Skip navigation

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

CLOSE

4th in the UK for research power

Please note: Last entry for this course is September 2023. For September 2024 entry, please visit BA (Hons) Fine Art

Excited to become part of the contemporary art world?

A Fine Art degree at Northumbria offers you the opportunity to explore, experience and study the practices and ideas of Contemporary Art. Find out what it means to be an Artist and what it means to be making Art NOW.

The course will support you on a journey of material and critical discovery as you develop your own ideas and practices in a working studio environment.  You will be taught by practising artists, writers and curators who will offer you constructive guidance and feedback on the development of your ideas, your making and your position as an artist. The studios will provide you the space to develop an exciting and dynamic peer group in which mutual support and critical debate are cultivated.

The workshops offer an opportunity to develop your technical expertise and realise your creative ambitions. All of this is supported by a critically informed programme of historical, theoretical and professional engagement that will give you the confidence to step into the world and realise your own creative potential.

Northumbria University is ranked in the top 25 of UK Universities for Art & Design (Times Good University Guide, Subject League Table 2023).

Art & Design at Northumbria is ranked 17th in the UK by the Complete University Guide for 2024, rising 4 places since last year.

See other similar courses you may be interested in: BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Course Information

UCAS Code
W100

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Arts

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Fees
Fee Information

Modules
Module Information

Discover NU World / A virtual journey through everything Northumbria has to offer.

Explore our immersive 360 tours, informative subject videos, inspirational student profiles, ground-breaking research, and a range of life at university videos and articles.

News / Arts

Find out what our Art students and staff are taking part in.

Art Department / Image Gallery

Graduate Showcase / REVEAL

The end of year showcase for our Creative Programmes.

white background with black pen drawing of an abstract garment

REVEAL

Graduate Degree Showcase

Watch as Northumbria students showcase there work in 2022 Reveal show

Department / Arts

From creating fine art to conserving it; from animation to film, theatre and television, through to arts management and teaching, our Arts department is a dynamic and stimulating environment to study in.

Student Life / #IAmNorthumbria

A great social scene can be found at the heart of our campuses, featuring award-winning bars and a huge range of clubs and societies to join you'll be sure to meet people who share your enthusiasms.

a desk with a green plant

Accommodation

Discover our residences

There are many different reasons to choose to study at Northumbria but we got Alice, Reza and Jasmine to narrow it down to just three reasons each on why they wanted to come study here.

a large long train on Sage Gateshead over a body of water

Newcastle

City Life

a person posing for the camera

Student Life at Northumbria

Discover More

a group of people standing in front of a crowd

The Hub

Student Blog

a man wearing glasses

Social Wall

#IAmNorthumbria

Book an Open Day / Experience Fine Art BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Fine Art. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

Interviews and Auditions: 
Interviews and auditions can be a daunting experience, this part of the UCAS application process can be an anxious time. UK students applying for creative courses have to develop either audition pieces, portfolios of work and practice interview techniques. If you really want that place at your university of choice you have to make sure you put in the ground work to secure that vital offer.

To support you through the process we held a Q&A session on the interviews, audition and portfolio processes. You can view the video online by visiting our ASKNU webpages: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/asknorthumbria

GCSE requirements
A good GCSE profile is expected including Maths and English Language at minimum grade C or equivalent.  If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a minimum grade 4.

UCAS Tariff Points
120-128 UCAS Tariff points including one or more of the following: 

GCE and VCE Advanced Level: 
From at least 2 GCE/VCE A Levels 

Edexcel/BTEC National Extended Diploma:
Distinction, Distinction, Merit 

Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design/Art Design and Media
The Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design/Art Design and Media is also accepted in combination with other qualifications

Scottish Highers:
BBBC - BBBBC at Higher level, CCC - BCC at Advanced Higher 

Irish Highers:
BBBBB  - ABBBB

IB Diploma:
120-128 UCAS Tariff points including minimum score of 4 in at least three subjects at Higher level

Access to HE Diploma:
Award of full Access to HE Diploma including 18 credits at Distinction and 27 at Merit

Qualification combinations
The University welcomes applications from students studying qualifications from different qualification types - for example A level and a BTEC qualification in combination, and if you are made an offer you will be asked to achieve UCAS Tariff points from all of the qualifications you are studying at level 3.  Should the course you wish to study have a subject specific requirement then you must also meet this requirement, usually from GCE A level.

