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Fine Art BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    W100

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Duration:

    3 years full time/
    4 years full time (with Foundation)
    5-6 years part time

  • Starting:

    September

  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780

  • Fees International:

    Full Time: £12,900 Integrated Foundation Year: £12,900

  • Location:

    Waterside

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 894503

Overview


Our Fine Art undergraduate course gives you the chance to explore contemporary approaches to fine art across a range of disciplines, making use of our excellent resources for printmaking, sculpture, installation, photography, video and digital arts.

You will be part of a diverse group of students, each of whom bring their own unique experiences and interests to the course, making our supportive studio environment a great place to find your own artistic voice.

In our first-year modules you will gain experience and confidence with various media and concepts, and start to develop your own personal practice which you will then build upon over the next two years. Throughout your degree we will support your journey with tutorials, seminars, study visits and opportunities to participate in live projects, competitions and exhibitions.

Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

Updated 11/10/2021

Highlights


  • Excellent studio spaces and high-quality teaching from practising artists.
  • Access to comprehensive specialist workshop resources with technical instruction and support.
  • Materials and equipment provided for all workshop activities.
  • A great range of national and international study trips, live projects and exhibition opportunities.
  • Research into the broader context of contemporary art practices and theoretical debates through our art theory modules and guest speaker programme.
  • A real focus on your future career, with employability modules in Year 2 and 3 of the course.
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
  • HP laptop and software included with this course for eligible students* (*see Eligibility criteria and Terms and Conditions)

Take a look around our Waterside campus


If you’d like to see more of our Waterside campus, come and join us for a socially distanced CAMPUS TOUR.

Book a Campus Tour

Exhibition opportunities and study visits

You will exhibit your work regularly throughout your studies, both in our studios and project space but also at other venues in the region. In recent years our students have exhibited work at NN Contemporary (Northampton), MK Gallery (Milton Keynes) and nearby Lamport Hall and Delapre Abbey. Study Visits are a key feature of the BA Fine Art course, and you will be only one hour from central London as well as other major art centres such as Birmingham and Nottingham. Our students have benefitted from international study visits to Paris, Venice, Barcelona, Berlin and New York as well as UK visits to spaces such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Henry Moore Institute, BALTIC, Nottingham Contemporary, the Liverpool Biennial, Folkstone Triennial and IKON Gallery in Birmingham. We are regular visitors to the Venice Biennale, the oldest and largest visual art festival in the world.

All trips subject to national and local Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. See our situation updates page for more on the University’s response to Covid-19

 

 

Course Content


  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

    SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

    Throughout the BA Fine Art course at Northampton you will benefit from spacious studios and well-equipped facilities, and tuition from practicing artists who publish and exhibit nationally and internationally. Your ideas will be nurtured and developed through a close relationship with our Fine Art team and technical demonstrators, and of course the diverse group of students you will work alongside in our studios.

    Year 1

    In your first year you will complete three modules each semester – a small drawing module (10 credits), the main art studio module (40 credits) and a small theory module (10 credits). The Year One art studio modules are based around project themes, each with a number of mini-projects, workshops and other activities within them. Through these projects you will be introduced to a wide range of materials and processes, but also to new concepts and ways of thinking about art – we look for risk-taking and bold experimentation. For the drawing modules you will complete several short projects and build a digital portfolio of work; we have a very broad and inclusive approach to drawing, and include Virtual Reality projects, sculptural work and digital drawing alongside more traditional approaches. Our theory modules are taught by the same team as your art studio modules, and have a real emphasis on the use of art theory by artists. You will be introduced to a range of theoretical concepts and contemporary examples, and will be supported to develop effective research, written and presentation skills.

