Fine Art

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How to Apply

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A studio-based course covering media, painting and sculpture taught by internationally recognised tutors.

Key Features

  • Individual programmes from the start of the course.
  • Excellent location and facilities.
  • Substantial individual workspaces.
  • Teaching by practising artists with strong exhibition profiles.

Why study Fine Art?

You can choose to study media, painting or sculpture but there is flexibility to move between these areas and you will have access to staff outside of your chosen discipline throughout the course.

Course structure

Bath School of Art and Design has a wide range of excellent workshops and technical support at your disposal. Running in parallel to your studio work there is a strong focus on contextualising your practice within the visual arts fraternity. This takes the form of weekly visiting lectures from artists, curators and critics, regular trips at home and abroad and numerous exhibition opportunities throughout your study. You will gain an understanding of where your practice is placed within the context of contemporary art, as well as learning necessary skills in curating, project management, professionally photographing your work, marketing and web design, networking and numerous promotional opportunities that will maximise your potential after graduation.

Teaching begins with structured weekly tutorials in Year 1; you will be required to discuss your practice with staff on a one-to-one basis as well as in groups. As the course develops you will be given increasing flexibility to sign up for tutorials with any number of staff and visitors and take part in forums and discussions pertinent to your chosen field or themes.

Course assessment

You are assessed by exhibition, written papers and live presentations. There are no written exams.

You will have access to excellent facilities and technical support and be given your own substantial workspace in one of our purpose built studios. Right from the start you will have the opportunity to direct your own programme of study supported by internationally recognised artist/tutors whose expertise encompasses the entire visual arts spectrum. The course will require you to be organised, self motivated and disciplined. Staff will encourage and help guide your exploration enabling you to develop your self-confidence and critical ability in your chosen area.

Teaching methods

You will be taught through individual tutorials, group studio discussions, seminars, lectures, practical workshop sessions and study visits to galleries and museums in the UK - mostly free of charge - and abroad, recently Paris, Berlin and New York.

Staff have a wide ranging expertise and vary in their contribution to the course from full-time to one day per week; there is also an extensive list of visiting lecturers. You will be expected to work with a considerable amount of initiative. You will exhibit or perform your work within Bath Spa and possibly outside and make presentations of your work.

You will be encouraged to participate in competitions, festivals and exhibitions and will have the opportunity to work within the community.

You will have good studio space and access to a series of well equipped workshops for all appropriate processes, including a drawing studio, word processing facilities and a specialist art and design library.

Teaching quality excellence

Visiting Staff

Amanda Beech; Glenn Brown; Cathy Dalwood; Graham Day; Matt Franks; Rebecca Fortnum; Gerard Hemsworth; Stephen Hepworth; Greg Hertault; Catherine Kinley; Lisa Le Feuvre; Tim MacMillan; Sandie Macrae; Craig Martin; Mariele Neudecker; Tina O'Connell; Kay Pallister; Mark Pearson; Sean Rainbird; Barry Schwabsky; Rosie Snell; Julian Stallabrass; Michael Stubbs; Amikan Toren; Mandy Ure; John Wood.

Awards and Achievements

  • Gethin Jones (2006) - Prizewinner Mercury Prize 2006 Art Competition;
  • Lauren Porter (2006) - Knitted Ferrari exhibited in national newspapers and exhibited at numerous venues;
  • Andrew Selwood (2006) - Sculptures exhibited by Anthony Hepworth, Bath;
  • Jemma Hickman (2006) - BANA Graduate Prizewinner;
  • Lisa Simmons (2006) - exhibition at Hotbath Gallery, Bath;
  • Lisa Kibble (2006) - exhibition at Sherbourne House, Dorset.
  • Ross Walker (2005) - Exhibition at Bartlett's Gallery, London;
  • Nina Dolan (2003) - Exhibition at Beaux Arts, London;
  • Graham Dolphin (1998) - Drawing, entitled 'Steps', commissioned for the Great North Run;
  • Kelly Taylor (1997) - Director of 'Gavin Brown's Enterprise' in New York;
  • Louisa Fairclough's (1994) - 'Meet', a four-screen film installation opens at the BRSI Queen's Square, Bath;
  • David Risley (1994) - Own gallery, David Risley Gallery, in Vyner Street, London;
  • Colin Ledwith (1993) - Curated major survey of video and film work to be exhibited at the Museo D'Arte Contemporanea, Donna Regina, Naples.

Alumni from the Fine Art course include Glenn Brown (who exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery) last year, and Paul Harrison and John Wood (whose videos are exhibited widely in both Europe and America, and recently as part of a survey of British video art at Tate Britain).

Amongst our other graduates: Laura Ford; Nicholas May; Nicholas Pope; Peter Randall-Page; Nigel Rolf; Michael Stubbs; Alison Turnbull and Suzy Willey all exhibit widely.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please contact our Admissions team (see above).

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design.  However if applying with A-Levels only, a total of 260 points (with a grade B in an Art and Design related subject) is expected, supported by a high quality portfolio.

Applicants applying with a BTEC Extended Diploma are expected to achieve an overall Merit grade (Merit, Merit, Merit).

Career opportunities

The majority of our graduates go on to become professional practicing self-employed artists. Other typical employment opportunities include curating, arts management and administration; interior design; film and TV; teaching (subject to PGCE); art therapy.

Alumni include painter and Turner Prize nominee Glenn Brown, Paul Harrison and John Wood whose videos are exhibited around the world, Nina Dolan, Louisa Fairclough, Laura Ford, Nicholas May, Peter Randall-Page, Nigel Rolfe, Michael Stubbs and Alison Turnbull.

% going on to work and/or study for courses in this subject area: 85%

What students say...

Fine Art Graduate:

“The dynamics and the teaching organisation of the course is now optimal and I feel it provides students, in all media, with a flexible and well-rounded Fine Art education. All tutors are regularly available and thoroughly encouraging and engaged, having varied practices themselves they help to evaluate your work and keep it fresh. Having such premier workshop facilities at Bath Spa University, with knowledgeable, able and enthusiastic technicians is a bonus and I have left University with many fabrication skills that I simply would not have got elsewhere.”