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BA (Hons) Fine Art

Start date
September 2020
Course length
Three years full-time or four years full-time with Diploma in Professional Studies
UCAS code

BA Fine Art is now closed to international applications for entry in September 2020.

Please note that BA Fine Art is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high quality academic experience. During re-approval there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page.

Artists create the cultural resources of our shared future.

On BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, we recognise the breadth of possibilities in contemporary art, and will challenge you to develop an experimental practice. You will work in one of four pathways – 2D, 3D, 4D or XD – which encompass studio practice, theoretical studies and personal and professional development. This course is part of the Art programme.

Course patron for BA Fine Art:

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Pathway structure: The pathway structure on BA Fine Art creates a focus for sustained critical engagement. It allows you to both specialise and develop an interdisciplinary working practice.
  • Exhibitions: The course offers experimental forms of exhibition-making. This occurs both within the College and in public venues outside the institution. Previous external partners have included Archway Tower, the British Library, Camden Arts Centre, Camden Collective and the Tate.
  • Location: BA Fine Art is situated in the College’s Granary Building. This location in King’s Cross is key, enabling students to engage in the changing dynamics of the area and build links with the local community as well as neighbouring institutions such as Wellcome Collection and the British Library.
  • Associate Studio Programme: Developed in 2011 out of a partnership between Acme and Double Agents – a research project based at Central Saint Martins – the Associate Studio Programme provides subsidised, low-cost, high-quality studio space for 20 graduates of BA Fine Art for two years. The scheme also provides a programme of studio visits by artists, curators, writers and peers. Students are selected through an application process open to them in the year they graduate and again one year later.

Open days

The next round of open days will take place from October to December 2020, please check back here by mid September 2020 to book online.

Scholarships, awards and funding

Mead Scholarships and Fellowships

Recent successes

Caline Aoun, BA Fine Art alum – Deutsche Bank’s "Artist of the Year" 2018

Former Course Leader Mick Finch talks about BA Fine Art
Degree Show 2019: Matty Mancey
Degree Show 2018: Carianne Annan

Student work

Fine Art stories

Professor: Mick Finch

To mark our new Professors, we hear more about their research plans. Here, Mick Finch, Professor of Visual Art Practice, discusses re-reading the archive and the need for multidisciplinary practice.

Bauhaus Rules

Vic Reeves and BBC4 came to Central Saint Martins to put six recent graduates through their Bauhaus paces

Show One: Matty Mancey

Matty Mancey is a BA Fine Art student whose work explores the body in conflict with itself. Her final project investigates ideas about female labour and borders, utilising horror tropes, DIY special effects and prosthetics to depict a female

BA Fine Art on Instagram

Course overview

The artist studio is an experimental space where cultural conventions can be challenged. Rather than following a medium-based or a general fine art course format, our BA Fine Art course focuses on innovative forms of practice. It will provide you with the skills and knowledge to redefine and interrogate your chosen cultural and artistic fields.

BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins is organised into four pathways: 2D, 3D, 4D and XD. Each encourages you to develop your work in relation to different forms of practice rather than within the limitations of a single medium. The pathway structure itself also embodies an interdisciplinary approach. You will engage in cross-pathway projects, as well as cross-programme events in the College and University.

As a site for constant reinvention, the studio is addressed in a variety of ways. It's framed as a laboratory, performative site, social space and discursive environment. The studio becomes an ambiguous territory which shifts between production, exhibition and interpretation.

On the course, you will work on outward-facing projects and various forms of collaboration. There will be experimental forms of exhibition-making. Research and theory are also key to the course, leading up to a final dissertation. Teaching on the course encompasses theory, writing and practice. This structure mirrors the essential skills of a contemporary, practicing artist – with a need for communication as much as making.

BA Fine Art graduates go on to work as artists, or pursue art-related careers as curators, critics or teachers. Others work in graphics, IT, media, film, fashion and advertising. Our alumni include Ed Atkins, Laure Prouvost and Emily Wardill.

Course units

BA Fine Art integrates studio practice, critical studies and professional development. Students are allocated to a pathway through a diagnostic process at the start of the course, however transfer is possible at a later stage.

