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BA (Hons)

Fine Art

BA Fine Art
Top
20
In the UK for Design and crafts
in The Guardian University Guide 2020
  • UCAS code(s): W100
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

FIND US ON

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

  • We're delighted to be ranked as one of the top 10 universities in the UK for Art & Design (The Complete University Guide 2020).
  • Employability on this course is excellent, with 96% of students securing employment or further education within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016/17).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Exhibit your work as part of our Degree Show with the opportunity to exhibit externally in local, national or international spaces.

Student work

What you'll study

This Fine Art course is concerned with imaginative and inventive making and thinking. It reflects the diversity of contemporary Fine Art practice and the critical discourses surrounding it, incorporating practices from the newest technologies to the most traditional. These may challenge the boundaries of medium and technique, concept or expectation.

Within this framework, you will be able to develop a specific focus to your practice and studies according to your individual needs and abilities. Whilst primarily focused upon making, the study of Fine Art also requires participation in critique: the exploration of relevant contexts and theories of art in order to develop and evidence creative analytical thinking within your practice.

  • Year One

    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.

  • Year Two

    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. 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
    • Material Encounters
    • Publishing: Experimental Formats
    • Experimental Animation
  • Final year

    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 Degree Show. 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.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

Fine Art students during Welcome Week

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
  • Degree Show guidance.

Assessment

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.

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.

Degree Show

In your final year you’ll exhibit your work as part of our Degree Show. This event includes all final year students across NTU’s art and design courses and is a great platform for you to showcase your work to members of the creative industries.

Assessment methods

Assessment is a combination of practical and coursework across all years of study. Formative and summative assessment for practical modules involves the presentation of a body of practical work and a module portfolio.

Both parts of the submission are graded holistically. For the contextual studies modules, submission for assessment will be based on coursework and other embedded written assignments.

Assessment methods can include exhibitions, individual and group presentations, seminars and submission of written/visual material. Assessment methods used throughout the course reflect professional practice in the wider field and are designed to help you meet the course and module learning outcomes.

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • 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%).

We're delighted to be ranked as one of the top 10 universities in the UK for Art & Design (The Complete University Guide 2020)

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.

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.

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 artistled 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.

Erm, What? installation shot as part of a recent exhibition at Sufrace Gallery, Nottingham (image credit: Emily Stollery)

Live lectures

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

  • Susan Collis
  • Alex Farquharson
  • Jordan Baseman
  • Simon Callery
  • Mark Leckey
  • Bedwyr Williams
  • Harrison and Wood
  • Kevin Hunt
  • Sean Edwards
  • Jo Addison
  • Pil and Galia Kollectiv
  • Richard Wentworth.

Our Fine Art students have recently enjoyed success at high-profile competitions such as Bloomberg New Contemporaries, the Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Art Prize, Saatchi Gallery’s New Sensations and the ING Prize.

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.

The Summer Lodge

After the summer term, all staff are invited back into the fine art studios for a ten-day period, together with recent graduates and guest artists, to make and share work. There are opportunities for students to assist professional artists and to participate in debate and discussions; during each year's Summer Lodge there is a day-long symposium on a theme related to artistic and research enquiry.

The Winter Lodge

Over the Christmas break the Fine Art team interrogate one another's artistic and / or research enquiry over a few days. The themes and issues arising from this work form the basis for both future projects and the contexts for talks over the spring term.

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 (Kayt Hughes won in 2015), Harbin International University Snow Sculpture competition, the Saatchi Gallery's New Sensations, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, The Jerwood Drawing Prize, and the ING Prize.

Employability on this course is excellent, with 96% of students securing employment or further education within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016/17)

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

All applicants welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to present a portfolio at interview.

What are we looking for?

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements, please visit our international qualifications page.

Other requirements

Foundation courses

If you need to do an art and design foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS. If your application is successful, you'll be invited to an interview where you'll need to bring with you your  portfolio.

Download our portfolio checklist.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply through UCAS (if applying to more than one university in the UK), or through our NTU applicant portal

If you aren't a resident in the UK, we'll ask you to submit a digital portfolio in lieu of an interview.

Get some digital portfolio advice.

Keeping up to date

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.

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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 of Art & Design will provide you with £100 of credit each year (for a maximum of three years) to use in our art shop, school workshops and school printing facilities. The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In Final Year, the School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Degree Show, including course catalogue and exhibition set-up costs.

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 of Art & Design will provide you with £100 of credit each year (for a maximum of three years) to use in our art shop, school workshops and school printing facilities. The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In Final Year, the School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Degree Show, including course catalogue and exhibition set-up costs.

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.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418