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What makes Fine Art at Worcester special?

Our Fine Art course combines visual art practice with critical studies and places a strong emphasis on studio practice.

Fine Art is at the forefront of cultural production, exploring new terrain and challenging existing ideas. Our course will allow you to become part of this momentum by entering into a community of artists at Worcester you will have the support and encouragement needed to extend your creative work and ideas into new and unexplored areas.

During the course, you will create a substantial portfolio of work to showcase your technical and creative talents, culminating in your final degree show. The theoretical side of your degree will enable you to put your work into a range of contexts, explaining your influences, the reasoning behind your choice of subjects and why you used certain materials.

You'll also have the chance to build professional skills and networks through work placements and collaborations with practicing artists and participate in international field trips.

For an introduction to the course and facilities, please download our Fine Art PDF.

Visit the Fine Art at The ArtHouse Blog.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Develop a bespoke studio practice in drawing, painting, print-making, sculpture, performance, installation, film or photography.
  • Study as part of a community of artists with specialist workshop, exhibition and making spaces at The Art House & The Garage.
  • Optional study-abroad year in Europe or North America and international trips which have included Rome, Berlin, Florence and New York.
  • Celebrate your achievements with your peers and industry professionals at the final year Degree Show at The Art House.
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Fine Art in the NSS 2015 and 2016.

Student Work

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

104
UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

104 UCAS tariff points

Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend for interview and to provide a portfolio for consideration

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from http://www.ucas.com

If you are an international student who does not have the relevant entry requirements for direct entry onto this course, our pathway courses at University of Worcester International College could be the right option for you and enable you to still graduate with this degree. To find out more visit the Art and Design & Creative Media pathway page.

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

Mandatory

Studio: Space, Surface, Time

Research: Looking through Writing

Site & Participation

Optional

Exhibition: DIY Publishing

Optional modules offered by the Language Centre

Year 2

Mandatory

Studio: Experimentation, Presentation, Reflection

Research: Writing as Practice

Site & Public Presentation

Optional

Exhibition: One Day Propositions

Optional modules offered by the Language Centre

Year 3

Mandatory

Studio: Exit Portfolio

Research: Critical Commentary

Site & Context

Exhibition: Solo Shows

What will you study?

The degree is taught as a single programme to support you in developing an individual studio practice. You will be expected to be in The Art House Studios as much as possible to independently build your practice.

The course is structured around four key aspects of studio practice: Making, Research, Exhibition, and Site. Each year you will undertake four modules (two for joint honours students) that will engage with these aspects and will build to give you a holistic understanding of how your practice is developing. These modules are all taught together so that each week your independent making time will be supported by a number of contact sessions with the tutors.

Year 1

Year 1 focuses on material experimentation through a series of structured making tasks. You can make drawings, paintings, prints, objects, sound works, films and performances, all supported by tutorials groups critiques, readings and lectures.

You will be introduced to artists, contexts, films, concepts and philosophies through which you can incorporate into your practice. You will build a set of critical skills to read images, events and environments as well as research strategies for drawing and image making. All of these elements will be captured in your sketchbook materials. You will read, draw, make photographs and films and write about what you are looking at and what you are making.

Year 2

Year 2 focuses on public exhibition making outside of the studios. You will make a proposal about the practice that you want to make. At the end of the year you will curate a public group exhibition to show you work.

Students at The Art House are encouraged to engage with the culture and politics of the wider world. The site strand considers how art making is situated within the world and where it appears. This includes exhibition visits, museums, archives, artist-run spaces, and guided walks.

Year 3

Year 3 focuses on independent practice and the Degree Show. You will present your first solo show and build a portfolio for the future.

Imagining how your work meets the world is central to the degree. Throughout the course you will get the opportunity to present your work in the gallery and project spaces in The Art House and get feedback from specialist staff, visiting artists and your peers. You will get to engage with artists making in the spaces as part of The Art House residencies and develop technical skills for how to present and display your work. In the third year, you will construct your own solo show in The Art House and present your work as part of the Institute of Art Degree Show.

International Trips/Visiting Speakers

Katie Hodson (BA Hons Fine Art, 2013 - 2016)

Katie Hodson graduated from the BA Fine Art at the University of Worcester in 2016. Katie exhibited as part of New Art West Midlands 2017, a showcase of emerging artists who have graduated from the region’s five university art schools. As part of a Special Opportunity Award from the New Art West Midlands exhibitions, Katie went on to  undertake a residency offered by Office for Art, Design and Technology, Coventry.

