Three years full-time.
Four and a half to nine years part-time.
2023-24 entry; 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC), Merit (T Level).
- 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 practise 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 skill set and a portfolio of practise 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
"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
- UK full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a
- UK part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information)
- International full-time tuition fee: £14,598 p.a (inclusive of lab-based fee)
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 you course that you will need to budget for.
* 2023-24 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.
2023-24 entry; 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC), Merit (T Level).
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.
Any offer of a place will be subject to:
- a successful interview
- show a portfolio
Your portfolio and interview are essential elements of your application to BA (Hons) Fine Art to the University of Suffolk.
Here are some tips from the lecturers who may interview you and look at your portfolio.
What should I put in my portfolio?
There are three main areas that we will look for in your portfolio:
- Completed examples of work. Your work should demonstrate the skills, techniques and approaches you use. We are open to looking at a range of media; you might include examples of drawing, painting, mixed media, digital media, photography, sculpture and/or installation. The quality of your documentation imagery is important as you want to show your work in the best light possible. You may include recent works in progress as well.
- Sketchbooks are an important part of your portfolio – they show your ideas and development of processes. We are looking to understand how you work, what is your thinking process (mind-maps are good to see), when you are making, what do you do 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. This is known as your methodology.
- Contextualisation – show us notes and examples of artists that inspire you. These could be exhibitions you’ve visited, artists you’ve looked at in books, magazines and online. We’re particularly interested in learning about what contemporary art interests you.
How much work should I include?
- Be selective – don’t show us everything you’ve ever made. We’re interested in seeing your most recent work.
- Remember we will initially look at your portfolio without you, so the selection, order and presentation of work is important.
Should I just include my course work from school or college?
- We like to see some of your independent work and thinking as well as past course work if you are applying from school or college.
- Make your work stand out – remember we look at a large number of portfolios, so make sure we remember your work for the right reasons! Don’t be wacky for the sake of it.
- Be innovative, imaginative, creative and enthusiastic.
I have been working independently and so don’t have work from more formal training – is this a problem?
- No, our students come to us with a range of life experiences and we want to know about how you respond to the world creatively. So, again, include a selection of art work that you have developed independently.
How should I present my work?
- Presentation is important, and we like to see that you respect your own work – so take time to include effective documentation (well-lit and in focus) along with clear notation and labelling (dimensions of the work and date it was made).
- Do spend time putting your portfolio together. It doesn’t need to be high tech or made with using sophisticated software – it’s the work, not the technology that we’re looking at.
- Remember to clearly name your portfolio document.
I’m nervous about the interview, will you be interrogating me about my work?
- The interview is not overly formal and we see it as a way to find out more about you, your approach and your work, as well as for you to ask us about the course and our approach.
- Above all show enthusiasm and self-motivation for your subject.
- We will ask you to talk about selected examples of your work, what artists and exhibitions influence, and your aspirations.
Remember portfolios come in all shapes and sizes, the above points are an indication of what you might include.
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.