    Year 2

    In your second year you will again complete three modules each semester – a small employability module (10 credits), the main art studio module (40 credits) and a small theory module (10 credits). The main art studio modules support you as you develop your own thematic interests, technical expertise and conceptual understanding of your work. In effect, year two studio modules are all about ‘putting down roots’ into the subject and preparing you for a successful final year – the approaches you might take to your artwork are virtually endless, but we will support and challenge you throughout that development process. The employability modules include a visiting speaker programme which introduces you to a range of career paths, and through practical workshops you will build the skills necessary to succeed in the visual arts sector after you graduate. The theory modules build on your learning from year one, and help you develop the analytical skills necessary to use art history and art theory to develop your own artwork.

    Year 3

    Your third year really focusses your art practice as you build towards the final ‘Degree Show’, creating a coherent and ambitious body of artwork for assessment and public exhibition. This main 80 credit module is the heart of your third year, and is the culmination of three years of intensive art practice. Alongside the art studio module you can choose from a range of options to complete the Critical Study and Employability and Professional Practice modules (both 20 credits) – this can take the form of traditional written essays or more practical options such as curating an exhibition or undertaking a placement.

      • Module code: ART1013
        Status: Compulsory
        This module offers a introduction to studio practice. Students will be introduced to a range of briefs exploring materials practitioners concepts theories and approaches; and is expected to form personal procedures to developing ideas. Students will be assessed by the exhibition of artworks supported by a range of research materials.
      • Module code: ART1033
        Status: Compulsory
        This module offers a introduction to studio practice. The student will be introduced to a number of different concepts theories and approaches; and is expected to form personal procedures to developing ideas. Students will be assessed by the exhibition of artworks supported by a range of research materials.
      • Module code: ART1045
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to develop a core set of skills in relation to the visual analysis of images and objects and to explore how artworks acquire meanings within a broader set of contexts. Students will be introduced to a range of theoretical material and will be encouraged to develop effective research and written skills.
      • Module code: ART1046
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to introduce students to a range of practioner-led debates. It explores the relationship between instances of contemporary practice and a related set of theoretical ideas and debates. The module offers the students a wide-ranging set of examples that collectively engage with the diversity and complexity of contemporary fine art practice.
      • Module code: ART1047
        Status: Compulsory
        The module introduces students to the discipline of drawing within the context of Fine Art as a multi-disciplinary activity. Workshops facilitate a variety of drawing methods and processes through a creative dialogue between traditional and contemporary approaches to drawing. Work produced in response to these workshops and projects is assessed through a portfolio submission.
      • Module code: ART1048
        Status: Compulsory
        The module asks the student to research and develop a personal artistic response within the broadest definitions of drawing identifying appropriate drawing techniques researching relevant art practice and developing technical skills to create a new and indivudal body of artwork relevant to the student?s wider art interests.
      • Module code: ART2020
        Status: Compulsory
        The module encourages breadth and depth in studio practice and into relevant concepts historical and contemporary contexts for practice to support their personal practice. By the end of this module the student is expected to be able to make informed choices about subsequent directions in personal work.
      • Module code: ART2021
        Status: Compulsory
        The module encourages breadth and depth in studio practice and into the exploration and application of relevant techniques processes and materials. Students are expected to establish and utilise a range of research methods and working processes relevant to their personal practice.
      • Module code: ART2060
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with a range of tools to inform their working knowledge of the creative and cultural industries and the direction that they can take in their working practice and careers. Models that promote the student's own practice within these industries will be provided in order to further enhance professional ambition and communication.
      • Module code: ART2061
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with a range of tools to inform their working knowledge of the visual arts sector. Models that promote the positioning of the student's own art practice via the exhibiting of art and online promotion will be provided in order to further enhance professional ambition experience and communication.
      • Module code: ART2062
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide the introductory theoretical element at level 5 of the BA Hons Fine Art degree. It builds on the theoretical component of level 4 and prepares students for the next theoretical element at level 5 by offering a more focused dialogue around a specialist set of practices and their related contexts and discourses.
      • Module code: ART2063
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to further develop knowledge and understanding established in the first theoretical element at level 5 of the BA Hons Fine Art degree. In addition to providing an expansion of intellectual awareness of the themes and issues covered in the first level 5 theoretical component it prepares students for independent work on ART3018 in level 6.
      • Module code: ART3018
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to develop a sustained independent investigation and analysis of a specific topic within the field of Fine Art. It will require the demonstration of advanced personal and independent scholarship skills on a topic selected and approved through consultation with staff. To this end the module will provide the opportunity for students to negotiate the form the outcome will take.
      • Module code: ART3019
        Status: Compulsory
        The aim of this module is to provide students with a range of skills and strategies to prepare both their artwork and themselves for the external world. This will include developing the ability to professionally present artwork and manage the many other facets of exhibiting and making both artworks and ideas visible and available to a wider audience. They should build their working knowledge of the creative and cultural industries established at level 5 in Professional Studies.
      • Module code: ART4013
        Status: Compulsory
        This module makes complex demands on the student in areas of theorization production and dissemination of concepts and/or artefacts intended for intellectual and aesthetic consideration. It consolidates creative and theoretical interests through a body of work and exhibition informed by contemporary fine art practice and demonstrating an understanding of audience.
  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A Level or DMM at BTEC. In addition, we expect applicants to have studied art or a relevant subject at A Level, BTEC or equivalent. We also accept Foundation Diplomas 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. If you have a relevant HND or Foundation Degree with a suitable profile of achievement you may be admitted onto year two or three of this course.

