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Fine Art - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

On this superb fine art degree you’ll be taught by internationally renowned artists in our state-of-the-art facilities, attend international events and gain all the skills and expertise you need to succeed as an artist or in the art world.

You’ll also benefit from our expert artists-in-residence and have the opportunity to exhibit your work in major student exhibitions attended by art professionals.

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The aim of this Fine Art BA course is for you to acquire the skills, knowledge, and above, all confidence to hold your own as an artist among fellow professionals and the public.

At The Cass, you’ll be studying in a famous art school in the busiest contemporary art scene in Europe: London. This is the best place to study art – here, among hundreds of art galleries and museums, art events, art organisations and businesses.

On this exciting and challenging undergraduate degree, you'll be taught in cutting-edge studios by practising London artists who are passionate about art and teaching. Our staff include artists with an impressive track record of international shows such as Bob and Roberta Smith, Pil and Galia Kollectiv and Mel Brimfield. There’s also an extensive programme of lectures from guest artists.

You’ll have access to brilliant facilities. There are spacious art studios, the latest 3D printing and laser-cutting facilities, a high street art gallery and even a roof garden. You’ll also have access to state-of-the-art digital media, print, painting, photography, ceramics and sculpture workshops.

During your studies you’ll learn art among a diverse mix of ambitious and prolific fellow art students and will brush shoulders with architects, designers, musicians and film directors.

Professional art training and practice is a key foundation of the course, with your work going on display to engage with the public and outside world. Two massive all-student art exhibitions take place each Christmas and Easter, as well as a major degree show every summer.

To ensure you get the most out of your studies there will also be artists in residence, art awards, access to private viewings, regular field trips to the Venice Biennale and other European art events, plus invaluable advice from artists who’ll guide you into your art career.


Assessment is through practical and written coursework. Practical coursework is developed in workshops and studios, while some written project development coursework is developed online. Fine Art BA coursework is marked in percentages according to a standard band of passing grades by a group of art examiners using clear, published assessment criteria.

You will also be involved in formative assessment during the year. This includes tutorials in which you will be given valuable verbal and written feedback on your art project proposals, works in progress and draft submissions, helping you to build on your individual strengths.

There are no examinations.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three relevant A level subjects such as the arts, humanities and social sciences (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification in relevant art and design subjects) plus a portfolio review
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Art and Design Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    The module offers a sequence of three intensive programmes or ‘mini-blocks’, tailored to the interests of specific groups of students. The module engages the student in thinking about their subject area, how it is defined and practiced, the richness of its resources, and how it opens up questions of context. In particular the module investigates how context might be framed, for example culturally, historically, economically, socially, theoretically or through practice. Students are encouraged to see connections and reflect on what they see in ways that build skills of communication and help articulate ideas. The module also helps the student, through learning how to identify, access and use knowledge profitably, to become knowledgeable about their subject area, its extent, its language and conventions, its history and practice.

    The three mini-blocks have equally weighted single assessments. The assessments include a range of different modes of written assignments, for example, Patchwork, Case Study, or Essay.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    In this module, drawing processes are explored alongside lens-based technologies and approaches. Students are supported to undertake a range of exercises and short projects, leading to a sustained piece of project work that they have devised, following tutorial guidance and ongoing discussion.

    The module enables students to explore and test a range of approaches, for example close observation; data collection; recording; analysis; and communication. Work on the module is informed by workshops and talks that consider the role of materials, techniques and cultural contexts in the development of a visual language.

    The module informs all other level 4 course modules and runs throughout the year. Students will be expected to consider and construct relationships between their work on modules during the year. The learning environment in level 4 fosters experimentation and direct testing of different approaches.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday

    Studio Practice 2 (FA4002) provides an introduction to and engagement with a range of media and approaches to artistic production. Focusing upon key skills and concepts, it provides an introduction to relevant materials, processes and techniques for the development of ideas and artefacts, enabling students to make connections between intention, process, and outcome.

    The module involves a series of demonstrations and exercises, introducing and developing basic artistic skills and techniques relevant to Fine Art practice. Allied to FA4001, the module supports applied understanding of visual and technical literacy through development of project work, negotiated between tutor and student.

    FA4002 Studio Practice 2 evolves in parallel with other Level 4 modules. Students will be expected to look for and construct relationships between and across modules. Students are encouraged to test out and explore different approaches to practice through one or more of the established disciplines of painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, sculpture/ installation and mixed media.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday

    FA4003 Studio Practice 3 has a close relationship with other Level 4 course modules. Focusing upon the student’s own evolving fine art or photographic practice, this module provides an opportunity for students to develop an individual negotiated project, relating to research undertaken within other modules during the year. The module considers the relationship between method, medium and meaning, with reference to relevant theory, as well as traditional and contemporary practices.

