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BA (Hons) Fine Art

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

University of Suffolk on Ipswich Waterfront
UCAS code: 
W100
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Ipswich

Duration: 

Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.

 
  • 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

Studio practice lies at the heart of our Fine Art course. From day one, you will have access to our range of studios, well-equipped workshops including print room, wood and metal workshops, purpose-built installation spaces, life-studio and IT rooms with digital printers.

Our Fine Art course will teach you about being a professional artist through engaging in collaborative work with outside agencies as well as participation in group exhibitions to build your portfolio of work.

Study trips, gallery tours, 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.


We regularly arrange international study visits including trips to the Venice Biennale and student residencies at Cyprus College of Art, and Vilnius Academy in Lithuania. University of Suffolk is also part of the Erasmus exchange programme with partner institutions in Europe.  

To gain further experience and knowledge, we develop additional internships for students to collaborate with a range of regional arts organisations, artists' groups and non-arts industries.
 

Email: fineart@uos.ac.uk

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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.

Introduction to Practice 1 (Requisite)

This module introduces students to a range of practical disciplines available on the course: printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation and lens-based media. This module focuses on the development of each student’s practical skills through one-to-one and group sessions in workshops with tutors and technicians.  

Introduction to Practice 2 (Requisite)

In the second semester, students still build on their practical knowledge and skills, but more emphasis is placed on individual research and ideas. They may continue to develop their practice through a range of media, or opt to focus on two disciplines from sculpture, installation, painting, printmaking, lens-based media and drawing. 

Drawing (Requisite)

The drawing module underpins students’ learning throughout their first year of study. Regular life-drawing classes focus on a range of drawing approaches to subject and materials. Alternative concepts of drawing and largescale works are explored through site-specific and off-site drawing projects. 

Contextual Studies 1 (Requisite)

The drawing module underpins students’ learning throughout their first year of study. Regular life-drawing classes focus on a range of drawing approaches to subject and materials. Alternative concepts of drawing and largescale works are explored through site-specific and off-site drawing projects. 

Studio Practice 1 (Requisite)

Students select a discipline or range of disciplines and research a theme of their choice. This leads to a body of studio-based work which strengthens their understanding of individual practice as well as their own context in relationship to contemporary practice.

Professional Practice 1 (Requisite)

This module offers students the opportunity to formulate and undertake a major project with individuals or agencies outside the university context. The project may take the form of a collaboration, commission, exchange, residency, placement or exhibition. Students have developed and realised projects with a range of organisations including Dance East, the Salthouse Hotel and Addenbrookes Hospital. 

Contextual Studies 2 (Requisite)

This theoretical module develops students’ understanding of contemporary art production in critical and theoretical contexts. Significant themes in international art practice are examined including postmodernism, sublime and appropriation. There is a major focus on developing students’ skills in critically analysing art works and ideas, whilst building practical experience of academic research, discourse and writing.

Degree Project (Requisite)

In this module students formulate and undertake a major practice-based project which encourages them to explore relevant themes and issues in a specific, or range of, Fine Art disciplines. Students continue to develop ideas and techniques in discussion with the Fine Art team. Students extend their awareness of curatorial practice. They are encouraged to visit major contemporary galleries and museums in order to inform their work. The module is assessed through a major body of work culminating in the Degree Show exhibition.  
 

Dissertation and Critical Review (Mandatory)

In this theory module students extend their knowledge of contemporary ideas and theories that they developed in their first two years of study. Each student devises an agreed programme of research with their supervisor in order to broaden their understanding of contemporary art practice and theory in relation to artists, artworks and ideas that are relevant to their own practice.

Professional Practice 2 (Requisite)

This module identifies approaches to documenting students’ practice in order for students to gain experience in presenting their work in an appropriate professional context. Fine Art tutors and industry-specialists lead seminars on online portfolios, catalogues, social media and business opportunities in order for students to gain knowledge that allows them to project their practice beyond university into the wider professional world.

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

2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

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 Architecture & Interior Architecture and Design

Lecturer in printmaking

Lecturer in Architecture

Dean of School

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

Lecturer in Arts - Dissertation Lead

Course Leader for Fine Art

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