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BA (Hons) Fine Art

Livia Harper
BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
Chelsea College of Arts
UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Course length
3 years

BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts brings together students and staff to examine what contemporary fine art practice is and to help forge its future.

Course overview

‘Thinking through making and making things happen’ is the ethos around which BA Fine Art at Chelsea is structured. The course provides a critically creative environment where you can develop your own practice.  

Your experience is based around a series of events that include on and off-site exhibitions, performance, publications, presentations, symposia and screenings that are aimed to give you experience of real-world practice.  

We encourage open and exploratory thinking. You will gain the confidence, experience and skills to play an effective role as a professional artist on an international stage.  

What to expect  

  • Broad-based course: Benefit from explore a wide range of specialised areas including film, video, digital media, sound, print, performance, painting, sculpture and drawing.
  • Experimental learning: Test your ideas, experiment with new techniques and learn to take risks to produce the most creative and innovative pieces.
  • Diverse teaching: Learn through an exciting programme of tutorials, seminars, lectures, workshops, exhibitions and live projects.
  • Creative community: Be part of a community of artists and draw inspiration from shared experiences, ideas and perspectives.
  • Tailored education: Tailor your course to reflect your interests, strengths and creative ambitions.
  • Social and ethical exploration: Explore how art can be used as a vehicle to interrogate and redefine social issues such as class, race, gender, disability and identity.
  • Sustainable approach: Develop an ethical, inclusive and sustainable approach to working and exhibiting.
  • Theory and practice: Learn about fine art theory and how social, cultural, political and environmental contexts have helped shape and change the way art is created and consumed.
  • Facilities: Access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography metal and woodwork, and an audio-visual editing suite. View the Chelsea facilities.  

Industry experience and opportunities  

You can choose to study part of your course at 1 of our partner institutions through UAL’s Turing and international exchange programme.

Mode of study 

BA Fine Art is offered in full-time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage consists of 30 teaching weeks. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

Year 1

Unit 1: Introduction to Fine Art  

This unit is an introduction to your course, the College and the University.  

Unit 2: Art practice 

This unit will help you begin to define your own practice. You’ll attend seminars, lectures and gallery visits to expand your knowledge. Practical workshops will enable you to experiment and produce a diverse body of work. You’ll also present your work in group crit settings.

Unit 3: Thinking through making and making things happen  

In this unit, you will produce an off-site group show. Working with your peers, you’ll locate a space in London or online to test your work in an alternative environment. You’ll also document and evaluate your research through written work and group crit sessions.

Unit 4: Positions 1  

This unit is about exploring your position in relation to other artists. You’ll examine a series of contemporary artists and consider the wider contexts in which their work was created and consumed. Using this research, you’ll create a presentation demonstrating how artists engage with and challenge the wider world around them.

Year 2  

Unit 5: Positions 2  

This unit reinforces your understanding of how your work relates to the work of others, and its wider context. In groups, you will develop a collaborative presentation that positions your work and ideas in relation to your peers and to a wider context. 

Unit 6: Collaborative and collective practices

You will be introduced to different ways in which collaborative working can help you to focus and enhance your own creative strengths. You’ll have the chance to work with fellow students and creative communities. 

Unit 7: Activation  

This unit is about furthering your own practice and testing it in public. In groups, you will stage an off-site exhibition or event. This can be physical or in a digital format. You will also produce an accompanying publication.

Unit 8: Positions 3 

In this unit, you will undertake an in-depth investigation of ideas around your practice. You’ll produce a publication or video which explores a key aspect of your thinking.

Year 3

Unit 9: Thinking, making, writing  

The connection between theory and practice, and its importance for the development of your work will be explored in this unit. The unit is structured in a succession of events that ask you to reconsider your current practice and to reflect upon the progression of work that you produce and show. You will also have the option to submit either an Essay and Presentation of Enquiry or an Extended Essay.

Unit 10: Making public

In your final unit, you will ’ll produce work for the degree show and an accompanying publication. You will also write a report about your practice, its reference and your position in relation to site and audience. 

Optional Diploma between Years 2 and 3

Between Years 2 and 3 of the course, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake one of the following additional UAL qualifications:

Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS)

This optional diploma can be taken between years 2 and 3. With support from your tutors, you’ll undertake an industry placement for a minimum of 100 days/20 weeks. As well as developing industry skills, you’ll gain an additional qualification upon successful completion.

Diploma in Creative Computing

Between years 2 and 3, you can undertake the year-long Diploma in Creative Computing. This will develop your skills in creative computing alongside your degree. After successfully completing the diploma and your undergraduate course, you’ll graduate with an enhanced degree: BA (Hons) Fine Art (with Creative Computing).

