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Undergraduate study
Fine Art Fine Art Fine Art

W100 BA/FA (W104 BA/FAFY for Year 0 entry)


Course overview

A fine art degree course at Teesside University provides studio-based learning that allows you to specialise in painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography and/or new media. You have open access to all media workshops to develop your personally defined project themes.

Lectures, seminars and studio-based critique raise ideas and themes to explore the shifting status of beauty in visual culture and contemporary practice. You work with visiting artists, curators and writers who share their expertise during lectures and give direct tutorial support to your individual research projects.

Designed as an epic creative journey which, as well as producing a strong academic basis for the future, will live in your imagination for the rest of your life. At the heart of this course is the understanding that this is a huge personal adventure during which you test, unearth and begin to shape a voice that will be your creative foundation for the future.

The degree is underpinned by a visiting artist talk series, MIMA Mondays, where all academics and students gather to plan and co-develop projects and MIMA’s Community Day (Thursdays) where you are supported to connect with a broader public. You are invited to undertake an international learning experience alongside a series of national opportunities as well as exhibit.

Our fine art graduates have been instrumental in setting up a broad range of artist-led studio groups and galleries in the Tees Valley including Platform-A Gallery.

Teesside University provides you with individual studios from the very start, and access to latest facilities with skilled technicians that can help you create and innovate. We have a dedicated print room with bookbinding, a media centre that loans cameras and equipment, sound proof recording studios, green-screen production studios, Mac and PC labs, and a stellar workshop for wood, 3D printing, metalworking and welding. We are also one of the only art programmes in the UK with dark rooms to work with analogue photography and all enhanced by excellent technical support.

Interested in studying this course?
If you are a Year 12 student living outside the North East, you can apply to our residential Summer School this July to get a taste for your subject and university life. Find out more.


Course details

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Creativity and Design

You develop your design and drawing styles, essential for the creative development of interesting and innovative visual solutions.

You are guided through a range of techniques and encouraged to push your ideas and designs in alternative directions, expanding your creative thinking and developing your ideas in new ways.

You produce a range of visual images and worksheets to develop your drawing and image-making styles and process. Throughout the module, you are encouraged to experiment with a variety of drawing and mark-making media and techniques.

You are also encouraged to make connections between seemingly unrelated beginnings and outcomes with briefs that allow creative freedom and broad interpretation.

Critical and Contextual Studies

You gain an historical and contextual overview of the history of art, animation, film and games. Aimed at technical, arts, games and animation students, this module equips you with an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen field of study.

Through a series of lectures and seminars, you engage in research and discussion based on your chosen areas of art, animation and game history. You learn how to effectively seek out appropriate academic sources on which to base and construct these discussions in seminars and in writing.

Drawing Principles

In this module you gain confidence in creating rudimentary images using traditional tools such as pencil and charcoal. The teaching enables you to develop your drawing technique and approach, and helps you produce images that effectively communicate simple ideas.

With a range of traditional materials, you are encouraged to experiment with different approaches to drawing. You learn methods and techniques to improve your observational skills in relation to still life drawing. This module also looks at other formal elements including tone, proportion, perspective and basic human anatomy.

Foundation Project

You are guided through the production of a small-scale individual project, defined in part by you with guidance from your tutor. The foundation project guides you to a more autonomous working approach developing your project management skills and consolidating other skills already learnt in other modules.

You develop original ideas and concepts for the pre-production of an appropriate project in your chosen field of study. This may take the form of a game design document, modest game prototype, animation or game pre-production, concept art or another appropriate form related to the games, animation and film industries.

Modelling Principles

You learn some of the basic principles of 3D computer modelling, lighting and texturing. You use 3D software to produce a simple 3D model that will be textured and rendered with basic lighting. Through guided tutorial tasks, you learn some of the first principles of 3D modelling with the view to creating a small collection of elementary assets for computer games and animation. You create simple textures in appropriate software, such as Photoshop, and consider basic CG lighting.

Problem Solving Principles

You are introduced to problem solving, using simple tools and techniques. You develop your logical thinking and problem solving abilities. From recognising and defining problems to selecting an approach to problem solving or decision making, to evaluating the difference between the current and the desired state.

