BA(Hons)
Fine Arts

Fine Art/Art and Visual Culture

People in a hall looking at displays

About this course

Accreditations and partnerships:

The UK Socrates-Erasmus Council spike island arnolfini

Introduction

Fine Art at UWE offers a stimulating and critical environment where different approaches to art practice are actively encouraged and discussed. All staff are active practitioners and have a wide range of technical, conceptual and professional skills to enable them to support a variety of media disciplines.

Fine Art studio accommodation is provided at Spike Island, on Bristol's harbourside. This internationally recognised contemporary art venue hosts a programme of artists residencies and exhibitions. This unique location provides you with opportunities for work experience placements, internships and fellowships.

The Fine Art degree course comprises two closely linked, practice-based courses that share a common first year. At the end of the first year you opt to follow one of the following pathways: Fine Art or Art and Visual Culture.

BA(Hons) Fine Art

The Fine Art pathway is a studio based fine art course for students who wish to develop an individual studio practice based on their interests and concerns in relation to the issues and debates that are relevant to contemporary art practice. This practice, which is in one or a combination of media areas - including painting, sculpture, installation, print and time-based and digital media - is developed with support and guidance from tutors. You are encouraged to form an understanding of the relationship of contemporary and historical visual art practices to your own, and become able to evaluate those methods as your own work develops. Throughout the Fine Art pathway you are encouraged to present your work in group critiques and exhibition opportunities and to form an active and supportive peer group. In the final year you will continue to develop your art practice towards an end of year exhibition.

BA(Hons) Art and Visual Culture

The Art and Visual Culture pathway is a studio based fine art course which requires you to have a critical engagement with your art practice through the production of artworks and written text. The course enables you to develop a self-directed fine art practice whilst also developing an informed view of relevant theoretical and contextual perspectives in relation to their practice. You are encouraged to form an understanding of the relationship of contemporary and historical critical discourses to your practices, as well as become able to critically evaluate these pertinent to your artworks through written texts. An active and supportive peer group is encouraged throughout the Art and Visual Culture pathway.

All Fine Arts students are supported in accessing opportunities to exhibit their work within designated spaces on campus and in external exhibitions. Support is also given for student-led publications and other initiatives such as residencies and work experience which form part of a wide programme of professional development. The Fine Arts Lecture Series is an integral part of the Fine Arts course and is an opportunity for you to hear invited artists, curators and writers discuss their areas of expertise.

The Fine Arts Virtual Archive allows you to see the recent exhibitions, events and work placements of our Fine Art students and alumni.

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>> Structure

Student's view

'At UWE there is a broad range of facilities and good studio space on offer in comparison with other universities. Our studios are in a complex that hosts a large gallery and professional practitioners' spaces, introducing you to a variety of arts-led careers beyond your degree.' Tom - Art and Visual Culture graduate

Structure

Content

At each level of the programmes there are Professional Practice and Work Experience modules that build incrementally to allow you to understand and experience different options for employment, career progression or further study. You will hear from various visiting professionals throughout your study and have access to case studies and a variety of work experience, competition and application opportunities from across the Fine Art arena and wider Creative Industries.

Year 1

The first year of the course is common to both Fine Art pathways. You will take part in structured projects, workshops and lectures that will introduce a range of ideas and approaches to fine arts practice. You will also begin to develop a self-directed practice in your chosen area of study.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Fine Arts
  • Exploring Practice in Fine Art
  • Creative Perspectives
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 1

Year 2

Fine Art
You will continue to develop your practice and undertake research into relevant traditions, artists practices, theory and professional practice. In Year 2 you also have the option to undertake the Erasmus exchange module at one of our International partner institutions.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Developing Practice in Fine Art
  • Creative Analysis
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 2

Plus one of the following:

  • Developing Practice in Fine Art 2
  • International Exchange

Art and Visual Culture
If you choose this pathway you will begin to develop a self-directed studio practice and written enquiry. In Year 2 you also have the option to undertake the Erasmus exchange module at one of our International partner institutions.

Throughout the year group critiques, tutorials, exhibiting opportunities and visits to galleries and museums will encourage you to discuss your work in progress with your tutors and peers.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Developing Practice in Art and Visual Culture
  • Creative Analysis
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 2

Plus one of the following:

  • Developing Practice in Fine Art 2
  • International Exchange

Year 3

Fine Art
You will continue to develop your studio practice and work towards the final degree show. You will also consolidate your future career choices through building a body of material that will aid your transition into further study or your chosen route into employment and / or future art practice.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Preparation for Extended Study in Fine Art
  • Extended Study in Fine Art
  • Independent Research Project
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 3

Art and Visual Culture
You will continue to develop your self-directed practices through the production of artwork and text. You will also consolidate your future career choices through building a body of material that will aid your transition into further study or your chosen route into employment and / or future art practice

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Preparation for Extended Study in Art and Visual Culture
  • Extended Study in Art and Visual Culture
  • Independent Research Project
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 3

Group critiques and tutorials will focus on issues arising from work in progress in greater depth, and you will be increasingly expected to consider the presentation of your work towards the final Degree Show exhibition.

You are encouraged to test out modes of installation and dissemination through group critiques and exhibiting opportunities, and to seek out appropriate research and references through regular visits to exhibitions in galleries, museums or events which relate to your practices.

