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Fine Art

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Award
BA (Hons) Fine Art
School/s
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: W101; or W102; or W103
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 admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

A studio-centred fine arts degree, encouraging independent enquiry and delivered by practising artists.

  • Outstanding programme of visiting speakers, including internationally acclaimed artists and curators.
  • Exceptional academic and technical support in painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, film, sound, performance and photography.
  • Excellent studios, making spaces, technical support and workshops.

This course is currently full and is not accepting applications for 2024 entry. 

We'll update the page when applications reopen for a September 2025 start. If you have any questions, please contact the course leader or speak to our Admissions team: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk


University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

#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)

#1 in South West for Fine Art

We’re also in the UK top 10 for “Career after 15 months” (both Guardian University Guide, 2023)

This studio-centred course offers you the opportunity to explore the disciplines of painting, sculpture, performance, installation, printmaking, and lens-based and digital media.

The Fine Art course is characterised by a profound synergy between academic and technical teaching and learning. You'll work towards an independent, critical and reflective practice, supported through tutorials, workshops, lectures, study trips and, in the first year, weekly contact with your Academic Advisor.

Our lecturers are engaged in their own practice as artists, bringing a contagious energy to the dialogue and exchange with students. In this community, students, tutors and dedicated technicians work together to understand and develop what contemporary art can or should be today. You’ll develop the skills you need for a successful career - as an artist or in a related profession.


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Study options

Integrated Foundation Year (UCAS code: W103)

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: W102)

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.

"Within the Fine Art course, there is a great relationship between the making and the thinking, and a huge emphasis on the ‘doing’ and the ‘stuff’ involved in contemporary art. I learnt how to treat being an artist as a job, how to go in everyday and work hard, what it means to even have a studio, how to get myself un-stuck, how to write about my work, how to become an expert in my own field and above all how to problem solve."

Holly Nicholls, graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

The course is aimed at the development of studio practice in painting, drawing, sculpture, film, photography, performance and sound. The structure of the course leaves room for not knowing, experimentation, discovery, risk and innovation.

This course promotes curiosity, risk and innovation. It aims to develop your skills of analysis, self-criticism, reflection and communication - both verbally and visually - as well as the practical skills you need.

It is critical that you understand current and historical debates in art, and through a programme of Contextual Studies we encourage you to consider how theory and contextual knowledge is embedded in practice.

Delivered by specialists in the field, the Professional Practice module aims to equip you with the skills you need to build a successful future. Taught sessions support you to photograph work, build blogs/websites, write artist statements, fundraise, network, manage projects and curate exhibitions.

Course structure

Year one
Experimentation with materials, techniques and processes are foregrounded. You'll establish a way of working that is playful and analytical. Through this process you'll begin to recognise the themes that are emerging in your work. The year is filled with a range of inductions and workshops to support your practice.

Year two
This is a pivotal period of development in which we will support you to progress your ideas, conceptual strategies and processes. Experimentation remains key, alongside a greater emphasis on individual research, reflection and analysis. We will encourage you to develop a more focused awareness of the debates that surround your practice and continually test its boundaries and possibilities. Off-site exhibitions, projects and other initiatives support you to consider your work beyond the studio.

Year three
You'll build on and extend the ideas you explored in the previous year. As a final year student, greater emphasis is placed not only on a body of resolved, considered and well executed work, but also on work that is ambitious and takes risks. At the end of the year, you'll present work in a degree show that is open to the public.

How will I be assessed?

The course is made up of summative and formative assessments. Formative assessment takes place with the work in the studio and is ongoing throughout the duration of the course. Feedback is given verbally and through written reports from a personal tutor. Summative assessments take place at the end of modules. Assessments take the form of a presented body of work, an exhibition, reflective/academic text or live presentations.

How will I be taught?

Teaching takes the form of one-to-one tutorials, group critiques, academic workshops, seminars, lectures and forums.

Our visiting lecture series is fundamental to our course and we are proud of the range of speakers we attract. Each week internationally acclaimed artists, curators and arts professionals give talks about their work, teach in the studios or deliver an exciting range of workshops driven by their research interests.

All the teaching team are engaged in their own practice and this is critical to the philosophy of the course.

