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  • Fine Art BA (Hons)

Fine Art BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

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

Kingston is ranked 9th in the UK for art (Guardian University Guide league tables 2020).

Key to the course is the professional skills modules, which will help you acquire strategic skills for planning, showing, recording and communicating your work.

You'll get to hear from visiting artists and take part in live external projects. Our industry links include the Tate, Stanley Picker Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Drawing Room and Auto Italia.

You'll be taught by practising artists, writers and curators in purpose built workshops and you'll have the option to go on field trips and study abroad. By the time you graduate you'll have gained real-life experience and skills and completed a portfolio that will help kick-start your career.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time W100 2020
Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

Portfolio guidance

Information required to support your application

We are looking for eager and enthusiastic students who understand why they want to study fine art and can communicate these reasons orally and through their portfolios. We also look for students who are open minded; willing to explore all aspects of fine art; and are self-motivated with the ability to work individually and within a group.

Once we have received your application, you will be notified by email where you will either be requested to bring your portfolio to an interview or you will be instructed how to upload your online portfolio.

Read the guidance for your online portfolio (PDF, 8.9kb).

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Kingston was ranked 9th in the UK for art (Guardian University Guide league tables 2020).
  • This course received more than 92 per cent overall student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2018). 
  • Professional Skills modules will develop and hone practical, cognitive, subject specific and transferable skills. You'll graduate with real-life experience, skills, and a portfolio that will help kick-start your career.

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 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 yout 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, so as 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, as well as 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 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.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical Offer

112 UCAS points from Level 3 qualifications, including Art & Design subjects (i.e. A Levels, BTEC Diploma, Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc).

Alternative Routes

Entry onto this course may require a digital portfolio as well as an interview as part of the application process. Details are available on the course page on the University's website. A short list of selected applicants are invited for an interview. UK-based applicants will be required to attend an in-person group interview with their physical portfolio. Further details about the interview will be sent with emailed interview invitations.Applicants based outside of the UK may not be required to have an  interview but will be required to submit a digital portfolio.  


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.

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

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 teaching and learning activity:

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

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study


How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg 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
Year 2
  • Coursework
Year 3
  • Coursework

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 70-75 students and lecture sizes are normally 20-75. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Gallery of student work

Who teaches this course?

This course is taught in the School of Art and Architecture at Kingston School of Art. 


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

Initially supporting their own practices by assisting renowned artists including Anish Kapoor and Ryan Gander or gaining experience with cutting edge organisations such as ICA, Cell Project Space and Auto-Italia, our alumni go on to exhibit nationally and internationally. As well as progressing to highly regarded postgraduate and doctoral study, our alumni develop careers across a broad range of domains, and institutions including curation, teaching and arts management. 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 Glasgow International 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
  • Royal Academy Schools
  • Royal College of Art
  • Royal Geographical Society
  • Warburg Institute
  • Artists Collecting Society

Recent collaborations and industry links

'A Particular Reality', a three-part collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London, launched at Raven Row, an internationally acclaimed London gallery space, on 13 February 2019. This is a collaboration between Fine Art at Kingston School of Art and Fine Art at Goldsmiths, and is generously supported by Raven Row.

Joint course leader for Fine Art BA(Hons), Adam Gillam, exhibited some of his recent work at Tintype Gallery, London, as part of a group show called '1d for Abroad'.

Fine Art Professor, Mike Nelson, has transformed the grand spaces of the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain into "something between a sculpture court and an asset strippers' warehouse. He has carefully selected objects from the post-war Britain that framed his childhood – including enormous knitting machines, woodwork stripped from a former army barracks, graffitied steel awnings and doors from an NHS hospital."  This installation is open until 6 October 2019.

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
Overseas Year 1 (2019/20): £15,300
Year 2 (2020/21): £15,600
Year 3 (2021/22): £15,900
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU 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.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which 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, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Text books

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, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

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.


In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.


Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

For this course you will be 

  • involved in processes of making, as means of exploration, experimentation, and understanding your practice, by using a diverse range of media and materials
  • required to purchase your own copy of books, for required reading
  • required to produce physical artefacts for assessment 
  • able to participate in optional study visits and/or field trips

However, over and above this you may incur extra costs associated with your studies, which you will need to plan for. 

In order to help you budget, the information below indicates what activities and materials are not covered by your tuition fees 

  • personal laptops and other personal devices 
  • personal copies of books 
  • optional study visits and field trips (and any associated visa costs)
  • printing costs
  • your own chosen materials and equipment
  • costs of participating at external events, exhibitions, performances etc.

The costs vary every year and with every student, according to the intentions for the type of work they wish to make. Attainment at assessment is not dependent upon the costs of materials chosen.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2020/21): £15,600
Year 2 (2021/22): £15,900
Year 3 (2022/23): £16,200

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
Eligible UK and EU 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.

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).

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