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Fine Art

BA (Hons) - single BA (Hons) - combined

School of Arts

Studying Fine Art will enable you to produce challenging contemporary artworks, and investigate the role of the artist in the 21st century. This programme will develop you as an artist. On graduation your confidence, skills and knowledge will support you in your artistic practice and in the broader cultural industries.

You will be introduced to a range of practices that link traditional skills and approaches with alternative media in order to develop imaginative, critical and informed fine art practice. 

Your work will consider audience and context, and you will benefit from our special relationships with galleries and art organisations in Oxford.

The course will equip you with creative, interpretive, critical and analytical skills to develop an informed understanding of contemporary art and its cultural and historical contexts. It will help you to develop into a confident, reflective and self-motivated graduate within an environment that is supportive yet intellectually challenging.

We've reviewed our combinations for this course for 2018 entry - please check the current list of combined honours options in 'Combining this course with another subject'

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112 - to include Art

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Headington Campus / Headington Campus, Headington Hill

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: 5 - 8 years

UCAS code

W100

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • The broad nature of the Brookes Fine Art course encourages you to be critically engaged, to explore imaginatively and to take risks, working towards an independent fine art practice.
  • Our range of excellent contemporary and traditional facilities for making art are available to you throughout this programme. 
  • This course develops your potential for further progression, including employment and postgraduate study.
  • You will be able to benefit from our special relationships with the contemporary galleries and arts organisations in Oxford. These include Modern Art Oxford, OVADA (Oxfordshire Visual Arts Development Agency) and The Old Fire Station Gallery. 
  • Regular exhibitions of student work take place in and around Oxford which as a city offers a wealth of arts and architectural resources.
  • Our approachable and experienced team of staff each have their own particular area of professional arts practice, expertise and technical skills which feeds into their teaching on a daily basis.

The course will engage you in creative strategies for the production of contemporary artwork, equip you with basic and specialist technical skills, and encourage dialogue on a variety of issues within art and culture. 

You will be able to develop your ideas and working methodologies in traditional media areas such as painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture, as well as in lens-based media, sonic art, artists' books, live/time-based art, installation, site-specific work and interdisciplinary practices.

In Year 1 you will be introduced to a range of technical skills, theoretical perspectives and creative strategies for generating and developing experimental contemporary artwork in a range of media.

Year 2 will support and develop your individual working methodologies. You will be engaged with your own work through a core spine of Fine Art Practice modules and Media Pathway options in which you will be able to develop your technical skills to an advanced level. You will also further engage with critical debates in contemporary art through theory modules, and will learn about career prospects through the Professional Practice module.

In Year 3 you will research and develop a body of independent visual work, which will culminate in the end-of-year degree show. In addition you will write an extended Critical Essay on a topic of your choosing. Outside formal teaching sessions, which include individual and group tutorials, lectures and seminars, you will continue to work independently in your own base studio.

Study modules

As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules available may vary from those listed here.

Year 1

  • Fine Art Practice I: Media and Context
  • Fine Art Practice II: Studio/New Media Practice
  • Introductory Technical Skills for Artists
  • Fine Art Theory I: Modernism and Avant-Gardes
  • Fine Art Theory II: Postmodernisms

Years 2 and 3

  • Fine Art Practice IIIA: Developing Studio/New Media Practice
  • Fine Art Practice IIIB: Alternative Media Practices
  • Fine Art Advanced Media Pathway
  • Fine Art Theory III: Critical Issues in Contemporary Art
  • Fine Art Theory IV: Critical Essay
  • Professional Practice for Artists
  • Placement in the Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Independent Study in Fine Art
  • Fine Art Practice IV: Research and Development
  • Fine Art Practice V: Major Project
  • Professional Writing for Artists

Work placements

The optional work placement module in the second year may involve travel costs depending on location. Students are encouraged to identify opportunities for this experience, but are given full support to ensure a sound and effective placement. In past years students have worked in casting foundries, with arts management organisations and with public galleries. In most cases, these placements occur in and around Oxford. For this reason, travel costs usually amount to no more than approximately £50. In cases where students opt to go further afield, cost may be higher and may be close to £100. In all cases, these costs will be discussed and agreed in advance with the student.

Field trips

Field trips are undertaken to a variety of national and local galleries and exhibitions throughout the 3 year course, and in addition an optional foreign field trip takes place on an annual basis. Previous destinations include Venice for the Biennale, Barcelona, Berlin and Lisbon. Costs for travel and accommodation, which is booked by the University, are kept as low as possible and in the past have amounted to approximately £350 per student.

Your course tuition fee covers the cost of all mandatory field trips.

Study abroad

You may choose to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your experience of different cultures
  • engaging with and meeting artists and students from other communities.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional costs

Studio fine art materials are not included in the course fee. There is no specific equipment required, although students are advised to equip themselves with the basics; pencils and sketch book.

Most art students will be aware that art materials can be expensive. Students are required to fund the materials they use for their artistic practice. While advice on appropriate media is provided, it is not possible to offer a definitive guide on these costs. All students will be expected to maintain workbooks where they record their research and most practice will involve some form of initial mark making: you should budget approximately £100 a year for these very basic materials. Written self-evaluation of art work produced on the programme offers you opportunities to record cost constraints and alternatives. The programme expects students to be aware of and respond to opportunities for recycling the materials they have utilised in their work. 

