BA (Hons) Creative Arts Practice – Bath Spa University

Creative Arts Practice

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) Creative Arts Practice
Bath School of Art
Campus or location
Sion Hill and Locksbrook
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.

Experience a broad range of disciplines on this contemporary and creative Art degree.

Places still available through Clearing

Call our Admissions team now on +44 (0)1225 875 550

Find your place

  • Explore and innovate across disciplines. Study and practise two subject areas, with the option to specialise if you choose.
  • Take an entrepreneurial approach. Translate your practice into industry through opportunities to exhibit, perform and publish.
  • Learn from practising professionals. Your tutors are also visual artists, sculptors, designers, writers, sound artists and performers.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Undergraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.

Do you want to be an artist, designer, performer, writer or teacher – or create your own path by combining more than one artistic profession?

On this contemporary creative arts course, you'll gain a practical grounding in a range of disciplines including sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting, textiles, live art and graphic arts, before specialising in one or two disciplines of your choice. You can choose from a wealth of optional first year practical modules that will introduce you to printmaking, photography, performance, sound, video and word – to build your own unique course of study.

You’ll benefit from support and encouragement from dedicated staff who are practitioners in their specialist fields. You’ll also have access to our superb facilities and excellent technical staff.

"Creative Arts Practice" is a name revision to the programme currently running as "Contemporary Arts Practice".

Open Days

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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


This contemporary creative arts degree is based on the fundamental principles of professional, practical studio practice supported by theory, interdisciplinarity, and entrepreneurship.

We assume that you're primarily a practitioner, driven by the desire to create in a variety of media. The majority of your time will be taken up with creating in a studio or workshop; however contextual, critical and reflective thinking will be required and encouraged – practitioners don't create work in a cultural vacuum.

The course encourages and supports cross-fertilisation of ideas and collaborative practice across subject areas. The multidisciplinary nature of the course places you in a unique position to combine practice and theory from both areas of study in radical and innovative ways.

Throughout the programme you'll also engage in public exhibitions, publishing or performances. Alongside these professional opportunities, in your final year, you'll be encouraged to develop opportunities relating to your future career.

The Professional Practice modules in years two and three aim to help you develop the practical, professional skills you’ll need to flourish in the industry, 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.

The course’s inherent multidisciplinarity and the experiences you will encounter working with a variety of materials and contexts, will broaden your skill-set and enhance your employability, enabling you to work confidently across a range of scenarios.

Course structure

Year one
We’ll encourage you to experiment in a number of disciplines, gaining extensive knowledge and fundamental skills. You’ll also study context and theory, supported by lectures and seminars that will develop your understanding of current and historical debates in art and design practice.

You’ll choose modules from two of the following four core subject areas:

  • 2D (Painting and Drawing)
  • 3D (Ceramics and Sculpture)
  • Graphic arts
  • Mixed Media Textiles
  • Live Art.

Optional modules include Photography, Moving Image, Printmaking and Ceramics. Alongside these subjects you’ll attend contextual studies lectures that will introduce you to the history of creativity and culture.

Year two
You’ll have the opportunity to specialise in one discipline, or continue with two areas of study. Contextual studies lectures continue and will examine current thinking and debates around aesthetic theory. During the second part of the year you’ll begin a programme of professional practice, with opportunities to publicly exhibit your work.

Year three
In your final year you’ll continue to develop your practice to produce a body of work for public exhibition at the school degree show. You'll also complete a dissertation on a subject of your choosing. Professional development opportunities will encourage you to expand your skills in areas such as web design, marketing and project management. By gaining the necessary expertise, you’ll maximise your potential as a creative practitioner after graduation.

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 by practising artists, sculptors, designers, writers and performers who have excellent research profiles in exhibition, publication, recording and performance.

You’ll learn through 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 gallerists.

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.

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

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Introduction to 2D
  • Introduction to 3D
  • Introduction to Graphic Arts
  • Introduction to Mixed Media Textiles
  • Introduction to Live Art
  • Creativity and Culture
  • 2D Practice
  • 3D Practice
  • Graphic Arts Practice
  • Mixed Media Textiles Practice
  • Live Art Practice
  • Introduction to Printmaking
  • 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
  • Live Art – 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
  • Live Art Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Specialised Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Professional Practice: Independent project


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 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.

You can also apply to study abroad as part of the Erasmus+ scheme. Previous students have studied in Japan, China, Australia, the USA, Taiwan, Switzerland and Germany. 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, Sion Hill Gallery, 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).

The majority of our graduates will progress to art-related employment or self-employment, whether as a studio-based artist, public artist or in the realm of arts management or arts administration.

The course also attracts many students wishing to pursue a career in art education.

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:


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

Your new campus

Our new Locksbrook Campus is truly a unique and inspirational space, providing a state-of-the-art learning environment for you to flourish. Located next to the River Avon in Bath city centre, the open-plan building has technical workshops surrounded by open, flexible studio spaces, as well as large, open social areas.


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

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

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £15,300
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

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

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

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 or Locksbrook Road campuses 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.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Course leader: Matthew Robertson

Three year course
With foundation year
Locksbrook Campus image credits: Chris Wakefield, Crescent Photography
Masthead image: 2D artowrk by Sai Murai.

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