Studio practice and exploration lie at the heart of the Fine Art degree course, and from day one students have their own studio space in a vibrant and creative community. The BA (Hons) Fine Art degree builds on the students’ previous experience and skills to assist them in becoming confident artists with a strong professional awareness. Students will develop a wide range of contemporary fine art practices, including sculpture, installation, printmaking and lens-based media. Our facilities include wood, metal and sculpture workshops, print and drawing studios, computer suites with current software and large format digital printers, as well as purpose-built installation spaces and technical support.
Students benefit from a lively programme of visiting artists and professionals including nationally and internationally renowned Martin Creed, Matthew Derbyshire, Michael Landy and Langlands & Bell who feed into and complement modules. In the first year students focus on acquiring and developing technical skills in painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation, lens based media and life drawing. Theory is taught throughout the year to provide a strong contextual framework for their practice. In the second year, students specialise in any one area or work across a number of disciplines, exploring their own selected themes. Students also learn about being a professional artist through engaging in collaborative work with outside agencies as well as participation in group exhibitions. The focus of the third year is on the dissertation and the production of a significant body of studio based work, which culminates in the Degree Show.
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“This is a wonderful course, it is full of energy. The tutors are ambitious for us.”
Josh, second year Fine Art student.
"A high proportion of the Fine Art work I saw at UCS is of a highly idiosyncratic nature which is to be applauded. The highest achieving students produced some outstanding and rigorous works which would not be out of place on a first year postgraduate course. I found the non-formulaic work presented by the students refreshing and on occasion magical."
Kate Davis, External Examiner and Sculpture Tutor at the Royal College of Art, London.
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Content and Modules
The first year (level 4) provides students with a grounding in studio practice across a range of fine art media including painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation and lens-based media. This work is underpinned by a drawing module that develops students' skills and techniques through close observation of figure, object and site-specific subjects. Students are introduced to a range of art historical ideas and works, and their writing and analytical skills are developed through short text-based assignments.
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In the second year (level 5) students' own research and professional skills are extended through studio work and professional projects such as placements, commissions, exhibitions and collaborations. Students liaise with a range of external partners including DanceEast , Commissions East, Suffolk County Council, Stow Health and Salthouse Hotel. The Level 5 selected group exhibition in January each year at the Waterfront Gallery is an opportunity to learn about exhibition practice including exhibition design, curation , marketing and reviewing work in a public gallery setting. Contemporary art and ideas are explored through critical discussion, presentation and essays.
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In the final year (level 6) students work towards creating a significant body of work for their final degree show. Their conceptual and critical ideas are challenged through one-to-one and group discussion. Their knowledge of theory is extended through primary source research into contemporary practice for their final dissertation and critical review. By the end of their final year, students have developed their own personal visual language. They can articulate their creative ideas through visual, written and verbal communication. They are well placed to begin professional life, to continue their studies at post-graduate level as creative practitioners, or to apply their lateral thinking, creative and analytical skills to other professional areas.
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Discussions and demonstrations set the scene for activities and practical studio work with an emphasis on independent work. Our teaching focuses on the individual. Students are nurtured and challenged by our academic team through practical workshops and one-to-one tutorials. They are encouraged to debate and discuss work with their peers through group seminars and studio critiques. Study trips, gallery tours, internships and work placements complement studio studies and enable students to contextualise their work in relation to a variety of visual art arenas in the region, nationally and internationally.
Studio practice lies at the heart of the Fine Art course. From day one students are given their own space in a group studio. This allows them to create a base for their creative practice and to be part of a vibrant studio community. Students have access to our well-equipped workshops including printroom , wood and metal workshops, purpose-built installation spaces, life-studio and IT rooms with digital printers.
We have a lively programme of visiting internationally renowned artists and professionals including, Martin Creed, Matthew Derbyshire, Laurence Edwards, Michael Landy, Robert Pacitti and Caroline Wright.
Professional practice is emphasised through live-projects that are woven into modules at all levels. Students are encouraged to investigate and liaise with all areas of the fine arts sector in order to contextualise study and promote future career aspirations. We develop additional internships for students to collaborate with a range of regional arts organisations, artists' groups and non-arts industries in order to extend student professional knowledge and experience in the real world.
Find out more about Fine Art Public Projects Assessment
All assessments are based on practical coursework and theoretical essays. The coursework is generally project-based, reflecting the way that professionals and higher level students work.
After the course
Graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers as freelance artists, exhibition organisers, gallery managers, curators, teachers and lecturers, art therapists, arts administrators as well as postgraduate researchers.
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"The approach here is really hands on with an emphasis on experimenting with different materials and techniques. In my first year, I’ve been encouraged to develop my own individual work, as well as work collaboratively. I’ve really enjoyed opportunities to make work outside the campus, in exhibitions and off-site projects."
Leonie Follen, first year Fine Art student
Fine Art Department
School of Arts and Humanities
University Campus Suffolk
What is included in your tuition fees
At UCS your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. Read full details of the included and additional costs for BA (Hons) Fine Art. Please note, UCS reserves the right to change this information as and when required.