    For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year Entry Requirements

    Admission to this foundation programme is normally DEE at A Level or MPP at BTEC. 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.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate).
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate).
    Additional Costs

    All materials and equipment that you need for workshops and Yr1 projects will be provided, and a supply of basic art materials is also available to enable you to experiment with a range of media and techniques. As your personal art practice develops you can also purchase a range of competitively priced art materials from the University art shop run by our Student Union. Costs for study visits vary but are always competitive, with UK trips would typically costing £10-50 and overseas trips normally in the region of £300-450.

    20/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK and EU – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK and EU – Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credits module.
    • UK and EU – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,750 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)
    • International – Full Time: £12,900
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £12,900 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • Our postgraduate courses are a great way to enhance the skills you have already learnt. Benefit from our 20% alumni discount on postgraduate fees to give yourself a CV that will catch the eye of employers.

    Fine Art MA

  • If you join this full time degree at Northampton you will receive a laptop when your course begins. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home. In addition to the Office365 including Word, Powerpoint and Excel which all University of Northampton students have full access to, BA Fine Art students can also access Adobe Creative Suite software including Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign and Illustrator. At the University of Northampton, all materials and equipment that you need for workshops and Yr1 projects will be provided, and a supply of basic art materials is also available to enable you to experiment with a range of media and techniques.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks visit our Student Perks page.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements, we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • If you have any questions about the BA Fine Art course, they will probably be answered at one of our Open Days; but if you can’t attend an Open Day or have any other questions, please email the Programme Leader Richard Hollinshead who will be happy to help.

Upcoming Open Days

Open Days give you the best experience and insight to courses, people and facilities that interest you. Make your choice easier and come meet us.

Staff


Careers and Employability


Employability is central to the BA Fine Art course, with specialist modules in your second and third years of study that prepare our students for the next steps in their careers. Our students benefit from guest speakers who introduce a range of career options including freelance artist, curator, art therapist, art teacher, gallerist and other areas of arts management. Many of our students also go onto postgraduate study, including our own MA Fine Art course.

Facilities and special features


  • Your own personal studio space
  • Bookable project space for testing and exhibiting your work
  • Printmaking Workshop, including screenprinting and intaglio processes
  • 3D Workshops, including casting, fabrication and lasercutting
  • Photographic studios and darkroom
  • Canvas prep-room
  • Mac Suite with Adobe Creative Suite software
  • Negotiable access to other specialist workshops (for example, fashion, greenscreen studios etc)
  • Audio-Visual equipment loan centre