Fine Art BA | 2018/19

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Fine Art BA (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
Flexible part-time

How to Apply

Coventry University


September 2018



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Innovation and imagination are the hallmarks of our fine art teaching; this practice-based course will challenge and inspire you, developing the creative, technical, critical, reflective and enterprising skills to forge a successful and sustainable career in contemporary art.

With access to a range of workshops, industry-standard software, photographic and media resources, you will have the opportunity to explore individual and collaborative 2D, 3D and 4D practices in our spacious studios, experimenting with digital, intermedia and traditional art forms.

For over 150 years, our creative community has played a major role in shaping cultural, political and social lives all over the world. Our graduates have won animation Oscars, Academy Award nominations, Penguin book cover prizes, D&AD and Sky Arts awards. Fine Art graduates have been recipients of the Independent Vision Award for Curatorial Achievement, awarded by Independent Curators International in New York, nominated for the prestigious VG Foundation award at the Annely Juda Gallery, London and runner up in the national Gilchrist-Fisher Painting Award.

You will be taught by practising artists, art historians, and writers who have exhibited at the Prague Biennale, the Royal Academy of Arts, Kwangju Biennale in South Korea and the Conflux Festival in New York. Their work can be found in collections such as the Arts Council of Great Britain, Tate Britain, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum Beelden aan Zee in the Netherlands.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

What our students say...

The course gave me lots of experience exploring professional practice. I was awarded a residency at Rugby School through the Coventry Drawing Prize and I could not be more pleased.

Lisa McKenna

Course information

Contemporary fine art practice incorporates a range of approaches, modern and traditional, autobiographical and personal, issues or research-driven. You will consider these throughout your studies, as well as the wider social, political and cultural debates that inform and enrich art, your own and that of others.



of our students are satisfied with the quality of the course.

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF (129Kb)



Our goal is to encourage experimentation, enquiry and analysis within a variety of media and technologies. As such, in your first year, you will undertake a series of structured projects, designed to develop your skills across a range of art media and introduce you to a range of contemporary approaches to art practice. These are intended to enable you to become more self-directed in your studies, more readily able to identify and deepen personal interests and concerns.

You will complete the year by designing an exhibition of your work with your peers, building your knowledge of the professional realm of art practice.


  • Art Introductions 1 and 2

  • Contextual Introductions

  • Contextual and Professional Introductions


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


In the second year, we will continue to support you in your creative development, considering your creative practice in relation to sites, situations, locations and contexts of display and experience.

We will challenge you to consider the role of the artist in society and how your creative practice contributes to the larger world of culture and knowledge, helping to enhance your global perspective. For example, you will devise and undertake a two-week external project liaising with community organisations such as The Pod, Coventry’s City Council Mental Health provision, City Arcadia Gallery, or working with community groups such as Hearsal Earlsdon Residents Association on the Earlsdon Arts Trail. We also aim to introduce you to nationally and internationally acclaimed artists through both our FACETS programme of talks and the AA2A (Artists Access to Art Schools scheme) and you may be invited to work on projects and attend events hosted by these practitioners.

The opportunity to participate in an overseas study trip in the second semester (subject to additional costs and application) further develops your understanding of the contribution of art from on a global perspective.

As you work your way towards your final year, you will be encouraged to consider the larger themes, histories and ideas that contextualise the production and reception of your work. You will be encouraged to become cognisant with current trends and debates, such as: Globalism, Travel and Migration; Representation and Reality; Institutions, politics and encounter; Making Meaning and the Rhetoric of Skill.


  • Art Explorations 1

  • Contextual Explorations

  • Contextual and Professional Explorations

  • Optional modules

    1 from the following:

    • Art Explorations 2
    • Art Explorations 2 (half credits) plus School of Media and Performing Arts option (half credits)


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


After your second year, you have an opportunity to undertake a sandwich year studying abroad or on professional placement.

In the past, students have studied in Madrid in Spain, Bologna in Italy, California in USA and Seoul in South Korea. Students on placement have gained experience running an art residency programme in Cyprus, taken up a position as researcher for a series of exhibitions and events at Vivid Gallery in Birmingham and joined the audience engagement team at Walsall New Art Gallery to deliver print and drawing workshops.


  • Study Abroad

  • Professional Placement


By the final year, you will be working independently, exploring individual or collaborative interests to produce self-initiated art projects.