Applicants from the EU
Applicants from the EU are welcome to apply and if the qualification you are studying is not listed here then please contact the Admissions Team for advice or see our EU Applicants pages here https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/international/european-union/eu-applications/ 

International applicants
The University is pleased to welcome international applicants from over 100 countries and considers a wide range of qualifications for entry to its programmes.  For specific information please visit our International Admissions pages here https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/international/international-admissions/ 

International applicants are also required to have one of the following English language qualifications with grades as shown below

  • A British      Council International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0      (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing,      Listening and Speaking of 5.5
  • Pearson      Academic score of 54 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of      Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51

The University also accepts many other English language qualifications and if you have any questions about our Engli

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1: TBC

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.


EU Fee in Year 1: TBC

International Fee in Year 1: TBC


Please see the main Funding Pages for 24/25 scholarship information.

 


ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AH4009 -

History and Theory of Visual Arts (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about key artistic practices, histories, theoretical concepts, themes and methodologies that have contemporary significance in terms of artistic activity. You will be introduced to different contexts in which art is produced, understood and disseminated, and to historical, theoretical and social discourses in which art has been situated and contextualised. You will develop an appreciation of the forms and diversity of historic and contemporary art practice and the ability to reflect critically on historical and contemporary art practices. The module will help you to develop competence in skills enabling you to undertake critical visual analysis, independent research and present findings through the medium of discursive writing. You will be exposed to a series of topics which are aimed to aid you in identifying a theme or issue of historical, theoretical or critical significance, and survey and assess available material on this theme or issue. This critical approach to the history and theory of art will inform and support studio activity at level 4 and further exploratory research and practice at level 5.

Lectures will explore major historical, theoretical and critical themes influencing the production and reception of art practice in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics covered in the lectures may include:

- Concepts and context of the avant-garde
- Semiotics
- Psychoanalysis
- Surrealism
- Feminism
- Marxism
- Popular culture as art practice
- Art and technologies (including film and video, the Internet and video gaming)
- Photography and the image
- Art and the environment
- Art and the body

More information

VA4006 -

Material Enquiry (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will be introduced to some fundamental principals in artistic production; how materials and methodology contribute to the production of meaning in art. You will develop your practical knowledge of key processes from semester 1 while gaining insight to a range of critical contexts that are informed by material concerns in art making. These concerns will be drawn from the expanded field of contemporary art practice and will include contexts in the use of non-traditional materials such as found material, language, sound, site and situation.

More information

VA4007 -

Engagement and Participation (Core,20 Credits)

The Engagement and Participation module aims to provide you with opportunities to explore personal values and aspirations while undertaking a live brief and working in collaboration with peers and external professionals. Through the module you are encouraged to consider different ways to creatively experience and access contemporary art. Supporting your ongoing professional practice, you will learn about exhibition and outreach processes, and explore broader questions relating to audience, ethics, professional skills and safe working. You will reflectively learn about a range of artists, methodologies, production, exhibition and the cultural sector. Responding to a live brief, you will devise creative responses and activities working with peers and external cultural sector partners.
All these activities support transferable ‘soft’ skills and helps you to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary art.
For assessment you will be required to reflect upon your personal experience, learning and development.

More information

VA4008 -

Curiosity, Collaboration & Experimentation (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides opportunities for you to unlearn theme-led ways of making art, and instead to develop your studio practice through process and practical making. You will learn technical skills in a range of resource areas to support you in this exploration.

The module will introduce you to ways of making contemporary art through experimenting, collaborating and exploring your curiosities. You will learn to develop and produce a range of collaborative and individual artworks supported by academic staff through directed and self-directed approaches within studio, technical workshop, project space areas and online platforms.

You will learn to take risks and to work in an open-ended way, supported through a range of teaching approaches. You will learn to discern between a range of views within the subject offered to you by the academic team. You will create a studio community by negotiating a shared space of making, and by sharing interests, ideas and critical observations in an open and supportive way. You will develop critical and reflective approaches to producing and displaying your work.