Learning and teaching methods

  • Artist-led workshops
  • Exhibitions at the college, off campus and online
  • External and internal negotiated events
  • Gallery visits
  • Group crits
  • Group or individual tutorials
  • Independent study
  • Interim Formative Review
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Mid-year review
  • One to one tutorial support with your dissertation
  • Online learning
  • Personal and group tutorials
  • Student presentations

BA Fine Art

Open day recording

Course Leader Ben Fitton gives an overview of BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts.

Student work

  • Kailene Gray
    BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Jazmin Harmer
    BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Fenna Kosfeld and Marnie Green
    BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Jacob Hawley
    BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Synchar Pde
    BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Molly King
    BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL


Graduate Showcase: Inés Cardó


  • Ben Fitton - Course Leader
  • Amanprit Sandhu - Year 2 Leader
  • Andrea Franke - Associate Lecturer
  • Andrew Chesher - Senior Lecturer
  • Andy Weir - Year 1 Leader
  • Bernice Donszelmann - Senior Lecturer
  • Bo Choy - Senior Lecturer
  • Carolina Rodrigues - Associate Lecturer
  • David Musgrave - Senior Lecturer
  • Demelza Woodbridge - Associate Lecturer
  • Echo Morgan - Associate Lecturer
  • Elizabeth Peebles - Year 3 Leader
  • Frances Scott - Associate Lecturer
  • Gill Addison - Senior Lecturer
  • Jasleen Kaur - Senior Lecturer
  • Jo Bruton - Senior Lecturer
  • Joel Simpson - Associate Lecturer
  • Josephine Baker - Associate Lecturer
  • Katriona Beales - Associate Lecturer
  • Keira Greene - Lecturer
  • Lorrice Douglas - Senior Lecturer
  • Lucy Gunning - Senior Lecturer
  • Markus Eisenmann - Associate Lecturer
  • Marleen Boschen - Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Mohini Chandra - Senior Lecturer
  • Ocean Baulcombe-Toppin - Associate Lecturer
  • Remi Allen - Associate Lecturer
  • Rosa Nogues - Associate Lecturer
  • Sarah Dobai - Senior Lecturer
  • Sean Dower - Associate Lecturer
  • Sophie Mei Birkin - Associate Lecturer
  • Taey Iohe - Associate Lecturer

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are one or a combination of the following qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • 2 A Levels at grade C or above
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum
  • And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work, personal statement and reference.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

We look for:

  • Evidence of visual and conceptual creative ability
  • The potential to develop the practical, expressive, critical and conceptual skills necessary to complete the course
  • An awareness of contemporary and historical fine art contexts
  • Some understanding of the role that contemporary critical thought and historical study can play in the development of personal creative work
  • An ability to communicate and discuss your ideas visually, verbally and in writing
  • The ability to manage your own time and initiate projects
  • A clear commitment to the chosen field of study
  • Evidence of an ability to generate and develop ideas through making work

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Home students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:


UCAS code:


Start your application

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

International students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:


UCAS code:


Start your application

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 4,000 characters and cover the following:

  • Why have you chosen this course? What excites you about the subject?
  • How does your previous or current study relate to the course?
  • Have you got any work experience that might help you?
  • Have any life experiences influenced your decision to apply for this course?
  • What skills do you have that make you perfect for this course?
  • What plans and ambitions do you have for your future career?

Visit the UCAS advice page and our personal statement advice page for more support.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 30 pages
  • include a wide range of work such as drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, animation, film and video work
  • include any supporting research, interests and inspirations to demonstrate your development processes
  • illustrate your enthusiasm and understanding of the contemporary and historical contexts and critiques of fine art practice.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

You must apply in the year that you intend to start your course. If you are made an offer and your circumstances change, you can submit a deferral request to defer your place by 1 academic year. You must have met your conditions by 31 August 2024. If you need an English language test in order to meet the entry requirements, the test must be valid on the deferred start date of your course. If not, you will need to reapply. Requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contextual Admissions

This course is part of the Contextual Admissions scheme.

This scheme helps us better understand your personal circumstances so that we can assess your application fairly and in context. This ensures that your individual merit and creative potential can shine through, no matter what opportunities and experiences you have received.


Graduates from BA Fine Art at Chelsea are well placed to become independent practitioners in the international art scene. Others move onto postgraduate studies both in the UK and overseas. Many of our graduates have has success and won awards for their work in galleries, museums, the media and the wider creative environment. The college’s alumni include many Turner Prize winners and nominees.


Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.