BA(Hons) Fine Art (with Foundation Year)
This course is open for applications
Page last updated 7 December 2020
Study in a renowned contemporary arts venue and take one of two available pathways - Fine Art or Art and Writing - to choose your creative direction.
Why study fine art?
Fine art sits at the centre of the UK's dynamic art scene. Showcased through collectives, galleries and public spaces, contemporary art generates powerful new ideas and platforms for debate.
Artists develop ideas by making them visible, playing active roles in society as cultural commentators, teachers and activists. In addition to established artists' networks, contemporary art is circulated by curators, commissioners, and the private sector.
Working as an artist is social, practical, and theoretical, and can involve you in an exciting range of cultural and educational activities in the UK and abroad.
Why UWE Bristol?
BA(Hons) Fine Art is a studio-centred course is based at Spike Island, an internationally renowned contemporary art venue, part of our City Campus in the heart of Bristol. It's a vibrant creative environment where you'll get to connect with professional artists.
Choose from two pathways - Fine Art or Art and Writing.
- Fine Art develops your practice in areas such as painting, sculpture, installation, performance, video and digital media.
- Art and Writing critically engages you with your practice as you produce art works and written text, underpinned by theoretical perspectives. If chosen you will graduate with BA(Hons) Art and Writing.
All our staff are active practitioners, with the conceptual, technical and professional skills to support a wide variety of approaches.
Our City Campus is a creative powerhouse. It spans across Bristol, and is made up of Bower Ashton plus renowned contemporary arts centres Spike Island, Arnolfini and Watershed.
We have strong links with many of the city's arts organisations, providing opportunities to exhibit, network, take part in projects and build your profile.
Tailoring the course towards your particular interests, you'll have the chance to work in any medium at any point in your studies, explore different avenues and shape your own professional journey.
Showcase your work to talent scouts and potential employers at our popular Creative Industries Degree Show and graduate with an impressive portfolio of work.
Where can it take me?
Our students are regularly selected for fellowships and national competitions, including New Contemporaries, a platform for emerging artists.
Benefit from opportunities to apply for British Council Venice Fellowships, Spike Island Graduate Fellowships, and Spike Associates Bursaries.
Students recently took part in Tate Exchange, a public-facing performance event at Tate Modern, and staged events at Arnolfini and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
UWE Bristol's fine art graduates possess skills and strengths that are important to a wide range of employers. Many are naturally entrepreneurial.
Many go on to careers as artists, designers, curators, arts administrators and educators, or to postgraduate study such as master's degrees or teacher training.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
Year zero (foundation year)
You will study:
- Drawing and Making
- Developmental Project: Building a Creative Identity
- Foundation Project
- Academic Skills.
You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into Year one.
You will study:
- Introduction to Fine Art
- Exploring Practice in Fine Art
- Critical Perspectives
- Introduction to Professional Practice.
You will study:
- Developing Practice in Fine Art or Developing Practice in Art and Visual Culture
- Creative Analysis.
Plus, two optional modules from:
- Developing Practice in Fine Art 2 or International Exchange
- Professional Practice: Work Experience or Collaborate.
You will study modules (the number depending on credit requirements) from:
- Preparation for Extended Study in Fine Art
- Extended Study in Fine Art
- Preparation for Extended Study in Art and Visual Culture
- Extended Study in Art and Visual Culture
- Independent Research Project
- Professional Practice: Graduate Strategies.
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
Get regular structured tutorials and group critiques with your tutors and visiting artists, and develop your professional practice working within international arts organisation Spike Island.
Discuss your work and research material, and receive advice and suggestions on relevant areas to research. Consider and discuss aspects of art practice in group seminars. Visual Culture lectures provide theoretical and cultural context for your practice.
Take part in structured projects, workshops and lectures that introduce a range of ideas and approaches to fine art practice. Research relevant traditions, artists' practices, theory and professional work. Develop your writing skills throughout your studies.
Craft your skills as a researcher, working with academics helping to shape new thinking in the field. Tutors on the course include fine artists, curators and writers with national and international profiles, links to UWE research groups, and the wider art world.
Select different options for career progression through professional practice modules. Attend lectures with visiting professionals, and access case studies and competitions to gain valuable practical experience.
Locate your own practice within contemporary cultural contexts and become articulate about your ideas in relation to current debates.
Build a strong sense of your own practice and develop as a confident practitioner, defining your own vision and journey. You'll learn to present and promote yourself, apply for jobs and funding, and set yourself up as a creative business.
Build a body of material that will help you transition into further study, employment and future art practice.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year.
Look forward to plenty of opportunities to network, exhibit, get known and collaborate in Bristol and beyond.
Take part in Spike Island Open, when Spike Island studios are open to the public. Attend lectures by top artists and thinkers at our collaborative Art in the City event at the Arnolfini.
Apply for a British Council Venice Fellowship, to spend a month in Venice conducting research and stewarding the British Pavilion exhibition.
There are Graduate Fellowships with Spike Island to receive 12 months of free studio space on graduation, and bursaries offering free membership of the Spike Associates' professional development scheme.
You can expect to be assessed through essays, individual and group projects and group presentations. There are no exams.
You'll write critical evaluations of your work, where you'll critique and analyse it, and relate it to the broader context of media theory and creative practice.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.
We have extensive links with industry and commerce and the cultural and voluntary sectors.
Throughout your degree, you'll explore and engage with the contemporary art world. Students recently worked with artist Andy Holden, making a large sculpture for his solo exhibition at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
Grow your personal and professional network, and develop specialist subject knowledge by spending a semester at one of our fantastic partner universities abroad.
Increase your confidence, intercultural communication skills and boost your employability.
Explore our study abroad pages to find out more.
Go on regular study trips and visits during this course. We organise regular trips and visits to see new exhibitions and connect with arts professionals in locations such as Cardiff, Birmingham and Oxford, as well as London.
Studios for our Fine Art courses are situated on the ground floor in 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, inspiring learning environment.
Work in a space that hosts a changing programme of exhibitions and residencies. Recent exhibitions include those by Cally Spooner and Turner Prize winner Laure Provost. Spike island offers opportunities for work placements, internships and fellowships.
Get support and help to use an impressive range of tools and digital equipment from studio technicians.
Access a range of resources available at other City Campus sites, including Bower Ashton, which houses the main library supporting the creative and cultural industries and student support services.
This mix of traditional and hands-on learning environments helps you quickly take on essential knowledge and skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Careers / Further study
Tailoring what and how you study, you can shape the course towards your chosen career path.
Our graduates pursue a wide range of careers, including artists, designers, curators, arts administrators and educators.
They are regularly selected for fellowships and national competitions.
Others progress to postgraduate study at MA and PhD level, or teacher training.
Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.
We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.
Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.
Full Time Course
Indicative Additional Costs
Supplementary fee information
Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.
You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the five year course and then transfer to the four year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.
Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.
Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.
- Tariff points: 48
- GCSE: Grade C/4 in English Literature or Language, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
- English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are requirement to have a mimimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 5.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*). *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit http://uwe.ac.uk/englishlanguagerequirements
- A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
- Access: No specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
If you exceed the entry requirements you may be eligible for BA(Hons) Fine Art.
For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages.
Applicants will be required to submit a digital portfolio for review. For more details on the process, please visit our selection page.