facebook BA (Hons) Contemporary Arts Practice – Bath Spa University

Contemporary Arts Practice

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Contemporary Arts Practice
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.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W190; or RTFC; or W193
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A Levels grades CCC required with a Grade C in Art, or other art/design related subject. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Gain broad practical experience across the visual arts on this contemporary and creative art degree

  • Explore and experiment across a range of disciples, media and materials.
  • Learn from practising artists and makers, curators, critics and gallery owners.
  • Scope to specialise in the latter stages of the course.

Designed for individuals with more than one field of interest, through this course you can study a combination of visual art disciplines. With emphasis on making and thinking, you’ll cover a range of subjects.

The first year of the course is structured and project based; you’ll be taught in a shared studio or workshop with academic and technical staff. You’ll learn new practical skills as well as developing those you already have.

As the course progresses, we’ll encourage you to explore your own individual studio practice in the areas of study you choose. You’ll benefit from support and encouragement from staff who are practitioners in their specialist fields. In addition you’ll have access to the range of technical facilities the School of Art and Design offers.

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Study options

Integrated Foundation Year (UCAS code: W193)

The preliminary and intensive Integrated Foundation in Art and Design is designed to develop your ideas, skills and confidence in readiness for progressing to year one of your degree programme.

Professional Placement Year (UCAS code: RTFC)

This year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement, for assessment.

Combined course

You could choose to study Contemporary Arts Practice alongside Creative Computing as part of a combined course.

What you'll learn

Overview

In your first year we’ll encourage you to work in a number of disciplines, gaining extensive knowledge and fundamental skills. You’ll experiment, focusing on broadening your making and thinking skills.

You’ll study context and theory within practice-based modules, supported by lectures and seminars that will introduce you to contemporary arts practice theory.

In years 2 and 3 you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in one discipline, or maintain a broader portfolio through to graduation. Specialist strands of study include: drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, graphic art, mixed media textiles, printmaking, photography, performance and moving image.

Running in parallel to your study, you’ll take advantage of professional development opportunities – you can expand your skills in areas such as web-design, marketing and project management. By gaining the necessary expertise, you’ll maximise your potential as an artist or maker after graduation.

Course structure

Year one
You’ll choose modules from two of the following four core subject areas. Subject areas are 2D (painting and drawing), 3D (ceramics and sculpture), graphic arts and mixed media textiles. Optional modules are photography and moving Image, printmaking (etch) and screenprint. Alongside these subjects you will attend contextual studies lectures.

Years two and three
You can continue with two areas of study, or specialise in any of the subjects you studied in year one. Contextual studies lectures continue and you’ll also begin a programme of professional practice, with opportunities to publicly exhibit your work. In your final year you’ll complete a dissertation. You’ll be able to develop your professional practice, in preparation for your career after your degree.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed entirely by coursework such as portfolios, exhibitions, written papers and live presentations. There are no written exams.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through practical workshop sessions, individual supervision, seminars and lectures. You’ll also have access to an extensive weekly programme of visiting lectures from practising artists, curators, critics and gallery owners.

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 programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Introduction to 2D
  • Introduction to 3D
  • Introduction to Graphic Arts
  • Introduction to Mixed Media Textiles
  • Creativity and Culture
  • 2D Practice
  • 3D Practice
  • Graphic Arts Practice
  • Mixed Media Textiles Practice
  • Etching
  • Silkscreen printing
  • Introduction to Sound, Image and Performance 
  • Introduction to Drawing - Practice and Theory
  • Introduction to Photography
  • Introduction to Ceramics - Form and Surface

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • 2D – Practice and Context
  • 3D – Practice and Context
  • Graphic Arts – Practice and Context
  • Mixed Media Textiles – Practice and Context
  • Specialised Studio Practice and Context
  • Aesthetics and Creative Arts
  • 2D - Practice, context and theory
  • 3D - Practice, context and theory
  • Graphic Arts - Practice, context and theory
  • Mixed Media Textiles - Practice, context and theory
  • Specialised Studio – Practice, context and theory
  • Professional Practice – Group Exhibition
  • Publication or Performance
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • 2D Individual Studio Practice
  • 3D Individual Studio Practice
  • Graphic Arts Individual Studio Practice
  • Mixed Media Textiles Individual Studio Practice
  • Specialised Individual Studio Practice
  • Visual and Material Culture: Final Study
  • 2D Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • 3D Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Graphic Arts Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Mixed Media Textiles Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Specialised Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Professional Practice: independent project

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Norway, Germany, Japan, Australia and the USA.

Field trips

You’ll have opportunities to participate in regular field trips across all the course modules. Subject areas also organise international study visits to places like Berlin, Paris, New York and Venice (please note that you’ll have to pay for some study visits).

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities for you to undertake work placements as part of the professional practice programme.

Careers

Graduate careers include:

  • self employment as practising artists and makers;   
  • curatorship;  
  • gallery administration;  
  • teaching;  
  • art administration; 
  • community based art work.

Competitions and awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in competitions such as the Porthleven Prize and the Gane Trust Travel Grant among many others.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Our Art and Design courses are based at our Locksbrook Road (2019) and Sion Hill campuses.

You’ll benefit from access to:

Resources

You’ll have access to an excellent range of studios and workshops in painting, sculpture, textiles, photography and printmaking.

 

Beginning in Autumn 2019, our Art and Design students will have access to Locksbrook Road, a new, innovative, purpose-built, state-of-the-art campus specifically conceived to encourage creative cross-disciplinary encounters with other artists and designers.

With this new space, we intend for the Bath School of Art and Design to become one of the most inspiring and exciting places to study not only in the UK, but anywhere in the world.

“The updated buildings will allow us to supercharge our existing approach, which is based on superb, disciplinary teaching and practice, with a strong, real-world focus and an emphasis on collaboration."

Anita Taylor, Executive Dean, Bath School of Art and Design

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 £170
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,900
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 £170
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

All students full time - with professional 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. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals who are curious, reflective and interested in their subject areas. You should be able to take risks and have an open mind.

We value the ability to think critically and reflectively just as much as we value the ability to create and make.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - Grades CCC required with a Grade C in Art, or other art/design related subject. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio
  • BTEC - Overall Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) required. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 with HL Art subject at grade 6 or above preferred
  • 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). Any selection procedure/further requirements will also apply
  • Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) - We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design in combination with the above qualifications. A Merit Grade is preferred.

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 webpages.

Portfolio and interviews

Applicants will be invited to interview at our Sion Hill campus and will be required to bring high quality portfolio in support of their application. More details will be supplied to applicants who meet the entry criteria for the course.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Martin Thomas
Email: m.thomas2@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk