School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Fine Art

UCAS tariff 96 - 144
UCAS course code W100
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years
Assessment breakdown 100% coursework
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Realise your potential in one of Britain’s most vibrant cities for artist-led culture. Be guided by practising artists, curators, producers and writers to explore different concepts, contexts, techniques, and technologies. Your degree and our supportive studio culture will equip you to understand, and participate in the expanded forms of making, thinking and writing that reflect contemporary, interdisciplinary art practice.

Fine Art

BA (Hons) Fine Art degree show by Dom Moore

Providing rewarding experiences

A wide range of collaborative and independent learning activities are designed to equip you with experience, skills and confidence

Facilities with BA (Hons) Fine Art

A practice-based programme
With two-thirds of your time spent in the studio, the facilities for you to create your own artwork need to be exceptional – and they are!

<p>One of the National Care Day pictures projected on campus during a special exhibition of foster children artwork<br></p>

Collaboration, placement and exchanges
Progress your skills by working with local artists and arts organisations, taking part in a short placement, residency or international exchange.

<p>Work displayed at the BA Fine Art Stage 2 sharing of practice event at Leadworks in Plymouth 


Exhibitions, open studios, trips and visiting artists
Pop-up shows and exhibitions, open studios and test spaces develop your professional practice and engage with different audiences.

Careers with this subject

BA (Hons) Fine Art will equip you with a diverse range of transferable skills, including independent study, goal setting, workload and deadline management, critical and professional writing, problem-solving, spatial planning, resource management, complex project management and collaboration – skills that are key to contemporary, globalised, flexible working in many different sectors. You'll also graduate with a body of self-directed art practice that demonstrates critical, theoretical and contextual understandings of contemporary fine art.

Our mix of seminars and tutorials, placements and residencies, workshops and studio practice and your development of independent, collaborative and social practices will ready you to launch your professional practice, find employment in the cultural sector or act as a catalyst for further post-graduate study.

What can you do with a fine art degree?

Key features

  • Studio culture. Our main teaching and learning space is the studio and we place emphasis on creating a friendly, supportive, vibrant, creative, critical and reflective studio environment. You will work in dedicated studio spaces and specialist workshops through a mix of practical exercises, one-to-one and group tutorials, seminars and interactive lectures, artist talks, and fieldwork and field trip opportunities.
  • Thinking through doing. This is a practice-based programme, which means that critical enquiry is at the heart of making work. We encourage you to be exploratory and experimental, to think through making and to embrace uncertainty and not knowing. 
  • Facilities. You will have inductions in and access to a wide range of specialist workshop facilities to advance your artistic enquiry, including letterpress and printmaking, ceramics, woodworking, metal, video, audio, XR and 3D printing.
  • Interdisciplinary. Studio practice modules and the common challenges and dissertation modules offer you opportunities to work in interdisciplinary research areas across the arts, humanities and sciences.
  • Degree show. Showcase your final project in a faculty-wide exhibition alongside students from our 12 art and design degrees. The Degree Show is your chance to introduce friends and family, your new creative network and art community, prospective employers and the general public to your work.
  • Collaboration. You will collaborate with partners through placements in organisations like KARST, The Box, Arts Institute, Marine Institute and you will exhibit work both on- and off-site throughout your degree.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Your first year is about exploration of materials, processes and ideas. You’ll examine the diverse traditions of fine art up to the present day. There’s ample studio time to try out different techniques and technologies from painting to digital media. Building critical analysis skills through interaction with other students and teaching staff will boost your confidence and you will be introduced to interdisciplinary art practices, working in response to the global challenges that we face today.

    Core modules

    • Contemporary Fine Art 1: Skills, Themes and Contexts (ART413)

      This is a diagnostic module introduces students to the diverse nature of fine art practice and the role of the studio within it. Critical contexts are also introduced. The studio-based projects include seminars and workshops to relate examples of contemporary fine art practice to explorations of relevant concepts, material processes and techniques.

    • Interdisciplinary Art Practice 1 (ART414)

      An introductory module to fine art interdisciplinary practice in which students will be introduced to relevant approaches to generating art practice through tutorials and seminars.

    • Interdisciplinary Art Practice 2 (ART415)

      Students are required to respond individually or collaboratively to a given theme through the appropriate exploration of aspects of interdisciplinary art practices, in the context of the studio. Supported by seminars and workshops, practice will be informed by a developing awareness of ideas and approaches established in recent work within the field of contemporary art practice.

    • Critical studies 1: Critical Review of Contemporary Practices (ART416)

      This module provides an introduction to key ideas, methods, and approaches in fine art to inform students’ practice. This is achieved through seminars and lectures on contemporary Fine Art, which includes introduction to cultural theory and visual culture tutorials, use of online materials, and other research processes.

    • Critical studies 2: Critical Reflection of Contemporary Practice (ART417)

      This module provides a further introduction to key ideas, methods, and approaches within contemporary art practices and related areas to inform students’ practice. This is achieved through seminars, lectures, tutorials, use of online materials and the students’ own research leading to a body of critically reflective writing.

  • Year 2

  • Drawing on your work from the first year, you’ll now have confidence to follow your instincts, choose your own media, use your inspirations and intentions to outline project aims and research strategies. You’ll further develop your critical skills by reflecting on your own work and that of others. In groups, you will curate a selection of work for a public exhibition and engage in a professional placement or interdisciplinary residency. You’ll also make work in response to common challenges – environment, health and equality. There is also an opportunity to take part in an international exchange programme.

