BA (Hons) Fine Art

Artists create the cultural resources of our shared future. We recognise the breadth and diversity of social, political, cultural, economic and technological contexts of contemporary art. BA Fine Art will challenge you to develop an experimental practice within the context of an internationally renowned course. You will work within one of 4 pathways, 2D, 3D, 4D and XD, offering you a practice-based approach to technical, conceptual, historical and critical contexts. This will provide you with the skills and knowledge to define and innovate within your chosen cultural and artistic field.

This course is part of the: Art Programme.

Scholarships and Awards available:

Charlotte and Dennis Stevenson Awards
Foundation for Essex Arts Scholarships
Mead Scholarships and Fellowships
Yat Malmgren Bursary

Course Patron for the CSM BA Fine Art Programme:

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Meet the Course Leader, Mick Finch

5 great reasons to apply

  • The dimensional pathway structure is unique to CSM. The course offers students an interdisciplinary context whilst the pathways give a perspective to explore specific practices.
  • You’ll get the chance to go on international exchanges, in countries around the world. The course has an international outlook with a diverse multicultural community of practice.
  • Take part in external projects that provide experience of art practice outside Central Saint Martins. Recent external projects include work with the Camden Art Centre, The Freud Museum, Tate Modern, The Wellcome Foundation, British Library and the British Museum.
  • At the end of your second year you can take a one year Diploma in Professional Studies as part of your BA Fine Art course. You will get the opportunity to do a range of work placements that relate to your professional interests and aspirations. You could be working in a gallery, museum, theatre, in education or an artist's studio both in this country and internationally.
  • Recent high-profile graduate success include Laure Prouvost (Turner Prize winner 2013 and winner of the Max Mara Prize for Women 2011), Ed Atkins (Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award winner 2012) and Emily Wardill (Winner of the Jarman Award 2010).

Facts

Course Leader

Alex Schady

Course Location

King's Cross and Archway, London

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years full time
Home/EU Fee

£9,250 per year (2017/18).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future academic years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate Tuition Fees page for full information on tuition fees.

The DPS fees for 2017-18 will be £1,850 for Home/EU students.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

£17,920 per year (2017/18).

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

The DPS fees for 2017-18 will be £3,350 for those on the standard international fee rate in their second year.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateMonday 25 September 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September - Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January – Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 16 April - Friday 22 June 2018
Application Route

UCAS

Application DeadlineApplications for 2017/18 entry will close on 15 January 2017.
UCAS CodeW100
University CodeU65

Content and structure

BA Fine Art is part of the Fine Art programme. It provides broad pathway options in 2D, 3D, 4D and XD practice. These create a focus for sustained critical engagement, enabling both specialisation and interdisciplinary communities of practice.

The degree course:

  • Offers the opportunity to take a one year Diploma in Professional Studies between Stages 2 and 3 of the BA programme, involving a 20 week work placement
  • Promotes experimental, investigative and historically, theoretically and critically informed approaches to art making
  • Develops negotiation, management and team skills through external projects, alternative spaces and site-specific opportunities
  • Is proactively taught through a wide range of events, led by a highly research-active staff team practising professionally across diverse media, supported by guest speakers and expert technicians
  • Develops a wide range of specialist and transferable skills including research, planning, documentation, evaluative writing, visual and verbal presentation
  • Offers a richly diverse international and multicultural community of practice, with opportunities for international exchanges 
  • Connects with numerous galleries, museums and cultural centres in London, providing a wide range of resources and opportunities
  • Progressively increases individual responsibility for learning and development of professional identity, offering choices of perspectives in final year to support theoretical research and practice-based directions

The BA Fine Art programme runs for 90 weeks full time over three years. It is divided into three Levels (or Stages).

Each Stage is 30 weeks. The programme is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level (Stage).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (Stage 1 of the programme), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).

There's a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all Units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.

If you're unable to continue on the programme, a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.

To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.

Programme outline

As well as studio practice, the BA Fine Art programme takes the form of lectures, seminars and assignments undertaken in a sequence of distinct Units. Your study of fine art follows one of four broad pathways, described below. All pathways involve studio practice, critical and theoretical studies, and personal and professional development. For all pathways and practice, students develop appropriate levels of research, initiative and responsibility in order to propose and implement their own programme of study.

