BA Fine Art integrates studio practice, critical studies and professional development. Students are allocated to a pathway at the start of the course, however transfer is possible at a later stage.
Each pathway has a distinct culture for making, production and encounter which is orientated around particular discussions, themes and resources. As you progress through the course, the relationship between disciplines becomes increasingly porous. While some students may stay within the same pathway throughout the course, others may develop a more transdisciplinary practice, encompassing multiple pathways.
2D: This pathway explores how making is informed by contemporary culture, politics and social contexts as much as by image and abstraction. It considers the screen, the picture plane and surface as fundamental aspects of visual production. In the context of making, you will discuss how diverse disciplines, practices and forms of thought can be combined.
3D: The 3D pathway explores matter, scale, production, material and immaterial form in relation to place and audience. You will be inducted into a range of traditional and new 3D technologies and 3D in digital realms. You will also engage in debates surrounding hybrid production processes. Examining the reading and writing of space, this pathway challenges a conventional understanding of the studio, the exhibition and institutional spaces.
4D: On this pathway, you will explore time-based, performative and interdisciplinary practices. You will investigate critical and philosophical positions in relation to practice and current ideas. These include the post-medium condition, technology and temporality. Employing an experimental approach to the spaces for making, you will explore how this might challenge conventions of practice.
XD: The XD pathway explores the question “what does art mean?” but also “what can art do?” and “where can art be?” This pathway frames the studio as a laboratory, generating ideas and interventions for everyday life.
Unit 1: Fine Art: Introduction to Higher Education Studies
Unit 2: Process and Method
Unit 3: Emerging Practice
Unit 4: Situating Practice
Working within your pathway, you will begin to explore your practice. You will identify and experiment with key ideas and a range of approaches for developing work. In the summer term, you will be introduced to collaborative projects and events.
Unit 5: Sites of Practice and Exhibition
Unit 6: Critical Discourses
Unit 7: The Site for Practice, Cross-Pathway and Situated Projects
Continuing practice is an essential part of this stage. You will engage in discursive seminars, exhibitions, sharing events and projects contextualised by site or situation. These will present you with opportunities to challenge and question your practice. You will also move between collaborative and individual approaches to making work.
Unit 8: Research and Practice
Unit 9: Continuing Practice
In this stage, you will continue to develop your practice, researching for your dissertation. This unit culminates in audience facing online and physical showcasing for each student in the summer term. Cross-pathway interaction is maintained through dissertation group tutorials, critical review and collaboration in the context of showcase and related events.
Throughout BA Fine Art, critical studies will support your theoretical exploration. It will provide you with the methodologies and conceptual framework for developing your practice. This takes the form of lectures, seminars, tutorials and presentations. In Stages 1 and 2, there are a number of written submissions leading up to the dissertation in Stage 3.
Diploma in Professional Studies
Between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the course there is an option to take a year out and complete a Diploma in Professional Studies. This separate qualification (rated at 120 credits) involves researching, undertaking and reflecting on 20-weeks (minimum) of placement or other directed experience related to your professional interests and aspirations. The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make contacts within professional fields related to Fine Art and to develop your personal employability skills.
Currently a very small number of exchange opportunities are available should students wish to apply. The availability of exchange opportunities will be subject to Government guidelines, here and abroad, on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BA Fine Art course has recognised partner arrangements with diverse range of specialist centres globally. Where studying or participating with projects with overseas partners is a possibility, it allows you to experience a new culture, an alternative perspective on the course’s subject discipline and different learning and teaching methods. Increasingly, international co-operation can be experienced from home and there are additional opportunities to co-operate with peers in arts schools elsewhere in the world.
Alongside this, BA Fine Art is actively engaged in the University’s Study Abroad scheme, with the incoming international students bringing an important additional dynamic to the course.
Mode of study
BA Fine Art runs for 90 weeks in full-time mode. It is divided into three stages over three academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks.
You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.
Credit and award requirements
The course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each stage (level).
On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons degree).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the stages for a BA are: Stage 1 (Level 4), Stage 2 (Level 5) and Stage 3 (Level 6). In order to progress to the next stage, all units of the preceding stage must normally be passed: 120 credits must be achieved in each stage. The classification of the award will be derived from the marks of units in Stages 2 and 3 or only Stage 3, using a dual algorithm.
If you are unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4 (or 120 credits), or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of Level 5 (or 240 credits).