People in a hall looking at displays


Fine Art

Fine Art/Art and Visual Culture

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Art and Design
City Campus
Three years
Part-time, full-time
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Wayne Lloyd
Key fact:
You will form active, supportive peer groups and make personal and professional contacts for life through studying Fine Art at UWE Bristol. Two pathways are available, Fine Art and Art and Visual culture, so you can choose your own creative direction.

Page last updated 13 September 2017


Why Fine Art?

Our dynamic Fine Art course actively encourages different creative approaches. Fine Art is based at Spike Island, an internationally renowned contemporary art venue on Bristol's harbourside, where you will benefit from a vibrant creative environment, free studio space and a range of work and volunteering opportunities.

Our degree show, held in Spike's expansive studios, is attended by thousands of visitors the general public and art professionals and offers an excellent platform for your work.

Why study this course?

Our studio-based Fine Art course actively encourages different creative approaches. Fine Art is based at Spike Island on Bristol's harbourside and part of UWE Bristol's City Campus. Within this internationally renowned contemporary art venue you will benefit from a vibrant creative environment, free studio space and a range of work and volunteering opportunities. You will have access to other City Campus sites and all they have to offer.

Choose your own creative pathway

You can choose from two pathways, Fine Art and Art and Visual Culture ­ which share a common year. Choose the Fine Art pathway if you want to develop your practice in areas such as painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, print, time-based or digital media. In Art and Visual Culture, you will critically engage with your practice through the production of artworks and written text, underpinned by theoretical perspectives.

All our staff are active practitioners, with the conceptual, technical and professional skills to support a variety of approaches. You will also have access to excellent facilities at Bower Ashton Campus.

Real-world experience

You will have many opportunities to exhibit your work, on campus and externally, and we encourage residencies and placements in the local arts community. We have strong links with the Arnolfini and Watershed and our students recently worked with Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller, painting murals for his English Magic exhibition at Bristol Museum.

Where it can take you

Our students are regularly selected for fellowships and national competitions, including the New Contemporaries, a platform for emerging artists. Alumni recently took part in the Royal Academy Premiums school show at the RA Museum. Graduates go on to careers as artists, designers, curators, arts administrators, and educators, or to postgraduate study such as Master"s degrees or teacher training.

See some our students' work on flickr.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



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 one

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
  • Critical Perspectives
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 1.

Year two

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 or 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.

Final year

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 select modules from the list below according to credit requirements:

  • Preparation for Extended Study in Fine Art
  • Extended Study in Fine Art
  • Preparation for Extended Study in Art & 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 also note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied. However, the structure will differ.

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

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.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check


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.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check



We have extensive links with industry and commerce and with the cultural and voluntary sectors. Throughout your degree you will explore and engage with the art world. We regularly collaborate with other art colleges, most recently Chelsea, Kingston and Reading in the UK, while project locations abroad have included Linz and Rotterdam.

A significant number of students choose to study abroad in their second year through the Socrates-Erasmus programme. We have well-established links with arts colleges and universities across Europe, including Barcelona, Bologna, Rotterdam, Bergen, Bilbao, Berlin, Ravenna, Marseilles and Zurich and in locations across the world such as Tokyo and Hong Kong.


You will have the opportunity to join field trips throughout the course, with regular gallery tours of London. Students have also organised their own summer school at the Merzbarn, Kurt Schwitters' home in the Lake District. Hosted by the Littoral Trust, for minimal cost, students administrate and plan weeks of art activities for themselves.

A recent collaboration with the Kunstuniversitat Linz, Austria resulted in a series of performances and exhibitions in two European cities in just two weeks. The students made the Entre Chien et Loup website to commemorate the event.

Study facilities

Studios for our Fine Art courses are situated on the ground floor in City Campus at Spike Island along with facilities for many of our postgraduate courses in art and design. The combination of research, study and working practitioners at Spike Island contributes to a dynamic and inspiring learning environment.

You will be able to access the range of resources available at other City Campus sites, including Bower Ashton.  Bower Ashton houses the main library supporting the creative and cultural industries as well as student support services.

You will have the opportunity of studying and accessing facilities at other sites within the City Campus. This may include attending lectures and seminars, including our prestigious Fine Art Lecture Series, at the City Campus at Arnolfini and the City Campus at Watershed in Bristol city centre.

Spike Island is an internationally renowned contemporary art venue located on Bristol's harbourside. This studio space and gallery hosts a changing programme of exhibitions and residencies, which have recently included exhibitions by Cally Spooner and Turner Prize winner Laure Provost. It also offers opportunities for work placements, internships and fellowships.

Studio technicians in the Fine Art studios at Spike provide support and an impressive range of tools and digital equipment.

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


Careers / Further study

Our graduates pursue careers as artists, designers, curators, arts administrators and educators. They are regularly selected for fellowships and national competitions such as the New Contemporaries, a platform for emerging artists. Others progress to graduate study at colleges such as Goldsmiths, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal College of Art.

In each year of your course, Professional Practice and Work Experience modules ensure that you to understand and experience different options for employment, career progression and further study. You will hear from visiting professionals and have access to case studies and a range of work experience, competition and application opportunities from across the fine arts arena and wider creative industries.

Award-winning Careers Service

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.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links

Guardian - what to do with a degree in fine art

Prospects - careers in the creative arts sector


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1563

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year400
Optional Field Trip - (Maximum Cost)500

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • 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: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

Due to the creative nature of the course, you will be considered on your own individual merit and potential to succeed. We may make different offers where appropriate to candidates who have a strong portfolio, or substantial relevant work/other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable them to succeed on the course. In your application, please give full details of any relevant work experience and qualifications (including modules and units).

Portfolio and selection session

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.

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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