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BA (Hons) Fine Art

College
CHELSEA
Start date
September 2020
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W104

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.

Student work

Carmen Vinuela Martin and Maria Luisa Gonzalez Ramirez.

Omer Even-Paz.

BA Fine Art Stories

Chelsea at the Venice Biennale 2017

Taking place every two years, the Venice Biennale is one of the highlights of the international art world calendar. This year’s exhibition, entitled VIVA ARTE VIVA and curated by Christine Macel, opened […]

Course overview

‘Thinking through making and making things happen’ is the ethos around which BA Fine Art at Chelsea is structured. This studio-based 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

  • A broad-based fine art course that brings together a wide range of specialised areas including film, video, digital media, sound, print, performance, painting, sculpture and drawing
  • To be encouraged to take risks, experiment and test your ideas through new ways of working
  • A programme of tutorials, seminars, lectures, workshops, exhibitions and live projects that will support you in developing your practice and gain an awareness of the discourses particular to it
  • To be part of a community of artists that will explore ideas through making work
  • To have significant control over what you learn, the pace at which you learn and how you might demonstrate what you have learnt
  • To be encouraged to explore how art can lead an interrogation of the role of class, race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, language or belief in the construction of society now and in the future. The course encourages students to take an ethical, inclusive and sustainable approach to working and exhibiting
  • An approach to theory that treats it as practice, bringing together intellectual frameworks from multiple approaches, perspectives and methodologies to help you understand and explore the context within which you are working
  • Inductions to the facilities in the college’s studios and workshops with specialist technicians are on hand to offer support
  • To have access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, audio-visual editing suite, metal and woodwork. View the Chelsea facilities

Work experience and opportunities

Opportunities to work with external partners have included projects and commissions with The Discovery Channel, Frontier Economics and Hitachi Consulting.

Students can also study abroad in the second year of their degree as part of the college's Erasmus scheme.

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

A short description of each unit and what you can expect.

Year 1

Unit 1 - Introduction to Fine Art

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

Unit 2 - Studio practice

The aim of this unit is to help you begin to define your own practice.

  • Lectures, seminars, studio crits, gallery visits will expand your subject knowledge
  • To further develop your own critical and theoretical ideas
  • To establish a self-directed, independent and exploratory practice
  • To produce a body of studio work
  • To present your work to your peers in an open studio setting
  • To document your practice and research in your online journal

Unit 3 - Thinking through making and making things happen

The focus of this unit is an off-site group show. Working in student groups you will locate a space in London or beyond to test your work in an external environment.

  • To produce a body of studio work
  • Tutorials, crits and project sessions to enable discussion of both your own work and that of your peers
  • To document the research of your studio work and the off-site project using your online journal
  • Written work

Unit 4 - Positions 1

This unit is about exploring your position in relation to other artists.

  • To consider how contemporary art relates to wider social and ethical considerations
  • To do a presentation about how different ways of working as an artist engage with broader questions of research, production, site and presentation
  • To learn valuable professional development skills by helping third year students put on their degree show
  • To do a presentation as part of a group crit of the degree show concentrating on the work of one artist
  • To document knowledge and skills exchanged in your online reflective journal

Year 2

Unit 5 - Positions 2

  • To form collaborative groups loosely organised around research and practice interests
  • To develop a presentation as a collective. This can take the form of a talk, event, exhibition or any other appropriate format

Unit 6 - Collaborative and collective practices

This unit aims to introduce you to different ways in which collaborative working can focus and enhance your own creative strengths. This unit has 3 core purposes: 

  • To engage with fellow students with different practices and interests in a collaborative project towards a shared goal
  • To engage with external audiences, participants or institutions to consider new contexts for your work
  • To develop your creative attributes to enable you to take on future challenges in a variety of contexts

Unit 7 - Activation

This unit is about furthering your own practice.

  • To explore ideas relating to your practice and submit an aspect of this as a written publication. You will present it as a publication to BA Fine Art students
  • To work towards an exhibition which will help prepare you for your third year

Unit 8 - Positions 3

To produce a poster which captures and shares your thinking. The poster may be almost entirely visual, textual, or a mixture of the 2. It will help establish the kind of studio space and tutorial support you might require as you head into your third year.

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. There are 4 elements to this unit:

First Week Show - you will present work for discussion thinking about the relationships between content and form, material, medium, context, discourse and meaning.

Thought and Action - presentation of work that will be discussed in feedback tutorials and group critiques. This will inform your practice plan. Your practice plan is an online report that will outline new directions for the development of your work. It will assist your preparation of your essay and presentation of enquiry.

Essay - through writing you will explore and reflect on your references and the concerns underlying your practice.

Presentation of Enquiry - you will present and talk about your work to your peers.

Unit 10 - Making public

To write a report about your practice and your position in relation to site and audience.

  • To present work in the college degree show
  • To produce a publication documenting your practice

Optional Diploma between year 2 and 3

Between year 2 and 3 you can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the Diploma in Creative Computing.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Exhibitions (on and off campus)
  • External and internal negotiated events
  • Gallery visits
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Group crits
  • Independent study
  • Interim and mid-year reviews
  • Lectures and seminars
  • One to one tutorial support on the dissertation
  • Online learning
  • Student presentations
  • Workshops (artist-led)        

Assessment methods

  • Assessment tutorial
  • Blog
  • Degree show
  • Essay
  • Poster
  • Presentation
  • Research portfolio
  • Reflective journal
  • Self-evaluation
  • Studio work

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:

  • 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

Making your application

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should show the following:

  • A range of recent work, which might include drawings, paintings, sculpture or photographs
  • Clear documentation of work that’s too large
  • A concise portfolio that shows a selective approach
  • Self-initiated as well as project or course work
  • Evidence of research, interests and inspirations through sketchbooks, notebooks and development work
  • Animation, film and video work should be presented as printed screen shots

Please remember:

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

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

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W104

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January for equal consideration.

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

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3:

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (year 1 and 2) in the equivalent units or modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, 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 our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry application:

This course will consider deferred entry applications.

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.

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to or asked to book onto a suitable date to attend an interview selection event.

Interview selection event

You will be expected to bring your portfolio, which will be reviewed by the academics conducting the event.

Please be prepared to talk about your work, what inspires you and your influences. We may not discuss all of these topics at the event.

The event will also give you a chance to meet current students, take a tour of the college and see the facilities.

More details about your interview selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen or been allocated your date.

Selection for Home/EU applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • In person at Chelsea College of Arts
  • By phone or Skype

If you choose phone or Skype, you will be sent an email requesting that you upload a digital portfolio using UAL’s online portfolio review system.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

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

There are 3 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Chelsea College of Arts:

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

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W104

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 15 January for equal consideration.

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

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3:

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (year 1 and 2) in the equivalent units or modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, 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 our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry application:

This course will consider deferred entry applications.

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.

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

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to or asked to book onto a suitable date to attend an interview selection event.

Interview selection event

You will be expected to bring your portfolio, which will be reviewed by the academics conducting the event.

Please be prepared to talk about your work, what inspires you and your influences. We may not discuss all of these topics at the event.

More details about your interview selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen or been allocated your date.

Selection for international applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • By phone or Skype
  • In your country, if your application was made through one of our official representatives
  • In person at our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts

If you choose phone or Skype, you will be sent an email requesting that you upload a digital portfolio using UAL’s online portfolio review system.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

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

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 & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

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.

Accommodation

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

Scholarships and awards

Use our search tool to find out more about the scholarships and awards available to students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

Alumni

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

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