This specialist Fine Art course offers the chance to study and explore contemporary approaches to painting and drawing in a lively and intellectually challenging atmosphere. Students can develop painting and drawing skills with the added opportunity to expand the possibilities for painting and drawing across a range of other associated disciplines supported by high quality, easily accessible resource areas in printmaking, photography/digital arts and sculpture/installation.
In addition to developing visual language skills and confidence with media, learning is also informed by historical and contemporary references, cultural and social contexts, and the requirements of professional practice on graduation. Students are supported throughout the course to engage in live projects, competitions and exhibitions.
To view a gallery of our students’ work please visit our Flickr website.
The student’s ideas are developed in an environment that provides specialist media support, close interaction with the course team, visiting artists and other students. Our students will graduate with a unique balance of critical, practical and creative skills and abilities. A key feature of the course is the opportunity to explore the practices of painting and drawing in significant depth developing an awareness of both historical precedent and contemporary developments (something which a multi-disciplinary fine art course cannot do). The course is delivered through studio practice, specialist media workshops, professional study components and a lively programme of lectures and seminars. The whole programme is designed to provide students with an informed and critical understanding of contemporary practices and debates.
Above all, the course encourages the development of a creative and critical intelligence capable of integrating innovative thinking with practical ability. Students will benefit from spacious and well-equipped facilities and external activities including links to the Milton Keynes Gallery, NN Contemporary Art (Northampton), Corby Cube Gallery and Rugby Museum and Art Gallery. The course has frequent international trips to destinations such as France, Italy, Spain, India and the USA. Our teaching staff have a broad range of research interests reflecting the disciplines available on the course. All staff are practicing artists who publish and exhibit both nationally and internationally. Visiting speakers have included the internationally known artists Richard Long, Marcus Harvey, Simon Callery, Ian Davenport, Mark Francis, Richard Deacon, Svetlana Fialova, Richard Patterson, Ian McKeever, Dan Hays, Lisa Milroy and Richard Wilson along with innovative arts organisations such as Artangel.
School of The Arts Degree Show
We were delighted to welcome the public to our annual Degree Show this year, which showcased work from our Fine Art Students.
For more information on the show, please watch the short film:
Subject Futures Week
Please see below the 2015 Subject Futures Week video, which highlights just some of the creative industry guests who attended to share knowledge and insights with students about the realities of working and life after University.
Just two miles away from Park Campus and linked by a regular weekday discounted bus service, Avenue Campus has an excellent reputation as an ‘Arts Centre for all’. It boasts theatre performances, exhibitions and its own art gallery, which exhibits work from established artists, students, graduates and University staff.
The campus is equipped with workshops, innovative laboratories and computer-aided design suites. Facilities available include Bassett Lowke Halls of Residence with various room options available to suit all budgets, the Students’ Union, student bar, restaurant and nightclub.
The University of Northampton
St George’s Avenue
Students explore a wide variety of technical and conceptual approaches to painting and drawing. This is supported and underpinned by an engagement with contemporary theory.
Students now establish their own individual studio practice within a highly supportive environment. This is informed by a continuing study of contemporary theory and our professional studies programme. This promotes external activities and gives our students the ability to engage in external and collaborative projects, helping prepare for future careers in a professional manner.
Students refine and develop their personal visual language and theoretical position, culminating in a high quality public exhibition. Alongside practical work students undertake a major critical study which includes a traditional dissertation option along with a number of other approaches. The various choices mean our students can select the option which is of greatest use to them individually. The major critical study has the flexibility for our students to target the specific area of interest or future career that is relevant to them.
Course modules (16/17)
Introduction to Drawing
- Module code: ART1015
- Core module Y
Introduction to Media Practice
- Module code: ART1013
- Core module Y
Extended Studio Practice and Context
- Module code: ART1033
- Core module Y
Understanding the Visual
- Module code: ART1012
- Core module Y
Painting in the Expanded Field
- Module code: ART2019
- Core module Y
- Module code: ART2017
- Core module Y
Analysis through Transcription
- Module code: ART2018
- Core module Y
Major Critical Study
- Module code: ART3016
- Core module Y
- Module code: ART4014
- Core module Y
Painting and Drawing 20
- Module code: ART2004
- Core module Y
Painting and Drawing 40
- Module code: ART2023
- Core module Y
The course has frequent international trips to destinations such as France, Italy, Spain, India and the USA, as well as UK study trips. All study trips are optional.
Costs for study visits vary but are always competitive due to a combination of off-peak travel, group travel and subsidy. UK trips would typically cost £10-£50.
European international trips would typically cost in the region of £250-£450 with a long haul trip such as Hanoi or Calcutta in the region of £800-£900. In some instances students have helped subsidise this further by group fundraising activities.
Methods of Learning
The Painting and Drawing course supports all learners experience and development through a breadth of regular tutorial approaches. Tutor and learner contact is additionally enriched through a host of visiting artists of international stature. The course is delivered through studio practice, specialist workshops, professional study components and a lively programme of lectures and seminars.
Theory is assessed through essays, assignments, a major critical study and presentations, while practical work is judged through studio presentations and exhibitions.
The Fine Art Painting and Drawing course has two formal assessments periods, firstly a formative stage at the end of the first semester December/ January, followed by a summative stage in the third semester in May/ June.