In the final stage of your course, you will research, develop and produce a substantial body of work in your final project, suitable for external exhibition and distribution. The year culminates in you presenting your final body of artwork at the Faculty-wide Degree Show, which is open to the public. In the past students have worked collaboratively to extend this opportunity by transporting their degree show artwork to London to present it at the Free Range Exhibition at the Truman Brewery, Brick Lane.

Past students have undertaken practical projects that, for example, explored the threat/decline/erosion/instability in the natural world through a range of material investigations; playfully investigated language and translation through sound and participatory works; and created a series of paintings that reflected on how personal experiences of cultural and geographic displacement can be communicated through montage and the dislocated painted image. These students’ dissertations contextualised these themes and their practical investigations within a broader critical framework.


  • Art Consolidations 1

  • Contextual Consolidations

  • Professional Consolidations 3

  • Optional modules

    1 from the following:

    • Art Consolidations 2
    • Art Consolidations 2 (half credits) plus Professional Practice


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


Coventry University has climbed the rankings again to 12th in the UK Guardian University Guide 2018

In more detail...

  • Workshop facilities for print, wood, metalwork, photo-studio, ceramic, laser cutting and computer labs.
  • 95% of students felt staff were enthusiastic about what they teach in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Strong track record of graduate employability – 80% in work or continuing their studies six months after graduation (DLHE 2014/15).
  • Access to specialist photographic and media resources, including digital audio recorders and manual/digital still/video cameras via our dedicated Media Loan Shop.
  • A thriving studio culture with dedicated workspaces for all students in purpose-built studios with permanent exhibition displays, supported by wide-ranging technical facilities in both traditional and new technologies.
  • Research expertise in a broad range of areas pertinent to contemporary Fine Art including the changing relationship between art and society, hybrid practices, trans-local/transnational dialogues and the relevance of the image in painting.
  • Guest lecture programme, which in the past has featured talks from: Simon Pope, Jane and Louise Wilson, John Stezaker, Peta Murphy Burke, Terry Atkinson, Merlin James, Harry Pye, Zineb Sedira, Bob & Roberta Smith, Thompson & Craighead, and Graham Crowley.

Optional study trips abroad which in the past have included New York, Berlin, Madrid and the Venice Biennale.

Your main study themes are:

  • Exploring Art: We will give you an understanding of the principles of developing a fine art studio practice. You can explore a number of disciplines within 2D, 3D and 4D fine art studio practice, experimenting with drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, spatial approaches, fine art performance, video, photography and intermedia. You will learn to appreciate the importance of context and precedence in the evaluation of your own work, that of your peers and of nationally and internationally known practitioners. As the course progresses, you will focus in one or more areas of art practice, developing your ideas and approaches, building up to a body of work and professional experience that reflects a resolved and focused application of ideas.

  • Art in context: We consider the theoretical, professional and historical frameworks that underpin the visual arts. You will begin by examining the history of art from the Renaissance to the early 20th century, including Romanticism, the Baroque, Impressionism, Surrealism and Constructivism. Lectures introduce you to the work of numerous historical artists from Valesquez to Vermeer and from Picasso to the Pop Artists, for example. You will analyse the relationship of art to audiences and critics, building your own confidence in critiquing visual arts and expressing your opinions. We will introduce you to professional contexts for showing work and the many roles that exist to support the making, critiquing, exhibiting and disseminating of work. You will have opportunities to test out and explore your conceptual understanding and practical skills relating to writing, curatorial and educational roles, putting theory into practice with a ‘live’ end-of-year exhibition. From the second year of the course, we switch a more in-depth study of contemporary fine art, examining a broad range of work by contemporary practitioners, such as Marcus Coates, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Jane and Louise Wilson, Ian Kaier, Jessica Stockholder, Kerry James Marshall; key movements and ideas such as Postmodernism, Feminism, Globalisation, Queer Theory and the Anthropocene; and key writers/critics and theorists including Nicolas Bourriaud and Slavoj Zizek. Students will be expected to develop their research ability and engage with relevant debates.

  • Art consolidations: During the final year of your degree, having already outlined your creative intentions, you should be strongly engaged in studio practice, honing your creative identity, revising and developing your ideas in preparation for the final degree show. We aim to generate an energetic approach to studio practice and will provide you with the experience of how to maximise your productivity in the studio. For example, using any techniques, media or combination of media of your choice, you will be tasked with undertaking a series of swiftly generated, highly experimental and thematically-related works within the first 6 weeks. This is followed by a period of critique, reflection and then an extensive period of further research, development and production. 

