Three years full-time.
Four and a half to nine years part-time.
112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you. If you’re interested in applying, call our Clearing Hotline to discuss your suitability for study.
- Take advantage of a lively programme of nationally and internationally renowned visiting artists.
- Small study groups and one-to-one tutorials mean you receive dedicated time with our academics.
- Benefit from regular study trips and gallery tours.
- Get practical experience and hone your employability skills with internships and work placements.
Fine Art at Suffolk is established as a diverse and vibrant creative community where students engage actively in critical practice and practical skills with the support and guidance of experts in the field.
The heart of Fine Art Suffolk is in the arts studios, where you develop your practice , underpinned by a rigorous program of contextual, critical and professional studies. You will be challenged to think and make beyond a single medium and to embrace interdisciplinary thinking,.
A course team of diverse backgrounds and specialist knowledge, all internationally exhibiting practitioners, offers intense small group and one-to-one tuition via lectures, seminars , workshops, and studio tutorials. The critique is an integral part of learning at Suffolk and enables our students to become intellectually aware and practically resilient.
You will benefit from a programme of visiting artists and professionals as well as access to a range of study trips and gallery visits, both near and far. Exhibition opportunities, internships and work placements complement studio studies and enable you to contextualise your work in relation to a variety of visual art arenas in the region, nationally and internationally.
From your first year, you are given bright and airy studio space of your own within which to work, alongside extensively equipped workshop facilities ranging from printmaking to wood working, purpose-built installation spaces, life-studio and digital media rooms, all staffed by knowledgeable and helpful technical staff.
As a graduate you will be equipped with a broad artistic skillset and a portfolio of practice that shows confident positioning in the contemporary art world.
From year one, you will acquire and develop a range of technical skills in painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation, lens based media and life drawing, with second and third years focusing on your specialist area and own selected themes.
Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.
In this module you are introduced to a range of materials and processes pertinent to contemporary fine art practice. It is an opportunity for you to experiment and explore a variety of fine art disciplines. This comprises a practice informed by curiosity and imagination and a creative and speculative approach to the manipulation of ideas, materials, methods and processes. The ethos of the module is to embed awareness of creative thinking through doing.
In this module you will incorporate conceptual considerations of projects and place into your practice. You will be guided in project-based activity through thematic briefs. The focus here is the interactive relationship between materials, media and processes; between ideas and issues; and between producer and audience. You will begin to consider contextualization through mode and site of presentation, as well as the reception and documentation of the work.
This module emphasises the fundamental skill of drawing, engaging you in the practice of observing, recording, analysing, speculating, developing, visualising, evaluating and communicating. The purpose of the module is to develop understanding and skills in drawing, both as a tool for further development of work, and as a practice in its own right.
This module enables you to contextualise themes of contemporary art practice with reference to relevant art historical and theoretical reference points. The module introduces a range of visual and textual material towards developing your capacity to examine and interrogate your own artwork as well as the works of other artists.
In this module you continue to develop your individual studio practice building on the knowledge and experience gained at Level 4. You will stretch your imaginative skills with experimentation and broaden your awareness of practical developments in contemporary fine art. The relationship between practical and conceptual understanding is explored throughout, in the studio, critiques and exhibition of final work.
This module complements Studio Practice and Extended Practice. It allows you to develop your understanding, experience and reflection on your own practice in relation to others. This situated position is key to deeper understanding of the development of your practice, and importantly, your position in the wider community. It encourages you to begin to position your work in relation to professional contexts.
This module builds on the foundations set in Research and Context. It concentrates on developing a more complex understanding of specific ideas and themes pertinent to contemporary fine art practice. Key relevant theoretical texts from art as well as subjects such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, critical, cultural and film studies, are employed in relation to examples of contemporary art practice.