Technical equipment is provided.

Teaching and learning

Teaching sessions include individual and group tutorials, lectures and seminars. You will also have 24-hour access to studio space, enabling you to work independently.

Our teaching staff have a wide range of practice, research interests and expertise. They are involved in:

  • making work for galleries all over the world
  • curating exhibitions that travel nationally and internationally
  • writing about art.

Approach to assessment

Fine Art Practice modules are assessed primarily through the presentation of completed artworks, sometimes including the submission of your research and development work, sketchbooks, and a written self-evaluation of the project. 

Fine Art Theory modules are assessed by written assignments or essays and Professional Practice modules are assessed by written assignments or oral presentations. 

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £9,250

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £750 per single module

International - full time: 2017/18: £12,890 2018/19: £13,150

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Undergraduate fee levels for 2018/19 have not yet been announced by the government and are therefore yet to be confirmed. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level for new and returning Home/EU students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112 - to include Art

A-level: BBC or equivalent, including grade B in Art

Please note for BA Fine Art we require acceptable passes in three subjects at GCSE or GCE

International Baccalaureate: 30 points

BTEC: DMM in Art or Art and Design subject

Other typical offers:

  • C at 12-unit vocational A-level and B at A-level Art.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offer quoted for each subject.

Following your interview and submission of portfolio or e-portfolio, if your work is of sufficiently high standard the University may decide to make you a conditional offer. If you accept this offer as firm choice by 4 May 2017, we will make this offer unconditional. If you accept this offer as your insurance choice we will not make this offer unconditional until you have met the conditions. Please note that consumer protection legislation provides for a 14 day cooling-off period. This means that after you accept our offer as firm choice it will be 14 days before we make the offer unconditional.

A new UCAS Tariff point system is being introduced for students applying to start university in September 2017, which uses  a qualification’s size and grades to calculate total Tariff points under a brand new system. Therefore the Tariff points for 2017 entry look very different from 2016 entry - the 2017 BBC equivalent for this course will be 112 UCAS points for 2017. Please visit the UCAS website for more information.

Specific entry requirements

A-Level: Grades BBC or equivalent, including grade B in Art

  • Foundation Art and Design is accepted as an alternative to A levels.
  • Presentation of a portfolio of recent work of an appropriate standard.
  • Applications are welcomed from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

Applicants are offered places through:

  • submission of a portfolio of an appropriate standard; and
  • an interview with a member of staff and a current student from the programme.

If you are unable to attend in person with your portfolio, you are invited to submit a digital portfolio.

Most interviews take place between late January and the middle of March. Applicants who submit their details early may be invited for interview in December.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Single Honours applicants are required to attend an interview, and present a portfolio of work. 

Combined Honours applicants have their portfolios reviewed online. Applicants from outside the UK who are not able to attend an interview in person will be asked to send a portfolio by post or email, and undergo a telephone interview. 

For further enquiries regarding the interview process, please contact the Programme Administrator Adriana Siaulyte: asiaulyte@brookes.ac.uk

Part-time students should apply directly to the university.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is an excellent centre for the study of art with the Ashmolean Museum, Christ Church Picture Gallery, Modern Art Oxford and a rich variety of architecture. 

As an Oxford Brookes student you will benefit from special relationships with contemporary galleries Modern Art Oxford and OVADA. Regular exhibitions of student work take place in and around the city. 

We are also conveniently located for London's galleries, exhibitions and museums.

Specialist facilities

Course participants can access our extensive facilities and resources, based at the Richard Hamilton Building which was built in the 1870s as the stables for Headington Hill Hall. The building was reopened as the home for the arts at Oxford Brookes in 1996. 

Combining fascinating historical spaces with the latest creative facilities, our courses make the most of its leading-edge equipment and resources, including:

3D Workshop
Facilities include equipment for casting with metals, resin and acrylic, plaster, glass and wax. These include the production of vinyl and latex mould making, and a kiln for ceramics and glass work. We also have a fully-equipped woodworking area, sheet metal cutting equipment, welding facilities, a laser cutting system and a heat press.

Bookworks and Digital Media Workshop
Includes a comprehensively-equipped bookbinding area, a large format printer and several PCs, each installed with Photoshop and other image manipulation programs.

Printmaking Studio
Features facilities for etching, monoprinting, lino, woodcut, drypoint, screenprinting and photo polymer etching.

Darkroom and Photography Suite
Includes professional lighting, photo floods and red heads. We have digital SLR and film SLR cameras and we can process film using our black and white processing suite.

Video Production Unit
Features high-definition cameras, specialist microphones and extensive computing facilities with professional animation tools and digital editing software.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Many of our graduates continue to work as artists, generating their own projects as well as working for others through commission or on community-based projects. Others go on to careers as teachers, arts administrators, art therapists and arts journalists, or continue their studies at postgraduate level.

A supportive and intellectually challenging environment is provided to enable you to:

  • develop into a confident, reflective and self-motivated graduate
  • become a skilled and practical maker, exhibiting high levels of professionalism
  • acquire skills that will enable you to thrive in the art world and wider society
  • learn to articulate your views and ideas, and to communicate clearly about your work and the work of others.

The professional strand of the course will enable you to maximise these skills for employment, postgraduate education or self-employment and will provide you with opportunities to engage with a range of arts-related professionals. 

Further study

This course equips students to apply for MA courses in Fine Art and other postgraduate options.