BA single honours or in combination with another subject Art: Fine Art With pathways in Applied Arts and Curating

Note: the printed prospectus for 2015 contains outdated information on this course. This web page presents the most up-to-date information.

Fine Art is a broad-based and highly practical programme. In addition students can opt for pathways in Applied Arts and in Curating, in Year 3. The core programme and its pathways share resources and teaching expertise, though with differing project outcomes.  This makes for a dynamic working environment with great scope for the cross-fertilisation of ideas and techniques.

The programme is designed to recognise individuality, encourage independence and enhance creative and technical expertise. Fine Art the briefs tend to be open-ended and artist-led, whereas Applied Arts projects are modelled as client-focused design briefs. The Curating pathway provides students with skills in exhibition organization, management and curatorship. This provides potential curators and arts administrators with an understanding of every aspect of their business.

All staff are creative practitioners and place a high priority on giving regular and sound tutorial support aimed at cultivating creative potential. We offer expertise and facilities to support a range of materials:  oil, ink, clay, glass, plastic, textiles, wood, metals, and stone. Students have the opportunity to gain skills in processes such as modelling, carving, throwing, casting, welding, etching, silkscreen, digital and lens-based media. Individuals continue to work broadly or to focus their interests in one or two main areas such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking or digital art. In Applied Arts practice these extend further into illustration, functional ware, digital design and public art.

Studio teaching is complemented by contextual background in the history and theory of art, through lectures, seminars, tutorials, essays and discussions. Professional Practice modules are offered throughout the programmes. These allow students to develop entrepreneurial, presentation and IT skills and to document their technical skills, with the aim of preparing students for professional life after the degree.

  • Year 1 fosters the development of technical skills through dedicated studio practice and specialist workshops.   Students will be encouraged work across all areas; drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and digital art; learning new skills and developing existing ones. There is a great deal of scope for individual interpretation of project briefs along with close tutor guidance. The intensive drawing classes are both didactic and experimental. The theoretical dimension to the course introduces students to key themes, genres and mediums in Art History. The essay briefs encourage students both to develop their research skills and to think independently.
  • Year 2 students are encouraged to work in a more autonomous way, developing their own self-directed briefs. Students may choose deepen their skills within one specialist area or broaden their skills across a number of disciplines. Didactic drawing teaching continues and becomes integrated into the students’ self-directed practice. Theory sessions engage in concentrated readings and explore complex concerns in traditional and contemporary art, and research becomes more rigorous. Students will begin to present their work and ideas in a professional manner, both orally and through utilising digital media and networking.
  • Year 3 students will identify their pathways and have a clear idea of what interests them as practicing artists or curators. For Fine Art students and those on the Applied Arts pathway, the year culminates by bringing their studio practice to resolution in the professional presentation of a final exhibition. The Applied Arts pathway will design and make work for purpose, developing commercially viable outputs. Curating students design and facilitate an independent public-facing external exhibition or event. Meanwhile they are refining their promotional skills, and preparing for their future careers or further study. The theoretical content of the programme is entirely directed by the student and their interests, through the writing of a Dissertation, with guidance in terms of methodology and close tutorial support.

Graduates gain employment in the creative industries and arts organisations; in galleries, arts and museum administration, education, charitable art foundations and community project work.

The programme is also designed to create capable and confident self-employed artists and craftspeople; exhibiting and selling their work professionally. Initially, this is often alongside other employment in the visual arts or while undertaking a part-time MA. As an undergraduate, students will have acquired a range of important transferable skills, particularly in communication, self-motivation, analytical and problem-solving skills that equip them to enter other types of employment in both the commercial and public sectors where graduate attributes are sought.

The programme supports progression to postgraduate study, in particular the Department’s research-based MA by Creative Project. A number of students each year go on to undertake a PGCE and have found employment in schools, colleges and universities. The programme provides appropriate support for progression to MAs in Curating or Art Therapy at other institutions and many students have gone on to pursue careers in these fields.

In addition to the standard application process, candidates for admission to Single Honours are required to present a portfolio of artwork in a formal interview. The portfolio can comprise of work in any visual medium but should include some drawing. Large scale or three-dimensional work can be shown through photographs. The portfolio should provide evidence of:

  • An independent and creative mindStrong motivation
  • Visual curiosity and imagination
  • An informed awareness of contemporary art

At interview, candidates are expected to present and discuss the contents of their portfolio. The interviewing tutor(s) will be looking for:

  • The student’s ability to articulate their views on their own work
  • A commitment and enthusiasm for the subject and a potential for sustained creative development
  • An ability to form and present opinions on other art works - with an emphasis on any contemporary art that they have looked at

Students who live overseas and are unable to attend an interview can submit an e-portfolio including ten well-chosen digital images of their work and a brief statement, in English, on why they wish to study Fine Art. This can be submitted along with their application form via the University’s International Office .

As a guide only, the 2014/15 annual tuition fees for this programme are:







Exceptions may apply. For more information, or if you are uncertain about your fee status please contact fees@canterbury.ac.uk.

View information about student loans, grants and bursaries.


Teaching and learning strategies adopted on the programme the following:

  • specialist workshops
  • lectures group critiques / seminars
  • tutorials
  • set reading practical demonstrations
  • Visiting lecturers and speakers
  • VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)

The assessment strategy for the proposed programme is built on a number of principles:

  • Students are provided with unambiguous assessment tasks, clear deadlines for submission, and transparent criteria for assessment.
  • Students receive written feedback based on principles of ‘positive-marking’, recognising and rewarding positive aspects of their work, with close, constructive criticism that provides advice on how their performance might be improved.
  • The assessment tasks address directly each module’s intended learning outcomes.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • W193 Fine and Applied Arts


  • 3 years full-time

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 280 UCAS Tariff points