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Fine Art

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

  • UCAS codes: Institution B20, Course W101 or W102 (with professional placement year)
  • Fine Art handbook

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Fine Art
School
Bath School of Art and Design
Campus or location
Sion Hill
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W101 or W102
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A level grades BCC with a grade B in Art & Design or related subjects preferred.

View typical offers for more information.

A studio-centred course encouraging independent enquiry, and delivered by practising artists.

  • Outstanding programme of visiting speakers, including internationally acclaimed artists and curators.
  • Exceptional academic and technical support in painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, film, sound, performance and photography.
  • Exciting collaborative opportunities with external partners such as Tate Exchange, Porthleven Prize and Gane Trust Travel Award.

This studio-centred course offers you the opportunity to explore the disciplines of painting, sculpture, performance, installation, printmaking, and lens-based and digital media.

The Fine Art course is characterised by a profound synergy between academic and technical teaching and learning. You'll work towards an independent, critical and reflective practice, supported through tutorials, workshops, lectures, study trips and, in the first year, weekly contact with your personal tutor.

Our lecturers are engaged in their own practice as artists, bringing a contagious energy to the dialogue and exchange with students. In this community, students, tutors and dedicated technicians work together to understand and develop what contemporary art can or should be today. You’ll develop the skills you need for a successful career - as an artist or in a related profession.

“The inspirational opportunities I was exposed to were way beyond my expectations. The teaching staff enabled me to develop as a practising artist, giving me confidence to explore contemporary art in a playful, exciting and experimental way.”

Jenny Cooper, graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

The course is aimed at the development of studio practice in painting, drawing, sculpture, film, photography, performance and sound. The structure of the course leaves room for not knowing, experimentation, discovery, risk and innovation.

This course promotes curiosity, risk and innovation. It aims to develop your skills of analysis, self-criticism, reflection and communication - both verbally and visually - as well as the practical skills you need.

It is critical that you understand current and historical debates in art, and through a programme of Contextual Studies we encourage you to consider how theory and contextual knowledge is embedded in practice.

Delivered by specialists in the field, the Professional Practice module aims to equip you with the skills you need to build a successful future. Taught sessions support you to photograph work, build blogs/websites, write artist statements, fundraise, network, manage projects and curate exhibitions.

Course structure

Year 1
Experimentation with materials, techniques and processes are foregrounded. You'll establish a way of working that is playful and analytical. Through this process you'll begin to recognise the themes that are emerging in your work. The year is filled with a range of inductions and workshops to support your practice.

Year 2
This is a pivotal period of development in which we will support you to progress your ideas, conceptual strategies and processes. Experimentation remains key, alongside a greater emphasis on individual research, reflection and analysis. We will encourage you to develop a more focused awareness of the debates that surround your practice and continually test its boundaries and possibilities. Off-site exhibitions, projects and other initiatives support you to consider your work beyond the studio.

Year 3
You'll build on and extend the ideas you explored in the previous year. As a final year student, greater emphasis is placed not only on a body of resolved, considered and well executed work, but also on work that is ambitious and takes risks. At the end of the year, you'll present work in a degree show that is open to the public.

How will I be assessed?

The course is made up of summative and formative assessments. Formative assessment takes place with the work in the studio and is ongoing throughout the duration of the course. Feedback is given verbally and through written reports from a personal tutor. Summative assessments take place at the end of modules. Assessments take the form of a presented body of work, an exhibition, reflective/academic text or live presentations.

How will I be taught?

Teaching takes the form of one-to-one tutorials, group critiques, academic workshops, seminars, lectures and forums.

Our visiting lecture series is fundamental to our course and we are proud of the range of speakers we attract. Each week internationally acclaimed artists, curators and arts professionals give talks about their work, teach in the studios or deliver an exciting range of workshops driven by their research interests.

All the teaching team are engaged in their own practice and this is critical to the philosophy of the course.

Opportunities

Projects

No Working Title
A collaboration between four UK art schools and Tate Modern.  Our department is delighted to be one of the associate partners of the new Tate Exchange project, which will host and support the development of No Working Title over the next three years.  Every year 40 students take part in this project.

