Fine Art BA (Hons)

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Our commitment to high quality teaching has been recognised with a TEF Gold rating. The University has received an overall rating of Gold, as well as securing a Gold award in the framework's two new student experience and student outcomes categories.

Why choose this course?

This course enables you to experiment and explore your creative potential, preparing you for a career in the visual arts or wider creative industries. You will be able to work with a range of traditional and new technologies, developing your ideas through sculpture, painting, printmaking, installation, film/photography, performance and sound.

Kingston University was ranked No.1 in London and Top 5 in the UK for Art & Design in the Times Good University Guide 2024.

All students attend a diverse series of professional skills lecturers, practice seminars and artist talks from staff and guest lecturers, sharing knowledge and advice to help you navigate a future career in the creative industries. You will learn how to develop and present your outward-facing profile using key strategic skills for planning, showing, recording and communicating your work.

Students have the opportunity to take part in wide range of workshops and internal/external live projects, gaining valuable experience of the industry, working collaboratively and across disciplines. Kingston School of Art has recently worked with organisations including: Tate, Stanley Picker Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), William Morris Society and Goldsmiths CCA.

You'll be taught by practising artists, writers and curators in purpose-built, dedicated studios and stunning technical workshops. You'll have opportunities for national and international field trips and study abroad. In choosing to study Fine Art you will become part of an inclusive and progressive community that will support and nurture your progression through to graduation and beyond. Once you graduate, you'll have gained real-life experience and skills and completed a portfolio that will help launch your career.

Visit our Fine Art BA Instagram to see some of the great work we are doing.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time W100 2024

Please note: We do not accept applications for Year 2 (Level 5) or Year 3 (Level 6) entry onto this course.

Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Kingston is ranked No.1 in London for Art and Design (The Times Good University Guide 2023).
  • You'll benefit from dedicated studios and stunning technical workshops where you can develop your individual and collaborative creative skills in a range of traditional media and new technologies.
  • Professional skills modules will help identify and plan your future career, gain real-life experience, and build a portfolio, which will showcase your talents.
  • 95.4% of students thought staff were good at explaining things (NSS 2023).

The Art School Experience

As part of Kingston School of Art, students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.

Our workshops and studios are open to all disciplines, enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.

Two students collaborate on a design project.

What you will study

This course provides an integrated approach to fine art practice. You'll have the opportunity to study painting, sculpture, printmaking, lens-based media, performance and site specific activity and new technologies, either in single, unchanging disciplines throughout three years or in combinations.

Modules

Modules focus on making, exhibiting and contextualising art. You'll be introduced to the importance of understanding the value of professionally sharing your practice though exhibiting work and organising exhibitions within the University and at external venues in Kingston and Central London.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1 encourages an exploratory approach to fine art. Subject workshops, talks and critiques introduce a wide range of media, technologies and disciplines. You'll undertake independent studio practice, test your ideas, your use of media and collaborate with your peers. Critical and Historical Studies modules will explore the relationship of written and spoken communications to media and materials.

Core modules

Introducing Studio Practice

60 credits

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.

With consideration to 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 are 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.

Professional Skills I

30 credits

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

You 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, you will gain an awareness of the importance of editing and evaluating the work you have made.

Contextualising Contemporary Practice: Fine Art

30 credits

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 your first steps as practitioners within the wider field of the visual arts in the 21st century. Through lectures, discussions, screenings and exhibition visits you will be introduced to the historical framework of modernity and post-modernity in order to understand the development and contemporary situation of your 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 you, 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, you will be encouraged to consider the key debates, theoretical questions and changing contexts that inform your 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, you will begin to develop the tools necessary to discuss, conceptualise and reflect on your own emerging practice.

In Year 2 you'll develop your individual creative expression and build your interdisciplinary experience and collaborative skills. This includes optional live projects. You'll develop technical skills and explore a wide range of source material in a critical and analytical context.

Core modules

Developing Studio Practice

60 credits

This module promotes effective use of the studio to develop your fine art practice. Through a process of continuous practice-based research, you are supported to expand on ideas with further experimentation, to develop and extend your own formal language within the context of contemporary Fine Art.

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

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

Professional Skills II

30 credits

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

You 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, you will develop further awareness of the importance of editing, evaluating and adapting the work you have made in plural contexts.

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

Critical Issues in Fine Art: Research and Practice

30 credits

This module engages you 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, you 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 you to reflect and begin to situate yourselves. Making links and interpreting the themes emerging in their own practice, the module provides you 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.

In Year 3, you'll continue your independent study. Your work will express increasingly subtle and complex visual arguments, reflecting current critical, conceptual, theoretical and aesthetic issues. You'll complete a dissertation, final portfolio and exhibit your work.

Core modules

Sustaining Studio Practice

60 credits

This module is designed to be the culmination of previous studio practice modules in which you are required to synthesise the contingent parts of your prior academic experience and consolidate your learning 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 you will have acquired the tools to engage with this module and demonstrate your achievements in an appropriate final presentation. You are 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 are encouraged to continue to develop an authoritative understanding of contemporary fine art and the critical evaluation skills essential to fine art practice.

Professional Skills III

30 credits

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

You are required to develop your 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 your achievements in the final year of undergraduate study and produce documentation that can be applied to a range of career choices.

Dissertation: Research and Reflection

30 credits

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 7-8000 word written Dissertation, supported by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Future Skills

Knowledge to give you the edge

Embedded within every course curriculum and throughout the whole Kingston experience, Future Skills will play a role in shaping you to become a future-proof graduate, providing you with the skills most valued by employers such as problem-solving, digital competency, and adaptability.

As you progress through your degree, you'll learn to navigate, explore and apply these graduate skills, learning to demonstrate and articulate to employers how future skills give you the edge.