    Core modules

    Fine Art Practice 2: Studio Experimentation and DIY Culture (ART522)

    This module provides an opportunity for students to develop a negotiated art practice through sustained studio experimentation and a DIY/DIWO (Do It Yourself / Do It With Others) culture, including strategies for navigating collaborative practices. The studio-based module will develop an awareness of contextual frameworks in relation to art practice and enable students to research and experiment with materials, processes, concepts and environments in preparation for a public show of art practice.

    Interdisciplinary Art Practice 3: audiences and public interaction (ART523)

    This module provides an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of professional practice or links within a discipline of associated research through placement participation. Develop outputs that can be disseminated to a public audience that are appropriate to the student’s area of professional interaction, introduced through a series of seminars and/or workshops This module also is aimed at developing the student’s professional portfolio.

    Common Challenge: Interdisciplinary Art Practice 4 (ART524)

    This module provides an opportunity for students to develop and realise collaborative professional practice through interdisciplinary research grounded in placement and/or residency participation. There will be a specific focus on strategies for collaboration, community-based practice and social practice art. This will be introduced through a series of seminars and/or workshops. Students will work in groups with interdisciplinary partners to develop collaborative outputs that can be disseminated to a public audience.

    Optional modules

    ADA International Exchange

    Critical studies 3: Close reading of influential text (ART520)

    This programme of seminars, tutorials and independent study will examine key theories and ideas which relate to contemporary fine art practice through close reading of selected texts. The influential texts will be used to explore areas of artistic inquiry as well as strategies for researching, writing and engaging in practical research within a group and individual framework.

    Critical studies 4: writing as cultural practice (ART521)

    This programme of seminars, presentations, tutorials and independent study continues to explore key theories and ideas which relate to contemporary art practices. Selected works and texts, and modes of writing, will be used to explore areas of inquiry as methods of engaging in practical research within a group and individual framework.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, you will produce a comprehensive body of work, exploring its social and cultural context and the relationship between artist and audience. Deepen your knowledge of a specific area of artistic practice and its concepts through the common dissertation module, where you can develop critical and creative skills in an interdisciplinary setting. Continue to prepare for a career in art by developing a research portfolio and art publication for use when you graduate. Develop professional and transferable skills in collaborative arts administration and management through curation, design, marketing and installing your degree show.

    Core modules

    Fine Art Practice 3: Research and Development for Public Exhibition (ART625)

    The students will develop a negotiated conceptual framework for individual and/or collaborative creative methods, with reference to contemporary practices, approaches and theories. The module will enable the development of student learning towards an increasingly independent enquiry into source material and appropriate practices, linked to critical research and professional practice.

    Fine Art Practice 4: Public Exhibition (ART626)

    The students will realise a negotiated conceptual framework for individual and/or collaborative creative methods, with reference to contemporary practices, approaches and theories. The module will enable the development of student learning towards the realisation of an independent, practice-based enquiry into source material and appropriate professional practices, linked to critical research. This will be developed into a body of work for final presentation that is suitable for public exhibition.

    Common Dissertation (ADA600)

    The module engages students in situating practice through research, contextualisation and critical reflection, in relation to their final stage study and post University aspirations. Programmes can offer: a traditional dissertation; preparation for an extended dissertation; situating existing practice; or the construction of a new body of work as practice-based research.

    Interdisciplinary Art Publication (ART627)

    In this module students are encouraged to embrace a more open and flexible approach toward the interdisciplinary art publication. This module enables students to expand the possibilities of art publication through individual or the merging of art disciplines and in association with their studio practice.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA (Hons) Fine Art programme specification_0506

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

96 - 144

A level 
A minimum of two A levels; General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
26 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification, it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably Art and Design or combined) with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

T level
Merit in digital production, design and development.

Mathematics and English Language grade C.

English language requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications, please refer to our tariff glossary.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered; please contact

A portfolio presentation is a requirement for entry onto this course.

Find further information on our portfolio guidance page.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021-2022 2022-2023
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,200 £14,600
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Applicant portfolio advice – find out how to make an impression with your portfolio.

Plymouth art and cultural scene

Plymouth was home to the first arts centre established after World War 2 and the city is a stunning example of mid-20th century modern civic design. After hosting the British Art Show 7 in 2011, Plymouth is poised to welcome BAS9 in 2022. 

You are encouraged to develop work with local arts organisations, such as Nudge, Ocean Studios, Leadworks, Plymouth Arts Cinema and Plymouth Art Weekender, with gallery spaces such as the Levinsky Gallery, The Box and KARST, and with artist-led initiatives, such as Imperfect Cinema, CAMP, JarSquad, Flock and CineSistersSW, among many others.

The University of Plymouth also hosts the Arts Institute, a curated public arts programme which plays a pivotal role in building culture and art in the city.


'Narrenschiff', 2017, Kehinde Wiley Three-channel digital film Duration:16.40 minutes. 'Kehinde Wiley: Ship of Fools', The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth | 29 September - 20 December 2020


Copyright Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photo by Mark Blower. 

Meet your lecturers

Encouraging your individuality

Increase your knowledge and develop a critical questioning approach through intellectually stretching multidisciplinary learning.

"I have really enjoyed the fact that you learn so many different techniques and disciplines."
Laura discusses her work and how research has shaped her as a person – as well as an artist – and inspired her to go on to further study.

"I go into a space with the idea that I’m going to create a mark."
Eleanor Neason's 'The Lived Body' explores our subjective experiences and how we perceive and experience ourselves in our surroundings and space.

<p>Uploading myself by Fine Artist Molly McAndrews -&nbsp;

A digital collage made in response to Lockdown and transitioning my work from matter to machine: 


"The Fine Art course is one of the most collaborative, open, versatile courses around."
Molly McAndrews began collaborating with Laura Rosser during her first year. Four years later, they have collaborated on multiple funded projects.

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni is updated annually in September.