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BA (Hons) Visual Art

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Institution code: 
East Coast College (Lowestoft)


Three years full time 

Typical Offer: 



The BA (Hons) Visual Art offers you the chance to live and study in Britain’s most Easterly town, Lowestoft. You will work alongside experienced professional artists, in dedicated studios, with access to well-equipped workshops. Over the three years, you will be encouraged to develop your artistic identity, to establish your area of interest & expertise and to challenge yourself to explore new creative areas.

Students will benefit from being taught in small groups, along with weekly individual tutorial support and access to shared facilities and library on Ipswich Campus.

Course modules

It is our aim to provide students with a range of learning environments and styles of teaching and learning which will suit the varied subject matter within the different modules, and support the needs of students at all levels of the programme. Teaching and learning will take place in the context of lectures, seminars, workshop activities, off campus trips and work placements, if applicable to your course, each supported by a comprehensive programme of tutorial support.

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 & Processes

In this module you will be introduced to a range of artistic materials and processes. This will be an opportunity for you to explore the qualities of materials and to investigate their potential in creating work. You will be encouraged to be inventive, to think ‘visually’ and to adopt an inquisitive and experimental approach to making. Activities will develop creativity, innovation & problem-solving. You will be introduced to the workshop areas and develop a broad range of practical skills including printmaking, sculpture/3D, photography, drawing, and digital arts.

Contextual Studies

In this module you will engage in an exploration into the materials and processes of historical and contemporary visual art. This module is linked to the Materials & Processes module enabling you to make connections between your practical investigation and the work of other artists. You will gain a wider perspective and understanding of how diverse cultures have, at various times, produced works of art.

Introduction to Studio Practice

This module builds on the ideas introduced in Materials and Processes. You will be introduced to the studio as a site of exploration into processes, ideas, and concepts. You will be encouraged to develop your understanding of specific interests and methods as you begin to establish an individual approach to making. The work you create forms the creative content for the following module (Engaging with an Audience) and the Year One Summer Exhibition.

Engaging with an Audience

You will explore different strategies and methodologies for identifying, capturing, and engaging audiences through contemporary art. You will explore how creative work is presented for public dissemination in both virtual and ‘real’ public spaces through exhibition, publication & installation. Informed by this research you will work collaboratively to conceive, create, and mount an end-of-year exhibition for a defined audience.

Intermediate Studio Practice

In this module you will be encouraged to broaden your individual studio practice through critical reflection, experimentation and thoughtful application of process, materials, and advanced technical skills.

Professional Practice

This module helps you define your personal career ambitions and devise strategies for meeting them. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your engagement with professional practice through a variety of diverse ways, depending on your professional aims. These include work-experience, competitions, volunteering, and other opportunities available in the creative industry. You will create a Professional Practice Portfolio to record your investigation.

Research & Critical Perspectives

This module extends your contextual awareness, building on prior learning from‘contextual studies’ in year one. It establishes an awareness of a range of cultural and theoretical positions through which artwork can be analysed. This module helps you get beneath the skin of your own practice, considering it from multiple perspectives and building a rigorous understanding of how it is theoretically and culturally positioned. You will engage with critical thinking, debate, and research based activities.

Extended Studio Practice

Extended practice offers you an opportunity to further explore, interpret and make connections between processes, materials, and contexts. You will further locate your studio practice within a defined field of contemporary art practice and debate in response to critical theory. Individual learning will be supported through group critiques and weekly tutorials.

Advanced Studio Practice

This module builds upon work produced for ‘Intermediate studio practice’ Here you choose to take elements, themes, or approaches explored at this stage forward, developing your own independent approach to create a major body of work. You will also continue to explore the critical context surrounding their work and take the lead discussing your practice in tutorials and seminars.

Preparation for Research Project

In this module you will take a more active role in choosing the direction your work takes. You will consider, research, and develop a written proposal for the ‘Major Research Project’ module. Learning activities will include seminars, group discussions, 1-2-1 tutorials, and independent research.


This module allows you to extend knowledge developed in previous modules. Reflecting on theory and own practice you will conduct focussed & self-directed research to create academic discussion around themes or concepts central to your work. This leads to the production of an extended piece of writing (Dissertation) and presentation. A dialogue takes place in this module between prior learning and intentions for the ‘Major Research Project’ module, your academic investigations in this module theoretically underpin the practical work proposed for ‘Major Research Project.’

Major Research Project

This module draws on and extends knowledge and skills gained from all earlier modules. It is the culmination of 3 years of exploration and provides the opportunity for you to create and present a body of work which sets out your position for further professional engagement, post-degree. The module culminates with a final exhibition in which your work is presented. On completion you will progress to independent ownership of your own learning and practice.

Career opportunities

The degree opens a range of potential career paths in the creative industries, which could include artist, illustrator, printmaker, educator, designer, gallerist and curator.

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)

Further Information                                                       

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. 

* 2023-24 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.

Entry requirements