The course can be studied full-time over three years and part-time over six years, starting in September or January. You have the option of extending your studies by a year and undertaking study abroad or a professional placement. 

The course is essentially studio-based, although in trying to strike a productive balance between traditional and emerging modes, you may be encouraged to use some of the University’s specialist digital and media resources, or engaged in offsite projects. 

During tutorials and studio critiques, you will be asked to discuss ideas, strategies and methodologies with staff and fellow students adapting and developing your approaches in the light of this dialogue, at the same time enhancing your interpersonal skills, work ethic and methods of self-evaluation and critical reflection. Through a menu of technical workshops, you should acquire introductory skills in printmaking, sculptural processes and digital imaging, as well as being inducted into safe working practices within the studio and various workstations.   

Throughout the course, you will produce a number of material, digital and performative artefacts and installations, resulting in a body of realised creative outcomes that make reference to contemporary fine art practice, whilst embodying a personal and authored vision. Within supporting log books, sketchbooks and through discussion, you will be expected to evaluate, analyse and contextualise your work. In the past, project themes have ranged from The Body, to Home, Time, Environment and the Hybrid 

We will also give you opportunities to gain hands-on experience of exhibiting your work. For example, at the end of your first year, you may be responsible, with staff support, for planning and putting on an exhibition of work by the whole year group, including all aspects of exhibition making and publicising an exhibition. In the past, students have turned the level 1 studios into gallery spaces in which to exhibit their work and have devised an overarching curatorial theme and designed an accompanying booklet with supporting narrative text. 

During your course of study, you will have opportunities to visit art events, museums and galleries across the UK – in the past, we have made visits to see the Frieze Art Fair and Sculpture Park, The infinite Mix- a Haywood Gallery off site exhibition, Phillipe Parreno at the Tate Modern, Anselm Kiefer at White Cube, Champagne Life at the Saatchi Gallery, Subodh Gupta -Chanda Mama door ke (From Far Away Uncle Moon Calls) at the Mead Gallery. As well as a series of professional artist presentations though FACeTS (the Fine Art at Coventry Talk Series), we are also participating in the AA2A (Artists Access to Art Colleges) project, a national initiative providing residencies to visual artists and designers, which enables students to work alongside and interact with them. We currently have four artists with us, who will be giving talks and showing work throughout the year.

At the end of each module or project, you will submit your work for assessment and critique, and receive feedback and guidance in response. You will submit a combination of practical coursework, placement reports, presentations and essays. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve the various learning outcomes, which will be clearly set out on all project briefs. The practical aspects of your work will culminate in the final year Degree Show.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Practical coursework: 70%
  • Essays/reports: 20%
  • Presentations: 10%

Each year your studies in Fine Art will be complemented by an Add+vantage module of your choice, designed to enhance your skills and employability.

In order to achieve the award of Bachelor of Arts (Honours), a student must satisfy the University requirements of 360 credits. A student who does not wish to progress to a subsequent year of study may apply for an intermediate award of Diploma of Higher Education if they pass a minimum of 240 credits. A Certificate of Higher Education may be awarded to a student with minimum of 120 credits.

70% assessed by practical coursework

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 16 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 1 hour of small group or individually guided work and 12 allocated hours of studio time.
  • Medium group teaching: 2 hours of seminars each week.
  • Large group teaching: 1 hour of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed studying, including your coursework assignments in your own time.

Our teaching is underpinned by a worldview of contemporary art; this is reflected strongly in the course curriculum which includes taught sessions on Globalism, Travel and Migration and provides opportunities to engage with students, staff and artists from a culturally and geographically diverse range of backgrounds.

Each year we also offer study trips abroad (subject to additional costs and application), previously to Berlin to visit gallery’s such as Hamburger Bahnhof and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Foam Gallery and Venice to view artworks and attend events at the Venice Biennale which represents artwork from 86 different countries in national pavilions, and for the first time this year, also includes a Diaspora Pavilion.

Students are also sometimes invited to participate in projects run by our AA2A artists. They also benefit from the rich research culture in the department, potentially being invited to assist with staff research projects as studio assistants, conference delegates and workshop participants.

