This 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, painting, photography, digital arts, video and sculpture. You will build confidence with various media, informed by historical and contemporary references, cultural and social contexts and the professional requirements you will need to meet when you graduate. We encourage our students to engage in live projects, competitions and exhibitions throughout the course.
To see a gallery of our students’ work please visit our flickr website.
Throughout this course, your ideas will be nurtured and developed by a close relationship with our team of specialists, visiting artists and other students. You will graduate with a unique balance of critical, practical and creative skills, thanks to the opportunities you will be given to move between media disciplines. There are also trips involved in the course, which have included France, Italy, Spain, India and the USA.
Starting university is a big step and we want you to have everything you need from day one. That’s why if you choose to study this course full-time at Northampton from September 2018, you will be provided with your own brand new Hewlett Packard laptop* to keep at no additional cost. For more information on this and many other benefits you can enjoy, please visit our benefits webpages.
*Terms and conditions apply. Please see the benefits webpages for more information.
You will learn through studio practice, specialist media workshops, professional study components and a programme of lectures and seminars. The course will give you an informed and critical understanding of contemporary practices and debates, encouraging the development of your creative and critical intelligence and showing you how to integrate innovative thinking with practical ability. You will be able to explore and question the nature of any given medium and/or hybrid practices and you will have the opportunity to explore art as an instrument for social change and a way of improving our society and culture. You will benefit from spacious and well-equipped facilities and links to the Milton Keynes Gallery, NN Contemporary Art (Northampton), Corby Cube Gallery and Rugby Museum and Art Gallery.
All of our staff are practicing artists who publish and exhibit nationally and internationally. We have regular visits from innovative arts organizations such as Artangel and internationally renowned artists including Richard Long, Ian Davenport, Mark Francis, Jenny Saville, Marcus Harvey, Dan Hays, Michael Landy, Richard Deacon, Ian McKeever and Richard Wilson.
The Degree Show
Final year students display their work at the annual Degree Show at our Avenue Campus. Our Fine Art students deliver some stunning work; feel free to view it on Flickr.
For more information on the show, please watch this short film:
Subject Futures Week
Our annual Subject Futures Week is an exciting event and an excellent opportunity for our students to explore the potential of their course and understand where their university experience can lead them beyond graduation. It offers a unique chance to network with high profile industry professionals from the arts, TV, film, fashion and more.
Take a look at the 2016 Subject Futures Week video, which highlights just some of the creative industry guests who attended to share knowledge and insights with students about the reality of working and life after university.
Wayne graduated from the University of Northampton’s Fine Art degree in 1999. Although renowned for his sculpture, Wayne is also a painter, print maker, photographer and illustrator. His work has appeared in galleries around the world, and featured in magazines and on TV (including BBC2’s The Culture Show, Channel 4 News and 2008 film Scratch).
Waterside is our purpose-built campus, designed to provide you with the learning experience and opportunities you expect from a modern university.
We know our staff and students want the very best, and that’s what Waterside will provide. It is the embodiment of our mission to transform lives and inspire change.
We’ve designed Waterside to put you first – it is flexible to the changing needs of our students but also makes the most of our fantastic staff. A University that teaches in a way that mirrors the skills you will need when you graduate, a place that provides everything you will need to live and learn, and that will provide a home-from-home as you enjoy one of the best and most fulfilling experiences of your life.
Our new campus opens its doors in September 2018 and while Waterside will be home to most of our teaching, we’ll also be making use of the excellent facilities around the town. We’ll also be retaining some facilities at our current campuses (Park and Avenue) on a temporary basis for the initial period. These will mostly be used to offer off-campus accommodation options to make sure we have a great range of rooms to suit everyone.More about our campuses »
In your first year, you will explore a variety of technical and conceptual approaches to fine art, including painting, photography, digital imaging, video, printmaking, sculpture, installation and performance. This is supported and underpinned by engaging with contemporary theory.
During your second year, you will establish your own studio practice within our supportive environment. You will continue to study contemporary theory and begin your professional studies, giving you the chance to engage in external and collaborative projects, preparing you for your future career.
For your final year, you will refine and develop your personal visual language and theoretical position, culminating in a public exhibition. Alongside practical work, you will undertake a major critical study which could be a traditional dissertation or another approach, giving you the flexibility to choose what is most useful for you and the career path you want to take.
