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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Fine Art: Computational Arts

Screen based interactive work by Beth Mellett.
Beth Mellett., Beth Mellett.
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Computational Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL
College
Camberwell College of Arts
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W285

BA Fine Art Computational Arts at Camberwell College of Arts will introduce you to new technologies that are changing the interface between art and culture.

Applications closed 2021/22

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course. We don't yet know if places will become available before the autumn term. If they do, we will reopen applications. Please check this page for updates.

Visit the Courses with places available page for a full list of UAL courses that are open for application.

An introduction to BA Fine Art: Computational Arts

Stories

  • Screenshot of a programme with two images side by side, one broken down into colour fields anf the other with a visual effect on it. Along the bottom is a series of thumbnails of stock photographs of landscapes.
    Credit: Marsha Bradfield Marsha Bradfield, Artistic Experiment 4 using methods from the Japanese and Korean avant-garde group Mono-Ha to test GauGan by Marsha Bradfield for the CoLab Fellowship, part of the BeFantastic, Bangalore Fantastic, 2020, TechArt Triennial (realised under Coronavirus lockdown)
    BA (Hons) Fine Art: Computational Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Marsha Bradfield
    Introducing Marsha Bradfield, Course Leader, BA Fine Art: Computational Arts

    Marsha talks about the new course, the value of collaboration and how code and coding are at the centre of our everyday lives.

  • installation of exhibition, multiple screens
    Installation view of POWERPLAY at arebyte Gallery, 2020. Featuring works by Mr Color, Bolatito Aderemi Ibitola, Vincent Bezuidenhout, Scumboy, King Debs, Mbakisi Sibanda, Kumbirai Makumbe, and Isaac Kariuki. Image: Max Colson.
    Exploring the possibilities of Computational Arts: artist, coder and curator Edward Martin

    We spoke to Edward, a Camberwell student, about how digital platforms are reinventing how we interact, engage and access art.

Course overview

BA Fine Art: Computational Arts opens up a reflexive understanding of time and space as generated from avant-garde moving image practices to begin to innovate from a creative digital perspective. The course begins by testing and questioning the potential and impact of emerging technologies on visual culture and their societal implications.

Questions of identity, systems and agency form the theoretical foundations of this course. Students are encouraged to consider how coding can be used more widely, perhaps as a tool for social change. The course will open up opportunities to explore and develop decolonial practices and critically question cultural inequalities.

The course is delivered in partnership with the Creative Computing Institute (CCI) and some of the course units are delivered within CCI. You do not need to know how to code to apply to this course. There are many low-tech paths into computation, including immersive sound. The course  will introduce you to new and exciting technologies that are changing the interface between art and culture. It will open up this evolving field through a series of projects.

The course will enable students to explore how computational creativity and artificial intelligence can be applied to the arts and transformed through them. By co-creating with software students, you will be offered the opportunity to invent interactive ways of working with sound and moving image.

On this course, you will develop your sensibility as a self-directed learner and collaborative practitioner through exploring critical contemporary art and its histories alongside other relevant fields. You will use skills to creatively engage with materials and methodologies involved in making art as well as creative computing.

What to expect

  • You will explore human computer interaction, artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Engage with debates around digital citizenship, ‘the cyborg’ and big data in order to articulate and contextualise your practice in an ethical, relevant and sustainable way
  • You will draw upon creative computing technologies and discourses to develop a fine art practice that explores the understanding of time and space
  • Your time to be divided between the fine art studios and the Creative Computing Institute (CCI), with some of your technical teaching taking place within the CCI
  • Structured activities to expand your awareness of the digital possibilities for fine art as an expanded field of practice
  • Practical skills-enhancing workshops that will introduce you to the principles of creative coding
  • Work with open source programming software such as Processing, OpenFrameworks, P5.js and Arduino
  • Learn how to program in languages such as Java, Javascript and C++
  • To be introduced to the artistic potential of immersive media and machine learning
  • Explore areas such as physical computing and advanced visualisation
  • Look at key terms that underpin ideas and contexts relevant to computational media within contemporary art and culture
  • You will develop self-directed learning skills and be introduced to essential creative attributes such as leadership, independence, collaboration and resilience
  • The opportunity to co-create with software students from the CCI
  • Use of a large, open and customisable space that will facilitate rapid development and prototyping projects. These will include Virtual Reality (VR), projection mapping, interactive sound and light pieces
  • Access to Camberwell's fine art workshops that include printmaking, photography, film, moving image, digital, plastic, ceramics, wood and metalwork. View the Camberwell facilities