    Working under guidance, the module is structured around a negotiated project. Students are encouraged to develop as autonomous learners, taking increasing responsibility for the progress of their project work. The precise nature of the project will be negotiated and may be related to themes from the CP4010 Critical & Contextual Studies 1.

    Students will be expected to consider and construct critical connections between Level 4 modules.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    The module offers a sequence of three intensive programmes or ‘mini-blocks’ tailored to the interests of specific groups of students. It provides a range of studies that address the character and conditions of cultural production including how they operate in practice. The module helps to prepare the student for their final-year dissertation and their future role as professionals and practitioners. The student encounters different perspectives on their subject area and undertakes different forms of coursework aimed at helping inform their choice of dissertation topic and approach.

    The module begins to situate the student within the process of constructing knowledge. This process may be approached from the point of view of the producer or consumer, the critic or the professional, the academic or the practitioner, in that there are a number of players involved. The module recognises that the student is also an active player in the process: what they bring to the construction of knowledge counts; and how effectively they construct it depends on how well they understand and interact with the field. To this end the module encourages the skills of reading and literacy as required – historical, analytical, textual, visual or technical – to help support rigorous and enterprising thought.

    The three blocks have equally weighted single assessments.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    FA5001 Studio Practice 4: Themes is comprised of thematic workshops, case studies and/or group initiated projects. These provide an opportunity for group work, research and collaboration, including work with outside agencies, as well as individual practice. In investigating the given themes, the module will reflect upon trends in current practice as well as historical models. Case studies and seminar sessions with practitioners are intended to encourage engagement with and understanding of the character, institutional and professional practices of Fine Art and/or Photography.

    The module is delivered in integral relationship with the work of the other core modules in the level. Allied to CCS modules, it is intended that FA5001 Studio Practice 4: Themes informs approaches to the Dissertation in the (Honours) Level 6.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    FA5002 Studio Practice 5 encourages and facilitates development of practical and conceptual knowledge and understanding of contemporary visual arts practice. The module builds on the skills and key concepts introduced at level 4, providing students with a sustained and in-depth engagement with their practice. Technical competence is enhanced while exploring the range and application of Fine Art practice in the realisation of an individual project.

    FA5002 Studio Practice 5 is taught in integral relationship with the work produced in other core modules. Students will be expected to investigate and develop critical and aesthetic working relationships between and across modules.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    FA5003 Studio Practice 6 encourages and facilitates intermediate development of practical and conceptual knowledge and understanding of contemporary visual arts practice. The module promotes a problem-solving approach towards increasing autonomy in practice.

    The module considers the integral relationship of practice and theory in contemporary discourse, requiring the student to begin the process of situating their evolving approach within relevant critical and aesthetic frameworks, towards developing a distinctive position and perspective. FA5003 Studio Practice 6 is taught in integral relationship with the work produced in other core modules, encouraging new frames of reference to emerge and synergies to be explored.

    The module involves constructive critique and reflection, questioning traditional, dominant and emerging practices and methodologies.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module is framed in terms of a dissertation. The student undertakes an enquiry into a topic of his or her own choice and, based on this enquiry, develops an extended critical study. The module involves individual supervision designed to support the student’s ambitions and confidence in becoming an independent learner, building on techniques and knowledge developed in previous years, and providing scope for initiative and development. The dissertation demonstrates the student’s ability to thoroughly research a topic, use appropriate methods of investigation, and work methodically and productively.

    The subject matter of the dissertation can be theoretical, technical, or historical, should be closely related to the student’s main field of study and be complimentary to their practice. It may be envisaged as one of several different types: for example, visual, technical or other non-written material may form the subject of the enquiry and comprise an integral part of the whole; the dissertation may be professionally oriented and include field-work; or it might be academic and theoretical in its source material and methodology. Its form and approach can reflect a broad range of discipline-specific approaches based on discussion and agreement with the supervisor and/or course leader.

    Students may develop their topic independently or, as an option, within a specific dissertation Interest or Subject Group. Interest or Subject Groups will provide a short taught programme. They are offered on an annual basis and may incorporate:

    • research based specialisms
    • areas of scholarly interest in history and theory
    • industry related practice
    • workshop, digital or media based technical studies

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module supports students to further develop their professional and academic skills, including their practical and conceptual understanding of the codes, conventions and issues associated with curatorial display. Students are expected to synthesise the experience and knowledge gained over the course, and employ a range of transferable skills in communication, negotiation, analysis, project planning and project management.