Each pathway has a distinct studio culture 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.

The 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 studio, 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. 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 and 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 studio, 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.

Stage 1

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 cross-pathway events.

Stage 2

Unit 5: Studio Practice and Exhibition
Unit 6: Critical Discourses
Unit 7: Studio Practice, Cross-pathway and External Projects

Continuing practice is an essential part of this stage. You will engage in discursive seminars, exhibitions and external projects. These will present you with opportunities to challenge and question your practice. You will also move between collaborative and individual approaches to making work.

Stage 3

Unit 8: Research and Practice
Unit 9: Continuing Practice and Degree Show

In this stage, you will continue to develop your practice, researching for your dissertation. This unit culminates in the Degree Show in the summer term. Cross-pathway interaction is maintained through dissertation group tutorials, critical review and extensive collaboration in the context of the Degree Show.

Critical studies

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 also 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 a 20-week (minimum) placement related to your professional interests and aspirations. The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills. In recent years BA Fine Art students have had placements at Tate Modern, the Royal Festival Hall, Anthony Gormley’s studio and the National Theatre.

Exchange opportunities

Students enrolled on BA Fine Art have the opportunity to spend time studying outside of the UK at a partner institution. Studying overseas allows you to experience a new culture, an alternative perspective on the course’s subject discipline and different learning and teaching methods. The application process for these opportunities is competitive. 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).

Learning and teaching methods

Your primary means of learning will be through studio practice. This is supported by:

  • Briefing materials and meetings
  • Inductions and workshops
  • Teaching events
  • Projects and assignments
  • Off-site work
  • Placement opportunities
  • Exchange opportunities
  • Personal and group tutorials
  • Seminars and debates
  • Critical reviews and presentations
  • Lectures and guest speakers
  • Study and development planning
  • Recommended reading, viewing and visits
  • Independent study
  • Peer and self-critical evaluation
  • Assessment feedback.

Assessment methods

  • Studio work
  • Research and preparatory work
  • Study plans
  • Documentation of work
  • Verbal and visual presentations
  • Written work
  • Participation in debate
  • Peer and self-critical evaluation


Mia  Taylor

Mia Taylor

Acting Course Leader, BA Fine Art

Alex  Schady

Alex Schady

Programme Director, Art Programme

Michael Finch

Professor of Research

Mario  Rossi

Mario Rossi

2D Pathway Leader, BA Fine Art

Elizabeth  Wright

Elizabeth Wright

3D Pathway Leader, BA Fine Art

John  Seth

John Seth

4D Pathway Leader, BA Fine Art

Anne  Eggebert

Anne Eggebert

XD Pathway Leader, BA Fine Art

Joint Leaders

Critical Studies: Jon Cairns
Critical Studies: Dr Kate Love


2D: Joey Bryniarska; Martin Westwood; Alaena Turner
3D: Anthony Davies; Naomi Dines; Vlatka Horvat
Hilary Lloyd; Paul Simon Richards; Hannah Rickards; Erika Tan
XD: Margot Bannerman; Ben Cain; Sarah Cole; Annie Goh; Shep Manyika
Critical Studies: Stuart Elliot, Dr Paul O'Kane

Associate Lecturers

Critical Studies: Dr Owen Parry; Sarah Jones; Helen Robertson; Dan Hays; Mark Waller; Dr Linda Aloysius; Dr Kimathi Donkor

Admissions Tutor and Stage 1 Tutor: Lynn Hewett
Diploma in Professional Studies Pathway Leader: Anne-Marie Creamer

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 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 entry requirements for this course are as follows:

One or a combination of the following accepted full Level 3 qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4) and one A Level at grade C or above
  • Two A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma equivalent to 64 UCAS tariff points (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design, or Design and Technology)
  • Equivalent EU/international qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma

And three GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*–C).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. 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

Or 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

IELTS score of 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

Applicants are selected according to their demonstration of potential and current ability to:

Work imaginatively and creatively in visual media:

  • Engage with experimentation and invention
  • Show imagination and ambition in proposals for your work.

