BA (Hons) Fine Art with Optional Sandwich Placement/ Study Abroad

About the course

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The Fine Art degree at the University of Hertfordshire is a dynamic, practice-based course that actively prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the creative arts. The course ethos is to enable students to understand the many contexts of art making through the direct experience of presenting, siting and exhibiting their work.

We aim is to create confident, self-motivated and highly skilled art practitioners, so our students have access to world-class technical resources, generous studio spaces and the opportunity to use the most up to date equipment. The programme benefits from access to a range of project and exhibiting spaces where students can test their work in a public setting. Students are actively encouraged to exploit all these resources to explore the potential of their work to its fullest.

Teaching and Technical Support

The programme values one-to-one teaching in support of individual development, alongside peer learning within technical skills workshops and group seminars.

Teaching on the programme is delivered by tutors who are practicing artists exhibiting internationally and supported by a vibrant programme of visiting artists and industry professionals. Within the School, there is a lively and diverse lecture programme with contributions from artists, poets, art critics and curators, so our students can link with practicing artists and contemporary artwork.

Taught workshops traverse all areas of contemporary practice, including painting, sculpture, digital imaging, printmaking, moving image, installation, photography, moving image and more. Alongside this, the Critical and Cultural Studies modules provide students with the skills to critically analyse contemporary visual arts and culture, both in written studies and within the context of the studio.

Fine Art Gallery



Why choose this course?

Our course has an international and outward-looking approach. From year one, our students are offered a range of external opportunities, including:

  • The option to take a semester-long, funded Erasmus residency in one of our overseas partner institutions in Europe
  • A year-longer Study Abroad residency, in one of our global partner institutions, e.g. North America, Japan, Canada, Australia.
  • The chance to exhibit their work nationally and within the region, in venues such as Courtyard Arts, Hertford, the Truman Brewery, London and the renowned UH Arts Gallery on campus.
  • Participation in collaborative projects with our international schools in places such as Moscow.

Closer to home, students benefit from opportunities to:

  • Undertake a sandwich year placement to gain more extensive experience within the creative sector.
  • Benefit from the programme’s close ties with University of Hertfordshire’s MA in Art Therapy, through access to staff and when relevant, taught modules.

A distinctive feature of the programme is that from the outset students develop a strong and supportive peer group dynamic that frequently results in ambitious collaborative projects, sharing of opportunities, a growing network and a proactive alumnus.

Entry requirements...

2017 entry

UCAS are introducing a new tariff for 2017 entry so the points being asked for are substantially different to previous years.

  • 96 UCAS points
  • A levels/BTECs to include an art related subject.  
  • GCSE Maths and English Language at grade 4 or above (Grade C for English and Grade D for maths if taken before 2015). 
  • IB - 96 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above to include Visual Arts at SL or HL  (with the remaining points to come from a combination of HL, SL and Core).
  • Subject to portfolio interview.
  • All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.
  • For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page
  • If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

Key staff

Alison Dalwood (Senior Lecturer)
Alison's research explores the nature of perception by repressing the pictorial content through blurring or layering. She's had major public art commissions, exhibitions & site projects, through the relationship between photography, painting & location.

Michael Wright (Programme Leader for Fine Art)
As a practising artist, Michael's passion in drawing includes sculpture, video projection & photographic installation. He exhibitions internationally & collaborates with Henriette Van 't Hoog & Rhythm Section.
Find out more about Michael Wright (Programme Leader for Fine Art)

Dr Pat Simpson
Reader in Social History of Art & Research Tutor: Pat’s research is internationally recognised, with specialisms in Soviet and post-Soviet art, bio-politics, gender issues, modern and contemporary art practices, curation and museum displays.
Find out more about Dr Pat Simpson

Professor Simeon Nelson
Professor of Sculpture and Head of Visual Art. Simeon has international reputation in sculpture and installation, completing numerous large scale exhibitions with support from agencies such as the Wellcome Trust, the Arts Council, Leverhulme Trust.
Find out more about Professor Simeon Nelson

Careers

Our graduates find employment across the creative and culture industries: as professional artists who exhibit and undertake commissions, as community based creative practitioners, curators, arts administration and educators. The transferable skills taught on the programme means our graduates are equipped with the communication skills and inventiveness that are valued in creative professions.