More information

VA4010 -

Strategies for Independence (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides you with the opportunity to undertake a dynamic learning experience centred on the development of your own independent fine art practice. You will be supported in this process to experiment through the initiation of individual and collaborative artworks within studio, workshop and project space areas as well as in virtual spaces. It will enable you to provides you with the opportunity to undertake a dynamic learning experience centred on the development of your own independent fine art practice. You will be supported in this process to experiment through the initiation of individual and collaborative artworks within studio, workshop and project space areas as well as in virtual spaces.
build on the specialist instruction and workshop experience gained in semester one, you will learn how to integrate your knowledge of material and technical processes with formal and conceptual experimentation so as to build an independent and ambitious studio practice. The academic team will draw upon their own subject expertise to introduce you to a diverse range of contemporary fine art practice that will create a rich learning environment in which risk-taking, speculative enquiry, and curiosity are encouraged. You will encounter a range of learning approaches through peer group working, individual tutorials, group critiques, seminars, lectures, studio and exhibition tours that will enable you to gain confidence in the discussion and analysis of your own artwork and that of your peers. Some of these activities will take place via online platforms.
You will broaden your knowledge of the contexts in which contemporary art is produced and disseminated, and develop an understanding of how a vibrant studio culture is created through the sharing of interests and models of good practice within your peer group, and expressing your ideas and critical observations freely and openly.

More information

VA4011 -

Insight & Understanding (Core,20 Credits)

Through this module you will begin to develop a creative and critical research practice that feeds into, and is informed by your studio work. You will learn technical skills that develop your material research.

The module will introduce you to critical voices, key debates, artistic positions, and philosophical contexts relevant to contemporary art. Through tasks and exercises led by the academic team you will gain practical research skills to access this content, and a range of methods to engage with it.

Following your own lines of enquiry, as well as those directed to you by lecturers you will learn how to find and use online and library-based resources including books, e-books, journals, gallery press-releases and examples of artist self-publishing. You will learn how to discern critically between the voices and opinions you encounter within digital and print resources, and engage with them through discussion with peers and staff, and through writing. Gaining these research skills will equip you to widen your subject knowledge and offer ways of working through your own thinking and making. They will build a foundation for you to develop your own artistic and philosophical positions as you move forward through the programme.

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AH5009 -

History and Theory of Visual Arts 2 (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about key themes related to historical, theoretical, and critical developments in and influences on contemporary art practice relevant to an understanding of recent debates and developments. You will develop the ability to reflect critically on the historical and contemporary relationship of artists to society at local, national and global levels, and develop competence in skills enabling you to undertake critical visual analysis, independent research, and present findings through the medium of discursive writing. You will learn how to contextualise your own studio practice within the terms of history and theory in preparation for level 6 and the Extended Study in Fine Art module (VA6001). You will therefore be exposed to a series of topics which are aimed to aid you in identifying a theme or issue of historical, theoretical or critical significance that is relevant to your own particular concerns as a practitioner to inform and support further exploratory research and practice at level 6.

Lectures will explore major historical, theoretical and critical themes influencing the production and reception of art practice in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics covered in the lectures may include:

- modernity/modernism;
- postmodernity/postmodernism;
- gender, social and ethnic identities and the visual arts;
- the social construction of taste;
- customs through which contemporary art is displayed and exchanged;
- contemporary photography;
- surveillance;
- aesthetics;
- sound art;
- the state of art education.

More information

VA5004 -

Developing a Critical Practice (Core,40 Credits)

In this module you will learn to independently progress a self-motivated, critically positioned studio-based contemporary art practice. Learning will be underpinned by the acquisition of new critical research skills orientated around contemporary art practice. You will learn to articulate and evidence your creative research skills in your independent personal studio enquiry. You will learn to independently identify and reflectively assess specific lines of enquiry and your evolving artistic position and learn how to effectively communicate this to academics and to your peer group. You will learn to confidently present verbally and creatively a range of ideas and positions relevant to contemporary art practice through the module’s seminar programme, its studio-based teaching and your engagement with the available technical facilities.



All of your learning underpins your studio and virtual studio practice with a strong subject specific knowledge base and the range of strategies aims to engender your confidence in identifying and understanding new knowledge in relation to your studio and out-of-studio practice.

More information

VA5005 -

Documenting Practice (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to establish a wider independent appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the external professional contexts that frame and position the activities and production of the studio and making places beyond the studio. You will learn to extend your understanding of the range of research-led enquiries that professional artists undertake, the breadth of strategies, approaches and methodologies they employ, the diverse social and geographic contexts of their production, and the scope of mediums and materials that they use. You will also learn to enhance your understanding of professional contexts within the contemporary artworld in relation to career pathways and professional opportunities. You will learn and develop through mentorship new practical, intellectual and technical skills in exhibition making, through the first-hand experience of devising an experimental public exhibition, whether real or virtual.

