School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Realise your artistic potential. Guided by practising artists, you’ll find the freedom to try different techniques and technologies. By analysing artistic influences and inspirations, you’ll deepen your understanding of what makes great art and gain the skills to create it. You’ll develop the expertise to feed your emotions and ideas into your work. And with excellent international links offering opportunities to travel, you’ll have everything you need to make your art the best it can be.

Graduates in fine art find employment in a diverse range of careers, from teaching to professional practice, working in museums to art therapy. We’ll help you find your niche and train for it with flexible internships.

Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Adam Garratt:

"To work in retail design, you have to put yourself out there and meet the people who already do that job, show them what you can do, offer to help and always say yes. They remember that. With art and exhibitions, apply to anything that’s free, search for something to take part in at least weekly, and keep a circle of creative friends or it can feel lonely."

Read more from Adam in his case study.

Key features

  • Hone your existing talents and discover new ones with your own, dedicated studio space – as well as specialist shared spaces and facilities for textiles, metal and woodworking, plasterwork and ceramics workshops and life drawing classes.
  • Connect and collaborate with others from around the world, thanks to our excellent links with overseas art and design institutions and international exchange opportunities in your second year.
  • Explore the best way to express yourself – try drawing, video and sound, painting, printmaking, photography, performance and sculpture – to find the medium that’s right for you.
  • Discover the possibilities of technology with fully equipped print and photo facilities, computers, audio-visual equipment, sound studio resources and expert technicians to support and guide you in your exploration.
  • Enhance your understanding of art and the cultural context of your work with visiting lecturers and field trips to museums and galleries throughout the UK and Europe.
  • Seize opportunities to enter local, national and international competitions and awards. Our students have been recognised in the Jerwood Drawing prize, travelled to Amsterdam for the Hans Brinker Trophy and won a contest to design the trophy for the prestigious Abercrombie Award.
  • Get gallery-ready and showcase your final project in a real exhibition space alongside students from our 12 art and design degrees. The Art and Design Degree Show is your chance to introduce friends, family, prospective employers and the general public to your work.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Your first year is about exploration of materials, processes and ideas. You’ll examine the diverse traditions and history of fine art. There’s plenty of studio time to try out different techniques and technologies from metalwork to photography. Building critical analysis skills through discussion and interaction with other students and teaching staff will boost your confidence. All this will create an understanding of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for you as an artist.
    Core modules
    • ART402 Fine Art Practice 1

      A diagnostic module introducing methods and approaches to contemporary Fine Art including 2D, time-based and spatial practices. 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.

    • ART405 Conversations in Art 1

      This module provides an introduction to key ideas, methods, and approaches in fine art to inform students¿ practice. This is achieved through conversations and lectures on Fine Art, visits to exhibitions, tutorials, use of online materials, and other research processes. Students will produce a piece of critical writing and a digital slideshow.

    • ART403PP Art, Site, Context

      An introductory module to contemporary fine art site-based practices delivered through a collaborative project and a field trip. Students will be introduced to relevant contemporary approaches and examples through preparatory seminars, and encouraged to use source material from a field trip to generate collaborative work.

    • ART401 Fine Art Intensive 1

      This module introduces students to the diverse nature of fine art practice and the role of the studio within it. Critical contexts are also introduced.

    • ART404 Fine Art Practice 2

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

    • ART406 Conversations in Art 2

      This module provides a further introduction to key ideas, methods, and approaches in art practices and related areas to inform students¿ practice. This is achieved through conversations, lectures, tutorials, use of online materials and the students¿ own research leading to a piece of critical writing with a presentation to the group.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, there’s the opportunity to take part in an international exchange programme. Drawing on your learning from your first year, you’ll now have confidence to follow your instincts, you’ll choose your media, inspirations and intentions then outline your project aims and research strategy. You’ll further develop your critical skills by reflecting on your own work and that of others. In groups you’ll handpick and curate a selection of your own work.
    Core modules
    • ART504 Conversations in Art 4

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

    • ART506 Fine Art Practice 3

      This module provides an introduction to negotiated art practice and professional practice. The professional practice elements of the module are introduced through preparation for professional placements. Students write a placement proposal and are introduced to methods and approaches for working with professional organisations.

    • ART503 Conversations in Art 3

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

    Optional modules
    • ADAEX500 Exchange Year Out: Art, Design & Architecture

    • ART507 Fine Art Practice 4

      This module provides an opportunity for students to further develop negotiated art practice and professional practice. The professional practice elements of the module are developed through a careers event and participation in placements. Students consolidate their professional skills and approaches to working with external agencies. They write a reflective essay, refine their professional portfolio and present their practice in a public context.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll produce a comprehensive body of your own work. You’ll explore the social context of your work, and the relationship between artist and audience. We’ll continue to prepare you for your career in art by helping you to develop a research portfolio for use when you graduate, which may be paper-based or digital depending on your practice.
    Core modules
    • ART601 Fine Art Practice 5

      The students will refine a negotiated conceptual framework for individual and/or collaborative creative procedures, with reference to contemporary practices, approaches and theories. To enable the development of student learning towards a focused and searching inquiry through practice, with associated research and contextualisation.

    • ART603 Critical Project

      Students will undertake an illustrated critical project on an appropriate subject through tutorials and independent study. The project may be an extended essay, critical commentary on practice, or a praxis project, which integrates the essay form with a practice based project. With tutorial support, students will choose the mode of research and presentation most relevant to them.

    • ART602 Fine Art Practice 6

      Searching and increasingly independent enquiry into source material and appropriate practices, linked to theoretical research, is developed into a body of work for final presentation.

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 Full time 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.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


A level 
A minimum of 2 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.

Mathematics and English Language grade C.

English language requirements.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, please contact

An interview and portfolio presentation are requirements for entry onto this course.

Find further information on our interview and portfolio guidance page.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2016 2017
Home/EU Check with School ​£9,250
International Check with School £12,250
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School Check with School
Part time (International) Check with School Check with School
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

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

Facilities with BA (Hons) Fine Art

With two-thirds of your time on the course spent in the studio, the facilities for you to create your own artwork need to be exceptional. And they are.

From ceramics workshops to dedicated photography darkrooms, you’ll have access to the tools you need.

Find out more about our facilities

Graduate insight - Laura Hopes

Laura discusses her time on BA (Hons) Fine Art with Plymouth University, and how her research has shaped her as a person, as well as an artist, and inspired her to go on to further study.

Fine art and art history - careers

Graduates in fine art find employment in a diverse range of careers, from teaching to professional practice, working in museums to art therapy. We’ll help you find your niche and train for it with flexible internships.

70 per cent of fine art and art history graduates are working or undertaking further study after six months.

Find out more about careers and internships

Graduate insight - Adam Garratt

During my second year I went on an exchange to Rotterdam to study at Willem De Kooning Academie for a term, January to April. This defined my practice as I had to build from scratch with my ideas.

Adam tells us about exhibiting his artwork, juggling work and his creative pursuits, and the importance of a supportive environment.

Learn more about Adam's experience of BA (Hons) Fine Art

Graduate insight - Sue Austin

The intellectual and practical demands of the Fine Art degree have enabled me to develop my thought processes and research methodology.

Susan Austin, graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art, progressing onto the MA Contemporary Art Practice and establishing the FreeWheeling art initiative.

Find out more about Sue's time with BA (Hons) Fine Art

Winning with BA (Hons) Fine Art

Prizes and competitions are important in gaining recognition as an artist. And from the very beginning our expert staff will highlight opportunities to enter local, national and international competitions.

Gain the encouragement and know-how to be an award winner.

Find out more about our award-winning students