Our connections with the Canal Basin Trust mean that students have the opportunity to undertake studio visits and meet the artists working there to hear directly from them about their developing artworks.

Some of our students run the Student Union Art Society which provides a thriving programme of art related social events for students across the campus, such as visits to exhibitions and Drink and Draw evenings. This is a great way for students to connect with other students outside of their own course around a shared interest in art appreciation while also expanding their knowledge. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our students say...

The course gave me lots of experience exploring professional practice. I was awarded a residency at Rugby School through the Coventry Drawing Prize and I could not be more pleased.

Lisa McKenna

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: AHU004
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
BBC to include at least one Art or Design subject. DMM in an Art or Design subject. 29 points to include visual arts or design technology at Higher Level. Minimum 5 GCSEs at A*-C including English or specified equivalents.


You may be required to submit a portfolio/show reel/written work (as appropriate for the particular course) and you may be asked to attend an interview if it is practical to arrange.


A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Foundation Diploma

Merit in Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Access Diplomas

A pass in the Access Diploma, plus GCSE English Language at grade A*-C, or a specified equivalent.

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements. The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language An IELTS of 6.0 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail


Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language An IELTS of 6.0 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Unconditional offers

We want to recruit the best students to Coventry and having assessed applicants' past, current and predicted performance and commitment to the course we feel that it is appropriate to reward consistently high-achieving students with an unconditional offer from a top university. It is a commitment from us with regard to an applicants’ potential as an excellent undergraduate and we hope that this will encourage such applicants to join the Coventry community.

Personal statements and references will also be taken into account and, for some degree courses, an interview will form part of the assessment. The criteria for unconditional offers will vary across the University as entry requirements for specific courses differ and not all degree courses will be taking part in the Scheme. The unconditional offer will be confirmed once a selected applicant has made Coventry their firm choice.

Coventry University has assessed that you are capable of achieving excellent grades and we have demonstrated this belief by making you an unconditional offer. This is our commitment to you so then we ask that you reciprocate this commitment by selecting us as your ‘firm’ choice and activating your unconditional offer.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer providing that you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: the International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So if you don’t meet your predictions then your place at Coventry is still guaranteed. However we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

We can’t but our experience over the years has shown us that students like you with a track record of high grades and excellent predictions are very likely to achieve those grades. Our assessment takes into account all elements of your application to allow us to take a holistic view of your potential. There is still the opportunity to gain one of the Coventry University Scholarships if you achieve the required grades so there is a financial incentive to aim high. Unconditional offers are only made to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment so we believe their focus and determination is unlikely to waver in the final stages of their qualifications.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in 2018.

What our students say...

The course gave me lots of experience exploring professional practice. I was awarded a residency at Rugby School through the Coventry Drawing Prize and I could not be more pleased.

Lisa McKenna

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2018

£14,850 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

As well as covering UK field trips, key materials and laser print, the fees for this course also include:

  • Some essential art materials provided through workshops

The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip
  • Any additional art materials: £250+ per year

What our students say...

The course gave me lots of experience exploring professional practice. I was awarded a residency at Rugby School through the Coventry Drawing Prize and I could not be more pleased.

Lisa McKenna

Career prospects

Professional experience is embedded into our course, which is why we have such high levels of graduate employability.

Throughout you will produce professional outputs which can be exhibited in public and used to target curators, arts and cultural administrators, publishers, agents, media organisations, competitions, residency and exhibition opportunities and potential employers

Where our graduates work

Many of our students pursue careers as exhibiting artists or utilise transferrable skills towards creative futures in arts administration, museum and gallery curating, careers within the media, photography, art therapy, design and teaching.

Some of our graduates have progressed to postgraduate study here on our suite of MA courses, while many others have attended a range of institutions including the Royal College of Art, Chelsea College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Warwick University and the Slade School of Fine Art to name just a few.


Our graduates earn an average salary of £18,000 six months after the course (DLHE 2015/16)

What our students say...

The course gave me lots of experience exploring professional practice. I was awarded a residency at Rugby School through the Coventry Drawing Prize and I could not be more pleased.

Lisa McKenna

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.

The tuition fees stated on the course webpage, prospectus and your offer letter will apply for the duration of your course, subject only to changes to the law or government requirement. Please note that we set fees for individual courses, and fees from previous years are no indication of fees for future years.