More information

VA5006 -

Theory into Practice (Core,40 Credits)

In this module you will continue to develop and begin to consolidate a self-motivated, critically positioned studio-based contemporary art practice.

Learning will be underpinned by the active consideration of how theoretical discourse in contemporary art feeds into practice, which will allow you to develop a deeper critical understanding of the relationship between form and content in your work.

You will continue to learn to independently identify and reflectively assess specific lines of enquiry and your evolving artistic position and learn how to effectively communicate this to academics and to your peer group. You will continue to learn to confidently present verbally and creatively a range of ideas and positions relevant to contemporary art practice through the module’s weekly seminar programme and its studio-based teaching.

You will learn how to develop a professional understanding of appropriate technical and conceptual strategies for the production and presentation of your artworks, and you will learn advanced level technical skills in our workshop areas.

This module enables you to learn through the work of your peers and position your evolving practice against contemporary frameworks and theoretical ideas in current art practice. Through the learning you will develop the intellectual and practical skills required to start to assess your own work and studio position allowing you to take increasing responsibility for the development of your visual enquiry.

All of your learning underpins your studio practice with a strong subject specific knowledge base and the range of strategies aims to engender your confidence in identifying and understanding new knowledge in relation to your practice.
271

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5001 -

Arts Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks). You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Specific learning will depend on the nature of the employer and the placement secured. In general terms, this module is an opportunity to gain significant experience of industry practice, and to learn professional, role-specific skills ‘on the job’. It’s also a great opportunity to improve transferable skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, personal organisation, time management, presentation, commercial awareness, entrepreneurial skills, branding, and professional conduct generally; and to enhance your CV and personal portfolio. Students who have carried out placements in previous years often describe it as a transformative experience; they report greatly increased personal confidence both in terms of launching their future careers, and in returning to their final year of study. Your employer will agree in advance what your learning is likely to include, and will help you reflect on this learning at the end of your placement.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AD5002 -

Arts Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year abroad at a partner university equivalent to 120 UK credits. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AH6008 -

Extended Study in Fine Art (Core,20 Credits)

The 20 credit Extended Study in Fine Art at level 6 is the culmination of your development as an independent and critical learner through research writing and thinking about a topic that you devise yourself in consultation with your tutors. You will build upon the work you have done at L4 and L5 through research and writing a 4,500 word Extended Study on a subject related to your studio practice or any other aspect of visual culture in the broad sense that you wish to explore that relates to your fine art practice. The Extended Study is an opportunity for you to demonstrate not only your knowledge of a particular fine art subject in which you are interested, but also your skills in writing, researching and organising material, working independently, and using enhanced analytical and interpretative skills in presenting an argued case in written form: all skills which will benefit you in your professional life.

More information

VA6005 -

Professional Practice (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to gain an advanced working knowledge of the artworld as a backdrop against which to explore and reflect on future career pathways. You will continue to learn through the Wednesday Lecture programme. At level 6 the Wednesday Lecture acts as a learning tool to deepen and consolidate your objective understanding of the range of research-led enquiries that professional artists undertake. Through the Lecture Programme, the external placement and employability activities, you will gain a greater appreciation of how subject specific and transferrable skills can be applied in contexts beyond your programme of study. Through conversation and networked activities, you will learn and reflect upon a diversity of career pathways. Your External Placement will afford you a valuable ‘real-life’ learning experience that enables you to enhance your employability skills.
You will learn to understand and build a direct professional relationship with the artworld through discussion, intellectual enquiry and independent curiosity and through a live project. You will learn to expand your experience and knowledge of the artworld, its diverse network of institutional, economic and social systems - both formal and informal - that form the ecosystem and community in which artists operate. Teaching will reflect the diverse and individual paths open to you following graduation and you will learn that there is no one-way of being an artist, of making it professionally, of applying your creativity, or of making a living within the artworld - each individual has to forge their own path. You will learn to recognise that fine art graduates are multi-skilled and go on to study and work in diverse roles within the artworld, the broader cultural sector and beyond.

