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Fine Art & Art History BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time WV1H 2018

Why choose this course?

This course helps you realise your creative potential in fine art and develops skills to understand contemporary art. You will explore traditional forms of painting and sculpture with new forms such as film and digital printmaking. You will also develop visual analysis skills and historical knowledge by exploring a range of images, texts and objects.

We were ranked at number 6 in the UK (out of 66) for art in the Guardian University League Tables 2018. This is a rise of 23 places from our 2017 ranking.

Kingston University is an associate of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), so you will receive free membership and access to seminars and events. Our links to industry also include the Tate, Stanley Picker Gallery, Drawing Room, Five Years and Traffic.

The course focus is on personal and professional development and you will have the opportunity to participate in external projects and competitions. You will also have the chance to exhibit your work at our on-site gallery, and other London locations.

What you will study

Working primarily in a dedicated studio space, you will examine practices that have shaped the cultures of contemporary art. You can discuss your development with tutors, visiting artists, technical staff and fellow students. Your study will be supported by seminars, workshops, critiques and study trips.

Year 1 introduces research skills and visual art practice in traditional and new media. You will undertake independent studio practice, and build confidence through technical and studio-based workshops. Lectures, seminars, workshops, visits, projects, and modules in art history offer historical knowledge, creative research methods, and an understanding of concepts for interpreting contemporary art.

Year 2 develops your individual research interests, creative expression, collaborative skills and technical competence. You will explore source material critically and analytically. You will engage with contemporary critical debates and develop your theoretical understanding.

Year 3 focuses on independent study. Your work will articulate increasingly subtle and complex visual arguments, reflecting current critical, conceptual, theoretical and aesthetic issues. You will produce work for a final portfolio, exhibition and review. You will also examine an art history theme through a guided independent research project, and complete a dissertation. This will enable you to explore a topic in detail and reflect on the links between theory and practice.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module is designed to promote effective use of the studio to stimulate the establishment of a fine art practice and to introduce a broad subject context alongside that delivered through critical historical studies.

    Through independent, peer and group learning, you are encouraged to identify and develop new practical / thinking skills and interests and to nurture existing ones.

    With consideration to their established methods, you will be asked to consider new and alternative modes of practice in and beyond the studio and to begin to invest in collaborative approaches to making and reviewing your work. You will be invited to be curious and reflective in your approach to materials, processes and ideas as well as to establish strategies for self-management and enrichment.

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  • This module supports students to disseminate the work they make to critically reflect on what they have done and to gain awareness of a broad professional context for Fine Art practice.

    They will be encouraged to acquire strategic skills for planning, showing, recording and communicating work in a variety of formats, including publication and exhibition via analogue, digital and online media. By rendering and displaying practical work for peers, teaching staff and external audiences, they will gain an awareness of the importance of editing and evaluating the work they have made.

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  • This module introduces the various contexts in which the contemporary practices of fine art, are defined, debated and displayed. The module is designed to support students' first steps as practitioners within the wider field of the visual arts in the 21st century. Through lectures, discussions, screenings and exhibition visits they will be introduced to the historical framework of modernity and post-modernity in order to understand the development and contemporary situation of their discipline.

    The module is organised as discrete but related teaching blocks that progress from broader questions of cultural practice to the more specific debates that have framed the historical development fine art and its associated fields - for example experimental filmmaking, video making and photography. In the first block, the emphasis is broad and focused on developing in students, an understanding of the notion of practice in the visual arts, by addressing the historical, theoretical, social and political factors that have affected our understanding of its function. In the second block, students will be encouraged to consider the key debates, theoretical questions and changing contexts that inform their discipline. Throughout there is an emphasis on the introduction of key analytical, critical and research skills, and through close engagement with visual sources, historical texts and contemporary critical writing, students will begin to develop the tools necessary to discuss, conceptualise and reflect on their own emerging practice.

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  • This module focuses on key methods in the processes of research and its interpretation and communication. Through a series of thematically structured, contemporary focused encounters with key artefacts, texts, events and sites from the late 19th century to the present, it aims to develop students' knowledge and skills in a range of methods related to the history and theory of the production, consumption and mediation of art and design. The module interrogates core concepts in the disciplines of art and design history and theory and introduces key methods for the identification and interpretation of research material, including: conducting oral history, using archives, and employing material culture and gendered approaches to objects. The module also introduces students to key methods in communicative and interpretative activities such as different curation and critical writing modes. This combination of methods will connect their research-based practice to contemporary audiences interested in art and design past and present, providing be key skills for professional careers. Finally, the module will develop students' critically informed awareness of their own research-based practice.

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Year 2

  • This module is designed to promote effective use of the studio to stimulate the establishment of a fine art practice and to introduce a broad subject context alongside that delivered through critical historical studies.

    Through independent, peer and group learning, you will be encouraged to identify and develop new practical / thinking skills and interests and to nurture existing ones.