Our alumni

Our alumni include emerging artists such as:

Alongside more established artists such as:

Arts professionals such as:

  • Head of Painting Glasgow School of Art, Alistair Payne
  • Production design and art director Maco Puig  http://marcopuigart.com/
  • Researcher at the Welcome Trust Foundation, Eleanor Osmond
  • Curatorial Assistant UH Arts, Inna Allan
  • Art Psychotherapist Kristina, Stamatiou   

Further information 

Teaching methods

Fine Art students learn through a combination of structured taught sessions, directed studio practice, collaborative practice and theoretical research, Taught sessions include one-to-one tutorials, group critiques, seminars and formal lectures. There are workshops in each of the media areas of drawing, painting, digital imaging, photography, printmaking, video and sculpture. In the first year of study, students are asked to spend time collaborating toward a short film work.

Work Placement

Through both structured and informal activities students place their practice in live contexts outside of the programme, supported by a curator to work towards a public outcome. All students have the opportunity to exhibit regionally and in London. In your second year you will be guided to research careers in the visual arts and undertake work experience through a placement in the creative industries. In your final year you will receive advice on future careers and post-graduate studies.

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad through the University's study abroad programme.
Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
Find out more about Study abroad opportunities

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Fine Art Practice 1A

    Students are supported to develop their practice through a series of projects that help establish a basic understanding of modes of practice in fine art and a framework through which to develop their individual interests. Projects are negotiated with staff through regular tutorials and group discussion. Through practical work, inductions to media and engagement in technical workshops, students explore the potential of different media within the context of contemporary practice. To facilitate understanding and knowledge of contemporary practice students visit exhibitions and research sources of information and compile a contextual notebook and folder recording their findings. Students select and present work for group critiques, which help establish an understanding of context and appropriate language for discussing art. At the end of the module students critically reflect on the development of their work in order to recognise key areas of personal interest and identify possibilities for further development. Students then make a careful selection and appropriately display practical work, with attention to conceptual coherence.

  • Fine Art Practice 1B

    Students are supported to further develop their practice through focussed, independent projects exploring and testing the potential of media and concepts in more depth. The development of individual practice is supported through media sessions, technical workshops, tutorials and group discussion. Through critical reflection students develop their awareness of the context of their practice in relation to wider cultural concerns and contemporary fine art. To facilitate understanding and knowledge of contemporary fine art practice students visit exhibitions and research sources of information and compile a contextual notebook and folder recording their findings. Students select and present work for group critiques, which help develop their understanding of context and their confidence in the use of appropriate language for discussing art.

  • Fine Art in Context 1

    The aim of this module is to introduce students to collaborative practice in fine art. Through lectures and seminars, students will be made aware of the creative advantages of collaborative practice by examining examples of contemporary and historical models. Through practical exercises, students will learn the professional attributes needed to successfully operate in a small group. Holistically, students will begin to understand the significance of networks and how they apply to professional practice.

  • Fine Art: Visions, Contexts, Languages (C&CS)

    Art is not created in a vacuum but within cultures and societies. This module's fundamental aim is to encourage students to see the study of fine art in its historical, social and cultural contexts as integral to the development of their own studio practice. The module will consider how recent and contemporary fine art practices are shaped by historical, social, political, economic, cultural and professional contexts. A programme of lectures and seminars will introduce the recent history of fine art practices and some ways that movements, individuals and discussion in the media have shaped contemporary practice and debate. To complement discipline-specific studies this module also aims to provide students with a repertoire of study skills of research and enquiry; visual and critical analysis of both artefacts and ideas, and an understanding of how such skills can be used to evaluate their own practice; and academic verbal and written communication skills.