The BA Fine Art programme is practice-based and focuses on making and the development of ideas that constitute your artistic production. 'Production' takes place in many ways and places, including studios, workshops and off-site locations. In participating you benefit not only from the formal input of tutors but also from an informal interaction with peers, and an awareness of their development, within a shared environment. 'Studio practice' can mean site-specific work, film and video, live performance or installation as well as work actually made in 'a studio'.

2D pathway (art practice in two dimensions, for example - painting, printmaking and photography)

2D explores how making is informed by contemporary culture, politics and social forms as much as by questions of the image and abstraction. It considers the screen, the picture plane and surface as fundamental aspects of visual production. Technical inductions are positioned in terms of these questions. In the studio we discuss how diverse disciplines, practices and forms of thought can be mixed. 

3D pathway (art practice in three dimensions, for example - sculpture, installation and performance)

3D explores matter, scale, production, material and immaterial form in relation to place and
 audience. Students are inducted into a range of traditional and new 3D technologies, and to the debates surrounding hybrid production processes. The studio is a place where the reading and writing of space can take place and be questioned. 3D challenges a conventional understanding of the studio, the exhibition and institutional spaces. 

4D pathway (art practice in four dimensions, for example - film, video, art writing, performance and sound)

4D explores time-based, durational performative, and interdisciplinary practices. Critical and philosophical positions are explored in relation to practice and current ideas such as the post-medium condition, the apparatus of technology and temporality are considered. The Pathway has an experimental approach to the studio and explores how this might challenge conventions of practice. In this context, the ‘open work’ is engaged as a site where collaboration and production take place. 

XD (art practice across dimensions, practices, locations and situations)

XD explores the possibilities of not only ‘what does art mean?’ but also ‘what can art do?’ and ‘where can art be?’ The implications of working across different platforms and placing art in particular situations and communities throws into question the rights and responsibilities of the artist in relation to the audience and the environment. The studio is considered as a laboratory where ideas for interventions in the practice of everyday life can be generated.

Critical Studies

The Critical Studies tutors are fundamental in the delivery of Theory within the course. Writing and presentation skills and the ability to articulate practice.  

Critical Studies supports a student’s theoretical exploration and provides the methodologies and a conceptual framework for developing practice. This takes the form of lectures, seminars tutorials and presentations. The Critical Studies tutors are fundamental in the delivery of Theory within the course. Writing and presentation skills and the ability to articulate practice. 

Through stage 1 and 2 there are a number of different forms of written submission leading up to the dissertation in stage 3. Teams of critical studies and studio tutors jointly supervise this. The final degree classification is based on the assessment of the stage 3 units (Unit 8 dissertation 40 credits & Unit 9 continuing practice and degree show 80 credits).

Introductory reading suggestions:

Education for Socially Engaged Art: A Materials and Techniques Handbook byPablo Helguera, Jorge Pinto Books 2011
Situation by Clare Doherty, Whitechapel Art Gallery 2009
Out of the Box: The Reinvention of Art 1965-1975 by Carter Ratcliff, Allworth Press 2001

Programme stages

Stage 1 (Level 4) provides an introduction from the perspective of your pathway. From the beginning you are introduced to practical skills and processes, research and study skills, critical and discursive approaches. It is diagnostic and exploratory.

Stage 2 (Level 5) is a pivotal period of development in which you begin to take increased responsibility for your learning and for self-directed work. There's more emphasis on experiment and risk in developing your ideas, conceptual strategies, research and means of production. This stage also sees a honing of technical skills.

Between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the BA Fine Art programme there's an option to take a Diploma in Professional Studies. This separate qualification (rated at 120 credits) involves researching, undertaking and reflecting on a 20-week (minimum) placement related to your professional interests and aspirations (e.g. in gallery or educational contexts or working as an artist's assistant). The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills.

Stage 3 (Level 6) is a period of realisation that brings together your learning during the degree course as a whole. As well as reflecting your development as a contemporary practitioner it engages you as far as possible with the challenges of personal responsibility and development that a career in the creative professions or further study at Masters level involves.

Critical Studies are embedded into the Units with studio practice and involve investigations into historical and contemporary critical theory through lectures, seminars, tutorials and independent research. You consider the historical and contemporary contexts of art and a broad range of critical debates relating to the form, content, value and meaning of art practices, and produce written assignments, leading to a dissertation in Stage 3. Balanced with your studio practice, your dissertation focuses on an individual chosen topic and field of research that relates to your practice and locates it within a theoretical framework. It involves the development of a piece of documented research.

