BA (Hons) Fine Art

Course Details

  • Start Date
    September 2020
  • Duration
    3 years
  • Attendance
    Full Time
  • Awarding Body
    The Open University
  • Cost
    £ 7800.00 per year
  • Centre Location
  • Course Description

    The aim of the programme is to provide a challenging and stimulating education through contemporary fine art practice. The practical and theoretical nature of this education enables you to establish an artistic identity and to situate your artistic practice within the wider creative arts industries. We aim to equip you with a range of practical making skills along with the ability to analyse, and critically reflect upon, your visual outcomes. You will also develop your academic writing skills in contextual essay based assignments exploring visual culture themes. Equipped with professional skills along with many transferable skills, the graduating art student takes with them the ability to adapt creatively, think laterally, and to problem solve. In essence this empowers you to contribute to the changes and complexities of creative and contemporary life.

    The course is informed by a diverse range of approaches and traditions that constitute fine art practice. We aim to provide a challenging, rigorous and multi-layered education through context, inspiration and innovative fine art practice. Your artistic identity and critical values are developed by the end of the programme.

    Projects will include collaboration with peers, outside agencies and galleries and also include self-initiated schemes of work. We recognise the importance of visiting national and internationally successful artists to share their practice and experiences with students. Artists such as Alexis Harding, Claire Mitten, Simon Hitchens and Day Bowman have all shared their insights with us. In addition to our End of the Year Degree Show, students fundraise to showcase their work to industry at events such as Free Range or City galleries.

    The course promotes sustainability as an area of concern with an exploration of the sustainability of materials, processes around local, national and global issues. A visiting guest speaker on sustainable issues was Stephan Harding, author of the influential book ‘Animate Earth'.

    Our programme of study is designed to promote and develop inventiveness, improvisational skill and the questioning of established practices. With an emphasis on making, are encouraged to experiment with processes and materials, acquiring new workshop skills and realising the potential for creative processes to communicate ideas visually. This approach to learning also involves transformative experiences with unpredictable visual outcomes. New ways of thinking and problem solving are encouraged and your individual responses are developed in relation to contexts of art practice and to the wider world around you. You have designated studio space and a variety of well-equipped workshop facilities.

    The programme includes links to the wider creative industries and to students and workshops across the art and design spectrum. You have the opportunity to work across disciplines in areas such as the textile print, surface design, creative media and music workshops. This experience is seen as beneficial in acquiring new skills, perspectives and opportunities of practice that can contribute to an enriched creative environment. This course prepares students for professional practice beyond the educational environment. During your studies on the BA (Hons) Fine Art course, you will also gain the skills and knowledge that make you commercially aware and able to communicate and promote yourself in a wide-range of fields within the creative arts.  The programme encourages collaborative and professional practices, such as curatorial practice, work based placements, group exhibitions, copyright and production, acquiring bursaries and funding, and the establishment of on-line profiles. We aim to prepare and equip you with the professional skills required for your on-going future career choices and in relation to external agencies or specific local, national and international communities.

    The aim of the newly refurbished School of Arts and Design at UCS, known as The Arts House, is to bring different art forms together, and in the process create a collaborative platform for students, staff and professional practitioners, one that can foster debate and spark innovation. Our educational philosophy is based on close interaction between tutors and students – in studio sessions, in workshop production and in one-to-one mentoring. This approach combines rigorous instruction with individual attention, a process that enables students to define their own personal objectives and to develop and define their own distinctive creative voices. Our students respond to the creative freedom that an Art School environment allows. They are self-motivated, passionate, and deeply committed to their work. They are accepted into The Arts House, primarily on the basis of their artistic ability; once here, they are supported and facilitated on their own creative journeys.

     The modules studied may include:
    • Idea and Materiality
    • Sustainability
    • Studio Practice
    • Making Meanings
    • Value and Context
    • Creativity and Collaboration

    Find an example of the course handbook here.

    For more information about regulations and policies relevant to studying with the Open University please visit our Wider Information Set page.

    Regulations for validated awards of The Open University and the Appendices can be found here.

  • Teaching and Assessment

    Assessment is by 100% coursework, and we undertake continuous modular assessment. Studio and site-specific projects are a major part of the course, complemented by lectures, seminars and workshops. Students are also assessed by means of a live project or work placement, as well as on curating an exhibition.

  • Progression Opportunities

    Many of our students establish their own studios as artists or craftspeople, while others progress to PGCE, MA or MSc in a related discipline.

  • Career Progression

    Employment opportunities for Fine Art graduates are many and varied, including creative arts practice, arts administration, teaching, curating, and arts therapy. Many of our students establish their own studios as artists or craftspeople, while others progress to postgraduate study in a related discipline including MA and PGCE programmes.

  • Entry Requirements

    Applicants require 80 UCAS points at AS/A2 Level (minimum 32 points at A2 Level) or equivalent Edexcel qualification (Extended Diploma – MMP/Diploma - DM), or Pre-degree Access Diploma. Students also require 4 GCSEs at grade A*-C (new grading system 9-4) including English and Maths or equivalent Level 2 Literacy and Numeracy.

    Once you have applied you will be invited to interview and asked to bring a portfolio. The portfolio must demonstrate your creative skills, subject knowledge and enthusiasm for study, and demonstrate a variety of skills including research, development, progressing through to final outcomes. These must include examples of drawing, sketchbooks, idea development, digital skills and finished pieces

    The nature of study at this level requires GCSE grade A*-C (new grade system 9-4) in English and Maths or equivalent qualification. Under exceptional circumstances, a conditional offer may be made to a prospective learner to include an expectation of working towards GCSE Maths grade C or Level 2 Numeracy alongside completing the degree programme. Mature students who do not meet these formal entry requirements are welcome to apply, if they can evidence their commitment to the subject through previous experience.

    Applicants with English as their second language must have minimum IELTS Level 6 or equivalent.

  • Costs