Support and encouragement is also provided for students who wish to initiate projects both internal and external to the University - such as the provision of support for applications to competitions, further study and funding.

Throughout the programmes you will take modules in visual culture, which enable you to locate your own practice within contemporary cultural contexts and help you to become articulate about your ideas and practice in relation to current debates.

Please note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery the same modules will be studied over a longer period and the structure will differ.

Learning and Teaching

Throughout your studies you will be offered regular structured tutorials and group critiques with your tutors and with visiting artists. In these sessions your work in progress, research material and completed work will be discussed and you will be given advice, guidance and suggestions on how to proceed and relevant areas to research. Group seminars will offer you the opportunity to consider and discuss various aspects of art practices. Visual Culture lectures and seminars will seek to provide you with the theoretical and cultural context for your practice.

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

Assessment

All modules are assessed according to the level of attainment of pre-determined learning outcomes. A variety of assessment methods are used including projects, essays, group presentations and visual presentation. There are no exams. Critical evaluations are written throughout the course. In these you are expected to critique and analyse your own work and also relate it to the broader context and history of fine art practice. Marks from modules undertaken at levels 2 and 3 can contribute to your final degree.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

>> Features

Special Features

Placements

Fine Arts students can choose to study through the Socrates-Erasmus programme on an international exchange module in their second year. UWE has well established links with colleges and universities across Europe, including Barcelona, Bilboa, Berlin, Bologna, Ravenna, Marseilles, Rotterdam and Zurich. There have also been a number of group projects and exchange exhibitions in recent years between Fine Arts students from UWE with students from art academies in Enschede, Rouen, Berlin and Le Havre.

Fieldwork

There are opportunities for fieldtrips throughout the programme.

Study facilities

All Fine Art students have access to the 3D Centre, EPI Centre, Media Centre, Print Centre and library at Bower Ashton.

Studio accommodation for Fine Art students is provided at both the main Bower Ashton Campus and at Spike Island. This artist's studio space and gallery hosts a changing programme of artists' residencies that have included Lucy Gunning, Mariele Neudecker and Jacqueline Donachie and is internationally recognised as a major contemporary art venue.

>> Careers

Careers/further study

Graduates pursue careers as artists, designers, curators, arts administrators, educators or undertake postgraduate study. Graduates are regularly selected for fellowships and national competitions such as John Moores, New Contemporaries and East.

Graduate destinations

Find out what our graduates are doing six months after graduating- includes examples of careers, employers and further study. Download a PDF from graduate destinations.

Creating employable students

UWE places strong emphasis on employability and skill development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and UWE initiatives, including the highly successful Undergraduate Internship Scheme, we nurture talent and encourage innovation. Through these opportunities students gain valuable real world experience and graduate with diverse career prospects and a competitive place in the job market.

See great graduate prospects for further information. 

Be inspired

Read about Jo's work experience in Japan.

Read how Vickie's practical experience helped her find a job.

See some our students' work on flickr.

Hear about some of the work opportunities generated by the Enterprise office.

Useful links

Guardian - what to do with a degree in fine art

Prospects - careers in the creative arts sector

The UWE careers service provides guidance and support throughout your studies and after you graduate in addition to useful resources, CV checks, career coaching and details of current job vacancies. They also source opportunities for students to gain work based experience. This support can be accessed face to face, over the telephone or online.

>> Fees

Fees

FeeCost (£) / per year
Full-time home / EU9,000
Full-time home ( ELQ )9,000
Full-time home / EU placement1,125
Part-time home / EU (per 15 credits)1,125
Full-time offshore9,000
Full-time offshore placement1,125
Part-time offshore (per 15 credits)1,125
Full-time International10,750
Part-time International (per 15 credits)1,344
Full-time International (per 15 credits)1,344

Supplementary fee information

For information about fees and funding for courses please see our fees and funding pages.

>> Entry

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 280
  • GCSE: Grade C or above in English Language
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: A minimum of DMM from the BTEC Diploma
  • Access: Achievement of the HE Diploma; to include 15 L3 credits at merit; achievement of Level 2 credits giving GCSE equivalency in English Language. Applicants completing Level 3 credits in Art and Design are guaranteed an interview.
  • Baccalaureate IB: 25 points

Entry requirements

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

Successful applicants are generally those with the strongest portfolios. Students of all ages and from all social backgrounds are recruited with a variety of qualifications including Foundation Studies Diploma, BTEC National Diploma, A levels or equivalent qualification in Art and Design.

Applicants demonstrating commitment to and knowledge of the subject on their application form are invited to a selection session where they will be required to present a collection of their creative work to demonstrate a good practical ability in and understanding of their chosen field.

One of the most important qualities our staff look for at selection stage is that the candidate demonstrates a passion and commitment for fine art. Staff will also look for applicants who:

  • are self-motivated, engaged, resourceful individuals with energy, commitment, ambition and a desire to learn
  • want to participate and be active members of the student group;
  • are receptive to advice and criticism
  • are interested in and aware of contemporary fine arts practice and regularly visit galleries and museums on their own initiative
  • have some interest and knowledge of the history of art
  • are able to manage time effectively
  • are able to use media, make visually engaging work and be visually 'articulate'
  • are aware that art is more than 'self expression'
  • have an interesting or critical perspective on some aspect of their own work or that of other artists.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

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