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Fine Art BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): W100
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Explore what it means to be an artist in the 21st Century, considering the role of contemporary art in modern society. Develop your artistic work across the full range of contemporary fine art media, including drawing, installation, painting, sculpture, performance, photography, film, video, sound, and print.

Nottingham is internationally recognised as a vibrant hub for new and emerging artists and artist-led initiatives, boasting a diverse and thriving network of galleries, art spaces and artist collectives. Benefit from our links with such organisations locally, nationally and internationally by working on collaborative projects and enhancing your professional practice.

You’ll have the opportunity to enter competitions and exhibit your work globally. Our Fine Art graduates have played a big role in the development of the artistic network in Nottingham – there is direct correlation with the amount of art projects going on in the city and our alumni – a reciprocal ecosystem that future students can benefit from.

Key features

  • You’ll have the opportunity to complete a work experience placement of up to a year in length. Dependent on the duration of your placement, you could gain an additional Diploma or Certificate in Professional Practice.
  • Experiment with different media before focusing on what is right for your own practice.
  • Work in our dedicated Fine Art studios and workshops, alongside students from all years. View our Art & Design facilities hub here.
  • Attend our Live Lecture Series, featuring national and international artists, creative practitioners and theorists.
  • Be inspired by Nottingham’s artistic community and creative places to visit, including Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange and Lakeside Arts.
  • Create connections with Nottingham’s wider art community through our alumni and staff network.
  • Benefit from our extensive links with festivals, art organisations and artists’ groups, nationally and internationally.
  • Take part in local and international exhibitions and events, such as the Tilburg project in the Netherlands and Kunstpodium T programme.
  • Go on optional study trips to destinations such as Berlin, New York, and Copenhagen.
  • Apply to study part of your degree abroad through our European or international exchange programmes.
  • Have the support of academic and technical staff who are practising artists in their own right.
  • During your time here, you will be given the opportunity to showcase your work to members of the creative industries and exhibit externally in local, national or international spaces. You can view our graduating students’ showcase here.

Student work

What you’ll study

Throughout the course, you’ll experiment with a range of media and then specialise and develop in your own area of interest.

Curiosity: Introducing Fine Art Practice

(100 credit points, full year)

The emphasis is on developing self-directed study, beginning with a series of workshops to kick-start your practice and help you to settle into your studies, allowing you to meet staff and fellow students. Explore with a sense of curiosity, creating work quickly and developing your ideas into more focused, self-negotiated fine art practice.

Deepen your awareness of the critical and professional contexts of fine art, and through project proposals and planning you’ll be introduced to the skills required for professional practice. Record and reflect on your work throughout the year to assemble a research portfolio.

Writing Contemporary Art: Review

(20 credit points, full year)

The module begins with an introduction to the gallery, studio and artist-collective platforms and contexts of contemporary art, starting with local venues and studios before considering the global scene and its histories. You will use and be shown different methods of writing to help generate research, record and reflect upon the work you experience, and describe its material and conceptual qualities. Seminal exhibition platforms will be explored and discussed in the lecture programme, in addition to studying reviews and critical writing excerpts, and learning about artistic research.

Speculation: Staging Fine Art Practice

(60 credit points, full year)

Building on your work in Year One, you will explore diverse methods of making and staging in the development of your work. In this module, an emphasis is placed on the contexts of exhibiting your work in and around the University, and in the wider city. You will also be encouraged and supported in generating an ethically sound and sustainable practice, in whatever processes and media you have chosen.

Writing Contemporary Art: Analysis

(20 credit points, full year)

The module begins with a series of themed lectures that explore a variety of different artistic practices that are grouped under three broad ‘rooms’ of enquiry: art and society, art and materiality, and art and history. Analyse the works and projects discussed within the contexts of their ‘room’ in order to examine, question and expose the methods adopted by the various artists, collectives and practices. At this level you will be shown how to critically engage with contemporary art landscapes and trends, to develop confidence and learn a critical vocabulary.

Co Lab: Research, Exploration and Risk-taking

(20 credit points, second half of the year)

Through active participation with team-based problem solving, you will work together in mixed teams on a project where you will use your creative ideas to generate solutions to the challenge or brief. Your project will allow you to explore how creativity can make an impact in society, as you choose a theme of sustainability, social justice, enterprise and innovation or community. This collaborative learning experience will expose you to a range of new processes and approaches that will develop your creative thinking.

Optional module

You will also personalise your course by choosing from a suite of 20-credit modules.