Personal and Professional Development is also embedded into the Units with studio practice and critical and theoretical studies, helping you focus on generic study skills and orientation and becoming more closely related to your professional direction.

Developing your skills - external activities

Active collaborations involving staff and students embrace key cultural institutions, venues, commercial enterprises and alternative spaces to introduce you to London's varied networks of creative practice. Teaching frequently targets major and specialist galleries and museums in London as research bases.

External projects bring students into collaborative relationships with outside agencies and provide experience and awareness of art practice beyond the college. Recent external projects include work with the Camden Art Centre, The Freud Museum, Tate Modern, The Welcome Foundation, British Library and the British Museum.

There are many collaborative exhibition and project opportunities across the Pathways, within the College and the University and a well-established international study exchange. 

Staff

Programme Director:Alex Schady

Course Leader and Reader: Mick Finch

Pathway Leader; 2D: Stuart Elliot
Pathway Leader; 3D:
 Elizabeth Wright (Fine Art)
Pathway Leader; 4D:John Seth
Pathway Leader; XD: Anne Eggebert

Joint Leader; Critical Studies:Jon Cairns
Joint Leader; Critical Studies: Dr Kate Love

Tutor; 2D Pathway: Joey Bryniarska
Tutor; 2D Pathway: Clunie Reid
Tutor; 2D Pathway: Mario Rossi
Tutor; 2D Pathway: Emma Talbot
Tutor; 3D Pathway: Anthony Davies
Tutor; 3D Pathway: Naomi Dines
Tutor; 3D Pathway: Emma Hart
Tutor; 3D Pathway: Gary Perkins
Tutor; 4D Pathway: Hilary Lloyd
Tutor; 4D Pathway: Paul Simon Richards
Tutor; 4D Pathway: Hannah Rickards
Tutor; 4D Pathway: Erika Tan
Tutor; Critical Studies and XD: Margot Bannerman
Tutor; XD Pathway: Ben Cain
Tutor; XD Pathway: Sarah Cole

Associate Lecturer (Critical Studies): Dr Owen Parry

Admissions Tutor and Stage 1 Tutor: Lynn Hewett
Tutor: Elle Reynolds

Diploma in Professional Studies Pathway Leader; Soraya Rodriguez

 

Careers

BA Fine Art students leave with a broad and valuable understanding of fine art practice. Skills acquired enable graduates to become versatile practitioners in exciting and diverse contexts.

Many BA Fine Art graduates work as artists, or pursue art-related careers as curators, critics or teachers. Others work in graphics, IT, media, film, fashion and advertising.

BA Fine Art graduates often go on to postgraduate study, progressing to a wide range of Masters subjects that include fine art, philosophy, film, communication, landscape architecture, art history, gallery and museum studies, literature and broadcast journalism.

Recent BA Fine Art alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the subject:

  • Alex Ball: Winner of Catlin Art Prize
  • Joshua Alexander & Siobhan Wanklyn: Film screenings, Camden Arts Centre, London
  • Tamarin Norward: MFA Art Writing, Goldsmiths
  • David Stearn: Bloomberg New Contemporaries 
  • Rosanna Manfredi: Installation assistant to Anselm Kiefer
  • Richard Milward: Published novel 'Apples'
  • Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: Selected to feature in Exposure 2009 at Parasol Unit, London
  • Jessica Rinland: Film Nulepsy accepted to London Film Festival 

Entry requirements

Selection is determined by the quality of the application, indicated primarily in your portfolio of work and written statements. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Minimum Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved, or be expected to achieve, the course entry requirements detailed below:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • A pass in 1 GCE A level
  • Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above)

This educational level may be demonstrated by possession of equivalent qualifications; e.g. International Baccalaureate or High School Diploma.

Applicants may be considered exceptionally on the evidence submitted in the application form (personal statement, work experience, reference), if they present a portfolio of equivalent standard to a one-year Foundation course in art and design and have achieved, or expect to achieve:

  • Passes in 2 GCE A Levels (grade C or above)
  • Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above)

Additionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may also still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is:

IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent.

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.  

What We Look For 

We're interested in students who are prepared to question and to take a critical perspective and who show potential to develop as innovative artists.