    Throughout this module, you will be encouraged to pursue increasingly self-led enquiry in and beyond the studio and to continue to invest in collaborative approaches to making and reviewing their work. You will be supported to be increasingly analytical in your approach to materials, processes and ideas, as well as to hone strategies for self-management and enrichment.

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  • Designed to help develop the skills that will equip them for a professional life in work, this module supports students to enlarge upon their knowledge of a broad professional context for Fine Art practice.

    They will develop upon and enhance relevant strategies for planning, curating, exhibiting, and documenting work in a variety of ways, including publication and exhibition via analogue, digital and online media. By testing and determining increasingly relevant strategies for rendering and displaying practical work to peers, teaching staff and external audiences, they will develop further awareness of the importance of editing, evaluating and adapting the work they have made in plural contexts.

    Assisting Level 6 students with the mounting of a final show further develops their exhibition and project planning skills.

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  • This module engages students with the critical issues driving contemporary art practice within the expanded field in which it operates. Emphasising practical, experiential research-led enquiry and reflection as an integral mode of learning common to both art practice and the study of art's histories and theories, students will identify, explore and analyse current trends by investigating the contexts in which those issues emerge-in critical literature, art writing, exhibitions and curatorial agenda. Looking outwards to address the contemporary manifestations of the relationships between, for example, art and politics, the operation of global capital, activism and community, changing sites and spaces of the production of meaning, the politics of identity, and contemporary turns in philosophy and critical theory, the module also encourages students to reflect and begin to situate themselves. Making links and interpreting the themes emerging in their own practice, the module provides students with the building blocks with which to construct an informed critical and conceptual framework within which operate while forging connections to wider artistic networks and contexts beyond the studio.

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  • This module builds on students' introduction to key concepts in methods for research and its interpretation and communication at level 4. It updates the knowledge and skills acquired at level 4 and offers opportunities to apply these by focusing on the contemporary and interrogating studio-based practice. The module will focus on critical themes and issues in contemporary research practice in art and design history, as performed by researchers including academics, curators and art and design practitioners.  The module will interrogate the shifting relationship between art and design history, theory and studio-based research practice.  Students will correspondingly explore a range of creative interpretative and communicative research-based activities such as exhibition making, curation, policy writing, and academic publishing.  This will develop skills in producing research for a variety of media, aims and audiences. 

    The module is designed to support students' learning across their Level 5 modules, enabling them to create the critical framework within which to explore current issues in art and design practice, interpret the production, consumption and display of historical and contemporary artefacts, and develop their own informed practical approaches to the communication of art and design history and theory using these as disciplines with which to interrogate contemporary art and design culture. Throughout, students will establish a clear position for themselves, and present (in spoken and written form) their interests and perspectives.

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Year 3

  • This module is designed to be the culmination of previous studio practice modules in which you are required to synthesise the contingent parts of their prior academic experience and to consolidate your learning. This will be done through a comprehensive body of work, enabling you to progress to professional practice or further study.

    At previous levels of study, you will  have progressed your learning incrementally and as such they you will have acquired the tools to engage with this module and demonstrate your achievements in an appropriate final presentation. You will be encouraged to reflect on the knowledge and skills that you have acquired during your degree and, through independent, peer and group learning you will be encouraged to learn how to present them to an audience external to your immediate peer group.

    Additionally, you will be encouraged to continue to develop an authoritative understanding of contemporary fine art and the critical evaluation skills essential to fine art practice.

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  • Building on previous achievements in the professional presentation of their work to an audience, in this module students fine-tune their exhibition skills and extend their ability to document and communicate their work in a way that is fitting to their individual professional aspirations.

    Students are required to develop their understanding of how to pursue a professional fine art practice, and an awareness of the possibilities for success in both continuing as an artist and / or moving into other related areas. A combination of final exhibition and portfolio enable students to highlight and synthesise their achievements in the final year of undergraduate study and produce documentation that can be applied to a range of career choices.

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  • Building on the links between research and practice embedded at Level 5, the Critical and Historical Studies (CHS) Dissertation: Research and Reflection module focuses on in-depth research, critical enquiry and reflection on questions and critical issues emerging in students' own practice, and pertinent to the practice of their own discipline.

    Over the module, students will initiate and develop an individual research topic; identify and evaluate appropriate archives, bodies of critical literature, visual/material sources and research methods; manage their study time; engage with and respond to tutorial dialogue and peer feedback, and apply critical and analytical skills to produce a 6,000 word written Dissertation, supported by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

    Following the submission of the Dissertation, and to support the realisation of studio capstone projects, students will be assisted with the conception and development of an individual Statement that enables self-reflection and locates students within the contemporary contexts of their discipline. Consolidating the research, reflexive and critical skills acquired throughout students' programme of study, the Statement engages and applies learning undertaken within CHS modules to studio practice, supporting students' self-presentation at Degree Show, in future post-graduate study, and/or professional practice in a variety of Art and Design contexts.

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  • The special topic is an opportunity for a responsive, research-led module. The specific subject can be defined in relation to a particular staff member's research or may have a more thematic drive drawing on convergent aspects in interests across the staff team.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

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Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps
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