The programme embraces the rich history of the subject and the vibrancy of current debates to allow you to develop a unique creative identity relevant to contemporary practice. The qualification is at level 5 of the UK qualification framework and is equivalent to the first two years of a degree programme.
The majority of students progress to the College's BA (Hons) Top-Up Degree in Fine Art to convert the Foundation Degree to a full undergraduate honours degree. This can be achieved with a further year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. Thereafter, students may progress to postgraduate study, such as a Masters degree. A number of graduates progress to relevant employment, with some going on to become practicing artists, lecturers, teachers, gallerists, gallery assistants, arts administrators, art technicians and curators.
The programme builds skills and confidence through live engagement with professional exhibiting and presenting work to an audience. The curriculum covers a blend of practical, theoretical and vocational subjects with many transferable skills that will improve your employability.
Teaching is geared towards identifying and developing your individual art practice. One-to-one studio tutorials are central to this experience and you will have access to at least one tutorial of 15-30 minutes each week. Each term of the programme also features demonstrations of skills, workshop sessions, practical seminars, art history lectures and talks by visiting professional artists. You will be assessed by the continuous assessment of coursework throughout the year. Practical coursework will be assessed either as a portfolio of work or exhibition. Contextual studies will be assessed by essays and verbal presentations. Work-based learning will be assessed by a blend of reflective essays, verbal presentations and presenting work for exhibition in a live, professional context.
The teaching staff consists of practicing artists with national and international exhibiting reputations. They also have wide experience of teaching fine art on other programmes at prestigious universities. You will be allocated a personal work space within a dedicated fine art studio. There are excellent facilities for 3-D, printmaking, photography and digital media. he programme has an excellent ratio of staff to students which will ensure that you receive significant weekly contact with teaching staff in the form of tutorials, seminars, lectures and demonstrations.
The delivery of the programme is flexible to allow you to build your studies around employment and personal responsibilities. All teaching material is available online through virtual learning resources. The second year focuses on exhibiting work and you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work in a professional context in a museum and gallery. You also have the opportunity to explore in greater depth the vocational possibilities associated with fine art practice.
The programme typically involves an average of 12 timetabled hours over two days per week for the duration of each 30 week academic year. You will also be required to devote time to self-directed study outside of timetabled hours; this will vary according to assessment deadlines and modules ongoing but on average you should expect this to account for 10-20 hours per week. The College’s studios, learning resource centre (LRC) and technicians are available throughout the week for self-directed study and you will be encouraged to make as much use of these resources as your time allows.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain a knowledge and understanding of:
- A critical understanding of well-established principles in the field of fine art practice and the way in which those principles have developed
- Ability to apply underlying concepts and principles of fine art practice outside of the context in which they were studied and apply them within the forum of professional practice
- Use a range of techniques, processes and technologies appropriate to fine art practice to critically analyse and practically situate their art work
- Understand the fine art practitioner’s relationship to a variety of audiences, both specialist and non-specialist
- Engage with and develop practical skills that will enable a broader, critical engagement with fine art in a professional context
- Reflect upon and engage with professional and personal development through an engagement with vocational possibilities associated with fine art practice
- Show an enhanced confidence in dealing with practical and theoretical processes associated with fine art
- Develop a contextual grasp of how fine art practice has developed and the relationship to contemporary practice
You gain the following intellectual skills:
- The building on knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills in effective ways in the contexts of creative practice, employment, further study, research and self-fulfilment.
- Research and building on learning in different contextual frameworks and situations, both within and beyond the traditional fields of fine art practice.
- The investigation, analysis, interpretation, development and articulation of ideas and information through the use of visual languages.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- Confidence and ability to become increasingly independent in their study
- Develop an independent and individualised response to concepts, skills and materials inherent to their practice
- Start to position their developing practice in relationship to the professional realm and creative industries, including an understanding of various commercial and non-commercial outcomes of practice
- Demonstrate a proficiency in using the process of open ended investigation to strengthen resolved outcomes
- Begin to understand how the process of practically exploring concepts can enable an increasingly complex relationship towards areas of professional practice
You gain the following transferable skills:
- Successful application in a workplace environment of the range of knowledge and skills learnt through the programme
- Acquire competences and skills that will enable them to work within the creative industries
- Communicate information in both practical and theoretical contexts using subject specific terminology
- Show independence of thought in setting and maintaining personal targets
- Utilise practical skills and consider their application in other creative contexts
- Information skills – the ability to use information technology in a variety of ways. The ability to source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate, manipulate and manage information from a variety of sources. And use emergent technologies to promote, publicise and make work
- Management and problem solving skills, the ability to solve problems and to use information sources, deal with a combination of routine and non-routine tasks, to identify and solve routine and non-routine problems
The programme aims to:
- Provide a high standard of higher education.
- Provide a teaching and learning environment that will facilitate the confidence and skills necessary to engage with fine art practice.
- Be focused on how the teaching and learning develops and builds the skills and attributes appertaining to the vocational possibilities associated with the subject.
- Provide a teaching and learning experience that is inclusive to students from a range of backgrounds who would not normally be able to study this subject at HE level.
- Provide a learning and teaching experience that allows students to use a practical engagement with material processes to build their critical, intellectual and professional skills.
- Prepare students for progression to honours level or professional practice by facilitating a strong engagement with professional principles of fine art practice.
- Provide a teaching and learning experience that is firmly located in the world of contemporary fine art practice, and encourage them to critically situate themselves within this milieu.
- Provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, are relevant and in line with the standards of the industry, allow students to experience first-hand what it is like to work in the industry and to offer support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
- Enhance the students learning experience by offering specialist lectures and facilities.
- Provide high quality teaching in a suitable environment with industrial equipment and appropriately qualified and trained staff.
- To provide flexibility, knowledge and skills, plus a range of personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in professional working life.
- Continue to build on already strong industry contacts, partners and WBL providers to ensure a continued high standard of professional interaction and vocational relevance.