Fine Art BA (Hons)
UCAS Code: W100
International Code: AHU004
Coventry University (Coventry)
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with study abroad / professional placement
Study level: Undergraduate
This practice-based course will challenge and inspire you, developing the creative, technical, critical, reflective and enterprising skills to support you in forging a successful and sustainable career in contemporary art.
On this course you:
- have access to a range of workshops, industry-standard software, photographic and media resources.
- 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.
- will be taught by practising artists, art historians, and writers whose work has been exhibited at a number of prestigious venues across the world
Global ReadyAn international outlook, with global opportunities
Teaching excellenceTaught by lecturers who are experts in their field
EmployabilityCareer ready graduates, with the skills to succeed
Why you should study this course
Our degree mixes new and traditional technologies to reflect the evolving world of contemporary art. We encourage you to become a highly skilled and self-sufficient practitioner with good working habits and emphasis on interdisciplinary and international practice. You can learn to understand placement of your work within historical and contemporary social, political and cultural contexts.
We offer you a rich experience of guided assignment briefs, self-initiated projects, national or international competitions, ‘live’ projects, and both internal and external exhibition opportunities. Our typical graduate portfolios include: painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, installation, photography, performance, digital media, moving image production and socially engaged practice. Socially engaged practice is work such as Ai Wei Wei’s ‘Sunflower Seeds’ installation exhibited in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall or the activist, community work of the collaborative art group Assemble.
We aim to help you to prepare you for graduation and the world of work. From the outset we aim to develop the professional skills associated with evaluating, exhibiting and distributing your work, which will become more visible to the outside world as the course progresses and your confidence grows.
We have strong links with many regional arts organisations, for example, the Mead Gallery at the Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry ArtSpace Projects, Coventry Collective Pod, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry Contemporary Art Biennale and New Art West Midlands. Our commercial partners currently include Warwickshire NHS Trust, the Coventry Building Society and Severn Trent Water, which runs an environmentally themed tri-annual student art commission with the chance for six students to display their work in the company’s state-of-the art Operations Centre in Coventry (subject to availability, competitive application and additional costs).
Our FACeTS (Fine Art at Coventry Talk Series) gives you an opportunity to hear direct from some of the most innovative contemporary artists and creative practitioners from the UK and beyond – recent topics have explored current changes in cultural opportunities across Eastern and Western Europe, post-object art practices in the context of digital media and the impact that artists can have on their environments.
You may also be invited to take part in study trips to exhibitions and events*. Past trips have included the Tate Modern, White Cube, Saatchi Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Birmingham Ikon Gallery, Digbeth First Friday, Liverpool Biennial and British Art Show and many others.
The thing I enjoy most about my course is the freedom to develop your own areas of interest with the careful support and advice of tutors and peers.
What you'll study
Our goal is to encourage you to experiment with a variety of media and technologies. Your first year has 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 encourage you to become more self-directed in your studies and identify and deepen personal interests and concerns.
You will complete the year by designing an exhibition of your work with your peers.
Art Explorations 1 - 40 credits
This module will introduce you to the principles of developing a fine art studio practice and disciplines within 2D, 3D and 4D fine art studio practice. These are focused around drawing/painting and printmaking, sculpture and spatial approaches and intermedia. A number of key approaches to practice within those disciplines will be explored.
Art Introductions 2 - 40 Credits
This module will allow you to build on your previous experiences in fine art practice, and encourage increasing responsibility in the choice, content and direction of your personal work. You will make selections from a range of disciplines, negotiating hybrids and multi-faceted approaches to work as reflected in contemporary art practice. You are encouraged to become familiar with current trends and debates and understand a body of work/line of enquiry, located in painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video, intermedia, installation, audio, performance, social practice or interactive languages.
The module also introduces you to professional contexts for showing work and the many roles that exist to support the making/critiquing/exhibiting/ and disseminating of work. You are 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.
Contextual Introductions - 10 credits
This module introduces you to the theoretical and historical frameworks that underpin the visual arts. The lecture series gives an overview of the history of art from the Renaissance to the early-twentieth century. The seminar series will introduce analytical and study skills, as well as opening up theoretical debates related to critical positions and the relationship of art and illustration to audiences. You are encouraged to build on the knowledge and understanding you gained in the lectures and seminars to develop your research abilities so you can deliver 5- to 10-minute video presentation, with a written script and bibliography developed from a series of given topics.