At Kingston University, we're not just keeping up with change, we're creating it.

A female engineering student, in the engineering lab.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2024

UCAS tariff points: 120-136

Level 3 qualifications in art and design subjects (A-levels, BTEC Diploma, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc.). The preferred entry route is to first take a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design or a recognised equivalent course.

Additional requirements

Please submit a portfolio in digital format, 15-20 pages in length and show us the four values of questioning, curiosity, technical ability, and enthusiasm.

A project may be spread over several pages or take up just one, think about the order you put things in.

Combining your work into a PDF is a good way of ensuring that your portfolio is easy to access and stays the way you want it to look. You can use other formats to show your work by including links in your PDF (such as online link to a website, Instagram, Flicker or Vimeo account.) You just need to be very careful that your links work and that they can be opened on different types of devices.

You will be sent guidance on how to upload your portfolio when you have applied to your course.

More about what we are looking for.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no element below 5.5.

Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country-specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

Teaching and assessment

Whilst recognising the bespoke nature of fine art practice, you'll be introduced to as many shared learning opportunities as possible, and the responsibilities those entail, notably in core critiques, seminars, exhibitions and peer reviews.

Core teaching is in the form of tutorials, critiques and practice seminars with module staff. Elective tutorials, subject workshops, exhibitions and thematic, discipline specific projects provide additional teaching and develop interchange between students in all three levels. 

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity:

  • Year 1: 25%
  • Year 2: 28%
  • Year 3: 18%

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 294 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 906 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 338 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 862 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 214 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 986 hours

 

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (e.g. test or exam), practical (e.g. presentations, performance) and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 100%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 100%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 65–80 students and lecture sizes can vary between 20–80. However this can vary by module and academic year and when we might deliver content to the entire course i.e. Artist Talks.

Gallery of student work

Facilities

Central to the delivery of the course are the studios. These provide the physical environments in which you'll develop your practice and establish your peer groups, and where a community can develop that allows for collaborative practice in the production of work as well as informal critical peer group discussions. Faculty workshops, supervised by qualified technical staff, support and enable further development and production of studio work across all areas of fine art practice.

After you graduate

Graduates are well-positioned to work as independent artists, curators, writers and beyond. Some are instrumental in setting up, and contributing to, new creative, cultural, and educational spaces. Others progress to postgraduate study and research or go on to teach and provide technical support to others, including individual artists, galleries and museums, schools, and universities.

As well as exhibiting nationally and internationally, our alumni support their own practices by assisting renowned artists including Anish Kapoor and Ryan Gander, or gain experience with cutting-edge organisations such as ICA, Cell Project Space, Auto-Italia, Hauser and Wirth and Tate. Our alumni have featured in the New Contemporaries. Amongst our alumni we can count renowned, prize-winning artists such as Fiona Banner (Tate Britain Duveen commission 2010), Kaye Donachie, Sarah Maple and Sarah McCrory, Director of CCA Goldsmiths and co-judge of the Turner Prize 2014.

Links with business and industry

Through Professional Skills modules, the curriculum supports our students to develop and hone practical, cognitive, subject specific and transferable skills, providing for a breadth of future opportunities from post-graduate and doctorate study to public and private sector employment.

We have excellent links with many London-based, national and international organisations. We work with large publicly funded galleries, museums and private galleries, as well as artist run spaces and collectives. Through, exchanges, residencies, competitions, travel scholarships and live projects, we provide students with first hand professional experience in the creative sector, often leading to ongoing partnerships.

  • Tate 
  • ICA
  • Stanley Picker Gallery
  • Drawing Room
  • Auto-Italia
  • Salzburg Summer Academy
  • Royal Academy Schools
  • Royal College of Art
  • Goldsmiths

Recent collaborations and industry links

Founded in 2018, A Particular Reality is a collective formed by students, alumni and educators from the Fine Art departments at Goldsmiths University of London, Kingston School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University and Middlesex University; with a commitment to building creative learning environments upon the values of equity and care. APR has established connections with Goldsmiths CCA gallery and was selected as part of the inaugural Residents programme, as one of 10 community and student groups taking up residence in the John Garcia Family Foundation Gallery.

We have several annual prizes connected to industry. Two of these are the Remit Bronze Award, working with Industry leading specialists in casting, allowing 5-6 students each year to realise work through the medium of bronze. We are now into our 3rd year of working with Folium Publishers who award a prize each year that invites a student to work with them at their studios in South London to realise their ideas/work into a limited-edition publication.

In February 2023, Morgan Quaintance, Lecturer BA Fine Art, travelled to the Museum of Modern Art in New York where the US premiere of his new film Repetitions took place. The screening also functioned as a mini retrospective of some selected works from the past five years.

In 2023, Fine Art Professor and Turner Prize Nominee Mike Nelson transformed the Hayward Galleries on Southbank with installations that take the viewer on enthralling journeys into fictive worlds in a show called Extinction Beckons. The immersive installations were constructed with materials scavenged from salvage yards, junk shops, auctions and flea markets.

Course fees and funding

2024/25 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2024/25 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2024/25): £18,400
Year 2 (2025/26): £19,200
Year 3 (2026/27): £19,900

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

2023/24 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2023/24 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2023/24): £16,500
Year 2 (2024/25): £16,800
Year 3 (2025/26): £17,100

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies from the 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting after 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Materials

You'll have access to a range of facilities and resources at Kingston University, however you may choose to purchase your own art materials and equipment which can cost between £0 and £2,000.

Field trips

There may be optional study visits and field trips which can range from £0 to £600.

External shows and exhibitions

Students are not required to exhibit off site, however you might choose to invest in external opportunities.

There may be costs for participating at external shows and exhibitions which can range from £0 to £300. You could also incur travel costs which will vary according to the location.

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).

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.