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Creative Arts Practice

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

BA (Hons) Creative Arts Practice
Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Campus or location
Locksbrook Campus and Newton Park
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: W190; or RTFC; or W193
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

Explore, innovate and push boundaries with this stimulating contemporary arts degree.

  • Develop a range of skills, from traditional craft techniques to innovative approaches to making.
  • Experiment in our inspiring studio spaces and well-equipped workshops, with access to exceptional facilities.
  • Learn from practising artists and makers with outstanding national and international reputations.

#2 in the South West and #21 in the UK

for Graduate Prospects "On Track" in Art and Design (Complete University Guide, 2024)

#2 in the South West and #14 in the UK

for Continuation in Art and Design (Complete University Guide, 2024)

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

This studio-based creative arts degree places making at its heart.

You'll gain a practical grounding in a range of creative fields of study, including ceramics, textiles, print and wood/metal/plastics, before choosing your specialism. You’ll also explore the critical, conceptual, ethical and environmental issues in contemporary craft through the role of making within social, cultural and historical contexts. 

Throughout your studies you’ll learn a broad range of skills to help you flourish in the workplace, including social networking, photographing your work, creating digital portfolios, applying for competitions, marketing, creating a web presence, setting up a business, working on commissions, pricing your work, approaching galleries, exhibiting, and fundraising. As we’re an Adobe Creative Campus, you’ll also have free access to a suite of industry-standard creative apps.

You’ll graduate with the confidence and transferable skills to establish your own practice as a creative artist or maker, or go on to pursue a career within the creative industries. 

Creative Arts Practice student Lillie Ruffels has been selected by luxury fashion brand Jigsaw to have their work exhibited, and on sale, in the brand's Bath store. Lillie's collection showcases sculpture, ceramic and acrylic and oil pastel prints.

Lillie said: "These pieces are heavily inspired by the outdoors, and the childhood I had growing up in it, so it’s especially nice to have these artworks selected because they have such wholesome beginnings."

Creative Arts Practice student selected to exhibit in Jigsaw store
The shopfront of Jigsaw in Bath City Centre

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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 Creative Arts Practice alongside Education Secondary, as part of a combined course.

What you'll learn


Using a range of specialist workshops and technical support, gain a degree that empowers you with strong making skills.

As an aspiring artist-maker, you'll experience a solid grounding in a range of creative disciplines before selecting a focus in your first year. The course encourages and supports you to share ideas and collaborate across subject areas, and you'll gain the skills and confidence to combine practice and theory in radical and innovative ways.

Course structure

Year one
In your first year the focus will be on upskilling, learning about different materials, and gaining the skills to work both independently and in collaboration.

You’ll investigate materials and methods of making, including ceramics, textiles, wood, metal, plastics and printing. You’ll spend time in the workshop with tutors and technicians, as well as on your own, to allow you to immerse yourself in the making processes. You’ll also broaden your knowledge of contemporary craft professionals working in the field. You'll begin to critically assess your work, and the work of others, through discussion and written tasks including critical studies essays.

During the year, you’ll choose which discipline you'd like to focus on for the remainder of your studies.

Year two
During your second year you’ll delve deeper into your chosen area of study, attending classes delivered by a range of tutors who are specialists in their field and current practitioners.

Visiting lecturers will share their knowledge of a range of career paths and experiences. Professional practice is a key component of study this year, where you'll gain industry experience aligned to your area of practice. There will also be opportunities to work collaboratively on live briefs, and across the University.

Year three
In your final year, you’ll hone your making skills to professional standards, and you’ll be actively marketing your work alongside your making.

You’ll set your own brief and be working independently, with support from your tutors, to create an ambitious body of work.

You’ll work on a dissertation, and participate in the degree show, which will provide a showcase and networking opportunities. Professional practice is closely aligned to your final exhibition, and focuses on supporting your career aspirations after University.

How will I be assessed?

Your progress is evaluated regularly through assessments and feedback, and at the end of each semester through a mix of one-to-one sessions and group tutorials, exhibitions, live projects, verbal/visual presentations, sketchbooks and context folders. 

How will I be taught?

You’ll learn through lectures, talks, practical sessions, individual and group tutorials, and studio critiques and seminars.  

Lectures and seminars with visiting external professionals, designers and makers will help you determine where your current practice sits.