You may use recreational problems, like games and puzzles, to convey the important concepts and provide a more limited context to work within.


Year 1 core modules

Contemporary Art Heritage

You explore contemporary art concepts and working practices. You visit galleries where you experience works and exhibitions first hand and through lectures, you critically reflect and explore new modes of thinking that challenge your own preconceptions about what might constitute art and art practice.
Your assessment is a short essay following a gallery visit and a presentation on a contemporary artist.

Curatorial Imaginations

You explore the considerations in preparing work for an exhibition. You consider methods and modes of presentation in different contexts in your lectures and seminars. In the studio you put together a small exhibition of your work and analyse, reflect and articulate the ideas that are emerging within your own studio practice and experiment with ways in which display or presentation might make these concerns clearer. In a personal statement you articulate your findings to identify your artistic concerns and examine the context where these concerns may sit.

Defining Developments in Future Praxis

You develop your technical skills. A skills audit helps you determine a selection of workshops to support continuing studio practice, including: painting, fine art printing, photography, sculpture and video and film editing. You identify the salient points of your artistic practice with an emphasis placed on material manipulation and experimentation, exploring new approaches to making.

You develop areas that inform your individual research towards building a more independent practice and you are assessed by a portfolio review.

Dialogues: Engaging with Skills

You explore foundational skills and technical facilities you develop and adopt further within your practice. You attend introductions and workshops about the safe and correct use of specialist equipment. Optional workshops and inductions include film editing in the Media Centre, fine art print making and photography and sculpture workshops.
For each introduction and workshop, you carry out small tasks that are assessed in a portfolio review.

Discovering a Personal Practice

You explore a range of strategies to facilitate the production of studio work. Experimental approaches introduced within assignments encourages the development of work in a variety of different media, which could include painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography and multimedia.
You experiment working in different media to explore interdisciplinary practice where you gain a variety of skills and materials to best communicate your ideas.

Pushing Towards the Edge: Establishing Experimentation

You undertake a self-initiated project. This is a practical introduction to the design of self-authored projects. Working in the studio, you identify the salient points of your artistic practice with experimentation and innovation. You adopt new and questioning approaches to the working of material, both in terms of idea and physical making. Your assessment is a self-authored project displayed in the studio.


Year 2 core modules

Art After the Internet

You gain an understanding of the relationship between art theory, art history concepts and practice. Your lectures and seminars look at historical and contemporary art created within the environment where our relationship to the world and exposure to information has shifted since the emergence of the internet. This facilitates knowledge and discussion and provides you with the skills to select and investigate a subject related to the module.

Your assessment is a 2,000 word essay that demonstrates an understanding of theoretical ideas related to the module.

Curating the World

You take part in the organisation and implementation of a group exhibition of your own work in a venue off campus. You engage in the planning, installation, and development of promotional material. Through your exhibition, research, and related activities, you put into practice many of your ideas, skills, and experiences to actively engage with the chosen audience.

Your assessment is a group exhibition off campus and fifteen-minute presentation outlining your influences and contextualising your practice.

New Directions in Contemporary Art Practice

You understand and recognise your own artistic intent in the context of contemporary art practice. You deepen and extend your knowledge and expertise for making and evaluating resolved art works.
You examine the relation between curatorial practice, studio production and broader forms of practice that consider audience interface and presentation. Art making projects extend your visual, conceptual and practical skills needed for your project outcomes.
You develop a self-authored project, and with tutored support, record this as an artists statement. The artist’s statement is to reflect, evaluate and contextualise your project, helping you identify and build on your personal aptitudes and strengths and articulate ideas clearly.

Your assessment is a body of resolved work, which includes context and presentation and its relation to your artists statement.

Practicum: Community Engagement

You explore ways to locate your ideas and practice in your community and beyond. Taking the material and discussions in theory and applying it to real world situations.

Working with your tutor you work on a self-initiated practicum, a field experience connected to the visual arts that allows you to observe, document and participate within a working professional environment and write a short reflective evaluative text.
Your assessment is your organisation of a practicum project and a reflective and evaluative text.