Depending on this choice, these modules will either develop your critical, theoretical and contextual understanding, or will broaden your technical and creative skill. Indicative modules include:

  • Critical Histories
  • Publishing: Experimental Formats
  • Experimental Animation
  • 3D Materials and Exploration
  • Model Making: Object and Narrative
  • Responding to the Visual World
  • Encountering Objects

Resolution: Final Practice and Reflection

(100 credit points, full year)

You will work independently towards a deeper understanding and resolution of your own practice, and identify and critically apply the questions, problems, methods and processes that are uniquely appropriate to your practice as you develop your own body of work. There is an emphasis on making and staging your own work within a professional contemporary art context, culminating in exhibiting your work in our Showcase. You will also focus on your own professional development, and identify future career opportunities.

Writing Contemporary Art: Research

(20 credit points, full year)

The module begins with lectures that are specifically focused to help you formulate a research question and develop an individualized proposal. A number of texts, exhibition platforms, projects and examples will be critically discussed in the opening lectures and seminars, that will guide you towards the formulation of a research question. At this stage your early research activities will be directed around an aspect of contemporary art (theory or practice) that interests you, and which may or may not have been covered by the lectures so far. By the end of the module you will have gained an understanding of where your own practice sits in relation to the wider cultural and critical voices you have exposed through your research.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Agil Abdullayev

Fine Art

The tutors and technicians are great! They have helped me to improve my works more than I could have ever imagined. Joining NTU has been the best decision I have ever made.

Fine Art, BA - Emily Stollery

Fine Art

The facilities the course offers are second to none, they allowed me to develop and become more ambitious.

Harry Freestone

Fine Art

I like that the city supports my creative practice by having such a vibrant art scene, including international galleries such as Nottingham Contemporary, through to smaller independent galleries that are great at supporting and working with students.

Julia Shearer

Fine Art

I have absolutely loved the freedom the course offers and the opportunity to pursue my own personal interests without having to stick to a specific brief or project.

Kayt Hughes

Fine Art

When I came to NTU I was absolutely blown away by the fantastic studio spaces, the enthusiasm of the students, and the involvement of the staff.

Chris Preece

Fine Art

As soon as I visited I knew I needed to be here; everything about NTU was so vibrant and invigorating, I remember walking through the studios and thinking I need to be a part of this.

How you’re taught

You’ll spend most of your time in a creative studio environment. Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • individual and group tutorials and presentations
  • year meetings
  • Live Lecture programme
  • technical advice and workshops
  • visiting lecturer tutorials
  • studio lecturer tutorials (sign-ups)
  • career guidance
  • organised study trips
  • Showcase guidance.

Collaboration across courses

This course offers our new innovative collaboration module. This gives you the opportunity to work collaboratively with your contemporaries from a range of different art and design subjects and beyond. You’ll be working alongside artists, designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, and filmmakers on daring and creative projects that prepare you for a rewarding career in your chosen industry.

Exchange opportunities  and study trips

You’ll have the opportunity to go on a number of national and international trips during the course. Recent UK destinations have included Liverpool Biennial festival, Glasgow International festival, and various London galleries. International destinations have included New York, Berlin, and Copenhagen.

The course has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world, including Massey University in New Zealand, University of Lapland in Finland, and more. You can apply to go on exchange in Year Two for one semester.

A recent international masterclass programme has also given selected students the opportunity to work on a group project exhibiting in the Netherlands with students from across Europe.

Showcase

You will be given the opportunity to exhibit your work during your time at NTU to members of the creative industries. Visit our ‘We Are Creatives’ showcase to take a look at the work of this year's graduating students’.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (23%), independent study (77%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%).

Staff Profiles

Sean Cummins

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Sean Cummins

Ryan Young

Technical Specialist

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Ryan is a model maker and life-cast artist with a comprehensive working knowledge of sculpture, fabrication and mould making. Having graduated from BA (Hons) Model Making at The Arts University…

Lisa Selby

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Lisa Selby is a lecturer in Fine Art. Her research interests are addiction, mental health and incarceration

Katja Hock

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

As Course Leader, Dr Katja Hock is responsible for the MA Fine Art course and MFA in Fine Art courses.

Louisa Chambers

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Louisa Chambers is a Lecturer in Fine Art and has taught across all levels on the undergraduate programme and into the MFA.

Debra Swann

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

Debra teaches across all three levels of the BA fine Art. She organises and facilitates workshops, seminars and has a tutor group in level two.

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%).
  • Year 3 coursework (100%).

Assessment is 100% coursework and practice. You will receive feedback throughout each module and will be awarded a grade. In your practical modules, your research portfolio evidences the ongoing documentation of work in development. Other assessment methods include exhibitions, presentations, seminars, and the submission of written and visual material. Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

Careers and employability

A high proportion of graduates stay in Nottingham to pursue artistic activities. Many go on to become artists or work in roles such as curators, teachers, gallerists, animators, musicians, community artists, photographers and filmmakers. Some go on to use the skills and experience they’ve gained to enter careers in journalism, media, photography, web design, interiors, landscape design, and education.

