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A Guide to Fine Art Courses

Allowing you to explore the practical and theoretical elements of art, a fine art degree will develop your skills and knowledge in a nurturing environment. You will be learning and working alongside other students, meaning you share your passions, and become exposed to other perspectives. You will graduate as a well-rounded artist, ready for your career in the arts industry.


An undergraduate degree in fine art will give you a good foundation of knowledge in the area. You might study modules on the history of art, art practices, business in the arts discipline, and management within the creative industries. These modules will allow you to become a more developed artist, but also have a confident understanding of the business and marketing side as well. You will also be able to add to your professional portfolio throughout your time at university.

Your degree will be delivered through a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as incorporating practical sessions, studio practice, and field trips to art galleries and other venues. You might be presented with the opportunity to take part in a work placement module, which will aid the development of your professional practice. Depending on your institution, you may be able to attend masterclasses with experienced artists.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation could influence the area in which you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Visual Art
  • Contemporary Art
  • Arts Management
  • Creative Analysis
  • Literature, Philosophy and the Arts

If your degree course requires you to write a dissertation, or take part in a degree show at the end of your final year, this will give you the chance to further explore a favoured area of fine art.

Accreditation and certification

The accreditation of a fine art degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).

Depending on your career path post-graduation, you may be able to earn further professional or academic certifications and qualifications.

Timeframe and further studies

Generally, an undergraduate degree in fine art will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.

On successful completion of your fine art degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a fine art degree will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.

Most art and design courses will require that you submit a portfolio of work as part of your application process. This may be accepted as an online submission, or they may prefer you to present it as part of your interview. Your institution will be able to provide more information about what to include in your portfolio, and how to submit it.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their fine art programmes.

  • UK – 6.0 IELTS, portfolio may be required
  • US – 3.0 GPA, portfolio may be required

Funding your studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.

Career options

Graduates of a fine art degree will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. You may choose to work in a role directly related to your degree, such as a fine artist, an exhibition designer, or an art gallery manager.

You will have gained a wide range of skills throughout your degree. These skills will be applicable in a variety of industries, not limited to arts and design roles. Skills might include critical analysis, time management, teamwork, and project management.

Degrees in Fine Art Masters in Fine Art

Highlighted courses in Fine Art

Fine Art BA (Hons)

University of Derby United Kingdom

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History of Art BA

SOAS University of London United Kingdom

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Academy for Circus and Performance Art (ACaPA) BA, Bachelor Degree

Fontys Fine and Performing Arts Netherlands

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Fine Art BA (Hons)

Wrexham Glyndwr University United Kingdom

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Bachelor of Fine Art BFA

Oslo National Academy of the Arts Norway

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Master of Fine Arts in Theatre MFA

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Canada

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Art & Design (Fine Art) Master's MA

Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts United Kingdom

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Fine Art with Arts Foundation Year BA (Hons)

University of Lincoln United Kingdom

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View all courses in Fine Art

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