Studio Art: Testing Ideas

You explore the nature of creative thinking embracing the notion of ‘failure and experimentation’. You test ideas through a varied and comprehensive range of workshops, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, photography digital media and other lens-based media. In group work you debate and carry out critical thinking and look at addressing issues related to your individual practice and others. You develop a self-authored project and record this as an artists statement - to reflect, evaluate and contextualise your project. You identify and build on personal aptitudes and strengths and articulate ideas clearly.

Your assessment is a body of experimental work in a variety of media relating to your artists statement.

Towards a Phenomenology of Practice

You explore phenomenology in historical and contemporary art practice. You research and participate in ideas of practice that engage with the world and our experience of it through sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, interactive, and immersive installation, dance and technology, wearable computing, and performance in social media. You explore associated concepts related to theory and practice, mind and body, solitary and shared practices and gain knowledge of how they can be amalgamated. You examine broader forms of practice, such as audience interface and interaction.
Your assessment is a piece of work demonstrating phenomenology and your experience of being in the world.


Final-year core modules

Artist as Thinker: Defining Difference

You initiate, research, plan and manage a studio project. You generate an in-depth study in the studio and research and plan project ideas. You take ownership and responsibility for the conceptual and visual exploration of your ideas and the material investigation generated within your work.
You consider your studio practice within the wider context of codes of practice such as research ethics and health and safety. You write a concise and insightful artist statement that clearly articulates your ideas and aspirations.

Fine Art Project

You produce and present a public exhibition of your work as the culmination of your degree. Your presentation confirms the expertise in place for future artistic and professional practice. You draw on your practical and theoretical concerns that underpin your studio practice, to make technically proficient, critically aware, and resolved work.
Your assessment is a professional presentation of work, including the preparation of space and presentation. You also provide an updated artist statement to articulate intention and contextualise your work.

Parallel Visions: Manifesting Intent

You develop visual, conceptual and technical skills evidenced through studio production it tests the appropriateness of specialist studios and workshops for the production of resolved work and determines the trajectory of subsequent project intent. You explore the interdependence of curatorial practice and studio based production through your selection of resolved work presented for critical review.

Visualising Research

You carry out an in-depth research based investigation into an area that interests you. It can be a dissertation or an artefact in any media, together with a reflective piece of writing. Your theme should relate to, and inform, your practical studies. You underpin your studies with wide ranging reading around the subject and engagement with theoretical positions/analytical models associated with youir ideas. It should help you to articulate your concerns of your own practice and situate it in relation to a wider cultural context.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

An academic staff team of specialist practitioners and theorists work in partnership with a weekly programme of visiting artists to ensure you have access to a diverse and extensive range of fine art expertise. You have contact with artist-led agencies, have the opportunity to establish a support network for arts practice and undertake study visits (including Erasmus student exchange) directly related to your personal research. Studio tutorials throughout the programme are designed to help you develop clear and realistic objectives for continued professional development and employment. Individual and independent learning priorities become an integral component in each study module and are supported by a fully established Negotiated Learning Plan at all levels of the programme.

How you are assessed

The continuous assessment structure allows key assessment deadlines to be located at the mid-point and end-point of each academic year.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 96-112 tariff points including at least three A levels (or equivalent), or 64-80 for entry to Year 0 (Foundation Year) – one must be in an appropriate discipline. And we attach considerable importance to your portfolio of work.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Fine art graduates move forward into an increasingly broad range of professional futures including postgraduate study in visual art at Teesside University (MA Fine Art) and education through Graduate Teacher Training and Recruitment, acquire sponsored fellowships and arts-based residencies (facilitated by DigitalCity and Tees Valley Arts), develop independent practice through locally based studio groups (Saltburn Artist Projects, Navigator North and Platform Arts), work as curators for gallery-based exhibitions (The Heritage Gallery and Python Gallery), take advantage of local and regional opportunities for additional professional development (a-n and Arts Council England, North East) and, as self-employed artists, become professional cultural practitioners.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Entry to 2019/20 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£11,825 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years or 4 years including foundation year
  • UCAS code: W100 BA/FA
    W104 BA/FAFY for Year 0 entry
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points and interview

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time


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16 November 2019
Undergraduate open day

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Foundation year