Fine Art

BA (Hons)

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Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024



Course length

Full time: 3 years, or 4 years with a work placement

Part time: 6 years, maximum 8 years


School of Arts

UCAS Tariff Points



Discover, test and experiment with contemporary fine art as you forge an independent creative practice. 

You’ll be introduced to a range of artistic practices that link traditional skills and approaches with alternative media such as sound, video and installation. You’ll have access to excellent contemporary and traditional facilities to produce distinctive, challenging and imaginative artworks.

By studying the key concepts in recent critical theory and learning how they underpin contemporary art, you’ll develop an informed practice and the ability to analyse and discuss contemporary art.

You’ll have the opportunity to build rich professional and practical skills through modules that are routed in the real art world. A optinal third work placement/ internship will help you progress your learning and skills.

You’ll be taught by practicing artists, curators, writers, and technical specialists, and benefit from our relationships with galleries and arts organisations. 

Many graduates establish themselves as self-employed artists or go on to careers within the creative industries. 

Student spraying paint on a wall

How to apply

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

We welcome applications from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Grade 4 (C) in Mathematics and English

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

Applicants are offered places through:

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

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

Portfolio guidance:

What are we looking for?

We want to find out what excites you as an emerging artist. Through your portfolio we will be looking to see your artistic ability and creative thought processes.  Your portfolio should demonstrate a range of work, techniques and processes; this will help us to gauge your experience and abilities. We encourage you to include both finished and in-progress work that you're proud of.  Don't be afraid to include unfinished work, it is all part of your process as an artist and will help us to understand the approach you take to your work.

Your portfolio can contain a variety of different types of work:

Free-hand / observational drawing

Sketchbooks and workbooks (both project based and those containing sketches from trips you may have taken / contextual studies etc.)

Life drawing (pencil, charcoal etc.)

Collages / montages / mixed media

Maquettes and models

Evidence of experimentation


Video and film

Website design

Large works including paintings, sculptures, installations, time based media should be included through photographic documentation which makes the scale of the work clear.  When photographing your work, also consider whether you could enrich our experience of the piece by including details.

Compiling and sharing your portfolio

You can present your portfolio as a PDF file or you can use an online service to put your portfolio together. When putting your portfolio together, ensure that it is well organised and that your work is clearly labelled.  It's your work so give it the best possible chance of making a good impression. Feel free to include text labels and indicators so we know what materials and creative methods were involved.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


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.

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

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time international applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Learning and assessment

In Year 1 we will introduce you to a range of technical skills, such as:

  • printmaking 
  • 3-D construction
  • photography and film
  • painting
  • digital image manipulation 
  • theoretical perspectives 
  • creative strategies for generating experimental contemporary artwork. 

Year 2 will support and develop your individual working. You'll explore your own ideas and begin to establish means of expression through the core of Fine Art Practice modules. The Real Art World (RAW) modules enable you to put the creativity and skills into practice in external projects of your choice, while other compulsory modules develop your engagement with the study and theories informing contemporary art.

In Year 3 you will research and develop a body of independent artwork, which will culminate in the end-of-year show. You will write an extended research essay on a topic of your choice, deepening your understanding of the context of your own creative practice. You'll attend individual and group tutorials, lectures and seminars, and continue to work independently in your own studio space at Oxford Brookes.

Student drawing on painting

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Practice 1: Experimental Projects (45 credits)

Practice 2: The Gallery and Beyond (30 credits)

Critical Theory 1: Introduction to Analysis in Contemporary Art (15 credits)

This module serves as an orientation on contemporary art and society while examining how artists respond to environmental and technological developments in the field. You will cover a number of topics relevant to the art world, including how artists respond to urgent environmental challenges, the influence of an increasingly digital environment, and the idea of the ‘canon’. Additionally, it aims to develop your critical writing abilities and introduce them to different forms of research, including contextual and topic research. 

By the end of the module, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of relevant artists and practices, understand critical theory related to your chosen subject, clearly articulate your point of view to the reader, and present your work in accordance with scholarly conventions. Overall, you will build a strong foundation for a future in fine art. 

Critical Theory 2: Expanded Self and Beyond (15 credits)

This module is an orientation into global art practice and the impact that various environments can have on an artist. You will critically analyse changes in contemporary art practice across various contexts and cultures, using the process to begin developing an acute awareness of your own artistic identity. Furthermore, you will examine how art and artists engage with ideas and issues from around the world, such as gender politics, race and decolonisation and technology and the social world among many other current global issues. 

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of a broad range of art practices and critical debates prevalent in the field. Overall, this module will introduce you to contemporary concepts that will be crucial in a future career in the art world. 