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities:

  • Show personal commitment to skill development
  • Engage with materials and processes.

Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within your work:

  • Demonstrate relevant research
  • Reflect critically on your learning.

Demonstrate cultural awareness and/or contextual framework of your work:

  • Identify historical and contemporary art practices
  • Identify social and/or cultural influences on your work.

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly:

  • Demonstrate appropriate and effective communication skills
  • Present your work appropriately and effectively.

Indicate the relevance of this course to your personal development:

  • Develop your own ideas beyond set project briefs
  • Show willingness to work both collaboratively and independently
  • Reflect your knowledge of this course.

What we are looking for

We are interested in students who are prepared to question and to take a critical perspective and who show potential to develop as innovative artists.

Making your application

You should apply though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 W100

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Further information can be found in ourUAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15January 2020 for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

BA Fine Art is now closed to international applications for entry in September 2020.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Central Saint Martins:

  • Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) online application system
  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

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.

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

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 W100


If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively.  The Admissions Tutor will consider applications for entry to year 2 or 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course.  You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy .

Deferred Entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

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 mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Mini portfolio

The mini portfolio should be no more than 10 images comprising your best work showing your skills and thinking. You can create the pages in any layout (For example: presentation boards) but they should be uploaded as jpeg images. It should include:

  • a range of work – finished works or works in progress
  • how you have engaged with experimentation and how well you may have pushed ambition through proposals and perhaps through making
  • how well you have developed your skills with materials and processes
  • how you may have applied any relevant research to your ideas and making – perhaps through the use of sketch books and study books
  • briefly outline – in one sentence - the ideas and interests behind the works as a title to each page.

Following the review of the mini portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to a full portfolio review.

Full portfolio review – Home / EU applicants

If you have been selected you will be asked to choose a time to attend a full portfolio review at college.  Reviews include an interview and are likely to take place in the weeks beginning 6 January, 17 February and 24 February, 2020.

Full portfolio review – International applicants

International applicants will be invited from January to March, 2020.

If you are unable to attend the full portfolio review in person, you will be asked to submit a FULL digital portfolio (up to 30 pages) through UAL’s online portfolio review system.  We may also interview you by Skype.

Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post.

Portfolio advice

The full portfolio should demonstrate a range of skills appropriate to the subject area, containing examples of work completed within recent years, whether for a college project or personal work. It is important that the work applicants include reflects their engagement in creative practice, critical thinking and technical abilities and also that they include evidence of background research, e.g. sketchbooks, preliminary work and written material.

Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished work and can be shown in 2D work, made objects, photographs or through recorded moving image/live events.

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity
  • Where possible, large or 3D work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

Pathway choices are considered during the admissions process. We therefore advise applicants to describe any specific interest they have in their personal statement, taking into account the descriptions of the programme pathways we offer. These interests or preferences will also inform the selection and presentation of their work.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

BA Fine Art students leave with a broad and valuable understanding of fine art practice. Skills acquired enable graduates to become versatile practitioners in exciting and diverse contexts.

Many BA Fine Art graduates work as artists, or pursue art-related careers as curators, critics or teachers. Others work in graphics, IT, media, film, fashion and advertising.

BA Fine Art graduates often go on to postgraduate study, progressing to a wide range of Masters subjects that include fine art, philosophy, film, communication, landscape architecture, art history, gallery and museum studies, literature and broadcast journalism.

Recent BA Fine Art alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the subject:

  • Alex Ball: Winner of Catlin Art Prize
  • Joshua Alexander & Siobhan Wanklyn: Film screenings, Camden Arts Centre, London
  • Tamarin Norward: MFA Art Writing, Goldsmiths
  • David Stearn: Bloomberg New Contemporaries
  • Rosanna Manfredi: Installation assistant to Anselm Kiefer
  • Richard Milward: Published novel 'Apples'
  • Sonny Sanjay Vadgama: Selected to feature in Exposure 2009 at Parasol Unit, London
  • Jessica Rinland: Film Nulepsy accepted to London Film Festival

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers support page.


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