Optional

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Year Abroad

    The Year Abroad will provide students in Creative Arts with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge and skills gained in the first two taught years of the degree within a different organisational and cultural environment in a partner academic institution. The host institution will appoint a Programme Co-ordinator who will oversee the student's programme during the Year Abroad and will liaise with the appointed UH Supervisor.

  • Fine Art Practice 2A

    Students are supported to identify and develop a self-critical direction for studio practice and produce an ambitious body of work through sustained and focussed practice. The development of individual practice is supported through media sessions, technical workshops, tutorials and group discussion. Through seminars and critiques students further develop skills in critical awareness and the ability to contextualise practice. To facilitate the ability to contextualise practice in relation to contemporary fine art students visit exhibitions and research sources of information and compile a contextual notebook and folder recording their findings. Students select and present work for group critiques, which help further develop their understanding of their use of media and their ability to discuss and analyse contemporary art.

  • Fine Art Practice 2B

    You are supported to fully engage with your practice and explore its associated languages. Through this process you are encouraged to recognise and reflect on your cultural, intellectual and emotional relationship to the subject as embodied in your practical work. The development of individual practice is supported through media sessions, technical workshops, tutorials and group discussion. By fully exploring the potential of communicating in imaginative and ambitious ways you will produce an ambitious body of work by the end of the semester. You will explore your value systems and motivations, how you connect to contemporary practitioners and use this knowledge to make decisions about your practice. Through visits to exhibitions and researching sources of information you will develop your knowledge of art and identify emerging contexts, sites and methods of contemporary practice. Through critiques, lectures and gallery talks you will further develop the ability to discuss and analyse contemporary and historical art.

  • Fine Art in Context 2

    The aim of this module is to offer a practical opportunity to develop professional skills outside the context of the university by undertaking a practical professional experience. Students research the roles and opportunities for artists in contemporary society and consider possibilities for practice within wide social and cultural contexts. The module also aims to foster understanding of the importance of professional networks. Students identify and undertake either work experience, an exhibition, a collaborative project, site-based work or other alternative practical project for fine art practice beyond the university.

  • Fine Art: Debates and Values (C&CS)

Optional

  • Professional Work Experience 30: Visual Arts

    Students may identify a work experience opportunity or have a work experience suggested to them. Before starting students meet with the Programme Leader or their nominated tutor, to discuss the impending placement. All aspects of the intended experience are addressed from health and safety to client confidentiality and students are given guidance on behaviour and how to manage expectations. Proposals need to identify an outline work programme, the number of days in placement and the main learning outcomes; and are subject to agreement of the Programme Leader.

Year 3

Core Modules

  • Sandwich Year (Creative Arts)

    The optional 'Sandwich' placement year may be undertaken between the levels 5 and 6. Students undertake the placement within a commercial, public or not for profit setting that is able to provide an appropriate learning experience related to the creative and cultural industries. A placement could take a variety of forms, including: * working in an external organisation; * working with a University company or professional team within the University; * self-employment within defined context and externally refereed. The placement duration would typically be sustained for at least 36 weeks (from a maximum of two separate placements, neither of which should normally be less than 12 weeks in duration), though may be sustained for a full year. While the School actively supports the placement process, ultimately it is the placement provider that will agree to manage and select students, normally through an interview process. During the placement a member of the academic staff will be assigned to the student as a tutor and will monitor the student's progress during the placement period.

Optional

  • Sandwich Year (Creative Arts)

    The optional 'Sandwich' placement year may be undertaken between the levels 5 and 6. Students undertake the placement within a commercial, public or not for profit setting that is able to provide an appropriate learning experience related to the creative and cultural industries. A placement could take a variety of forms, including: * working in an external organisation; * working with a University company or professional team within the University; * self-employment within defined context and externally refereed. The placement duration would typically be sustained for at least 36 weeks (from a maximum of two separate placements, neither of which should normally be less than 12 weeks in duration), though may be sustained for a full year. While the School actively supports the placement process, ultimately it is the placement provider that will agree to manage and select students, normally through an interview process. During the placement a member of the academic staff will be assigned to the student as a tutor and will monitor the student's progress during the placement period.