Facilities and Special Features
The Painting and Drawing course is enriched through a spectrum of professional specialist spaces including: Fine Art New Media Space, Photographic Studio, Photographic Dark Room, Wood Workshop, Metal Workshop, Plaster and Resin Workshop, Etching Printroom, Screen Printing Room (including laser cutting), The Drawing Lab (Drawing research space and life room), Canvas Preparation Room and bookable installation spaces.
Guilda Williams, How to Write about Contemporary Art
Julian Bell, What is Painting
Cornelia Bulter & Catherine de Zegher Online: Drawing through the Twentieth Century
Paul Coldwell, Printmaking, A Contemporary Perspective
Antony Hudek, The Object, Documents of Contemporary Art
Postgraduate study, independent creative practice and art-related employment are available to graduates of Fine Art. Employment opportunities include arts organisation, gallery management, exhibition curating, photography, journalism, teaching, art therapy, theatre, film and television, or into less obviously related work where creative thinking is valued.
Work placement opportunities are encouraged as part of the stage two Professional Studies module. Past students have undertaken work as gallery intern, artist’s assistant, art educators and curatorial assistant. These forms of professional practice can also be further developed as part of stage three through the Major Critical Study module.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
Prospective students should present a portfolio of work and sketchbook activity.
Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be 280 UCAS tariff points for qualifications included in the UCAS tariff. In addition, applicants are expected to have studied an art or art-related subject in an A-level or BTEC Level 3 Diploma, or equivalent qualification, or a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Applicants are interviewed and are requested to provide a portfolio of their own work in art and design. International students may submit their portfolio electronically. Students with a relevant HND or foundation degree with a suitable profile of achievement may be admitted onto year two or three.
Foundation Entry Requirements
Admission to this programme is normally based upon 120-140 tariff points gained from A levels or BTEC programmes of study. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.
If you are considering a change in career or if you are returning to education after time away, then we suggest you contact Admissions to book an advisory interview with the course leader so we can explore how best to support your study ambitions.
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 16/17 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£1,280 per 20 credit module|
|Foundation:||£6,200 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)|
The cost of materials for a Fine Art Painting & Drawing student is of a highly individual nature depending on the type of work produced. Mainstream painting and drawing equipment can be purchased from the University shop, which has a wide range of art materials such as oil paint, charcoal and quality papers. All materials are competitively priced and our shop is run by our Student Union with canvas and paint sourced from the cheapest suppliers of good quality materials. A quantity of acrylic primer is provided free in our specialist canvas preparation area. Many alternative materials can be locally sourced for free and we have excellent industry contacts in the region.
Costs for study visits vary but are always competitive due to a combination of off-peak travel, group travel and subsidy. UK trips would typically cost £10-50, European trips would typically cost in the region of £250-£450 with a long haul trip such as Hanoi or Calcutta in the region of £800-£900. In some instances students have helped subsidise this further by group fundraising activities.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.
The Foundation Year programme offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance, no matter what their educational background.
If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements for BA Fine Art Painting and Drawing, the University of Northampton can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year BA (Hons) programme which includes a Foundation Year that will help you develop the technical, creative and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.
The Foundation Year provides a practical and group-based approach to learning that supports your development and your transition to Higher Education, whilst introducing you to key ideas and skills used by artists. We are also committed to engaging you with specialist painting and drawing modules from the outset, whilst extending support into your second year of study (Stage One). The fee for the Foundation Year is £6000; thereafter standard fees apply.
In the Foundation Year you will study 2 x 40 credit modules that form the Foundation Study experience. These are:
Subject Studies 1: Practical and Study Skills – provides an introduction to key concepts, theories and principles associated with the area of study.
Research for Practice – provides an overview of the principles of research, research methods and the learning environment of the University. It will also include an introduction to the academic languages of the subject and the learning experience of degree study.
These modules are delivered concurrently with a Level 4 module from your programme: Introduction to Media Practice, 1013 (40 credits).
Upon successful completion of these modules, you will progress to Stage One of BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting and Drawing, in which you will receive further support through:
Subject Studies 2: Working with Ideas – focuses specifically on the generation and development of ideas, building the key IT/ literacy/numeracy skill sets required by the programme.
In the remainder of Stage One, you will take 2 further 20 credit modules – ART1032 Social and Professional Practice, ART1012 Understanding the Visual – and 1 x 40 credit module – ART1033 Extended Studio Practice and Context – from the BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting and Drawing Award Map.
Typical timetabled week of study
Foundation Year teaching may be a combination of lectures, seminars and/or workshop based sessions. The three Foundation Year modules, Subject Studies 1: Practical and Study Skills, Research for Practice and Subject Studies 2: Working with Ideas are taken in the sequence indicated above. Each one involves a teaching contact time of 4 hours per week and students are also expected to engage in approximately 12 hours of independent study, to support the learning experience.
Foundation Study will, therefore, help you to build a solid understanding of the general theoretical and practical aspects that will underpin Painting and Drawing, with the retained flexibility to possibly transfer later in your studies to other programmes, if they become more appropriate. Throughout all stages of your programme you will also be supported by a Personal Academic Tutor, to guide you through the learning experience and help you make informed study choices.
Foundation Study will enable you to acquire the necessary study skills to succeed in HE, as well as developing your understanding of key subject concepts delivered through taught sessions, studio practice, tutorials and online support.