More information

VA6006 -

Critical Contexts (Core,40 Credits)

In this module the syllabus will focus on the development of individual research strategies, together with a deepening understanding of your practice and the context in which it lives. You will learn to develop an increasingly self-directed line of enquiry that is underpinned by evaluative, critical and creative research methods. The module is therefore focused on developing your independence as a creative practitioner, through the consolidation of your visual and intellectual skills, and acts as a preparation for the presentation of your Degree Show exhibition at the end of the year. A sense of a practice-led, studio-centred enquiry is fundamental to the module’s overarching philosophy and content.

To this end, the module is designed to help you shape and synthesise your own ‘artistic attitude’ and to help you extend your understanding of conceptual and practical ‘attitudes’ to research and production. A fine art practice can take many forms and you will be supported in developing diverse, challenging and ambitious approaches to your artistic concerns. As the semester unfolds you will take increasing responsibility for your learning. This will include:


• Identifying and interrogating appropriate theories and contexts
• Testing material and technical decisions
• A growing understanding of your ‘audience’ and how others may ‘read’ your work
• Acknowledging how risk taking and open-ended approaches to making and thinking support progress

More information

VA6007 -

Synthesis (Core,40 Credits)

Synthesis provides you with the opportunity to capitalise on previous learning and to holistically develop an individual, contemporary art practice that is critically positioned; presenting the audience with work that synthesises your practical and contextual points of study . Your learning in this final level six module will be directly informed by your exploration, learning and progress made in semester one. Synthesis is focused on how you work towards and finally present your degree show exhibition/presentation, together with an understanding of the theoretical and contextual implications of your decision to make art in a particular way. Both core level six studio modules are intrinsically linked and together contribute to the consolidation of your research in a final, selected presentation of work. The teaching in this module supports you in taking greater autonomy for your decisions and promotes the realisation and application of more sophisticated critical and creative skills. At this stage the analysis and understanding of relevant visual and theoretical propositions becomes more complex and challenging.

The methods and content of your creative practice will be self-defined and whilst the specific focus and context of your practice will be shaped out of an accumulative personal enquiry your will continue to explore and refine approaches to:

• Material and technical decisions
• Testing methods and individual research strategies
• Your ‘audience’ and how others may ‘read’ your work
• Theory and context
• Acknowledging open-ended approaches to making and thinking
• Understanding how risk taking and uncertainty support your progression
• Professional approaches to production and exhibiting

As well as enabling you to capitalise on the knowledge and experience gained throughout the course, this module provides you with the opportunity to invest in a sustained programme of visual and intellectual enquiry, together with the acquisition of attendant skills, that will support you in your future career or further study.

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AH4009 -

History and Theory of Visual Arts (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about key artistic practices, histories, theoretical concepts, themes and methodologies that have contemporary significance in terms of artistic activity. You will be introduced to different contexts in which art is produced, understood and disseminated, and to historical, theoretical and social discourses in which art has been situated and contextualised. You will develop an appreciation of the forms and diversity of historic and contemporary art practice and the ability to reflect critically on historical and contemporary art practices. The module will help you to develop competence in skills enabling you to undertake critical visual analysis, independent research and present findings through the medium of discursive writing. You will be exposed to a series of topics which are aimed to aid you in identifying a theme or issue of historical, theoretical or critical significance, and survey and assess available material on this theme or issue. This critical approach to the history and theory of art will inform and support studio activity at level 4 and further exploratory research and practice at level 5.

Lectures will explore major historical, theoretical and critical themes influencing the production and reception of art practice in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics covered in the lectures may include:

- Concepts and context of the avant-garde
- Semiotics
- Psychoanalysis
- Surrealism
- Feminism
- Marxism
- Popular culture as art practice
- Art and technologies (including film and video, the Internet and video gaming)
- Photography and the image
- Art and the environment
- Art and the body

More information

VA4006 -

Material Enquiry (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will be introduced to some fundamental principals in artistic production; how materials and methodology contribute to the production of meaning in art. You will develop your practical knowledge of key processes from semester 1 while gaining insight to a range of critical contexts that are informed by material concerns in art making. These concerns will be drawn from the expanded field of contemporary art practice and will include contexts in the use of non-traditional materials such as found material, language, sound, site and situation.

