BA (Hons) Contemporary Art and Professional Studies – Bath Spa University

Contemporary Art and Professional Studies (Work-based)

BA (Hons)

Top-up degree

Key facts

BA (Hons) Contemporary Art and Professional Studies
Taught by
University Centre Weston
Course length
One year full-time. Two years part-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: WWDF
Campus Code: C,WESTON

Entry requirements

You'll be expected to have successfully completed a Bath Spa University Contemporary Art and Professional Studies (Foundation). Applicants who do not hold this Foundation degree may still be considered.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Gain the artistic, commercial and entrepreneurial skills you'll need for a creative career.

  • Learn from lecturers with extensive creative and commercial experience.
  • Benefit from opportunities to exhibit your work and seek professional commissions.
  • Develop essential business skills in marketing, finance, and promotional strategy.

This work-based course aims to develop you as an artistic and innovative practitioner, while also equipping you with the professional and entrepreneurial awareness you'll need to be successful in their chosen creative pursuit.

You’ll be taught by lecturers with extensive professional and creative experience, who can support you in further developing your unique creative identity. In addition, the research-based elements of the course have been designed to prepare you for postgraduate study.

“The course is taught by a range of fascinating and eccentric people who are all experts in their field. I have had the opportunity to work on a series of large-scale painting and sculpture projects, while the work-based content helped me to develop curatorial skills, which I was able to put to practical use.

Kirsten, Contemporary Art and Professional Studies graduate

What you'll learn


This course features artistic modules in different mediums alongside studies in marketing and finance. Our aim is to instil you with the knowledge and skills you'll need to thrive in the creative industries – whether as an employee or a freelancer.

You’ll get the chance to enhance your creative skills in artistic areas of interest, and study the subject’s contextual underpinnings, to gain a strong understanding of the concepts, values and debates that inform and influence contemporary art practice.

You’ll also create a portfolio of work relevant to your chosen area of professional practice, and present your work to audiences and clients using a variety of media.

Honours Top-ups are Level 6 qualifications that enable the conversion of a Foundation degree or equivalent qualification into a full Honours degree.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is via a combination of practical exams and coursework, with an assessment breakdown of 15% practical exams and 85% coursework. There are no written exams on this course.

How will I be taught?

This course is taught via a combination of lectures, seminars, skills practice, presentations, case studies and workshops. It also features a work placement element totalling 390 hours.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the course handbook or definitive programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 6) modules

  • Marketing, Finance and Promotional Strategy
  • Practice within the Creative Industries: Work-based Project Portfolio
  • Professional Creative Practice


Field trips

Contemporary Art and Professional Studies offers optional day-trips to galleries and longer residential visits, which in recent years have included London and Rome, at an additional expense.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Work-based learning is central to studying at UCW, and this course features an embedded work placement.

Students on this course are encouraged to exhibit their work to art-lovers in the general public, including at our summer showcase. In the past, students from this course have also exhibited their work at galleries including 4AD in Bath and Centre Space in Bristol.

You’ll also be encouraged to seek professional commissions. In recent years, a student from this course was commissioned to produce two sculptured busts for the Duke of Gloucester, which were displayed at the Museum of the Order of St. John and Kensington Palace.


Students who pass this course are eligible to apply for postgraduate study, such as Master’s degrees in Design (Ceramics), Design (Fashion and Textiles), Fine Art or Visual Communication.

As well as freelance art and design, graduates of this course are also well-placed to seek roles in animation, illustration, interior design, product design and printmaking, in related roles for museums and galleries, or, subject to further study, in education.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll be based in Weston-super-Mare at our Loxton Campus, which has been purpose-built for creative arts students, and are also taught in the brand new Education Centre in our Winter Gardens building. You’ll also get your own space in one of our studios, which is yours to use inside and outside of scheduled classes.


Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

Course fees
2022/23 entry £9,250
2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023
2024/25 entry Published Jan 2024

International students full time

Course fees
2022/23 entry £15,450
2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023
2024/25 entry Published Jan 2024

Interested in applying?

Typical offers

You'll be expected to have successfully completed a Bath Spa University Contemporary Art and Professional Studies (Foundation Degree). Applicants who do not hold a Bath Spa University Foundation degree in Contemporary Art and Professional Studies may be considered as follows:

  • There is evidence of curriculum matching of the learning outcomes of the course with those of the Bath Spa University Foundation degree in Contemporary Art and Professional Studies.
  • Produce a portfolio of evidence demonstrating relevant and recent work experience equivalent to Foundation degree level.

All applicants to the programme will normally have achieved a minimum average grade profile of 50% in year two of their Foundation degree or equivalent qualification.

Applicants may be subject to interview.

It is a condition of entry onto the programme that all students will have secured a suitable work-based learning setting* by the time of admission. The suitability of the work will need to be agreed with the programme leader.

*Applicants will need to be employed or self-employed within some aspect of the creative industries either working as an employee for a creative company relevant to individual practice full or part-time or acting as a self-employed sole trader or freelancer (evidence of self-employment will need to be provided).

Applicants will need to identify a work-based mentor in order to undertake the work-based modules of the programme.

For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at

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 webpages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Your portfolio should consist of a selection of creative work alongside an example of your written work, which should be a contextual analysis of approximately 1,000 words.

Your creative work should demonstrate how your skills and ideas have developed over time, and your creativity and personality should be evident.

The portfolio could include drawings, paintings, sketchbooks, design development, and written notes. Remember that you are not submitting everything you have done, but a selection of what you consider to be your strongest work.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180

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