Contemporary Fine Art
A distinctive combination of practice, theory and personal artistic development
Why take this course?
If you have a passion for developing as an artist, creating work through challenging and experimenting with a variety visual, auditory or textual media, this course provides an understanding of the contemporary fine art profession and how as practitioners you may operate in it.
We aim for you to develop your individual artistic practice through use of various traditional and modern production technologies.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Participate in setting up gallery exhibitions and public art commissions
- Interact with our visiting speakers, from established professionals to our own successful alumni
- Benefit from our lively local art scene ranging from cooperative run exhibition spaces to poetry and performance events
- Visit our course blog to find out more
What opportunities might it lead to?
Creativity, research, commitment, initiative and networking are the professional skills that you will develop. You’ll gain exhibition and curating skills and form support networks, enabling you to go on to professional careers in design, art and media-related roles.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- practicing artist
I was very enthusiastic to find a course that actually combines contemporary art with fine art and the course content and structure are really what I was looking for - to be motivated and creative.
Grigoris Kampouridis, BA (Hons) Contemporary Fine Art student 2013
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
240-300 points to include a minimum of 240 points from A Levels, or equivalent, with 100 points from an A Level in an art and design subject. Or Foundation art and design or National Diploma in art and design. Applicants may be subject to interview. A portfolio is essential.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £8,750 p/a* International full-time students: £10,500 p/a*
*Please note that all fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2421
- School of Art, Design and Media
Structure & Teaching
In the first year you will start to explore contemporary fine art media.
Core units you will study include:
- Contemporary Fine Art Production Skills
- Digital Art and Media: Introductory Technology Skills
- Introduction to Visual Culture
- Personal Artistic Development: Stage 1
- Personal Artistic Development: Stage 2
- Professional Practice: The Creative Industries
Begin to take your work in your own artistic direction. Take units that will allow you to specialise in specific areas and that focus on your professional development.
Core units in this year include:
- Personal Artistic Development
- Professional Practice and Enterprise
- Visual Culture
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Documentary Production
- Interdisciplinary Performance
- Student Enterprise
- Visual Culture: Art, Science and Visual Culture
- Visual Culture: Cult Films and Postmodernism
- Visual Culture: Design, Style and Identity
- Visual Culture: Issues of Representation
- Visual Culture: Technology and the Image
- Understanding Contemporary Fine Art
- Music: Practice, Performance and Research
- Professional Experience
Your final year is a culmination of your studies amounting to your very own exhibition and dissertation on a topic of your choice.
You will study the following core units:
- Personal Artistic Development: Stage 5
- Personal Artistic Development: Stage 6
- Professional Practice: Exhibiting and Curating
- Professional Practice: Self Promotion
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Visual Culture: Dissertation
- Visual Culture: Research Project
*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)
Teaching and Assessment
A variety of engaging teaching methods are offered – workshops, lectures, critiques and seminars, as well as individual tutorials. In our teaching we try to create a distinctive relationship between practice and research in a cultural context, with a strong emphasis on developing your professional skills.
How are you assessed?
You will mostly be assessed by a mix of written and practical coursework. Learning becomes more independent as the course progresses. Here’s how we assess your work:
- self-led projects such as creating, producing and managing your own artistic work
- written coursework
- a 10,000-word dissertation
Facilities & Features
Promote yourself and your work by exhibiting your art outside of and around the University. We have plenty of gallery and exhibition spaces, and we regularly host the work of our students, alumni and visiting local artists. Alternatively, display it online through the Faculty’s own ‘CCI Showcase’ reel.
We invite a lively and diverse line-up of visiting speakers, including artists, curators and arts administrators to lecture on their work. This is a great way to bring you into contact with professional life, while encouraging a vibrant culture of debate and interaction.
Take advantage of our many workshops such as the printmaking, 3D and photographic workshops. Our excellent facilities include a digital darkroom, lightbox room and computer suites.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Careers & Opportunities
The interdisciplinary nature of this course and the range of creative, technical and communication skills you’ll develop will enable you to work in a variety of fields. These can include the media, museums, education, and the music business to name a few. You can also choose to pursue a career as a practising artist, exhibiting locally or around the world.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- contracted gallery artists
- public artists
- gallery managers
- academic researchers
The subject of art relies on practical abilities and employers will want to see evidence of the work you have achieved during your studies.
Therefore, we aim to provide you with as many real-life opportunities as possible. Whether it be working alongside local galleries or putting on an art exhibition, all are great ways to show employers that you can apply these experiences to professional practice once you graduate.
This course also allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. This gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, reflect on the ways in which you've done so and learn to express this to potential employers.
Finding a job is a competitive business, but the statistics show that 89 per cent of our 2011graduates went into employment, further study or training within six months of finishing their degrees.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
Our next open day is Wed 10 July
VISIT US! Have a look around and get a feel for what it’s like to live and study here. We’ll be on hand to talk to you about your course interests and show you all of our amazing facilities. You’ll also get to meet tutors and other students…
Application, Fees and Funding — find out more