Contextual and Professional Introductions - 20 credits
This module will introduce you to the theoretical and historical frameworks that underpin the visual arts. The lecture series will give a survey of the history of art from the Renaissance to the early-twentieth century. You will be encouraged to build on the knowledge and understanding gained in the lectures and seminars, and to develop your research abilities . You should be able to articulate ideas with confidence in a 5- to 10-minute video presentation, with a written script and bibliography developed from a series of given topics.
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.
You have an opportunity to participate in an overseas study trip in the second semester to further develop your understanding of the contribution of art from a global perspective.
You will be encouraged to consider the larger themes, histories and ideas that contextualise the production and reception of your work.
Art Explorations 1 - 40 credits
You will be encouraged to develop a resourceful and creative approach to the development of your work, describing it in a visual language appropriate to your ideas. Through a programme of tutorials, studio critiques and illustrated talks, you will be asked to discuss your ideas and approaches with staff and fellow students and adapt, expand or challenge their working methods in the light of this dialogue.
At the end of the module you will present an extended body of work that builds upon your work at level 1. You will also write a short evaluative report identifying ideas and approaches that you will take in the next studio module, Art Explorations Part 2.
Fine Art Contextual Explorations (Part 1) - 10 credits
This module will build on the knowledge and understanding you gained in the first year. You have the opportunity to look at contextual and theoretical issues relevant to contemporary fine art and illustration practices in more depth. This will be through lectures, where a broad range of work by contemporary practitioners will be discussed alongside relevant theory, and seminars where research techniques will be developed. You will be expected to develop your research ability and engage with relevant debates and reflect on your evolving studio practice in suitable contexts.
Contextual and Professional Explorations - 20 credits
You will continue to build on the knowledge and understanding you have gained on the course so far and consider contextual, theoretical and professional issues relevant to contemporary fine art and illustration practices.
This module will culminate in two outcomes.
- a written proposal of 1,000 words for the third-year dissertation/reflective report/virtual exhibition, supported by a working bibliography
- a professional website research portfolio comprising a series of written documents (1,000 words total).
This is where you explore and demonstrate methodologies for disseminating your practice and contexts in discipline-appropriate ways to broader audiences within the professional arena.
Add+Vantage - 10 credits
After your second year, the course offers an optional Professional Placement or Study Abroad Year*.
You can take the Professional Placement Year or the Study Abroad Year module which both typically run for a full academic year between Years 2 and 3 of your course. You can progress onto the relevant module if you have successfully completed the first two years of the course (accumulating 240 credits). You must confirm what option, from the list below, you want to take before the end of your second year:
- an Erasmus study placement at an EU university
- a study placement at a university outside the EU
- an Erasmus professional work placement
- an approved professional work placement separately and independently organised that is outside the EU
- an approved professional work placement separately and independently organised within the UK.
If you successfully complete the Professional Placement Year or the Study Abroad Year modules, they will appear on your final academic transcript. If you complete this year, you will also gain an enhanced degree award title as the additional suffix of “With Professional Enhancement” if you’ve gone on a work placement, and “With International Enhancement” if you’ve gone on a study abroad programme.
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
Art Consolidations 1 - 40 credits
This module aims to get you strongly engaged in your studio practice from the outset of the year. This module also gives you the opportunity to further revise and develop your creative intentions for Level 3 at the end of Level 2. Based solely in the studio, this module will prepare you for their final degree show module.
Art Consolidations 2 - 40 credits
At the start of this module, you prepare a working study proposal for studio practice build upon a well-understood contextual framework during the module.
Art Consolidation and Professional Practice - 40 credits
Building on your practice from Level 2 and the first module at Level 3, you will examine and explore a particular set of visual ideas and problems and articulate and develop them through appropriate visual languages. You will be expected to evaluate, analyse and contextualise your work within supporting log books, sketchbooks and through discussion.
This module should provide you with an intense and uninterrupted period of studio practice representing 400 hours of focused endeavour leading to the production of a substantial, sustained, coherent and fully realised body of work
The module provides you with an opportunity to test the research taken into relevant professional networks and skills. Through an agreed study proposal, you will be expected to identify a particular project, or brief, and explore an area of professional experience that’s relevant to your main area of study. This can be a project of your own choosing or a response to a pre-existing brief or commission.
Contextual Studies Consolidations -20 credits
You will be expected to make independent judgements and reasoned arguments concerning the contexts of your practice. You should be able to source and research relevant material, and write your findings in a 5,000-word report. This will involve ideas and practices directly from within fine art or illustration, but may well also relate to concepts from other disciplines.