This module acts as a transition to facilitate your progression from guided learning to your assumption of a more autonomous role and ownership of your own practice. You will continue to develop your individual studio practice building on the knowledge and experience gained from the previous semester, and to apply an understanding of the relationship between the artist, the artwork and the viewer. In this module you will begin to articulate the parameters of your Dissertation as a holistic engagement with your practice. – EITHER this module, or Extended Practice for 20 credits along with Avant-Garde and Experimental Film, must be taken.
This module acts as a transition to facilitate your progression from guided learning to your assumption of a more autonomous role and ownership of your own practice. You will continue to develop your individual studio practice building on the knowledge and experience gained from the previous semester, and to apply an understanding of the relationship between the artist, the artwork and the viewer. In this module you will begin to articulate the parameters of your Dissertation as a holistic engagement with your practice. – EITHER this module must be taken along with Avant-Garde and Experimental Film or Extended Practice for 40 credits must be taken on its own.
Combining thinking, making and reflecting directly, this module takes a playful and experimental approach towards stimulating your imagination and creativity. In it, you will explore alternatives to mainstream cinema which have attracted the label avant-garde, experimental, underground or alternative. It aims towards expanding your theoretical, critical, practical and creative horizons by engaging with a range of work and filmmaking modes. You will write a short case study on the production context and salient style and techniques of a particular movement, practitioner or film, and make and reflect on your own individual experimental short film, taking your case study findings as a point of departure. - EITHER this module must be taken along with Extended Practice for 20 credits or Extended Practice for 40 credits is taken on its own.
This module draws on and extends knowledge and skills gained from all previous Level 4 and 5 modules. It is the culmination of all learning through installation and exhibition of a coherent body of work. Degree Project provides opportunity to interrogate the relationship between artist, artwork and viewer through presentation of a Final Exhibition. It is the nucleus of your research and practice in Level 6 reflecting practical dexterity, theoretical underpinning and professional values. In this module you progress to an autonomous ownership of your own learning and practice.
This module allows you to extend your knowledge developed in Research and Context and Critical Perspectives together with the synthesis of theory and practice established in Extended Practice. A dialogue is expected to take place between the research and content in this module and that of Degree Project. The module addresses specific discursive and research methodologies appropriate to your individual work, extending your capacity to construct and present a focused and sustained academic discussion.
This module builds on the Level 5 module Professional Engagement. You will be supported, guided and supervised in posting a continuous blog or relevant social media in order to promote your practice. This is alongside the production of either a business plan or relevant funding application in order to prepare you for a sustainable practice in either a self-employed or employed capacity.
Graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers as freelance artists, exhibition organisers, gallery managers, curators, teachers and lecturers, art therapists, arts administrators as well as postgraduate courses.
What our students say
"Working on the degree project was incredibly rewarding. The facilities, advice and encouragement available from the university and tutors of the course has been amazing and in abundance when most needed. The scope for development is endless in a great environment where you can reap the rewards for what you put in." Hannah Maynard, Final Year Student Fine Art.
“This module allowed me to develop an understanding of what it means to be a professional artist. I’ve learnt about the importance of communication and taking complete responsibility for how things progress. My steepest learning curve was working collaboratively. I chose to work on several projects ranging from contributing to a large team to working with just one other person. This module provides brilliant opportunities to not only develop your personal and creative strengths, but also to take risks and venture into new territory." Gill Lock-Bowen, Second Year Student
"The course from day one has helped me to develop my technical painting skills, through workshops and talks with visiting artists.
The well-lit studios are where each student is allocated a dedicated space to work in independently alongside peers for all three years of the degree, which has a supremacy in comparison to the amount of space allocated at other institutions."
Emily Gillbanks, Third Year Student
Read Emily's full profile
“The tutors encourage and support students to think outside the box, cultivating the development of each individual’s practice with revolutionary and daring ideas … we were always encouraged to push the boundaries of mediums and get stuck into our idea - no matter how weird, wonderful, or messy!
The diverse course structure delivers professional instruction on everything from traditional painting technique, curation, critical thinking, and contemporary theory, to exhibition installation, professional development, documentation of work, and promoting yourself as an artist.