More information

VA4007 -

Engagement and Participation (Core,20 Credits)

The Engagement and Participation module aims to provide you with opportunities to explore personal values and aspirations while undertaking a live brief and working in collaboration with peers and external professionals. Through the module you are encouraged to consider different ways to creatively experience and access contemporary art. Supporting your ongoing professional practice, you will learn about exhibition and outreach processes, and explore broader questions relating to audience, ethics, professional skills and safe working. You will reflectively learn about a range of artists, methodologies, production, exhibition and the cultural sector. Responding to a live brief, you will devise creative responses and activities working with peers and external cultural sector partners.
All these activities support transferable ‘soft’ skills and helps you to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary art.
For assessment you will be required to reflect upon your personal experience, learning and development.

More information

VA4008 -

Curiosity, Collaboration & Experimentation (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides opportunities for you to unlearn theme-led ways of making art, and instead to develop your studio practice through process and practical making. You will learn technical skills in a range of resource areas to support you in this exploration.

The module will introduce you to ways of making contemporary art through experimenting, collaborating and exploring your curiosities. You will learn to develop and produce a range of collaborative and individual artworks supported by academic staff through directed and self-directed approaches within studio, technical workshop, project space areas and online platforms.

You will learn to take risks and to work in an open-ended way, supported through a range of teaching approaches. You will learn to discern between a range of views within the subject offered to you by the academic team. You will create a studio community by negotiating a shared space of making, and by sharing interests, ideas and critical observations in an open and supportive way. You will develop critical and reflective approaches to producing and displaying your work.

More information

VA4010 -

Strategies for Independence (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides you with the opportunity to undertake a dynamic learning experience centred on the development of your own independent fine art practice. You will be supported in this process to experiment through the initiation of individual and collaborative artworks within studio, workshop and project space areas as well as in virtual spaces. It will enable you to provides you with the opportunity to undertake a dynamic learning experience centred on the development of your own independent fine art practice. You will be supported in this process to experiment through the initiation of individual and collaborative artworks within studio, workshop and project space areas as well as in virtual spaces.
build on the specialist instruction and workshop experience gained in semester one, you will learn how to integrate your knowledge of material and technical processes with formal and conceptual experimentation so as to build an independent and ambitious studio practice. The academic team will draw upon their own subject expertise to introduce you to a diverse range of contemporary fine art practice that will create a rich learning environment in which risk-taking, speculative enquiry, and curiosity are encouraged. You will encounter a range of learning approaches through peer group working, individual tutorials, group critiques, seminars, lectures, studio and exhibition tours that will enable you to gain confidence in the discussion and analysis of your own artwork and that of your peers. Some of these activities will take place via online platforms.
You will broaden your knowledge of the contexts in which contemporary art is produced and disseminated, and develop an understanding of how a vibrant studio culture is created through the sharing of interests and models of good practice within your peer group, and expressing your ideas and critical observations freely and openly.

More information

VA4011 -

Insight & Understanding (Core,20 Credits)

Through this module you will begin to develop a creative and critical research practice that feeds into, and is informed by your studio work. You will learn technical skills that develop your material research.

The module will introduce you to critical voices, key debates, artistic positions, and philosophical contexts relevant to contemporary art. Through tasks and exercises led by the academic team you will gain practical research skills to access this content, and a range of methods to engage with it.

Following your own lines of enquiry, as well as those directed to you by lecturers you will learn how to find and use online and library-based resources including books, e-books, journals, gallery press-releases and examples of artist self-publishing. You will learn how to discern critically between the voices and opinions you encounter within digital and print resources, and engage with them through discussion with peers and staff, and through writing. Gaining these research skills will equip you to widen your subject knowledge and offer ways of working through your own thinking and making. They will build a foundation for you to develop your own artistic and philosophical positions as you move forward through the programme.

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AH5009 -

History and Theory of Visual Arts 2 (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about key themes related to historical, theoretical, and critical developments in and influences on contemporary art practice relevant to an understanding of recent debates and developments. You will develop the ability to reflect critically on the historical and contemporary relationship of artists to society at local, national and global levels, and develop competence in skills enabling you to undertake critical visual analysis, independent research, and present findings through the medium of discursive writing. You will learn how to contextualise your own studio practice within the terms of history and theory in preparation for level 6 and the Extended Study in Fine Art module (VA6001). You will therefore be exposed to a series of topics which are aimed to aid you in identifying a theme or issue of historical, theoretical or critical significance that is relevant to your own particular concerns as a practitioner to inform and support further exploratory research and practice at level 6.