Technical Demonstrators, who manage our workshop facilities, provide teaching and support across a wide range of subject specialisms. 

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

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 for more information.

Modules for the integrated Foundation year option are listed on the Integrated Foundation Year for Art and Design page.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Workshop and Core Skills
  • Professional Practice: Explore
  • Studio Practice
  • How Did We Get Here? Contexts of Art
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • Practice and Proficiencies
  • We Are Here: Art in the 21st century
  • Practice and Collaboration
  • Professional Practice: Experience
  • Professional Placement Year
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • Practice and Context
  • Situating Practice – Final Study
  • Practice and Audience
  • Professional Practice: Progress


Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.


You'll have the opportunity to undertake group study visits to London and major exhibitions in cities across the country. In recent years, overseas study trip destinations have included Venice, Berlin, Paris and Barcelona. where students have visited international artists and designers' studios.

Please note that study visits and overseas study may incur extra costs on top of your course fees.

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities for you to undertake work placements as part of the professional practice programme, and you can also take the Professional Placement Year between your second and final years of study.

The optional Professional Practice modules in your second and final years give you the opportunity to exhibit / perform / publish at a host of sites, both in and outside of the University. Our students have done so at the University Theatre, Walcot Chapel, 44AD Gallery, Royal United Hospital, Michael Tippet Centre, American Museum, Bath Artists’ Studios, Holburne Museum, Centerspace Bristol and Bargehouse London.


You’ll graduate with a broad portfolio of expertise to accompany specialist knowledge in your particular field(s).

Our graduates find employment in a range of relevant areas, from establishing their own creative practice/studio to working as freelance artists/makers/designers. Many now work in areas such as retail and display management, curation, creative production, galleries, project management, research, arts administration, heritage, education, critical writing, gallery and museum learning and teaching, teaching in Higher Education, and postgraduate research. 

Graduates can help progress their careers through our residency programmes at creative incubator EMERGE, and our city centre innovation hub, The Studio

You could also choose to go on to further study at any postgraduate level in Art and Design subjects. 

Competitions and awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in competitions such as the Porthleven Prize and Creative Bath Awards. You can also apply for graduate residence opportunities at EMERGE, Bristol Textile Quarter, 44AD, Bath Artists’ Studios, KARST and Spike Island

Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

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

Where the subject is taught

As a BA Creative Arts Practice student, you’ll study primarily at our Locksbrook Campus – a Grade II listed building designed by Nicholas Grimshaw in 1976 which has been transformed into an innovative, open plan space. Redesigned to meet 21st century environmental standards, it offers technical workshops surrounded by flexible studio spaces and large social areas. 

You’ll have access to:  

  • Our student service point at Locksbrook, where you can purchase subsidised art and design materials, hire equipment for free and collect Library resources 
  • Specialist technical workshops across all of art and design 
  • Inspiring studio space where you can work on projects and refine your practice. 
  • Our Library offers a wealth of learning resources including books, journals, DVDs and an extensive range of electronic services. Our Subject Librarian for Art and Design provides subject-specific support, including help with research.
  • ASk provides support for your academic work, including feedback on written drafts and other help with academic writing.
  • Our Virtual Learning Environment provides online access to learning materials such as lecture slides, assessment information, discussion boards and other resources. 
  • The Careers team run networking events and advisory workshops that explore your future options and the essentials of the job application process. They help you get experience by assisting with your search for work placements and paid part-time jobs while you're studying. When you're ready to progress into your chosen career, they can help you secure graduate-level employment, freelance opportunities, and funding for your own business ideas. Career support continues for years after you graduate with the dedicated Grad Support Unit.
  • You’ll have free access to thousands of business, design and tech courses online via LinkedIn Learning.
  • If English isn't your first language, our English Language Unit can help you improve your English, reach your full potential and boost your confidence.
  • Our Student Wellbeing Services are available to support you through your learning.

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 £9,250
UK part time £4,625
International full time £17,585

Professional Placement Year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. This applies to UK and EU/International students.

  • UK: £1,850
  • International: £3,517

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 BBB-BCC preferred including a grade B in an Art and Design or related subject.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 points are required with a minimum of grade 5 in a HL Art subject.
  • 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, at Merit or higher) in a related subject.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

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.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, 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.

Portfolio and interviews

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

Three year course
With placement year
With foundation year
Masthead image: 2D artowrk by Sai Murai.

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