Year 4

Core Modules

  • Fine Art Practice 3A

    Through tutorials you are supported to identify the skills and knowledge you have gained during your degree studies, to reflect on your personal abilities, to identify successful areas of practice from Level 5 and if appropriate select key areas for development. You are encouraged to explore new possibilities with increased risk and ambition and fully engage with your practice and explore its associated languages. You will explore the potential of communicating in imaginative and ambitious ways and produce an ambitious body of work. You will further develop your knowledge of art and identify emerging contexts, sites and methods of contemporary practice and your ability to discuss and analyse contemporary and historical art. You will critically reflect on your work and select key areas to focus on with attention to conceptual coherence. You will consider how your work communicates and devise an appropriate strategy for engaging with an audience.

  • Fine Art Practice 3B

    You will consider how your work communicates and devise an appropriate strategy for engaging with an audience. Through tutorials, you are supported to identify successful areas of practice for development, explore new possibilities with increased risk and ambition and fully engage with your practice to produce an ambitious body of work for your degree exhibition. You will further develop your knowledge of art and identify emerging contexts, sites and methods of contemporary practice. You will critically reflect on your work and select key areas to focus on with attention to conceptual coherence. You will consider how your work communicates and devise an appropriate strategy for engaging with an audience. You will explore current opportunities in fine art or related careers relevant to your individual aspirations and produce a professional presentation with accompanying literature, considering how to tailor presentations to suit different career contexts. You will produce professional promotional material. Through tutorials and group critiques, students will gain skills in writing about and contextualising fine art practice. Qualifying work experience can be undertaken either during the previous summer vacation (between L5 and L6) with appropriate evidence, including a reflective report, submitted to be accredited within the module; or during term time in place of one assessed component within the module, or alternatively included as part of a larger portfolio of work. It is the responsibility of the student to negotiate the detail of their work placement; further information is available in the programme specification and School’s Accredited Work Experience Handbook.

  • Fine Art Degree Essay

    The module aims to give students the opportunity to negotiate, research and present an honours degree level essay or negotiated equivalent, that presents an in-depth critical examination of a topic relevant to their own practice. It also aims to enable students to consolidate, review and extend their knowledge and understanding of some of the ways in which histories, theories, cultural, social, technical or ecological issues inform contemporary practice and can be used as creative resources to develop and gain insight into their own practices. In addition, the course aims to enable students to develop research and communication skills to a level appropriate for a university graduate, including the correct use of academic conventions for referencing and acknowledging information sources in their essays, and thus to improve students’ prospect of employment and their ability to undertake further levels of Higher Education through the consolidation and extension of knowledge, understanding and skills.

Optional

Fees & funding

The government has yet to announce the upper limit of Tuition Fees for applicants wishing to study an undergraduate course in 2018/19. As soon as this information becomes available, our website will be updated and we will contact everyone who has applied to the University to advise them of their Tuition Fee.

Fees 2017

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,250 for the 2017 academic year

Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged £1155 per 15 credits for the 2017 academic year

International Students

Full time: £11,850 for the 2017 academic year

Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged £1485 per 15 credits for the 2017 academic year

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply

2017

Start DateEnd DateLink
26/09/201726/05/2018Apply online (Full Time)
29/09/201722/05/2018Apply online (Part Time)
29/09/201722/05/2018Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

2018

Start DateEnd DateLink
26/09/201826/05/2019Apply online (Full Time)
29/09/201822/05/2019Apply online (Part Time)
29/09/201822/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

2019

Start DateEnd DateLink
26/09/201926/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
29/09/201922/05/2020Apply online (Part Time)
29/09/201922/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201920/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)