“I began my studies at The University of Worcester on a joint honours course - Fine Art Practice with English Literature. I very quickly made the decision to pursue Fine Art full time as a result of the supportive studio environment and the space I was given to really push my ideas. The technicians and facilities available also allowed me to be really ambitious, and learn through new processes of making. The course equipped me with a really flexible but critical approach to art practice, and was definitely the springboard for my career. After leaving University, I continued to work as a practicing artist, undertaking various residencies including a 6 month residency that culminated in an exhibited piece within Coventry Biennial.”

Following completion of her degree Katie co-founded and directed BLOK, a year long artist led studio and gallery project in Worcester, supported through the Moving On Staying On scheme (MOSO), which supports graduates in the early stages of their careers and was funded by the University of Worcester and the Elmley Foundation. Katie was also recipient of one of four Engine Bursaries awarded by New Art West Midlands in support of Grand Union’s Curatorial Curriculum Programme.

Katie now works as a freelance curator and producer, and is currently the artistic programme manager for Meadow Arts, an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

Amber Drew Sparrey (BA Hons Fine Art, 2015 - 2018)

Amber Drew Sparrey is a filmmaker based in West Midlands, UK, who graduated from the University of Worcester in 2018 with a First Class degree in Fine Art. Her practice explores fabricated femininity, gender and identity in the digital age.

“My time at the University of Worcester has allowed me the creative freedom to explore, develop and push the boundaries of my practice. Over the course of three years I have focused on experimentation, research, fabrication and curation of contemporary art. I have been taught to reflect and question my reasons for creating and how to communicate my ideas to make creative and politically engaging work. Thanks to the support and guidance I received from the lecturers and technicians, I now have a well rooted and realised artist practice that I can independently continue to analyse and dissect.

The School of Arts has continued to support me with applications to a number of exhibitions and residencies and since graduating, my work has been exhibited at a number of shows in Worcester, Birmingham and Nottingham. I was recently invited back to the university to show my film ‘Eternal Beauty, Internal Hate’ at the opening of the new Art House.

Currently I am working as a technical demonstrator and continuing my artist practice alongside this. I am a member of Vivid Projects ‘Black Hole Club’, which I am developing new work for. Next year I have plans to go back to Japan to teach and create a new body of research, with the aim of beginning a Master’s degree upon my return.”

Anna Lister (BA Fine Art 2013-2014)

After studying at the University of Worcester, and gaining first class honours with her evocative figurative paintings, Anna Lister has gone on to train as a secondary school teacher.

"Achieving a first class degree was a huge personal achievement as I completed the final year of my degree as a new, single mother.

I transferred from another university to complete my degree at Worcester and it was the best decision I could have made - the staff and fellow students were understanding of my situation and really supportive of my decision to pursue my studies.

I began my final year with not very much confidence but the staff and students I worked with at the university really turned that around for me."

Malvern Gazette, 19th August 2014

Jade Blackstock (BA Fine Art Joint Hons 2011-2014)

Jade Blackstock graduated with a first class Joint Honours degree from Worcester in 2014, and will be continuing her education at the Royal College of Art in London from 2015.

Jade was awarded one of just twelve scholarships that will help to fund a Master’s degree at the RCA by the Leverhulme Trust, which supports talented individuals across arts subjects.

She will begin her Master’s degree in Performance in 2015, and says that the support and guidance that she has received during her time at Worcester will stand her in good stead as she looks to develop further as an artist.

“The University of Worcester has been a great help to me during the application process for my Master’s course,” she explains. Even after I graduated, the University was extremely supportive and encouraging.

My former lecturers met me to provide advice and tips on making a strong application, and they helped me to pick out and present the strengths within my portfolio.

In studying for a Master’s degree, I hope to continue gaining and improving on the skills, which will prepare me for the future as a practicing artist. I want to continue developing and improving my art practice, and building connections with a wider pool of creative thinkers.”

Arts facilities

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of:

Tutorials
The studio tutorial - that is the discussion between tutor and student in the presence of your work - remains the principle form
of teaching and learning in a fine art education.

Group Crits
Like the tutorial the group crit forms an essential, critical strand of the teaching and feedback that you will encounter. These are opportunities to present finished work or work in progress to a group of peers, that will then be discussed.

Seminars
These sessions focus on the exchange of ideas, promoting argument and debate. They will often be delivered in response to something that you have been asked to look at, this could be a reading, a film or an exhibition.

Lectures
These are platforms for delivery of contextual and critical discourse. During these sessions you will develop
your knowledge around subject areas, disciplines, and thematic concepts.

