For more information about Contemporary Arts Practice at Bath Spa University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BA (Hons)

How long you will study
3 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 9250

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
October

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Contemporary Arts Practice at Bath Spa University

For individuals who want a broad educational experience across the visual arts.

  • Work across a range of subjects, media and materials.
  • Taught by practising artists and makers.
  • Scope to specialise in the latter stages of the course.

Designed for individuals with more than one field of interest, through this course you can study a combination of visual art disciplines. With emphasis on making and thinking, you'll cover a range of subjects.

The first year of the course is structured and project based; you'll be taught in a shared studio or workshop with academic and technical staff. You'll learn new practical skills as well as developing those you already have.

As the course progresses, we'll encourage you to explore your own individual studio practice in the areas of study you choose. You'll benefit from support and encouragement from staff who are practitioners in their specialist fields. In addition you'll have access to the range of technical facilities the School of Art and Design offers.

You could choose to study Contemporary Arts Practice alongside Creative Computing as part of a combined course.

What you'll learn

Overview

In your first year we'll encourage you to work in a number of disciplines, gaining extensive knowledge and fundamental skills. You'll experiment, focusing on broadening your making and thinking skills.

You'll study context and theory within practice-based modules, supported by lectures and seminars that will introduce you to contemporary arts practice theory.

In years 2 and 3 you'll have the opportunity to specialise in one discipline, or maintain a broader portfolio through to graduation. Specialist strands of study include: drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, graphic art, mixed media textiles, printmaking, photography, performance and moving image.

Running in parallel to your study, you'll take advantage of professional development opportunities - you can expand your skills in areas such as web-design, marketing and project management. By gaining the necessary expertise, you'll maximise your potential as an artist or maker after graduation.

Course structure

Year one
You'll choose modules from two of the following four core subject areas. Subject areas are 2D (painting and drawing), 3D (ceramics and sculpture), graphic arts and mixed media textiles. Optional modules are photography and moving Image, printmaking (etch) and screenprint. Alongside these subjects you will attend contextual studies lectures.

Years two and three
You can continue with two areas of study, or specialise in any of the subjects you studied in year one. Contextual studies lectures continue and you'll also begin a programme of professional practice, with opportunities to publicly exhibit your work. In your final year you'll complete a dissertation. You'll be able to develop your professional practice, in preparation for your career after your degree.

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed entirely by coursework such as portfolios, exhibitions, written papers and live presentations. There are no written exams.

How will I be taught?

You'll be taught through practical workshop sessions, individual supervision, seminars and lectures. You'll also have access to an extensive weekly programme of visiting lectures from practising artists, curators, critics and gallery owners.

Opportunities

Study abroad

You'll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Norway, Germany, Japan, Australia and the USA.

Field trips

You'll have opportunities to participate in regular field trips across all the course modules. Subject areas also organise international study visits to places like Berlin, Paris, New York and Venice (please note that you'll have to pay for some study visits).

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities for you to undertake work placements as part of the professional practice programme.

Careers

Graduate careers include:

  • self employment as practising artists and makers;   
  • curatorship;  
  • gallery administration;  
  • teaching;  
  • art administration; 
  • community based art work.

Competitions and awards

We'll encourage you to participate in competitions such as the Porthleven Prize and the Gane Trust Travel Grant among many others.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Most of the strands within the Contemporary Arts Practice course (Art, Ceramics, Graphic Arts, Mixed Media Textiles, Photography and Print) are taught at Dartmouth Avenue and Sion Hill campuses.

Resources

You'll have access to an excellent range of studios and workshops in painting, sculpture, textiles, photography and printmaking.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course fees find out
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will studySandwichHow long you will study4 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £9,250 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

Material fees

Year 1 £165 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2021

Material fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Material fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £13,900 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

Material fees

Year 1 £165 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Material fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Material fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Entry requirements

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for individuals who are curious, reflective and interested in their subject areas. You should be able to take risks and have an open mind.

We value the ability to think critically and reflectively just as much as we value the ability to create and make.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC required with a Grade B in Art, or other art/design related subject. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio
  • BTEC - Overall Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) required. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 27 with HL Art subject at grade 6 or above preferred
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher). Any selection procedure/further requirements will also apply.
  • Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) - We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design in combination with the above qualifications. A Merit Grade is preferred.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

What students think about Bath Spa University

    Yasmina Van De Peer, BA (Hons) English Literature and Film Studies, Spain

    Where to start with this year? There have been so many new friends, a new life-style with freedom and no muYasmina Van De Peerm bossing me around. My year has not been easy but I would do it all again, life challenges you in many ways and this experience definitively has.