Course modules (17/18)
Social and Professional Practice (20 Credits)
- Module code: ART1032
- Core module Y
Understanding the Visual (20 Credits)
- Module code: ART1012
- Core module Y
Introduction to Media Practice (40 Credits)
- Module code: ART1013
- Core module Y
Extended Studio Practice and Context (40 Credits)
- Module code: ART1033
- Core module Y
Fine Art Practice 2 (40 Credits)
- Module code: ART2021
- Core module Y
Media Practice 2 (40 Credits)
- Module code: ART2020
- Core module Y
Professional Studies (20 Credits)
- Module code: ART2017
- Core module Y
Themes and Issues in Contemporary Art (20 Credits)
- Module code: ART2022
- Core module Y
Practice Exhibition (Fine Art) (80 Credits)
- Module code: ART4013
- Core module Y
Major Critical Study (40 Credits)
- Module code: ART3016
- Core module Y
Module information is quoted for 17/18 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.
The course includes frequent international trips which have included destinations such as France, Italy, Spain, India and the USA.
Costs for study visits vary but are always competitive. 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. Some students have subsidised this further through fundraising activities.
Methods of Learning
We take a range of approaches to teach this course, to help you learn in the best way for you. A combination of studio practice, specialist workshops, visiting artists’ sessions, professional collaborations, lectures and seminars will give you theoretical and practical experience.
Theory is assessed through essays, assignments, a major critical study and presentations, while practical work is judged through studio presentations and exhibitions.
There will be two assessment periods. The first, around December to January, will be a chance for you to see how you are progressing and will not contribute to your final grade. The second, in May to June will be the official assessment for the year and will form your grade.
Facilities and Special Features
Your teaching will take place at Waterside Campus, but the Fine Art subject is also enriched through a spectrum of professional specialist spaces which we will be keeping at Avenue Campus. These include:
- 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
- bookable installation spaces
- Guilda Williams, How to Write about Contemporary Art
- Julian Bell, What is Painting
- Cornelia Bulter and Catherine de Zegher – Online: Drawing through the Twentieth Century
- Paul Coldwell, Printmaking, A Contemporary Perspective
- Antony Hudek, The Object, Documents of Contemporary Art
Graduates of our Fine Art course can find careers in arts organisation, gallery management, exhibition curating, photography, journalism, teaching, art therapy, theatre, film and television or other roles that value creative thinking. You can also continue into postgraduate study or embark upon independent creative practice.
In your second year, the Professional Studies module will include the opportunity for a work experience placement. You could work as a gallery intern, artist’s assistant, art educator or curatorial assistant to name a few, and we can help you to arrange this. You could also incorporate this experience with your Major Critical Study in the final year.
How to apply
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.
Foundation Study Framework 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.
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 17/18 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£1,385 per 20 credit module|
|Foundation:||£6,500 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)|
|International Foundation Fees:||£9,400|
The cost of materials for a Fine Art student is of an almost completely individual nature. Traditional art materials can be purchased from the University shop, which has a wide range of art equipment such as paint, charcoal and quality papers. All materials are competitively priced and the shop is run by our Student Union. Alternative or specialist materials can be locally sourced from building suppliers and our many industry contacts in the region.
Costs for study visits vary but are always competitive, UK trips would typically cost £10-50, European trips would typically cost in the region of £250-450 with long haul trips 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.
Please note that tuition fees for EU students will remain the same as UK fees for 2018/19. For more information, please visit the Gov UK website.
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 Study Framework 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 for BA (Hons) Fine Art, we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year BA programme which includes a year of foundation study. The Foundation Study Framework will help you develop the technical, creative and academic skills you need in order to successfully progress to the full award.
The Foundation Study Framework 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 Fine Art modules from the outset, whilst extending support into your second year of study (Stage One).
You will study two 40 credit modules that form the Foundation Study Framework. 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, in which you will receive further support through:
Subject Studies 2: Working with Ideas – focuses specifically on the generation and development of ideas.
In the remainder of Stage One, you will take two further 20 credit modules – ART1032 Social and Professional Practice, ART1012 Understanding the Visual – and one 40 credit module – ART1033 Extended Studio Practice and Context, from the BA (Hons) Fine Art Award Map.
Typical timetabled week of study
Foundation Study Framework teaching may be a combination of lectures, seminars and/or workshop based sessions. Each module involves a teaching contact time of four hours per week and you are also expected to engage in approximately 12 hours of independent study, to support your learning experience.
Foundation study will help you to build a solid understanding of the general theoretical and practical aspects that will underpin Fine Art, 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.