Workshops
These are used to develop your skills and will often take the form of a demonstration before providing you with individual and/or group opportunities to practice and extend these skills through mini projects with technical support.

Studio time
This is a crucial aspect of the course. You are expected to develop your own areas of study. You are expected to take this forward through research, experimentation and the development of a range of skills required to create a body of work.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 16 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • Tutorials
  • Group Crits
  • Seminars
  • Lectures
  • Workshops

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 16 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve the development of a portfolio through studio practice.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes S Mark Gubb, Jess Mathews, Niki Russell and Nathaniel Pitt.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and a number of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include presentations, portfolios of practical work, critical writing, exhibitions.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1
A presentation and a portfolio of practical work.

Year 2
A portfolio of practical work and critical writing and a public exhibition.

Year 3
A portfolio of practical work, a critical dissertation and a degree examination exhibition.

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

jess-mathews

Jess Mathews

Jess Mathews is a curator / producer based in Cardiff, Wales. Her practice-based research often necessitates a complex dialogue between the roles of writer, researcher, explorer, curator and maker. Key to this process, is that the thing that is produced (be that an object, a text, a book, an event, an exhibition, a symposium), remains open to intervention and moments of between.

Between 2017-18 Jess initiated and directed The Rejoinders, a British Council and Arts Council Wales / Wales Arts International funded project as part of the UK / India Year of Culture 2017-18. Partners included CONA Foundation, Mumbai, What About Art?, Mumbai, g39, Cardiff and the Fabrication Research Group, University of Worcester. www.therejoinders.org

s-mark-gubb

Mark Gubb

Mark works across a range of media including sculpture, video, sound, installation and performance. Works exist in a wide range of sites and contexts; that space often being a starting point for an idea's development or a contextually relevant backdrop. He is equally interested in how work functions in an arts institution as in a site-specific work; a particular interest being how work can retain its criticality and credibility when positioned outside of an institutional framework, where it is often requested to have a broader relevance to a wider audience. Work often incorporates some form of collaboration, whether in its production or engaging a particular community, subculture or professional during the research phase. His primary interest is in how a work communicates as an object in the space that surrounds it; its potential and ability to carry an idea in itself and how this can be enhanced by the context in which it is situated.

Permanent public works include commissions for Grizedale Arts, Nottingham Contemporary, Aspex Gallery (Portsmouth) and The Welsh Assembly Government.

www.smarkgubb.com

Niki Russell

Niki Russell is an artist, curator and writer, who is currently Programme Curator at Primary. He has organised a number of projects independently, such as the Not ready yet (2011) at the Exchange Building in Nottingham and the You Are Here Festival (2003/4) in various locations across Nottingham. He was also played a key role in instigating Sideshow – the Nottingham wide artist-led initiative to present exhibitions and projects alongside the last two iterations of the British Art Show (2006/10).

He co-founded Nottingham Studios, working with the organisation to successfully realise a permanent artist studio for the city at Primary and acted as Chair of the Board, before stepping down to become Primary’s Programme Curator. www.nikirussell.com

Nathaniel Pitt

Nathaniel Pitt (1975) trained as an artist at Falmouth School of Art in 1997 and gained his MFA from Wolverhampton University 2009 before becoming a fellow at De Appel in Amsterdam, ‘curating in the gallery field.’ Since 2013, Pitt has served as the Director for the gallery Division of Labour, a West-Midlands based not-for-profit dedicated to supporting contemporary art across the UK.

With research interests in regional art market development, art and education and collaborative practice, projects have included artists Robert Barry, Victor Burgin, Brian O’Doherty and Carey Young. Pitt has developed an international profile for his gallery, with past presentations in the 2015 Venice Biennale, Brussels, Rotterdam, New York, Hong Kong, Basel, Vienna and Dallas. www.divisionoflabour.co.uk

Final Year Art Shows

The Worcester Degree Shows are the culmination of work from students on the University of Worcester's arts courses.

Visit the website
Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

Graduates from the course have had success in a variety of careers in the arts as well as in going on to study at postgraduate level at various universities including the Royal College of Arts. There are a range of career pathways opens to students from a Fine Art course including becoming artists, curators, writers, designers, photographers, teachers and working within galleries. Increasingly, graduates are undertaking a variety of freelance commissions, setting up their own studio and gallery spaces and running their own businesses.

 

 

Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

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Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £12,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2019/20 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

You may also need to pay for relevant art equipment and materials, and contribute to the cost of some field trips.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:
Fine Art Practice BA - W100

 

Joint Honours:
See our Fine Art degrees page for Joint Honours options.

 

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

UCAS Code

W100

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.