Fine Art BA (Hons)
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.
- 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 Garage Studios.
- 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 Garage Studios.
- 100% overall student satisfaction for Fine Art in the NSS 2015 and 2016.
What qualifications will you need?
UCAS tariff points
104 UCAS tariff points
Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend for interview and to provide a portfolio for consideration
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email email@example.com 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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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.
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 Garage Studio as much as possible to independently build your practice.
The course is structured around four key aspects of studio practice: Making, Sketchbook, 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 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 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 Garage 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 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 Garage 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 Garage 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 Garage and present your work as part of the Institute of Art Degree Show.
International Trips/Visiting Speakers
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.”
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
Battenberg-Cartwright (BA Fine Art 2009-2012)
After completing their degrees at the University of Worcester, Battenberg-Cartwright went on to study for an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art in London. They now have a fast-emerging practice, working in the fields of art and fashion. Nora and Paul Battenberg-Cartwright, who married to demonstrate their artistic commitment to one another whilst at Worcester, work across various artistic disciplines, including lens-based work, performance and painting, as well as fashion design.
Described as a living conceptual piece and performance art duo, Battenberg-Cartwright have showcased their work on some of the world’s biggest catwalks; including at the London, Berlin and Paris Fashion Weeks.
“We were fortunate to have forward thinking and understanding tutors at Worcester, who were willing to listen to our concepts and who were open minded enough to understand the work. We cannot thank them enough for their support. Our fellow students followed in this manner. Naturally, we were pushed to work hard to earn our grades - We needed to at all times show that two pairs of hands were at work; both in terms of concepts and in the production”
Made in Arts London, February 14th 2014
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
Teaching and Learning
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.
You are taught through a combination of:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Group Crits
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.
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 Dr Richard Allen, Dr James Fisher, S Mark Gubb and Jess Mathews
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.
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:
A presentation and a portfolio of practical work.
A portfolio of practical work and critical writing and a public exhibition.
A portfolio of practical work, a critical dissertation and a degree examination exhibition.
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.
Meet the team
Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:
Dr James Fisher
Research interests: Painting and printmaking with a particular focus on the relationships between poetry and painting and music.
James trained at the Royal College of Art (1995-7) and was given an Abbey Scholarship in Painting at the British School at Rome in 2001. He was awarded a PhD by the University of Gloucestershire in 2009 following a series of exhibitions that explored connections between painting, music and text, with particular reference to the poet John Clare and Schubert’s Winterreise. Recent solo exhibitions include My Hopes are Not Entirely Hopeless, Aldeburgh Music Festival in 2009 and Uchiwa-e at the Eagle Galley, London, 2011. James has had studios in London, Rome and Canada and now lives and works in Gloucestershire.
Richard joined the department in 2012. He is currently completing a PhD in Object Theatre at Aberystwyth University and is engaged in a number of on-going research projects addressing questions of nonhuman performativity, animation, materiality, and object agency. His wider research interests include: Landscape and Site-Specific Art, Material Culture Studies, Live Art and Performance, Sound and Sonic Arts, Electronic and Noise Music, Digital Arts, and the Bio-Objects of Tadeusz Kantor. His research has been published in the Performance Research Journal and Dramatica and his practice has been presented at The National Review of Live Art (Tramway, Glasgow), Experimentica Festival (Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff) and Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Performance company in residence with Showroom, 2010).He is currently working on the second part of a trilogy of works exploring the domestic garage as a place of performance. The first of the trilogy, Garage Band, was recently shown as Mayfest in Bristol and will go on a garage tour in the summer.
Jess’ research-based practice typically exists between curating / producing, learning and outreach, and teaching. Alongside academic and personal inquiry she has adopted a variety of professional roles within visual arts organisations across Wales, including; Outcasting; Fourth Wall Artists Moving Image Festival; LightsGoingOn; Artes Mundi 5 & 6; Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales; Wales in Venice 2013; Oriel Davies Gallery; and Wales Artist Resource Programme at g39.
S Mark Gubb
Mark works across a range of media including sculpture, video, sound, installation and performance.
His work has been widely commissioned and exhibited in solo and group exhibitions. Permanent public works include commissions for Grizedale Arts, Nottingham Contemporary, Aspex Gallery (Portsmouth) and The Welsh Assembly Government.
Final Year Art ShowsVisit the website
The Worcester Degree Shows are the culmination of work from students on the University of Worcester's arts courses.
Where could it take you?
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.
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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.
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.
Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.
If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.
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 do you apply?
Applying through UCAS
Fine Art Practice BA - W100
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.
Get in touch
If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.