Since graduating I have been able to further develop these skills in a professional capacity, building on the confidence I gained while studying at The University of Suffolk.”
Fine Art Alumna Felicity Beaumont
“I graduated with an increasing amount of confidence regarding my creative practice and determination to pursue an art career as a businesswoman.
Since completion of the course I have taken part in a multitude of opportunities involving collaborations, being published and hosting my first ever solo exhibition. Without the generous facilities, amazing faculty support, various creative opportunities and intense-but incredibly necessary class critiques, I would not be in the position I am in now.
Fine Art Alumna Bobby Forsythe
“The tutors and technicians are knowledgeable and helpful beyond my expectations. Through their guidance and encouragement my practice has developed, not only in its context, but with the skills and confidence to approach projects, and exhibitions as a professional creative”
3rd year Fine Art student Fred Lankester
"The Fine-Art course has really helped me develop in my individual art practice. The amazing facilities and approachable lecturers have helped guide me through the progress of my art career, whilst still allowing me to have an individual style and way of working, as well as encouraging us students to learn from one another as we go along."
2nd year Fine Art student Kieran Wilson
“The course has introduced me to new ways I can approach my ideas that will help me build myself as an artist. The staff support our work and development which makes studying more fulfilling”
1st year Fine Art student Patrisiya Banova
Fees and finance
- Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
- Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
- International tuition fee: £13,330 p.a.
At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for.
112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.
If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.
Any offer of a place will be subject to:
- a successful interview
- show a portfolio
When you apply to a course in a subject like fine art, a portfolio is a very important part of your application.
A portfolio is a collection of your work, or a 'visual diary', showing how your skills and ideas have developed over time. It demonstrates your creativity, personality, abilities and commitment, and helps us to evaluate your potential.
Your portfolio helps us to assess your suitability for your chosen course. It shows your ability to work with different materials and themes and to select your most successful pieces.
It demonstrates your technical and visualisation skills, including drawing and photography. It shows evidence of your practice, for example, essays, journals and blogs, and how you use research, theory and process to develop your ideas. This demonstrates your engagement with contemporary fine art in the larger context.
Below is a list of what we’d recommend you include in your portfolio:
- Examples of your research, development of your ideas and finished pieces
- Your most recent work, even if it's not finished
- Your own independent work, for example, work completed at summer school or on a short course, photography and your own experimentation
- Your sketchbooks – they're a really good way to show us your research and development of ideas. They should include primary and secondary research, rough ideas and notes, descriptions and annotations. They should demonstrate a variety of media and experimentation
- A portfolio can be any size, depending on the work it contains, but make sure it's practical to carry around
- There's no limit to the amount of work it can contain, but be practical and select only your best work – usually a selection of different projects and 2-3 full sketchbooks is a manageable amount
- Large pieces of work, for example, 3D objects or large paintings, can be photographed and presented in your portfolio. You can bring 1-2 physical examples with you if you’re invited to an interview, but only if they're small, light or difficult to photograph
- Keep it simple, uncluttered and relevant – mount work on to the same size sheets of white cartridge paper
- Give your work space to breathe, for example, if you have 10 similar prints then choose only the best 2 or 3 for your portfolio
- Position your work logically and try to present your work so that everything’s facing the same way up
- Start and end your portfolio with your strongest pieces of work
- Make sure that your portfolio shows variety
- Show work that you're able to talk about.
If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.
Facilities and Resources
Our teaching takes place primarily in the Arts Building. Students have hands-on practical workshops in our purpose-built facilities such as woodwork, 3D and metal rooms as well as our well-equipped print room. They have access to digital facilities including 3D printing, Virtual Reality technology, laser-cutting, and large format full colour printing.
All students have dedicated space in light and airy studios. Lectures and seminars take place in the Atrium and Waterfront Buildings, along with study skills workshops in the library. Outside direct teaching time, students have access to workshops during open access workshop times as well as evening working times in the studios and library. Library opening times can be found on the Learning Services website.