research by practice; Critical Research and Research in Enterprise (in the Creative Industries).

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Students meet as a group every Tuesday for taught workshops arranged as appropriate. Fine Art lectures and events are dotted through the year. Most study time is self-directed and self-managed with guidance.

You will make regular visits to galleries and museums and staff provide advice and support. You are also encouraged to attend lectures on other subjects if useful to practice.

The course will enable you to:

  • Develop creative and critical skills through the development and realisation of a substantial body of work
  • Benefit from the experience of highly motivated staff, all of whom are professional artists
  • Work amongst a lively community of young and established artists
  • Gain valuable experience through studio visits, seminar discussions and group critiques
  • Benefit from the opportunities generated by being part of the MA Fine Art course e.g. exhibiting; networking and gaining professional contacts

 For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study time

Students may join the course as either full-time or part-time students.

Full-time - students typically study for three semesters over 18 months.

Part-time - students study for six semesters over three years. All taught elements of this course apart from the Research Practice module - are on a Tuesday (subject to change).

A semester is a 15-week period of study and generally runs September to January and February to June. Studies culminate in the degree show.


Students present artwork sometimes in reproduction and written work for assessment.

For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms.



Students are encouraged to visit galleries both locally and in London in small groups. This includes trips to commercial galleries, museums and artist run spaces and often includes a bespoke talk.

These visits provide a valuable extension to professional practice and are vital for students to have access if they are likely to exhibit work in galleries post-degree.

Study facilities

As an MA Fine Art student you will have the use of a dedicated MA space and access to extensive and cutting-edge departmental facilities and resources including video and film suites, a fabrication centre, comprehensive printmaking and a recently extended, well-resourced library.

City Campus: Spike Island is situated on the ground floor at Spike Island. Studios for our Fine Art programmes are located here along with facilities for many of our postgraduate programmes in art and design. Some research activity also takes place here that shares synergies with other activities carried out by Spike Island and its studio-holders.

You will also be able to access the full range of resources available at other City Campus sites. Bower Ashton houses the main library supporting the creative and cultural industries, student support services, as well as the extensive resource base that make up the technical resource areas. Our prestigious Fine Art Lecture Series is delivered at Arnolfini and Watershed in Bristol City Centre. Internationally renowned artist Phyllida Barlow and Turner prize winners Martin Creed and Tacita Dean have recently presented talks.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Studying in Bristol

You will benefit from being immersed in a creative and cultural city, a regional hub with a rich variety of galleries, artists' groups, artists' studios and public and collaborate art projects involving students and graduates.

As a student based at Spike Island you will form part of an active and lively arts community. Spike Island is an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design and home to a gallery, cafe and working space for artists, designers and creative businesses in fields from fine art fabrication to film production. It hosts regular artist talks and studio visits and in recent years hosted the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition.

Competitions and awards

Our students apply to prestigious national competitions such as Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Jerwood Drawing Prize and Frieze Writers Prize. At the end of 2014, MA Fine Art student Linda Taylor applied for the Frieze Writers prize and won. Linda is now teaching at UWE and has a short contract as a Frieze critic.


Careers / Further study

You will gain a broad knowledge base of Fine Art practice and a range of artistic and technical skills in addition to transferable skills highly valued by employers. As a result of the course students gain work in very different areas they have good transferable skills, the ability to work in a team, good initiation, writing skills and creativity. Our students have gone on to successful careers as artists, technicians or artist assistants. Some go into project management, event management and work in museums and galleries as curators and administrators. Other careers include teaching and freelance work as writers and critics.

The course has skills development embedded and ensures you graduate with skills required by the creative industries. 

Many students also progress to a PhD at UWE and elsewhere.

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee6500
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)542
International-Full Time-Award Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1042

Part time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)542

Supplementary fee information

More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.

For funding options, please see our funding and scholarships information.


Entry requirements

We are looking for highly motivated creative students from a range of art, media and design backgrounds. Usually applicants will have an honours degree in the Visual Arts but those with other academic qualifications or professional experience are also encouraged to apply.

All applications are carefully reviewed and suitable applicants are invited to attend an interview. You would be expected to show examples of recent and/or current practices as well as examples of written work. You should also be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of contemporary Fine Art practice.

There is no official closing date for postgraduate courses and we accept applications throughout the year. If you are applying to organisations for funding they may have application deadlines by which time you will need to know if you have a place on a course. You should build this deadline into your application process and if you are working to a funding deadline then please let us know.

Overseas Applicants
A representative from the University makes regular visits to Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan and is able to view portfolios and interview students.

The University also has representatives in a number of other countries. Please contact Admissions and International Recruitment on the number below for further details.

If you are unable to meet up with a Bristol UWE visiting representative then please send us your application in the normal way. We will then contact you and advise you where and how to send us some samples of your creative work.

How to apply

There is no official closing date and we accept applications throughout the year.

For further information

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