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Fine Art (Painting)


Postgraduate degree

MA Fine Art (Painting)
Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Campus or location
Locksbrook Campus
Course length
One year full-time or two years part-time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.

Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information:

Develop your practice in contemporary painting on this specialist MA Course.

  • Expand your skills, knowledge and confidence through research, experimentation and independent inquiry.
  • Work in permanent studio spaces with excellent workshop facilities and exceptional academic and technical support in painting.
  • Learn from practising artists and curators through our acclaimed program of visiting speakers.

This studio-centred course offers you the opportunity to explore and develop your own painting practice. We’ll encourage you to experiment, take risks and establish your own strategy for working. You’ll develop specialist skills and knowledge through a combination of making, research and professional development.

Drawing on the specialist resources available in our outstanding studios, making spaces and our painting methods room, you’ll develop your research and technical knowledge in painting. Combining practical and theoretical knowledge will help you to evolve your work in new ways.

This Fine Art Painting MA recognises the significant history of painting at Bath School of Art, Film and Media, and builds on our teaching and research strengths in painting, connecting to our established partnership with the Freelands Foundation, their fellowship programme and acclaimed painting prize.

You’ll learn with our team of practising artists reputed for their material and technical expertise and research in painting. Working alongside these tutors, you'll engage with critical and current debates in the discipline of painting and the expanded field.

What you'll learn


The MA Fine Art (Painting) course is designed to support the development of your own research in painting. Teaching on this course takes the form of one-to-one tutorials in the studio, seminars, talks and practical and theoretical workshops. 

The course will help you identify, explore and develop your individual position as an artist. You’ll take a holistic approach, embedding theory, research, and historical and contemporary practice into your work.

This studio-based course will draw upon the specialist resources available in our unique painting methods room, and on our highly reputed material and technical expertise in making.

You’ll work in an interdisciplinary environment alongside other students of MA Fine Art and MA Design specialising in Photography, Media, Curatorial Practice, Ceramics, Visual Communication, Graphics, Illustration and Textiles, allowing you to contextualise your work in relation to current debates.

Course structure

MA Fine Art (Painting) at Bath Spa runs over one year and is divided into three trimesters.

Trimester one
You’ll interrogate your existing knowledge and develop skills in an environment that encourages playfulness and artistic risk-taking. You can experiment freely in our wide variety of specialist facilities, open studio and workshop spaces – with expert technical support.

Trimester two
Building on your work in the first trimester, we’ll support you to reflect upon your developments in the studio and refine your working strategy. You’ll be encouraged to pay greater attention to the presentation of your practice and to test how finished works relate to each other in, as well as to the spaces of, exhibition sites.

Trimester three
You’ll work in the studio with increasing independence as you establish a professional practice. You’ll devise and complete your Master’s Project, working to a proposal which contextualises your work within your specialist discipline and leads to your final Degree Show.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Research Methods
  • Theory and Professional Context
  • Practice 1 (Fine Art)
  • Research Practice
  • Theory and Professional Practices
  • Practice 2 (Fine Art)
  • Masters Project
How will I be assessed?

Your progress is evaluated throughout the course and at the end of each trimester via a mixture of exhibitions, verbal/visual presentations, research folders/blogs and written assignments.

How will I be taught?

You’ll learn through lectures, talks, taught sessions, individual and group tutorials, and studio critiques and seminars. Guest lectures and seminars with internationally renowned designers, artists and industry professionals will help you determine where your current practice sits within the industry.

Our collaborative structure also means that you’ll learn from each other – for instance, Illustration and Textiles students might engage in debates with Fine Art students. Technical Demonstrators provide teaching and support in our workshop facilities across a wide range of subject specialisms. Your learning is also supported by specialist librarians.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

See what we're making on Instagram: @mafabathspa

Online gallery of student work

Check out some of our student work from both the MA Fine Art and MA Design programmes at Bath Spa.

Visit the online gallery



Bath School of Art, Film and Media offers fieldwork opportunities throughout the academic year.

Competitions and awards

There are several awards and competitions at Bath Spa that MA Fine Art students can enter:


Students on our MA Fine Art programme find employment in a range of relevant areas, including:

  • Professional artists and designers
  • Studio and freelance design
  • Retail and display management
  • Curating
  • Art criticism
  • Arts administration  
  • Museum and gallery work
  • Education.

Recent graduates also have set up their own group studios and exhibition spaces. Others go on to pursue further research or a PhD.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Facilities and resources


As a postgraduate Fine Art student you’ll benefit from access to comprehensive digital workshops and specialist art and design facilities, including: 

  • Our student service point at Locksbrook, where you can purchase subsidised art and design materials, hire out equipment for free and collect Library resources
  • Access to our Library at Newton Park
  • Specialist technical facilities across all of art and design
  • Access to studio space where you can work on projects and refine your practice and your research.

Locksbrook campus

Locksbrook Campus is a Grade II listed building designed by Nicholas Grimshaw in 1976. It has now been transformed into an innovative, open plan space, redesigned to meet 21st century environmental standards, with technical workshops surrounded by flexible studio spaces and large social areas.

Locksbrook has received both a RIBA South West Award 2021 and RIBA National Award 2021, recognising and celebrating what an amazingly inspirational space it is to come together to design, make, do, create and learn in.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,520
UK part time £4,760
International full time £17,760

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for energetic and self-motivated individuals who can work on their own but see the value in collaboration with others. You should enjoy asking questions and solving creative problems.

Typical offers and subject-specific requirement

You’ll need a good first degree in Fine Art or equivalent experience, and experience of how fine artists, and the field of Fine Art, work. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) web page to learn more.

You’ll be selected on your potential to thrive on the course, as demonstrated by your portfolio and interview.

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

With your application form you should provide images of recent work, either in an attachment or through a link to an online resource. These should be clearly marked with size, date and medium. You should also write a short statement outlining why you want to study for an MA at Bath School of Art, Film and Media and what attracts you to the course. Find out more about submitting a portfolio.

We encourage you to come to Locksbrook, if possible, so that we can meet in person and show you the campus. At interview, you'd usually bring some examples of your work. We'll ask you about the artists you look at and exhibitions you've visited.

We'll discuss your work, how you hope to develop your ideas and the facilities you'll need. If it's not possible for you to attend in person, we offer online interviews, supported by a digital portfolio.

When to apply

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

Postgraduate Coordinator: Charlie Tweed

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