Lectures will explore major historical, theoretical and critical themes influencing the production and reception of art practice in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics covered in the lectures may include:

- modernity/modernism;
- postmodernity/postmodernism;
- gender, social and ethnic identities and the visual arts;
- the social construction of taste;
- customs through which contemporary art is displayed and exchanged;
- contemporary photography;
- surveillance;
- aesthetics;
- sound art;
- the state of art education.

More information

VA5004 -

Developing a Critical Practice (Core,40 Credits)

In this module you will learn to independently progress a self-motivated, critically positioned studio-based contemporary art practice. Learning will be underpinned by the acquisition of new critical research skills orientated around contemporary art practice. You will learn to articulate and evidence your creative research skills in your independent personal studio enquiry. You will learn to independently identify and reflectively assess specific lines of enquiry and your evolving artistic position and learn how to effectively communicate this to academics and to your peer group. You will learn to confidently present verbally and creatively a range of ideas and positions relevant to contemporary art practice through the module’s seminar programme, its studio-based teaching and your engagement with the available technical facilities.



All of your learning underpins your studio and virtual studio practice with a strong subject specific knowledge base and the range of strategies aims to engender your confidence in identifying and understanding new knowledge in relation to your studio and out-of-studio practice.

More information

VA5005 -

Documenting Practice (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to establish a wider independent appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the external professional contexts that frame and position the activities and production of the studio and making places beyond the studio. You will learn to extend your understanding of the range of research-led enquiries that professional artists undertake, the breadth of strategies, approaches and methodologies they employ, the diverse social and geographic contexts of their production, and the scope of mediums and materials that they use. You will also learn to enhance your understanding of professional contexts within the contemporary artworld in relation to career pathways and professional opportunities. You will learn and develop through mentorship new practical, intellectual and technical skills in exhibition making, through the first-hand experience of devising an experimental public exhibition, whether real or virtual.

More information

VA5006 -

Theory into Practice (Core,40 Credits)

In this module you will continue to develop and begin to consolidate a self-motivated, critically positioned studio-based contemporary art practice.

Learning will be underpinned by the active consideration of how theoretical discourse in contemporary art feeds into practice, which will allow you to develop a deeper critical understanding of the relationship between form and content in your work.

You will continue to learn to independently identify and reflectively assess specific lines of enquiry and your evolving artistic position and learn how to effectively communicate this to academics and to your peer group. You will continue to learn to confidently present verbally and creatively a range of ideas and positions relevant to contemporary art practice through the module’s weekly seminar programme and its studio-based teaching.

You will learn how to develop a professional understanding of appropriate technical and conceptual strategies for the production and presentation of your artworks, and you will learn advanced level technical skills in our workshop areas.

This module enables you to learn through the work of your peers and position your evolving practice against contemporary frameworks and theoretical ideas in current art practice. Through the learning you will develop the intellectual and practical skills required to start to assess your own work and studio position allowing you to take increasing responsibility for the development of your visual enquiry.

All of your learning underpins your studio practice with a strong subject specific knowledge base and the range of strategies aims to engender your confidence in identifying and understanding new knowledge in relation to your practice.
271

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5001 -

Arts Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks). You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Specific learning will depend on the nature of the employer and the placement secured. In general terms, this module is an opportunity to gain significant experience of industry practice, and to learn professional, role-specific skills ‘on the job’. It’s also a great opportunity to improve transferable skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, personal organisation, time management, presentation, commercial awareness, entrepreneurial skills, branding, and professional conduct generally; and to enhance your CV and personal portfolio. Students who have carried out placements in previous years often describe it as a transformative experience; they report greatly increased personal confidence both in terms of launching their future careers, and in returning to their final year of study. Your employer will agree in advance what your learning is likely to include, and will help you reflect on this learning at the end of your placement.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AD5002 -

Arts Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year abroad at a partner university equivalent to 120 UK credits. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AH6008 -

Extended Study in Fine Art (Core,20 Credits)

The 20 credit Extended Study in Fine Art at level 6 is the culmination of your development as an independent and critical learner through research writing and thinking about a topic that you devise yourself in consultation with your tutors. You will build upon the work you have done at L4 and L5 through research and writing a 4,500 word Extended Study on a subject related to your studio practice or any other aspect of visual culture in the broad sense that you wish to explore that relates to your fine art practice. The Extended Study is an opportunity for you to demonstrate not only your knowledge of a particular fine art subject in which you are interested, but also your skills in writing, researching and organising material, working independently, and using enhanced analytical and interpretative skills in presenting an argued case in written form: all skills which will benefit you in your professional life.