    The module includes lectures and workshops to support students to produce an exhibition proposal, a working document that they will continue to develop, test and revise over the course of the year. A schedule of tutorials, supervision, technical input and workshops, as appropriate are available to enable students to realise their plans in the form of a Degree show exhibition at the end of the module.

    There are three components of assessment for the module: the realised Exhibition; an accompanying Artist’s Statement; the exhibition proposal, including a Risk Assessment and Exhibition Agreement.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    FA6002 Final Project marks the summation of the BA Fine Art programme of studies. It comprises a major piece of independent study, produced under supervision and guidance. The purpose of the final project is to demonstrate the application and integration of the skills and knowledge gained throughout the course.

    The module requires the student to submit an initial project proposal (in the companion module FA6001) for approval by the teaching team, followed by a period of research and development, culminating in the submission of a final body of work determined by the scope and character of the initial aims and objectives of the proposal. The module will be supported by a series of project planning workshop. On this basis, the module will require the student to frame the project in contemporary discourse and be able to justify the methods employed in its execution, including the conceptual and practical aims of the project and its intended audience/reception. Students are also required to keep an illustrated reflective journal documenting the history of the project.

    The Final Project and Project Development module are delivered holistically in the final degree level. Students are expected to reflect upon and represent the complexity of critical and creative relationships between and across the body of work undertaken in degree level.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module supports intensive research and development to support the realisation of the Final Project in the parallel module FA6002 (BA Fine Art) and FA600X (BA Photography). The module involves students in preparing a project proposal, planning, project management, research and testing approaches to practice. Students employ both practical and critical skills and address key questions that relate to their ongoing project such as the works relationship with audience and how they might need to negotiate and collaborate with others.

    During the module, students test out working methods, clarify their intentions, and frame their project proposal in a contemporary context. It involves an extensive period of independent research practice and development, culminating in the submission of project material and reflective documents. The module is supported by a Project Planning workshop.

    Students are expected to reflect upon and represent the complexity of critical and creative relationships between and across the body of work undertaken in Level 6.

    Read full details.

If you’re studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits. 

In Year 1 you'll study core modules including critical and contextual studies and gain studio experience with a range of studio practice modules.

In Year 2 you'll expland on this knowledge, deepending your understanding of major themes, ideas and techniques, exploring your creativity and developing your technical skills and style.

In Year 3 you'll undertake a range of modules including a dissertation and exhibition and display module, designed to increase your professional exposure and kick-start your artistic career.

Year 1 modules:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (Art)
  • Studio Practice 1 Ways of Seeing
  • Studio Practice 2
  • Studio Practice 3

Year 2 modules:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (Art)
  • Studio Practice 4 Themes
  • Studio Practice 5
  • Studio Practice 6

Year 3 modules:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (Art)
  • Project Development
  • Final Project
  • Exhibition and Display

"This is an enjoyable and rewarding course which provides exciting engagement with current art practice. It allowed me to develop my own approach to the discipline of painting, equipping me with both discipline-specific skills, and a range of transferable ones, too. It provided me with the experience and confidence to go on to my MA."

Elizabeth Vicary

“I am really grateful for all of the support and encouragement provided during my three years at The Cass and to have had such an enriching education. Having tutors like Patrick Ward, Mel, Jonathan, Galia and Ben Cain was amazing and the critical direction they provided and professional relationships we had were unlike any of the ones my friends at other London art schools have had. I think working in studios was one of the best aspects of studying at The Cass and I really benefited from learning in this environment.”

Rosemarie McGoldrick

Many organisations value a Fine Art BA graduate’s creativity very highly, and you’ll be joining The Cass’s proud list of students, which includes famous artists such as Tracey Emin, Sam Taylor-Wood, John Cecil Stephenson and Professor Gerard Hemsworth.

There are a wide range of job opportunities as artists, curators, art critics and art journalists, as previous graduates will testify. Others have gone on to become artists' assistants, art technicians, gallery administrators, art event organisers, marketers, auctioneers, print technicians, photographers, video producers and studio managers.

Alternative career paths include arts officers for local government, art teachers, art tutors and lecturers. Some graduates have even pursued rewarding roles as art therapists, working in hospitals, day care, rehabilitation, prisons and the probation service.

There’s also the chance that your work may one day be displayed alongside our past students. Organisations that host work by our graduates include the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Venice Biennale, ICA, Henry Moore Foundation, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, Art Basel, Frieze, Parkett, Artforum, The English Arts Council and the Pompidou Centre.

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

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How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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