BA (Hons) Fine Art with foundation year

Explore your creativity and experiment with drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, photography, installation, performance, digital and video art. Our BA (Hons) Fine Art with foundation year degree offers experienced staff who are also practising artists, dedicated studio space and well-equipped workshops, and opportunities to work alongside arts organisations and gain experience in the creative sector.

Key information

Award:

BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

4 years

Location:

The University of Bolton

UCAS points:

48

UCAS code:

W102

Start date:

20/09/2021

Course Details

Our BA (Hons) Fine Arts with foundation year course will encourage you to develop your individual artistic identity and explore new creative possibilities. We offer a supportive environment where you can develop your creative skills and knowledge, learn to evaluate and draw inspiration from historical, philosophical and cultural influences, and establish the foundation of your professional practice as a working artist.

Starting with foundation studies that offer a structured introduction to a wide range of materials, processes and techniques, we’ll support you as you develop your own line of visual enquiry, explore different areas of art and design, and develop a sound portfolio of creative work.

As you progress through the course, our dedicated team will work to help you develop technical skills in the traditional fine arts media of painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. You’ll also have opportunities to learn about and practise a broad range of new media and we encourage critical thinking so you learn to evaluate and understand your own work and that of others.

Career and transferable skills are also essential to your future success so we aim to ensure you gain relevant experience towards running a small business enterprise, creative studio management and a wider knowledge of the arts sector. You’ll be exhibiting your work in a public setting from level 4, and organising your own shows by level 5. Exhibiting your work in our Creative Showcase at the end of your final year will allow you to show off your projects to the public and impress the industry.

Alternatively, on successful completion of the foundation level, you can opt to transfer to one of our related art and design degrees, for instance, animation and illustration, fashion, graphic design, photography, or textiles and surface design. You can also explore transferring to another subject area offered by the University of Bolton, such as film FX or games art.

Highlights
  • Our Art courses are placed in the top ten in the UK for student-to-staff ratio by the Guardian University League Tables 2020, so you have access to individual tutor support and small group teaching.
  • Previous students have won regional and national competitions and awards, and prestigious commissions and artists’ residencies as a result of the industry connections offered by the programme.
  • We use our direct connections with public art commissioners to give you access to a number of exclusive commissions each year. These ‘live briefs’ provide you with invaluable experience in this important creative field.
  • Exhibition is vital, and you will be expected to play an active role in the department’s exhibition committee and have the opportunity to present your work to the public, including during Bolton School of the Arts’ Creative Showcase during your final year.
Key Features
  • Theory is combined with practice, and traditional techniques with modern technologies. As well as taught practical workshops in a wide range of media and materials, you will receive tuition in using industry-standard digital software.
  • Our large, well-lit open studios have adjacent 2D facilities that include printmaking and drawing workshops and 3D facilities that include ceramic, casting, wood and metal and glass workshops.
  • Staff are practising artists working in group and private studios. With extensive experience of exhibiting nationally and internationally, they have strong connections to arts organisations and commissioning agencies.
  • Prominent guest speakers from a range of fine art disciplines are invited each year to talk about their practice, and the department has strong links with arts groups, including the Bolton-based neo:artists studios and galleries, which were set up by graduates of the course.
  • We offer opportunities for you to participate in foreign study trips, as well as visit current exhibitions and events at galleries, public art installations, sculpture parks and arts centres around the UK.
Professional recognition

The programme is a member of NAFAE (National Association for Fine Art Education).


  • 48 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Your Level 3 subjects should include a relevant subject; for instance, A-level Art and Design or BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English.
  • You may be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at admissions@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 394.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


Fine arts graduates are highly regarded for their abilities to visualise, think creatively and ‘outside the box’, and for their acquisition of specialist skills in both 2D and 3D areas. As a graduate, you’ll possess strong observational and analytical skills, and be able to critically evaluate your work and the work of others.

You’ll also have experience of showcasing your work at events and exhibitions, working to briefs, meeting deadlines and organising your time effectively. These skills are required across a range of sectors and demonstrate your ability to generate new ideas.

What can I do with this qualification?

Graduates with a fine art degree are increasingly embracing an interdisciplinary approach, finding new ways to blend different media and mediums. Fine art graduates can fill a wide range of roles in public and community art, illustration, photography, curatorial positions in galleries and museums, art therapy, exhibition design and teaching.

Graduates from the University of Bolton have gone on to set up their own studio spaces and obtained positions within local arts groups such as Hospital Arts, Bolton at Home’s Percent for Art and Artists in Schools. Another group of graduates has established ‘Neo:Artists’ and have set up their own Bolton-based art gallery.

Alternative career options

Creative flair is something that many employers outside of the creative industries value, especially as visual content is so central to the success of any online operation. Graduates can use the qualification as a stepping-stone a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. They include:

  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Arts administration and management
  • Interior and spatial design
  • Exhibition work
  • Multimedia programming
  • Publishing
  • Web design
  • Arts consultancy
  • Commercial art

Course fees
Home EU Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/242024/25
2020£9,250£9,250£9,250£9,250-£37,000
International Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/242024/25
2020£9,250£12,450£12,450£12,450-£46,600

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.

For 2021/2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021/2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit www.ucas.com.

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email international@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!


We use a blended approach to teaching and learning (face-to-face and online). Studio, computer suite and lecture room activities are a main feature of the programme. Lectures, seminars, demonstrations and workshops link specialisms across the traditional boundaries of painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and so on and provide space to combine traditional techniques with modern technologies.

You’ll also engage in self-directed study, with support from a range of staff including technicians and library/learning resources staff. The Learning Agreement is also an important aspect of your self-directed study activity. Learning Agreements are negotiated with your module tutor, and outline a plan of your progress for a set period of time.

You’ll receive individual help and advice on your personal work in one-to-one tutorials. Peer reviews, where you present your work to a small group of your fellow students for their comment, also provides useful feedback.

Regular presentations from visiting lecturers (prominent artists/designers/gallery administrators/filmmakers and so on) offer opportunities for you to hear directly from successful practitioners and ask detailed questions about their careers and work.

All fine art modules are made available online through the university’s e-learning portal Moodle, enabling you to keep up-to-date, even if you cannot make it into class. This important resource will contain digital versions of all projects, book lists, and links to relevant websites, video materials, and other sources of learning.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Creative Responses
  • Information and Interpretation
  • Preparation and Progression
  • Specialist Project
  • History and Theory 1
  • Media and Processes 1
  • Media and Processes 2
  • Studio Practice 1
  • Interdisciplinary Methods
  • Public Engagement
  • Studio Practice 2
  • History and Theory 2
  • Response to Text
  • Critique as Practice
  • Studio Practice 3
  • Professional Practice
  • Major Project
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 80%, Practical exams 20%
Level twoCoursework 67%, Practical exams 33%
Level threeCoursework 50%, Practical exams 50%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 68%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 32%
Level threeGuided independent study 70%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 30%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Martina Mullaney
Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fine Art

M.Mullaney@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903378

Rachel Dawson
Course Co-ordinator for Foundation Year

R.Dawson@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903374

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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