Work experience and opportunities

All our students have the opportunity and are supported in exhibiting their work to an external audience. During the second year, all students will also be invited to collaborate and network as well as take part in a variety of seminars and workshops hosted by a variety of external arts organisations. Graduates will have acquired a range of attributes associated with self-directed learning as well as well key skills in computing that could be applied in a variety of professional industry contexts.

Mode of study 

BA Fine Art Computational Arts 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. 

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

Course units

Year 1

You will receive an introduction to fine art. The focus will be on building your practice in a safe and ethical manner. Year one will involve:

  • Structured activities to increase your awareness of digital possibilities within fine art
  • Practical skills enhancing workshops at the Creative Computing Institute (CCI) will introduce you to the principles of creative coding
  • Looking at key computational media ideas and terms within contemporary art and culture
  • Seminars to develop an understanding of a decolonised visual culture
  • Working with popular open source programming software such as Processing, OpenFrameworks, P5.js and Arduino
  • Learning how to program in languages such as Java, Javascript and C++
  • An introduction to key terms that underpin ideas and contexts relevant to computational media within contemporary art and culture
  • Be taught strategies to help build confidence in different approaches to making work such as conducting academic research and working in the studio

Unit 1 - Introduction to fine art and computation

Unit 1 will introduce students to self-directed learning in fine art practice and the principles of computation. You will be required to complete an orientation log and present a project.

Unit 2 - Creative coding and practice

Unit 2 will be co-delivered with the Creative Computing Institute (CCI) to learn foundational creative coding skills.

Unit 3 - Computational ideas into practice

Unit 3 will extend this knowledge by putting computational ideas into practice. You will work collectively on shared projects to complete artworks that demonstrates a reflexive understanding of the medium. Research will be carried out into the relationship between practice and a wider theoretical context relating to a decolonised visual culture and an experimental understanding of time and space.

Unit 4 - Activating practice

Unit 4 has 2 parts. The first uses the graduation outcomes as an opportunity for reflective, critical and contextual writing. The second part asks students to imagine an external project outside the college’s studio environment.

  • Lectures on the contexts in which art is made and shown. You will look at examples of how proposals around the world are realised for specific locations and exhibitions
  • You will develop a proposal for an external context
  • Be supported through tutorial and group discussions
  • Write a review of a selected BA Fine artwork on public display
  • Writing workshops to support you by looking at diverse styles and purposes of reviewing art exhibitions

Year 2

The second year is about working in context. You will learn how to identify your own strengths and work with others in a variety of situations considering different audiences. You will be introduced to the artistic potential of immersive media and machine learning through a series workshops within Fine Art and CCI.

By the end of this year you will be able to situate your practice formally and critically in terms of context, audience, material and technical choices.

Unit 5 - Working for a context

This unit builds on the knowledge and experience gained in the previous unit about working collaboratively to set tasks.

Unit 6 - Collaborative and collective practices

This is a collaborative unit which invites you to extend your practice by working collaboratively across the colleges and external contexts.

Unit 7 - Machine learning

This unit is focused on machine learning and the ethical, decolononial and social justice concerns that surround this field.

Unit 8 - Audiences

In unit 8 students focus on audiences through a number of exercises around the degree show and begin to propose what the focus of year 3 will be.

Year 3

Your final year is focused on articulation and presentation of your practice within a fast moving and ever-changing context.

