BA (Hons) Fine Art

Explore your creativity and experiment with drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, photography, installation, performance, digital and video art. Our Fine Art 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


BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:



3 years


The University of Bolton

UCAS points:


UCAS code:


Start date:


Course Details

Our BA (Hons) Fine Arts 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.

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 industry.

  • 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).

  • 96 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Your Level 3 subjects must include an art and design-related subject; for instance, A-level Art or BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including an art and design-related subject.
  • You may be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.
  • Special consideration will be given to applicants with alternative qualifications who have a strong portfolio.
  • 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 or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

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 to enter a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or post graduate 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 year2020/212021/222022/232023/24
International Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/24

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 2020/2021.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.


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

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

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

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
Alliance Learning
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/film makers 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 will be made available online through the University’s e-learning portal Moodle, enabling you to keep up-to-date, even if you cannot make it in to 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.


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.

  • Scholarship
  • 3D Physical Processes
  • Fundamentals and Theories of Studio Practice
  • Digital Creativity
  • Applied Creativity
  • 2D Art – Principles and Processes
  • Employability and Enterprise
  • Fine Art - Themes, Theories and Practice
  • Advanced 2D - Principles and Processes
  • Advanced 3D Physical Processes
  • Fine Art - Promotion and Exhibition
  • Advanced Photo Media
  • Advanced Practice and Theories in Context
  • Public Art in Contemporary Practice
  • Professional Practice and Self-Promotion
  • Major Project
  • Research in Context
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 100%
Level threeCoursework 100%, Practical exams 25%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 54%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 45%
Level twoGuided independent study 53%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 47%
Level threeGuided independent study 60%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 40%


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

+44 (0)1204 903378

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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