Real Art World 1: Introduction to Creative Careers (15 credits)

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Practice 3: Extending Practice (45 credits)

Practice 4: Consolidating Practice (30 credits)

Critical Theory 3: Accessibility and Interdisciplinary Practice (15 credits)

In this intermediate module, you will embark on an in-depth exploration of contemporary art practice from an interdisciplinary perspective. By examining the intersections of critical theory, art, and various fields such as science, technology, psychotherapy, law, and architecture, you will gain insight into the expanded possibilities and innovative potential of interdisciplinary artistic collaborations. Through the study of critical theory relevant to your subject, you will enhance your understanding of core theoretical frameworks. 

On successful completion of this module, the interdisciplinary approach will enable you to bridge the gaps between various fields and contribute to the advancement of accessibility in the arts. Overall, by delving into the connections between diverse disciplines, you will broaden your artistic perspective, enhance your critical thinking, and contribute to the pursuit of accessibility and inclusivity within the arts.

Real Art World 2: Expanded Creative Projects (15 credits)

Optional modules

Critical Theory 4: Art and Critical Environments (15 credits)

Embark on a theoretical exploration of various artistic practices, uncovering the inherent connections between theory and practice. This module offers an in-depth analysis of contemporary art and culture, focusing on the central issues prevalent in today's art world. By delving into diverse critical environments, this module provides a broader understanding of how your own artistic work can be contextualised within the realms of art, society, and culture.

By the end of this module, you will gain an enriched understanding of contemporary art, its cultural significance, and its interplay with critical contexts. By honing your research and critical analysis skills, you will equip yourself for academic pursuits and professional endeavours in the art world. This module will expand your artistic horizons, enabling you to situate your own work within the broader art, society, and cultural landscape. 

Placement in the Creative and Cultural Industries (15 credits)

This module can be taken as an alternative to Real Art World 2: Expanded Creative Projects.

The optional 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.

Independent studies (15 credits)

Year 3 (placement year)

Optional modules

Career Development Placement

The aim of this module is to develop the professional profile and professional confidence of a student through experiential learning opportunities and engagement with external organisations by undergoing work placements, internships and industry experiences. It aims to enable students to manage their own learning and self-direction through identifying opportunities that align to their disciplinary ambitions, situating their practice in a professional context. It offers a range of options including an Enterprise Residency where students can operate as freelancers and develop ideas for a start-up business with the full support of Brookes Enterprise Support.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

Practice 5: Research and Development (30 credits)

Practice 6: Major Project (45 credits)

Real Art World 3: Independent Professional Projects (15 credits)

Critical Theory 5: Independent Research (30 credits)

In this module, you will take charge of your learning and explore a topic of your choice within contemporary art practice or cultural theory. This module empowers you to conduct thorough research, critically analyse works of art and cultural practices, and develop an extended critical essay that articulates your unique scholarly viewpoint. By engaging independently and critically with research materials, you will cultivate a sophisticated understanding of your chosen topic.

Through the process of conducting thorough research and critically analysing diverse theoretical resources, you will develop essential research skills that are transferable to future academic pursuits and professional endeavours. Furthermore, Critical Theory 5 enhances your communication and presentation skills, enabling you to articulate complex ideas, structure persuasive arguments, and present your work in a scholarly manner. 

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Teaching sessions include individual and group tutorials, workshops, lectures and seminars. 

Through workshops you’ll be introduced to develop knowledge of and confidence in a variety of practical methods and techniques. Lecturers, seminars and tutorials offer you a platform to learn about and critically discuss historical, theoretical and contextual concepts and approaches. This will broaden your knowledge of contemporary art and help to inform your work as an artist. 

You will have 24-hour access to studio space, enabling you to work independently on your artistic practice. 

The Real Art World modules throughout the course offer you the opportunity to build your knowledge and experience of working within the creative industries. 
Our teaching staff have a wide range of practice, research interests and expertise. They make work for galleries all over the world. 

Field trips

Field trips are undertaken to a variety of national and local galleries and exhibitions throughout the 3 year course, any compulsory trips are paid for by the University. 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.


Assessment methods used on this course

Practice modules are assessed by the presentation of completed artworks, including the submission of your research and development work, sketchbooks, and a written self-evaluation of the project. Slide presentations of your work also help you to gain confidence in speaking publicly about your practice. 

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

Study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate

Career prospects

Throughout this course you’ll shape your own independent practice. 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. 

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, curators or gallery managers, art therapists and arts journalists, or continue their studies at postgraduate level.

Further study

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

Our Staff

Dr Stephen Cornford

Specialising in video, sound, installation and digital art practices, Stephen teaches across the BA Fine Art course and contributes to the MFA in Fine Fine Art.

Read more about Stephen

Free language courses

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.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.