  • You will choose to undertake research either individually or collectively
  • Your work plan will be co-curated with tutors
  • You will establish a work pattern for the year between the BA Fine Art: Computational Arts studio and the CCI
  • You will demonstrate an understanding of inclusive, sustainable and ethical ways of working.

Unit 9 - Practice and articulation

  • Develop and produce work for a public audience
  • Articulate a piece of research that can be produced either through a Dissertation, Presentation or Live Project
  • Decolonial/Intersectional Art practice seminars and tutorials to support research
  • Dedicated sessions will be offered to support artistic life after art school and how to apply for funding, jobs or postgraduate study

Unit 10 - Practice and presentation

  • Present a multi-platform public-facing display of work
  • Workshops, seminars, tutorials and lectures on approaches to curation, audiences, methods of display, materials and the ethics of representation
  • Produce written work or a digital portfolio that presents your practice and ideas
  • You will be encouraged to proactively network to engage with communities within and outside of the art school to build sustainable and ethical working relationships

Optional Diploma between year 2 and 3

Between year 2 and 3 you can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the UAL Diploma in Creative Computing. Whilst these Diplomas are an optional aspect of the course, they are designed as an integrated and assessed part of your journey through the course. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Exhibitions
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Group projects
  • Lectures and talks
  • Live, practical and research led projects
  • Peer review
  • Reflective journal
  • Self-evaluative writing
  • Seminars
  • Studio work
  • Workshops

Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • Exhibition
  • Live Project
  • Practical work
  • Presentations
  • Written work

Staff

  • Matthew Plummer-Fernàndez - Course Leader

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

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
  • 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:

  • An ability to explore and develop artwork
  • An ability to articulate an interest in Computational Arts verbally and in writing
  • Demonstrate digital literacy to a level of competency
  • An ability to present contextual information
  • An ability to self-reflect on their own work

Portfolio advice

  • Your portfolio should include visual research you have conducted as well as contextual statements, sketchbooks and any supporting material made in the development of your work
  • An engagement on some level with digital literacy and an interest in computational process
  • It is important to carefully edit and select the contents of your portfolio so that you can discuss your working methods and decisions
  • If you include media work or documentation of media work you should bring a laptop or tablet with the work set up to play

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
  • To organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes

Making your application

Applications closed 2021/22

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course. We don't yet know if places will become available before the autumn term. If they do, we will reopen applications. Please check this page for updates.

Applications for 2022/23 entry will open in Autumn 2021.

Apply

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

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W285

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 29 January 2021 at 18:00 (UK time) for equal consideration. Following UK COVID-19 restriction announcements, the deadline for undergraduate applications has been extended from 15 January.

However, this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Please add ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Following receipt of your digital portfolio you will be invited to book an online interview selection event.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback please email ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk.

Deferring your place

This course is no longer accepting deferral requests from offer holders because either all our deferral places are filled, or the request deadline has passed. If you want to start later, please re-apply when applications open for that academic year.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

Applications closed 2021/22

We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2021/22 entry to this course.

We don't yet know if places will become available before the autumn term. If they do, we will reopen applications. Please check this page for updates.

Applications for 2022/23 entry will open in Autumn 2021.

Apply

There are 3 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W285

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 29 January 2021 at 18:00 (UK time) for equal consideration. Following UK COVID-19 restriction announcements, the deadline for undergraduate applications has been extended from 15 January.

However, this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Please add ccw.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

Immigration history check

Whether you’re applying online via UCAS, through a UAL representative or by direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you don’t complete the check we won’t be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Following receipt of your digital portfolio you will be invited to book a telephone interview selection event.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

  • If you applied through UCAS you will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track
  • If you applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL portal

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback please email ccw.international@arts.ac.uk.

Deferring your place

This course is no longer accepting deferral requests from offer holders because either all our deferral places are filled, or the request deadline has passed. If you want to start later, please re-apply when applications open for that academic year.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Study Abroad

Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course.

For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. 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 are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

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