More information

VA6005 -

Professional Practice (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to gain an advanced working knowledge of the artworld as a backdrop against which to explore and reflect on future career pathways. You will continue to learn through the Wednesday Lecture programme. At level 6 the Wednesday Lecture acts as a learning tool to deepen and consolidate your objective understanding of the range of research-led enquiries that professional artists undertake. Through the Lecture Programme, the external placement and employability activities, you will gain a greater appreciation of how subject specific and transferrable skills can be applied in contexts beyond your programme of study. Through conversation and networked activities, you will learn and reflect upon a diversity of career pathways. Your External Placement will afford you a valuable ‘real-life’ learning experience that enables you to enhance your employability skills.
You will learn to understand and build a direct professional relationship with the artworld through discussion, intellectual enquiry and independent curiosity and through a live project. You will learn to expand your experience and knowledge of the artworld, its diverse network of institutional, economic and social systems - both formal and informal - that form the ecosystem and community in which artists operate. Teaching will reflect the diverse and individual paths open to you following graduation and you will learn that there is no one-way of being an artist, of making it professionally, of applying your creativity, or of making a living within the artworld - each individual has to forge their own path. You will learn to recognise that fine art graduates are multi-skilled and go on to study and work in diverse roles within the artworld, the broader cultural sector and beyond.

More information

VA6006 -

Critical Contexts (Core,40 Credits)

In this module the syllabus will focus on the development of individual research strategies, together with a deepening understanding of your practice and the context in which it lives. You will learn to develop an increasingly self-directed line of enquiry that is underpinned by evaluative, critical and creative research methods. The module is therefore focused on developing your independence as a creative practitioner, through the consolidation of your visual and intellectual skills, and acts as a preparation for the presentation of your Degree Show exhibition at the end of the year. A sense of a practice-led, studio-centred enquiry is fundamental to the module’s overarching philosophy and content.

To this end, the module is designed to help you shape and synthesise your own ‘artistic attitude’ and to help you extend your understanding of conceptual and practical ‘attitudes’ to research and production. A fine art practice can take many forms and you will be supported in developing diverse, challenging and ambitious approaches to your artistic concerns. As the semester unfolds you will take increasing responsibility for your learning. This will include:


• Identifying and interrogating appropriate theories and contexts
• Testing material and technical decisions
• A growing understanding of your ‘audience’ and how others may ‘read’ your work
• Acknowledging how risk taking and open-ended approaches to making and thinking support progress

More information

VA6007 -

Synthesis (Core,40 Credits)

Synthesis provides you with the opportunity to capitalise on previous learning and to holistically develop an individual, contemporary art practice that is critically positioned; presenting the audience with work that synthesises your practical and contextual points of study . Your learning in this final level six module will be directly informed by your exploration, learning and progress made in semester one. Synthesis is focused on how you work towards and finally present your degree show exhibition/presentation, together with an understanding of the theoretical and contextual implications of your decision to make art in a particular way. Both core level six studio modules are intrinsically linked and together contribute to the consolidation of your research in a final, selected presentation of work. The teaching in this module supports you in taking greater autonomy for your decisions and promotes the realisation and application of more sophisticated critical and creative skills. At this stage the analysis and understanding of relevant visual and theoretical propositions becomes more complex and challenging.

The methods and content of your creative practice will be self-defined and whilst the specific focus and context of your practice will be shaped out of an accumulative personal enquiry your will continue to explore and refine approaches to:

• Material and technical decisions
• Testing methods and individual research strategies
• Your ‘audience’ and how others may ‘read’ your work
• Theory and context
• Acknowledging open-ended approaches to making and thinking
• Understanding how risk taking and uncertainty support your progression
• Professional approaches to production and exhibiting

As well as enabling you to capitalise on the knowledge and experience gained throughout the course, this module provides you with the opportunity to invest in a sustained programme of visual and intellectual enquiry, together with the acquisition of attendant skills, that will support you in your future career or further study.

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Home or EU applicants please apply through UCAS

International applicants please apply using the links below

START MONTH
YEAR

UniStats

Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



Accessibility and Student Inclusion

Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support




All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions
northumbria.ac.uk/terms

Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Admissions Complaints Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/complaints



If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

a person sitting at a table using a laptop
+
NU World Virtual Tours
+

Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

a sign in front of a crowd
+

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Back to top