Selection Criteria

We select applicants according to your potential and current ability to: 

Work imaginatively and creatively in visual media

  • engage with experimentation and invention
  • show imagination and ambition in proposals for your work

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities

  • show personal commitment to skill development
  • engage with materials and processes

Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within your work

  • demonstrate relevant research
  • reflect critically on your learning

Demonstrate cultural awareness and/or contextual framework of your work

  • identify historical and contemporary art practices
  • identify social and/or cultural influences on your work

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly

  • demonstrate appropriate and effective communication skills
  • present your work appropriately and effectively

Indicate the relevance of BA Fine Art to your personal development

  • develop your own ideas beyond set project briefs
  • show willingness to work both collaboratively and independently
  • reflect your knowledge of this degree course

Apply - UK/EU

When to Apply

The deadline for equal consideration for all applications (Home, EU and International) is the 15 January 2017.

Please note that not all courses are able to consider late applications. Applicants may only change their course choice within 14 days of submitting an application. Any changes made to your application after 15 January 2017 will result in the application being marked as late.

Applying and How Your Application is Considered

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your online application form. Central Saint Martins (CSM) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W100
  • There is no 'campus code' for CSM
  • This course does not accept Year 3 Entry.

What Happens Next

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to submit a mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review tool.  The mini portfolio should be no more than 10 images comprising of your best work showing your skills and thinking. It should include:

  • Sketching
  • Research, preparation and development stage of works as well as final pieces
  • A 250 word statement about your current work in which you may want to refer to artists whose practices you feel have influenced it; you may wish to refer to problems and how you solve them and to the ideas and interests important to the work you are showing us.

Following a review on your mini portfolio, you will either be invited for a full portfolio review or your application will be rejected via UCAS Track.

Full Portfolio Review

If you have been successful with your mini portfolio, we will invite you to a full portfolio review.  These normally take place at the college in February and March.

If you are unable to attend the full portfolio review in person, you will be asked to submit a FULL portfolio (up to 30 images) through UAL’s online portfolio review tool. Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post.

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity.
  • Where possible, large or 3-dimensional work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

How We Notify You of the Outcome of Your Application

You will receive the outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Deferred Entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry. 

Apply - International

When to Apply

The UCAS deadline for all Undergraduate applications for both Home/EU and International is the 15 January 2017

Please note that not all courses are able to consider late applications. Applicants may only change their course choice within 14 days of submitting an application. Any changes made to your application after 15 January 2017 will result in the application being marked as late.

Applying and How Your Application is Considered

International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.

For applicants who want to apply directly to UAL, the direct application form may be found here:

Applications for the academic year 2017/18 will be accepted from November.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

 

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your online application form. Central Saint Martins (CSM) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W100
  • There is no 'campus code' for CSM.
  • This course does not accept Year 3 Entry.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Immigration History Form (For International Applications Only)

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an Immigration History form.

We will email you an Immigration History form when we receive your application.

You will need to send this back to us, by email, with copies of the following documents:

  • Your passport photo page 
  • Your current visa (if you have one) and any previous UK study visas
  • Your current English language certificate (if you have this)
  • Your academic qualifications (A2, IB, high school diploma, foundation etc. - if completed. Translated into English) 

Please note: If you do not complete and return your Immigration History form we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

What Happens Next

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to attend a full portfolio review OR submit your full portfolio digitally. 

  • If you currently live in the United Kingdom and applying from within the UK, you will be invited attend a full portfolio review at the college between January and March.
  • If you are applying from overseas, you will be asked to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review tool. This means you do not need to attend a full portfolio review in person.
  • Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post.

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity.
  • Where possible, large or 3-dimensional work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

How We Notify You of the Outcome of Your Application

You will receive the outcome of your application through UCAS track. 

If you applied through one of our overseas representatives, they will tell you the result of your application.

Deferred Entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

Study Abroad Applicants

International undergraduate students may apply to join a BA course for a period of up to three terms as a study abroad student. 

Please visit the UAL Study Abroad for details of how to apply to one of our courses or contact the UAL Study Abroad Team central offices for more information:

T: +44 (0)20 7514 2249
E: studyabroad@arts.ac.uk
W: UAL Study Abroad

 

 

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value. 

Recent client projects in the Art programme include: Red Mansion Foundation. Find out more about the Dr Martens client project.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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