BA (Hons) Fine Art: Painting

BA Painting at Wimbledon College of Arts values a medium specific studio environment. This course provides a context for creative exploration, as we encourage our students to be inventive, ambitious and professional with their practice.


Course Leader

Dr Zoë Mendelson - Course Leader (Acting)

Course Location

Wimbledon College of Arts, Merton Hall Road

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

£9,000 per year (2016/17).

Fees are subject to an inflationary increase as students progress through their course.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17).

Fees are subject to an inflationary increase as students progress through their course.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.

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

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application Deadline15 January 2017
UCAS CodeW121
University CodeU65

Content and Structure

Content: what students can expect

What will you learn?

  • Painting processes evolving from hand-driven, mechanical and digital modes of making
  • Drawing as analytical thinking
  • A problem-solving approach to making work
  • Ways to imagine painting as a model for expansive fields and extending the discipline 
  • To find your own voice as an artist informed by critical enquiry
  • How to engage and share the studio as a site of enquiry
  • To work individually and collaboratively
  • How to navigate territories outside the college and work within a professional landscape of contemporary practice
  • To take ownership of your own learning and practice so that you can, ultimately, work independently within the field

How will you learn?

  • Through contextual seminars, reflective reading groups, group tutorials, interactive lectures, peer learning, student-led projects, workshops, technical teaching, off-site visits, college trips outside London (which have recently included New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Margate)
  • You will have access to a specialist painting technician, who will provide technical support and material knowledge
  • Via access to other specialist technical workshop spaces such as woodwork, print, a painting methods and materials area, audio-visual and photographic workshops
  • Through diverse forms of teaching to suit a range of practices and groups
  • By engaging with spaces off-site where art is produced and exhibited
  • Through a rich programme of panel discussions, artists' talks and screenings
  • Via Painting pathway initiatives such as artists in residence 
  • By having access to our Painting pathway gallery, ‘Best Practice’ 
  • Via our yearly research thematic (currently 'Punk in the Suburbs'), documentation of events and conversations around painting led research on

Where will you learn?

In purpose-built studios with natural light and a range of project spaces, seminar rooms and lecture theatre.


Year One

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Fine Art: Painting, Sculpture, Print and Time-Based Media
  • Unit 2: Introduction to subject specific practice
  • Unit 3: Establishing subject specific practice
  • Unit 4: Introduction to critical practice for fine art

Year Two

  • Unit 5: Understanding collaborative practice
  • Unit 6: Developing subject specific practice part 1
  • Unit 7: Developing subject specific practice part 2
  • Unit 8: Developing contextual practice for fine art

Year Three

  • Unit 9: Realisation of subject specific art practices
  • Unit 10: Realisation of critical practice and research for fine art

Work experience and opportunities

Our students have the opportunity to get involved in external exhibitions with organisations that work closely with us throughout the course, as well as exhibiting at international venues including Hans Brinker in Amsterdam. Work placement / experience is part of the second year.

Students can also apply to study abroad in their second and third years as part of the college’s erasmus scheme.


We are a team of practicing artists who are active researchers, showing and publishing internationally. Our work includes painting, drawing, writing, animation, photography, performance, sculpture and filmmaking.

Dr Zoë Mendelson - Course Leader (Acting)

Zoë Mendelson is an artist and writer. Her work incorporates animation, collage, drawing, installation, performance and fiction writing. 

Read Zoë Mendelson's full biography



This course prepares you for progression into a range of careers such as:

  • Artist’s assistant
  • Arts manager
  • Art writer
  • Curator / Producer 
  • Gallery educator
  • Practicing exhibiting artist
  • Teacher / Arts educator
  • Technician

Recent painting graduates have successfully progressed to postgraduate study, as well as exhibiting in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition and The Saatchi Channel 4 New Sensations exhibition that included five Wimbledon painting alumni, out of a total of its 20 exhibitors.

Past and present students have also used the course placement to establish studio employment links with a variety of artists.


Entry Requirements

We select students based on the quality of their applications, looking primarily at their portfolio of work and personal statements.

Applicants will have, or are expected to achieve, either:

  • A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • 1 GCE A Level
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above


  • BTEC Extended Diploma or NVQ Level 3
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above


  • University of the Arts London level 3 Pre-University Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design
  • 4 GCSEs grade C or above


  • International Baccalaureate Diploma pass achieved at 28 points or above 
  • An equivalent level of performance in other internationally recognised national school leaving or university entrance qualifications


  • Other evidence of prior learning and experience via Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning - AP(E)L and / or alternative qualifications assessed as offering the same level as the above requirements 

In exceptional circumstances, applicants may be considered if they present a portfolio of equivalent standard to a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and have:

  • 2 GCE A Levels
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above

Where conditional offers are made to GCE A Level applicants these will normally be at grade C or above.

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English isn't a students' first language they must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

At interview and portfolio review

 We look for:

  • An interest, commitment and motivation for studying the subject
  • An understanding of the subject, including examples of contemporary and historical practice
  • An ability to communicate your ideas visually, verbally and in writing
  • Your portfolio to demonstrate a range of appropriate skills and technical abilities 

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should show the following:

  • Clear evidence of independent study and self-initiated work
  • A selection of work demonstrating traditional drawing skills
  • A selection of work demonstrating painting ability
  • Work that demonstrates an understanding of, and use of colour
  • A range of ideas

Home / EU applicants

All applicants for this course will be invited for interview.

Applicants will be seen by a team of Fine Art tutors from Painting, Print and Time-Based Media and Sculpture.

Applicants may be offered a place on an alternative BA Fine Art course at Wimbledon.

This decision will be based on our assessment of an applicants' creative potential and interests.

International applicants

Interviews and portfolio reviews - applicants can be interviewed in a number of different ways: 

  • By phone
  • In their country, if your application was made though one of our official representatives 
  • At our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts



Use UAL’s scholarship search to find out what funding may be available to you.


The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application deadline is 15 January.

Home / EU applicants

You must apply through UCAS, where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W121

International applicants

There are two ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Wimbledon College of Arts:

Find out more information about applying through UCAS

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application from Home, EU and International applicants.

Study Abroad applicants

Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course for a period of up to three terms. 

For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section

Enquire about this course

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