Fine Art

BA (Hons)

2017 entry

With opportunities to specialise in painting, sculpture, print, photography, drawing, film and performance, this course provides a rich and interdisciplinary contemporary art environment.

At Farnham, we guide and inform your development with a team of experienced practising artists and writers. Our course ensures you graduate as a confident artist informed by a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Our Fine Art courses have leapt an impressive 11 places in The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time or six years part-time


September 2017


UCA Farnham

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Course overview:

With access to leading artists, academics and facilities, we offer you an eclectic environment where you can explore a variety of creative avenues. From traditional crafts to technologically advanced art works, you’ll have the freedom to develop your own artistic voice, using dedicated individual studio space and world-class facilities. These include a bronze foundry, laser cutting facility, large format printing and moving image editing suites.

We passionately believe in creating ambitious, resilient graduates. To fulfil this aim, we’ll help you to secure rewarding work placements and take part in exhibitions – both in London and regionally – to give you real world experience.

Taught by specialist practitioners spanning subjects from painting, drawing, video, sculpture and performance, the course regularly receives lectures from internationally recognised artists – recent visitors have included Phyllida Barlow, Gustav Metzger, Richard Wentworth and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed.

The course is approximately 70% practical and 30% theory.

Course content - 2017 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Contemporary Art Practice

    This unit introduces you to the key concepts of contemporary art practice. Throughout you'll develop both practical and intellectual skills relevant to establishing a meaningful relationship with art. This will be informed by the conditions of current political, social, environmental experience.

  • Critical Dialogues

    This unit is a study of both historical and theoretical ideas that inform Contemporary Art. You'll be introduced to the genealogy of art history that influences contemporary art practice.

  • Spatial Practices

    This unit introduces the role of space within Fine Art practice. Space is a key element of the making, presentation, consideration and critique of an artwork. It is also fundamental to how audiences interpret the value, meaning and status of artworks.

  • Research and Analysis

    This unit increases your understanding of ways of viewing, commenting and deciphering art works and media. You'll learn how to collate, reflect, critique and disseminate concerns and interests in written form through research folders, reflective and critical journals. Through a series of workshops and seminars, you'll be introduced to ways of supporting and enhancing practice through ideas and commentary, and will learn how to confidently present your ideas and work.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Studio Practice

    Within your chosen broad areas of discipline (painting, sculpture or print media), you'll develop your understanding and development from an initial awareness of your subject focus and intent, to an accomplished knowledge of the complexities and debates surrounding your subject.

  • Critical Theory

    You'll explore key ideas and debates relating to art practices of the current and last century.

  • Contemporary Exhibition Practice

    We'll ask you to conduct a personal field study of the contemporary art world. Through a process of reflection and critical analysis, and in collaboration with your fellow students, you'll then be asked to pitch a joint proposal for a cultural event to a group of your peers. This will culminate in a live project external to the University which you and your peer group will organise and curate.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, enabling you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives of fine art.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Practice Resolution

    This work will form the basis of your practical work in Year 3. You'll be encouraged to identify key issues and concerns in your work through your project proposal, which may provide the basis for your future development and help you to discover a distinctive identity. We'll ask you to focus primarily on the resolution of current issues and concerns in your studio practice, rather than on the formulation of new ideas.

  • Dissertation

    You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

  • Realising Professional Practice

    In this unit you'll be introduced to the specifics of creative management relevant to Fine Art and how this can be applied to sustaining and realising a practice externally.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

Course staff

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International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

As a long-established and well connected course, Fine Art at our Farnham campus has strong industry links with highly regarded names in the art world, including:

  • The Institute of Contemporary Art
  • Jerwood Space
  • Zeitgeist Art Platform
  • Henry Moore Institute
  • Blythe Gallery (Imperial College)
  • Resonance FM
  • Leeds and Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Students have exhibited at galleries such as 242 Gallery, 10 Gales, Blyth Gallery at Imperial College London, Bargehouse in South Bank and so on. They've exhibited locally at The Lightbox in Woking, James Hockey Gallery and Alice Holt Forest in Farnham and Watts Gallery in Guildford. They've also been selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries, the Jerwood Drawing Prize and the Threadneedle Prize, amongst other competitions.

Our alumni have won the Jerwood Drawing Prize, John Walker Painting Prize and Neo Art Print Prize, and recent graduates have gone on to become practising:

  • Artists
  • Curators
  • Creative project managers
  • Teachers
  • Writers
  • Production assistants
  • Technicians
  • Arts administrators
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Gallery owners
  • Illustrators
  • Art historians.



The adaptability instilled in our students has translated into exciting and diverse opportunities for many of our graduates, such as creating concert projections for Madonna, collaborations with Sadler’s Wells and the highly specialist casting of human organs for medical research.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2017 entry

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Entry requirements - 2017 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

New UCAS tariff

UCAS has made changes to its tariff system.

Find out how these changes will affect you

Your portfolio

Your portfolio should contain a selection of current work, including recent project work, sketchbooks, and research or reflective journals or notebooks.

More portfolio advice

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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