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
  • Introduction to Fine Art: Fundamentals
  • Studio Practice: Strategies and Behaviours
  • How Did We Get Here?: Contexts of Art
  • Studio Practice: Investigation and Exploration
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • Exploring Fine Art: Territories
  • Studio Practice: Frameworks and Enquiries
  • We Are Here: Art in the 21st Century
  • Studio Practice: Encounters and Audiences
  • Professional Placement Year
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • Situating Practice: Final Project
  • Studio Practice: In Context (20)
  • Studio Practice: In Context (40)
  • Studio Practice: Exhibition

Opportunities

Projects

No Working Title
A collaboration between four UK art schools and Tate Modern.  Our department is delighted to be one of the associate partners of the new Tate Exchange project, which will host and support the development of No Working Title over the next three years.  Every year 40 students take part in this project.

You can engage in off site exhibitions throughout your course of study. Sites have included abandoned shops or buildings throughout the city or beyond.

The Porthleven Prize
Students are selected to take part in a residency on the Cornish coast and produce new work in response to the site. This work forms part of a national touring exhibition.

The London exhibition
After the degree show event at the Bath School of Art, Film and Media our year 3 students are supported to take their degree shows to London. These shows have taken place at landmark sites throughout the city and attract attention from galleries and other arts professionals.

Study abroad

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

Fieldwork

Study visits play an integral part of the course both within the UK and beyond. Trips have included the Liverpool Biennale, Berlin (artists studio visits), Rome, New York, Venice Biennale, Paris (artists studio visits), Istanbul Biennale and The British Arts Show, Leeds. We run up to 5 trips to London every academic year.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our students take up a variety of work placements, internships or opportunities in the creative industry from the ICA, Hauser and Wirth, the Holburne Museum and Spike Island to working as assistants with internationally acclaimed artists or prestigious commissions in nationally acclaimed heritage sites.

Our Fine Art department is one of Tate Exchange's official associates, and we are excited to see what being part of this initiative will bring to the course.

Careers

Our graduates go on to become, among other things, professional practising self-employed artists, they become curators in established galleries or set up their own artist run spaces. We have alumni who are teachers or work in gallery education; others have gone onto work in conservation, TV, or Art Therapy.

Many of our alumni go onto further study at some of the UK’s top postgraduate courses including the Slade School of Fine Art, Chelsea School of Art and Design, The Royal College of Art, The Royal Academy Schools, Glasgow School of Art and the Courtauld Institute.

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.   

“The inspirational opportunities I was exposed to were way beyond my expectations. The teaching staff enabled me to develop as a practising artist, giving me confidence to explore contemporary art in a playful, exciting and experimental way.”

Jenny Cooper, graduate

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As a BA 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 well-stocked Library at Newton Park
  • Specialist technical workshops across all of art and design
  • Access to studio space where you can work on projects and refine your practice.
Support

Throughout the course, you'll have access to a wide range of tutors for sign-up tutorials, academic workshops and critiques. All our students have access to exceptional technical facilities, technicians and technical workshops.

Resources

You'll have access to our huge range of facilities and resources, including:

  • Audio/visual studio (incorporates sound booth)
  • Equipment loans – AV and photography
  • Black and white photography workshops
  • Wide format digital printing
  • Digital imaging suite
  • Photography lighting studio
  • IT Labs (film editing)
  • Casting workshop
  • Ceramic design studio
  • Clay preparation and kilns
  • Glaze laboratory
  • Metalwork
  • Woodwork
  • Painting methods room
  • Plastic workshop
  • Printmaking – etching, screen print, lithography and letterpress
  • Bookbinding
  • 3d printing
  • Individual studio spaces
  • Gallery
  • Art shop.

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.

“My Fine Art degree at Bath Spa meant the difference between collecting ideas in notepads and seeing them realised on gallery walls and beyond.”

Trevor Smith, graduate

Fees

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

This course is designed for individuals who are curious, motivated and want to develop their own independent art practices. Applications and places are sought after.

We highly recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design.

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 in addition to a HL Art subject at grade 5.
  • 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) together with evidence of experience in Art.

Our selection focuses on the quality of the portfolio of work presented at interview as part of the admissions process.

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 admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

How do I apply?

This course is currently full and isn't accepting applications for 2024 entry. We'll update the page when applications reopen for a September 2025 start. If you have any questions, please contact our Admissions team: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Applicants will be invited to supply a digital portfolio of creative work in advance of their interview.

Course leader: Natasha Kidd
Email: n.kidd@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course
With placement year
With foundation year
Masthead image: artwork by Amber Ward, BA (Hons) Fine Art.

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