Successful and notable graduates from this course include:

  • film director Simon Ellis
  • painter Nigel Cooke
  • artist and illustrator Jon Burgerman
  • curators Hannah Conroy and Ashley Gallant
  • artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster
  • award-winning landscape designer Sarah Price
  • video artist Marianna Simnett
  • artist Yoko Hayashi
  • sculptor David Batchelor.

Professional practice and internship opportunities

You’ll have the opportunity to complete work experience or longer placement with external art organisations, galleries, and collectives, with the chance to gain an additional Diploma or Certificate in Professional Practice, dependent on duration. Course tutors and our Employability team are on hand to support you in applying for placement and professional practice opportunities. You’ll have access to:

  • a database containing contacts for potential work placements
  • collaborative opportunities for project development, exhibitions, and shows of work.

You will benefit from opportunities to collaborate on projects and exhibitions with a range of prestigious Nottingham institutions, including:

  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • New Art Exchange
  • Broadway Cinema
  • One Thoresby Street
  • Primary
  • Backlit
  • Surface Gallery
  • Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

Fine Art students at NTU also benefit from collaborative opportunities with our staff and technicians.

YouFirst – working with our Employability team

Studying a creative degree in a large university has many benefits, none more so than having access to a large employability team.

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course.

Creative Industries Federation

We are members of the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), which means students in the Nottingham School of Art & Design have the opportunity to sign up to free student membership. Creative Industries Federation are an organisation that represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries and membership grants students exclusive access to their selection of resources and events to help advance your career and connect with industry.

Links with the creative community

This course is set against the backdrop of Nottingham’s exceptionally strong contemporary art community. The city is internationally recognised as a centre of world-leading artistic innovation and creative business.

Over recent years, Nottingham has become a vibrant hub for new and emerging artists, boasting a diverse and thriving network of galleries, art spaces and artist led initiatives – many of which our graduates are involved with. A high volume of our graduating students choose to stay in Nottingham, developing career paths within the city’s art scene.

You’ll benefit from NTU’s wealth of contacts and links with regional and national art organisations, galleries, and collectives. Our Fine Art students have recently exhibited publicly at venues like Surface Gallery, Backlit, and One Thoresby Street, as well as other pop-up galleries in Nottingham and Internationally.

Live lectures

Our Live Lecture programme runs throughout all years of the course. It welcomes national and international artists, creative practitioners and theorists, including:

  • Rachel Pimm
  • Jeremy Deller
  • Richard Wentworth
  • Esther Leslie
  • Pil and Galia Kollectiv
  • Hetain Patel
  • Rehana Zaman
  • Harold Offeh
  • John Newling

Competitions

Our Fine Art students enter competitions as available and relevant to their areas of practice. The main focus of this course is on developing collaborative relationships with external art organisations and practices.

Recent examples of competitions students have taken part in include the Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Prize, Harbin International University Snow Sculpture competition, the Saatchi Gallery's New Sensations, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, The Jerwood Drawing Prize, and the ING Prize.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels - BBC or equivalent; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels  or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs - English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

Other qualifications and experience

We will consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

International qualifications 

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements 

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In Final Year, the Nottingham School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Showcase.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

We advise you to budget between £100 - £140 (minimum) per year for printing costs.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget a minimum of £300 (Year One), £350 (Year Two), and £480 (Final Year) to cover the production costs associated to your course.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

You should budget £90 – £130 per year (minimum) for stationery and reading materials.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join an optional UK study trips in Final Year, you should budget £30 (minimum). If you choose to join an optional international study trip, you’ll need to budget around £500 (minimum).

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

If you undertake work experience or a longer placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.  The Diploma in Professional Practice incurs a fee for the additional placement year.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion, and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In Final Year, the Nottingham School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Showcase.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

We advise you to budget between £100 - £140 (minimum) per year for printing costs.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget a minimum of £300 (Year One), £350 (Year Two), and £480 (Final Year) to cover the production costs associated to your course.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

You should budget £90 – £130 per year (minimum) for stationery and reading materials.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join an optional UK study trips in Final Year, you should budget £30 (minimum). If you choose to join an optional international study trip, you’ll need to budget around £500 (minimum).

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

If you undertake work experience or a longer placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.  The Diploma in Professional Practice incurs a fee for the additional placement year.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a digital portfolio. Visit our webpage which has some advice on what to include to help make your portfolio stand out. After you have submitted your portfolio, we may also invite you to an online interview to help us make our final decision.

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Your portfolio 

If your initial application is successful, you may be asked to upload a portfolio of your work and you may also be asked to attend an interview.

Portfolio advice

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.