Professional Consolidations - 10 credits
This module is designed to encourage you to consider your own body of work within the context of your chosen field.
This should help you build on the skills and reflection you developed in Levels 1 and 2, continuing to reflect on the relations, interpretations and contexts of current practice. You should consider your career aims and ambitions, and prepare and present a relevant body of work in the contexts of exit strategies and the degree show.
In your final year, you present yourself and your work to the practice community. Individual, group and class work may be presented and must be organized and co-ordinated.
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
In a typical teaching week, you will have approximately 13 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This includes a combination of:
- medium group teaching: workshops , seminars and lectures
- small group teaching: seminar, critiques and tutorials
- studio practice and bookable workshop access
The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online activities.
The School of Art and Design often provides opportunities to engage in external or collaborative activities such as competition/industry briefs and speakers beyond your course studies. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to support your learning journey.
The course can be studied full-time over three years. You can extend your studies by a year by undertaking a Professional Placement or Study Abroad Year.
This course is essentially studio-based, but we encourage you to use some of our specialist digital and media resources, or engage in offsite projects.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which may vary depending upon the module concerned. Assessment methods include exams, practical coursework, essays/reports, presentations, individual assignments and/or group work elements.
This course is predominantly assessed by coursework.
This course explores a number of disciplines within 2D, 3D and 4D fine art studio practice. You have the opportunity to experiment with drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, spatial approaches, fine art performance, video, photography and intermedia. We encourage you to test and explore your understanding and practical skills relating to writing, curatorial and educational roles, putting theory into practice through a variety of opportunities.
From the second year of the course, we switch to a more in-depth study of contemporary fine art. These include examining a broad range of work by contemporary practitioners, writers and critics, and key movements and ideas. You are expected to develop your research ability and engage with relevant debates.
Art consolidations: During the final year of your degree, you should be strongly engaged in studio practice, honing your creative identity, revising and developing your ideas in preparation for the final degree show.
International experience opportunities
Our teaching is underpinned by a contemporary view of art practice. 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. Previous trips have been taken to Berlin where students visited galleries such as Hamburger Bahnhof and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Foam Gallery. They have also been to Venice to view artworks and attend events at the Venice Biennale which currently represents artwork from 86 different countries in national pavilions, and also includes a Diaspora Pavilion.
Our connections with the Canal Basin Trust mean that you have the opportunity to undertake studio visits and meet the artists working there to hear about their developing artworks.
Typical offer for 2022 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|A level||BBC to include at least one Art and Design subject|
|GCSE||Minimum 5 graded including English|
|BTEC||DMM in an Art or Design subject.|
|IB Diploma||29 points to include visual arts or design technology at Higher Level.|
We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.
You may be required to attend a portfolio showcase, activity session or audition or submit a portfolio via email (as is appropriate to your course), either virtually or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites for these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.
Each application will be considered on its merits.
Typical offer for 2022 entry
Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:
You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.
If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Art, Design and Media will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.
Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.
You will be required to submit a portfolio via email or alternatively attend a showcase activity session or audition (as is appropriate for your course) which can be virtual or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites to send in your portfolio or attend these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.
Each application will be considered on its merits.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 overall
If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.
Fees and funding
2022/23 Tuition fees
|Student||Full time||Part time|
|UK||£9,250 per year||Not available|
|International||£18,050 per year||Not available|
For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.
We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.
You will have access all kinds of industry-grade equipment* for a range of textiles: from laser cutting, digital embroidery, sonic wielding and screen printing, to manufacturing tools for accessories, embroidery and garments.
In our clay studio*, your ideas become realised by using technological software and clay. Here you can create whatever you imagine, whether that’s an animated character, a sleek car design or theatre props.
Games Technology laboratory
Our gaming lab is a technological paradise, equipped with high-end gaming PCs that have all of the industry-standard software necessary for your course*. It also houses virtual reality game development and motion capture technology.
Careers and opportunities
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 past 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 past 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.
You can choose to continue your studies at Coventry University with the Painting MA. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.
I volunteered at Coventry biennale in my second year, then completed a placement year, where I worked at Centrala gallery in Birmingham for a few months. I later joined Positive Youth Foundation team in Coventry and I still work with them now.
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS. Part-time students should apply directly to the university. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
For further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Full-time students applying to start in September should apply directly to the university. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
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By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.
The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.
For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
Placements and study abroad opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.
This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).