You are here

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Open days

Meet your lecturers, find out more about the course and view academic and social facilities at an open day.

UCS Buildings - Nov 2013 (35)
UCAS code: 
W100
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Ipswich

Duration: 

Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

If applying in Clearing 2019 please call us on 01473 338352.

 
  • 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.
     

Introduction

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. 

Email: fineart@uos.ac.uk

Course modules

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.

Materials and Processes (Mandatory)

In this module the student is introduced to a range of materials and processes pertinent to contemporary fine art practice. Students focus on developing their skills in creative techniques and methods.  They will begin to reflect on the multi-faceted nature of current fine art practice through guided practical application in; printmaking, painting, lens-based and digital media, sculpture and installation. The ethos of the module is to embed awareness of creative thinking through doing and to develop an understanding of the interrelated nature of contemporary art practice. Students are introduced to a range of contextual sources through library and online research, thereby initiating their knowledge and awareness of practical and thematic references within fine art practice.

Concepts and Sites (Mandatory)

In this module students incorporate conceptual considerations of projects and place into their practice. Students advance their competence in creative skills and processes pertinent to contemporary fine art practice.  They are guided through project-based activity through thematic briefs. This activates an initial recognition of the interactive relationship between materials, media and processes; between ideas and issues; and between producer and audience. Students begin to consider contextualization through mode and site of presentation, as well as the reception and documentation of the work. Students consolidate contextual sources through the addition of field trips; museums, galleries and artists’ studios.  This enables the integration of primary research into students’ practical activity.

Drawing: Representing and Recording (Mandatory)

This module emphasises the fundamental skill of drawing, engaging the student in the practice of observing, recording, analysing, speculating, developing, visualising, evaluating and communicating. Students pursue expanded and experimental approaches in challenging basic assumptions as image makers. 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. Understanding and analysis of both traditional and contemporary approaches to drawing are encouraged through practical studio sessions, as well  as research of primary and secondary sources.

Research and Context (Mandatory)

This module enables students to contextualise themes of contemporary art practice with reference to relevant art historical and theoretical reference points. The scheme of work is thematic, rather than chronological. The module introduces a range of visual and textual material to students for academic analysis. It enables students to develop their capacity to examine and interrogate primary source material (art works in museums, galleries and collections) as well as paper and online publications (library and online archive resources).

Studio Practice (Mandatory)

This module gives the student the opportunity to develop individual studio practice building on the knowledge and experience gained at Level 4.  It is an explorative module encouraging students to experiment with a range of processes; creative digital and analogue, two and three dimensional, in their chosen fine art discipline or disciplines.  In this module students stretch their imaginative skills with experimentation and broaden their awareness of practical developments in contemporary fine art. Students continue to develop and apply an understanding of the relationship between the artist, the artwork and the viewer. The relationship between practical and conceptual understanding is explored throughout the course of this module in the studio, critiques and exhibition of final work.

Professional Engagement (Mandatory)

This module complements Studio Practice and Extended Practice. It develops the student’s understanding, experience and reflection on their own practice in relation to others. This situated position is key to deeper understanding of the development of each student’s practice, and importantly, their position in the wider community.  It encourages students to begin to position their work in relation to professional contexts.

Critical Perspectives (Mandatory)

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.

Extended Practice (40 credits) (Optional)

This module continues the student’s development of their individual studio practice building on the knowledge and experience gained from the previous semester.  It is an opportunity for students to extend and focus their experiments and explorations in their chosen fine art discipline or disciplines. These include a practice informed by curiosity and imagination and a creative and speculative approach to the manipulation of ideas, materials, methods and processes. Students undertake activity of creative reasoning that is dependent upon flexibility of ideas and methodologies contextualized within current critical debates. This module advances aspects of decision making in relation to ethical considerations. Students begin to articulate the parameters of their Dissertation as a holistic engagement with their practice. This module acts as a transition to facilitate student progression from guided learning to students’ assumption of a more autonomous role and ownership of their own practice. – EITHER this module or Extended Practice for 20 credits along with Avant-Garde and Experimental Film must be taken.

Extended Practice (20 credits) (Optional)

This module continues the student’s development of their individual studio practice building on the knowledge and experience gained from the previous semester.  It is an opportunity for students to extend and focus their experiments and explorations in their chosen fine art discipline or disciplines. These include a practice informed by curiosity and imagination and a creative and speculative approach to the manipulation of ideas, materials, methods and processes. Students undertake activity of creative reasoning that is dependent upon flexibility of ideas and methodologies contextualized within current critical debates. This module advances aspects of decision making in relation to ethical considerations.  Students begin to articulate the parameters of their Dissertation as a holistic engagement with their practice. This module acts as a transition to facilitate student progression from guided learning to students’ assumption of a more autonomous role and ownership of their own practice. – EITHER this module must be taken along with Avant-Garde and Experimental Film or Extended Practice for 40 credits is taken on its own.

Avant-Garde and Experimental Film (Optional)

This module enables students to explore alternatives to mainstream cinema which have attracted the label avant-garde, experimental, underground or alternative. Building on work done in previous critical and practical modules and also complementing the concurrent Level 5 ones, the module aims to expand students’ theoretical, critical, practical and creative horizons by engaging them with a range of work and filmmaking modes which may be unfamiliar. The module will examine examples from the many movements and trends from the 1910s to the contemporary scene and there may be opportunities to consider the migration of experimental techniques into commercial forms such as advertising, music video, children’s television or interactive television. Students 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 their own individual experimental short film, taking their case study findings as a point of departure. Combining thinking, making and reflecting directly, it is hoped that the module will be open-ended, playful and experimental, stimulating students’ imagination and creativity and suggesting possible ideas for Level 6 dissertations and/or digital film projects. - EITHER this module must be taken along Extended Practice for 20 credits or Extended Practice for 40 credits is taken on its own.

Degree Project (Mandatory)

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 the final exhibition. It is the nucleus of the student’s research and practice in Level 6 reflecting practical dexterity, theoretical underpinning and professional values. In this module students’ progress to an autonomous ownership of their own learning and practice.

Research and Dissertation (Mandatory)

This module allows students to extend their 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 individual student work, extending their capacity to construct and present a focused and sustained academic discussion.

Professional Practice 2 (Mandatory)

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 in addition to 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.

Career opportunities

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

Fees and finance

2019-20

  • 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.

Further Information                                                       

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • 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. See Course Costs.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

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.

Also see How to Apply.

Non-Academic Requirements

Any offer of a place will be subject to:

  • a successful interview
  • show a portfolio 
International Requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

Also see International and EU.

Portfolio Guidance

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

Suggested recommendations:

  • 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.
Transferring Credit

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.

Staff

Course Leader for Fine Art

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

Lecturer in Printmaking

Lecturer in Arts – Dissertation Lead

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