    When I arrived in September, I felt like a lost girl trying to find something that I could grasp and change my life forever. My first year in a foreign country was fantastic and thanks to the creative writing department, I will never forget my second year as I have the privilege of studying in Chicago for a full academic year! However, this has no real connection with why I chose Bath Spa University.

    I worked as an ambassador for this University and a lot parents have asked the same question, why did I choose it? After 50 parents it gets tiring- especially when I was unsure. As everyone else I want to succeed in life. I have dreamt about going to Oxford, Harvard or any well known University. But the one thing that I have learnt in life is that you can be successful and come from the smallest place in the world. The key to success requires determination to reach your goal.

    Bath Spa just felt right and it allowed me to combine my subjects [English Literature and Film Studies], be myself and it also has an inspiring and picturesque scenery. For me it was perfect.

    Johannes Gerdes, BA Business and Management, Germany

    I chose BA Business and Management as I have always been inspired by my dad who runs a world leading business. The opportunity to work for him during holidays gave me a chance to look inside a company and to experience what management, leadership and communication is all about. I wanted to widen my knowledge and hence started my Business & Management career here at Bath Spa.
    My parents always wanted to give me the opportunity to study abroad. My old school, near Bristol, where I stayed as a boarding student for the last two years, helped me to discover where most of my interests lie. In addition, friends of mine started studying here at Bath Spa.

    I would describe Bath Spa in three words as: Cultural, Wonderful, Friendly.

    In the future I hope I will be working together with my dad and widen the market to countries which haven't been discovered yet.


    Don't be afraid of university life. University is the best time in your life. You meet so many new people from different nationalities and all come together! You will settle down easily. You make friends so fast and there is always someone around to help you! Even language barriers can be fixed with a perfect Writing and Learning Centre [the English Language Unit (ELU) is also available for all international students to access where English is not their first language] here at Bath Spa. Come to Bath and experience the whole range of activities they offer and be open to new things!

    Nassos Polyzoidis, MMus Songwriting, Greece

    Even though I live in Greece, I'm familiar with many British Universities, as I work for some English Examination Boards for Music and I've attended some Summer Schools in UK over the years. Bath Spa University's reputation in Songwriting and Commercial Music was known to me for a long time. Being a guitarist and working for the RGT at the same time, I have heard stories about Bath being the birthplace of guitar magazines and other music and artistic events. I was accepted to study Commercial Music as an undergraduate student about 4 years ago, but due to some sudden accidents I have to decline my offer. After this unfortunate event, I decided to become better Musician and Songwriter, so that I can return as a postgraduate applicant. When I noticed that there was a distance learning degree, MMus Songwriting, I knew I had to do this. Meanwhile, I did my research, which only lead me to ensure my initial decision to study at Bath Spa University.


    I was attracted to this course as I was already familiar with Bath Spa University's reputation in this field. In addition to that, Songwriting isn't taught in my home county at all. I knew that only few Institutes offer Songwriting as a postgraduate degree, so I did my research over the last 3 years. During this time, I was only ensuring myself that I have to apply for this course. I really want to become a successful songwriter, and also, probably one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece, so I know that this course is best for me. I knew that the course will help me become more confident and enhance my professional skills in the field. Finally, being mainly inspired by British Songwriters, it was really important that my songwriting skills would develop a lot lyrically, which can help me open the door to an international market.


    I would describe Bath Spa University in three words as: Innovative, modern, artistic.


    Once I have my degree, I am really hoping to become a successful songwriter. Being inspired mainly by British Songwriters, I would really like to write songs for the UK and international market. In addition, I will probably become one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece. Last, but not least, as I'm already collaborating with several English musicians, I'm considering in my future plans to apply for a PhD and probably seek for more collaborations in UK, which might extend my visits there.


    My advice I would you give to other international students who want to study in the UK would depend on the ethics and societal context of each county. So, a general advice I would give is "Do not be afraid of failure, do your best and apply to the courses that you really like!"

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