Fine art describes art that is created purely for its aesthetic value, and does not need to serve any particular purpose. It is rooted in drawing and design-based works, such as painting, printmaking, sculpture and film. Many fine art courses focus on studio-based work, meaning that you will have the chance to express yourself and develop your ability, in an experimental environment.
Highlighted courses and degrees in fine art
An undergraduate fine art degree, you will develop your understanding of the discipline, as well as exploring your chosen medium(s) in more detail. You will be given the opportunity to experience different areas of fine art, including painting, imaging, drawing and performing arts.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as discussions and studio practice. You may be able to attend sessions with visiting artists, as well as trips to art galleries.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence your future career choices. Common specialisations include:
It is likely that your degree will require you to submit a final project, or participate in a degree show in your final year. This will give you a chance to further explore a favoured area of fine art.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study, as well as your specific course. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of the Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).
Generally, an undergraduate degree in fine arts will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can either choose to seek employment, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or a PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for a fine art degree will depend on your institution. 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.
It is common for an art degree to require a portfolio of work and an interview as part of its admissions process.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their fine art programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees are not fixed for international students. This means that they can vary greatly 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.
Graduates of a fine art degree will be able to find work in different roles within the creative arts sector. If you wish to practice a specific art, you will be able to pursue self-employment or commission-based employment. There will also be job opportunities in art galleries, museums, advertising, marketing and publishing.
You will have gained a wide range of transferable skills that means you would also be able to work in areas unrelated to fine art. Skills gained can include visual communication, project management, idea development and problem solving.
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