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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Fine Art: Computational Arts

Beth Mellett., Beth Mellett.
BA (Hons) Fine Art: Computational Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL
College
Camberwell College of Arts
UCAS code
W285
Start date
September 2024
Course length
3 years

BA Fine Art: Computational Arts at Camberwell College of Arts invites you to experiment with new tools and approaches to art. You will explore how technologies influence art and culture.

Course overview

BA Fine Art: Computational Arts enables you to develop art through computers, software and emerging technologies in combination with established fine art traditions and crafts such as printmaking, casting and woodworking. 

You’ll explore how emerging computational tools can be applied to the arts and transformed through them. You’ll learn to embrace and question computational technologies and use them as artistic tools to address wider cultural concerns.

The course is delivered in partnership with the Creative Computing Institute (CCI), where you’ll be supported with additional experience in coding and physical computing. 

What to expect 

  • Cutting-edge technology: Explore generative art and machine learning as well as CGI, games engines, virtual reality and digital fabrication.
  • New ideas: Engage with debates around technology and society to help you articulate and contextualise your practice in an ethical, relevant and sustainable way. 
  • Cross-disciplinary skills: Draw upon computational art and fine art tools, methods and discourses to develop your art practice. 
  • Activities and workshops: Take part in structured activities and practical workshops to expand your awareness of the digital possibilities for fine art and develop a variety of digital and traditional art-making skills.
  • Dedicated studios: Use the dedicated computational art studios within the Fine Art department, with additional access to the Creative Computing Institute (CCI) for further technical support and training. 
  • Software: Work with software such as P5.js, Blender, Unreal and Colab notebooks. 
  • Digital equipment: Use large, customisable studio space that will facilitate rapid development and prototyping projects, as well as providing you with equipment such as high-end computers, screens, projectors, 3D printers and VR headsets. 
  • Fine art workshops: Access to Camberwell's fine art workshops that include printmaking, photography, film, moving image, digital, plastic, ceramics, wood and metalwork. View the Camberwell facilities.

Industry experience and opportunities 

You’ll have the opportunity to exhibit your work on-site, online or at external gallery showcases. During the second year, you’ll be invited to collaborate and network as well as take part in seminars and workshops hosted by external arts organisations. 

By the end of this course, you’ll have developed your own art practice. You’ll have acquired a range of skills and knowledge applicable to emerging professional sectors such as virtual production, digital fabrication, machine learning, digital media and virtual reality. 

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. 

Course units

Year 1 

Unit 1: Introduction to Fine Art and Computational Arts 

Unit 1 will introduce you to the basic principles of fine art and the underlying concepts of computational art practice. You’ll attend workshops and seminars related to instruction-based art. Using this knowledge, you’ll explore how ‘human computation’ can rethink and revise traditional artistic skills and techniques. 

Unit 2: Establishing computational arts practice 

Unit 2 explores different computer-based tools and computational art practices including generative art, CGI and machine learning. Experimenting with these techniques, you’ll create original works for a work-in-progress show at our computational arts project space. As part of this unit, you’ll also write an essay in response to an art event. 

Unit 3: Ideas into computational arts practice 

From 3D graphics and game engines to installations and gallery spaces, this unit explores different approaches to working in and creating spaces. You’ll produce your own works for an off-campus exhibition alongside other UAL fine art students. You’ll also work in groups to produce pieces within a virtual environment.

Unit 4: Activating practice  

This unit examines the wider contexts in which art is made and shown. Looking beyond the College’s studio environment, you’ll consider how your work can be realised in public spaces. Through the lens of computational arts, you’ll also be introduced to pioneering discourse and practices that create tangible and intangible, prototyped or speculative works that reimagine technology entangled in social and environmental contexts.

Year 2

Unit 5: Exploring context through practice

Unit 5 is about re-establishing your practice and progressing your research methodologies. You’ll explore the artistic potential and critical debates around computational arts. During workshops, you’ll create work that addresses your interests in materials and contextual themes. You’ll also participate in group critiques of yours and your classmates’ work. 

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: Refining computational arts practice 

During studio seminars, you’ll explore subjects such as politics, sustainability and ethics in relation to machine learning. This will help you develop contextual awareness of the field and its wider applications. At the end of Unit 7, you’ll participate in a group exhibition which responds to emergent software technology contexts. 

Unit 8: Audiences 

Unit 8 will help you define and articulate your research and practice goals. You’ll focus on the presentation and interaction of computational work and its potential audiences. This will enable you to situate your practice in terms of context, audience and material/technical choices in preparation for your final year. 

Year 3

Unit 9: Practice and articulation 

The unit will support the creative realisation of your artwork and further development of your practice. You’ll undertake research and present your findings either in written form, or as a presentation or through a live project/work placement. This will be an extension of your previous research. 

Unit 10: Practice and presentation 

During this unit, you'll continue to refine your practice with the aim of producing a new body of work for a public display degree show. This unit will also develop your understanding of different display and audience engagement methods as well as the ethics of representation.

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: Drawing (with Creative Computing).

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

BA Fine Art: Computational Arts

Open day recording

Course Leader Matthew Plummer-Fernandez gives an overview of BA Fine Art: Computational Arts at Camberwell College of Arts.

An introduction to BA Fine Art: Computational Arts

Staff

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:

  • 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

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:

U65

UCAS code:

W285

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:

U65

UCAS code:

W285

Start your application
or

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 a maximum of 30 pages
  • show visual research as well as contextual statements, sketchbook images and any supporting material made during the development stages of your work
  • demonstrate an engagement with digital literacy and an interest in using software applications, technology and/or code
  • be carefully edited including annotations that explain your working methods and decisions

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.

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