Fine Art

BA (Hons)

UCAS code: W150

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

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

Part time: 6 years, maximum 8 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Arts

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Art can divide opinion. It can inspire generations. And it can take many forms. Whatever your style, develop it and expand your creative abilities here at Oxford Brookes. Plus, you can see for yourself what working in the arts is really like.

Our hands-on approach gives you a broad introduction to multiple media practices. We’ll show you how to unpick the theory behind them. And we’ll give you the freedom to explore your own creativity while we support you through your practice.

Whatever your career aspirations, we’ll help you build your professional skills and the confidence to start on your chosen career. Making the most of our relationships with contemporary galleries and arts organisations, you can start building connections within the world of arts.

You’ll be taught by practising artists, curators, researchers and technical specialists. In our dedicated facilities based a short walk from the city centre, you’ll use your own individual studio space to produce distinctive, challenging and imaginative artworks.

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Student spraying paint on a wall

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Individual attention

    With typically only 35 students joining us each year, you can be sure to receive plenty of tutor contact time. We get to know you and your talents really well.

  • Collaborative mindset 

    The arts is founded on collaboration and this course is structured to create ample opportunities for working together across artistic disciplines

  • Space to create 

    You’ll receive a dedicated individual studio space scaled to meet your creative needs, accessible 24 hours a day during term time.

  • Highly professional 

    Experience the professional world of the arts while you study, through lectures, volunteer opportunities, guest speakers and specialist modules.

  • Well-equipped 

    We’ve invested in the latest tech: laser cutters, 3D printers, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) .

  • 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.

  • 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.

Course details

Course structure

Discover, test and experiment with contemporary fine art as you forge your own independent creative practice. Link traditional skills and approaches with alternative media such as sound, video and installation. Use our excellent facilities to produce distinctive, challenging and imaginative artworks.

Year 1 develops your skills and explores broad artistic practice and theory across media. This time is essential grounding before you select your Year 2 pathways driven by your interests.

Year 3 is given to developing a major individual work that will be showcased at your final Degree Show, a public exhibition of your work and accomplishments.

There’s no house style here, no templates to follow. Teaching adapts to your creativity. Enjoy high tutor contact time throughout, with organised 1:1 and group tutorials.

To enrich your professional experience, you’ll build your own Real Art World (RAW) assessed portfolio. It’s a complete record of all real-world endeavours during your time on the course.   

Student drawing on painting

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. 


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.

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.

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.


The broad scope of this course, and its professional experience modules, open up various career paths for graduates.

Many establish themselves as self-employed artists or go on to a range of careers within the creative industries. That extends to TV set design, art institution management or art consultancy.

The personal skills you’ll build during your studies are attractive to many employers. You’ll gain confidence in delivering ideas, achieving concept buy-in and turning abstracts into finished forms.

Helped by tutors or through building your own contacts, you’ll feel encouraged to boost professional development by joining the artist’s network. Guest speakers to the course form an active part of this. 

Professional roles could include:

  • artist
  • university lecturer
  • teacher
  • curator
  • gallery manager
  • arts therapist
  • arts journalist
  • TV set design
  • arts consultancy
  • advertising
  • marketing
  • cultural facilitator.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Dr Alexandra Trott

Alexandra teaches topics on art theory and practice, covering Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary art.

Read more about Alexandra

Entry requirements

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.

International qualifications and equivalences

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

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)

2025 / 26
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 534400

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.

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.