You can engage in off site exhibitions throughout your course of study. Sites have included abandoned shops or buildings throughout the city or beyond.

The Porthleven Prize
Students are selected to take part in a residency on the Cornish coast and produce new work in response to the site. This work forms part of a national touring exhibition.

The London exhibition
After the degree show event at the School of Art our year 3 students are supported to take their degree shows to London. These shows have taken place at landmark sites throughout the city and attract attention from galleries and other arts professionals.

Study abroad

You'll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Previous students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in China, Japan and France.

Field trips

Study visits play an integral part of the course both within the UK and beyond. Trips have included the Liverpool Biennale, Berlin (artists studio visits), Rome, New York, Venice Biennale, Paris (artists studio visits), Istanbul Biennale and The British Arts Show, Leeds. We run up to 5 trips to London every academic year.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our students take up a variety of work placements, internships or opportunities in the creative industry from the ICA, Hauser and Wirth, the Holburne Museum and Spike Island to working as assistants with internationally acclaimed artists or prestigious commissions in nationally acclaimed heritage sites.

Bath School of Art and Design's Fine Art department is one of Tate Exchange's official associates, and we are excited to see what being part of this initiative will bring to the course.

Careers

Our graduates go on to become, among other things, professional practicing self-employed artists, they become curators in established galleries or set up their own artist run spaces. We have alumni who are teachers or work in gallery education; others have gone onto work in conservation, TV, or Art Therapy.

Many of our alumni go onto further study at some of the UK’s top postgraduate courses including the Slade School of Fine Art, Chelsea School of Art and Design, The Royal College of Art, The Royal Academy Schools, Glasgow School of Art and the Courtauld Institute.

“My Fine Art degree at Bath Spa meant the difference between collecting ideas in notepads and seeing them realised on gallery walls and beyond.”

Trevor Smith, graduate

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Fine Art is taught at our Sion Hill campus. Right from the start, you'll be given your own studio space.

Support

Throughout the course, you'll have access to a wide range of tutors for sign-up tutorials, academic workshops and critiques. All our students have access to exceptional technical facilities, technicians and technical workshops.

Resources

You'll have access to Bath School of Art and Design's huge range of facilities and resources, including:

  • Audio/visual studio (incorporates sound booth)
  • Equipment loans – AV and photography
  • Black and white photography workshops
  • Wide format digital printing
  • Digital imaging suite
  • Photography lighting studio
  • IT Labs (film editing)
  • Casting workshop
  • Ceramic design studio
  • Clay preparation and kilns
  • Glaze laboratory
  • Metalwork
  • Woodwork
  • Painting methods room
  • Plastic workshop
  • Printmaking – etching, screen print, lithography and letterpress
  • Bookbinding
  • 3d printing
  • Individual studio spaces
  • Specialist Art and Design library
  • Gallery
  • Art shop.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019
Material fees
Year 1 £160
Year 2 £165
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020
Material fees
Year 1 £165
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

UK and EU students part time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019
Material fees
Year 1 £85
Year 2 £90
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020
Material fees
Year 1 £90
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018
Material fees
Year 1 £160
Year 2 £165
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 £165
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

This course is designed for individuals who are curious, motivated and want to develop their own independent art practices. Applications and places are sought after.

We highly recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC including Grade B in Art & Design or related subjects preferred.
  • BTEC  Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit. Merit (DMM) in a related subject in addition to other qualifications or evidence of experience in Art.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points will be required in addition to a HL Art subject at grade 6 and evidence of further experience in Art & Design.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Applicants will be invited to bring a portfolio of creative work to interview. Applicants will also be asked to bring a short piece of set work. Interviews will take place at our Sion Hill campus. More details will be supplied to applicants who meet the entry criteria for the course.

Interviewing is important to us. The emphasis at these interviews is on looking through your portfolio of work. Your portfolio should evidence a curiosity and energy for the subject. We want to see a sense of enquiry and experimentation. The interview will be an opportunity for you to talk through your work, talk about the artists you are looking at and why Fine Art is the right course for you.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Natasha Kidd
Email: n.kidd@bathspa.ac.uk

Masthead image by Alison McGinn.

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk