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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

The BA Fine Art course at the University of East London offers a dynamic, critical and interdisciplinary learning creative environment for students wishing to specialise in making contemporary art that will lead to board career paths in the cultural and creative industries.  

As part of the unique Visual Arts Cluster, we understand how contemporary art can engage with many disciplines. Our course is taught by practising  artists, curators, cultural directors and writers; many of whom have international exhibition or publication profiles, experience working with public and private organisations, who share their practice and expertise with the students. The programme provides opportunities to engage with external organisations and practising creatives in our Detour Ahead, Cultural Manoeuvres, Guest Lecture series and visits.  

Our students work across a range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography, printmaking, film, new media involving 3D scanning, virtual reality, augmented reality and robotics. 

We're proud of our reputation for igniting the talents of brilliant fine artists with the help and support of some of the biggest names in British art. This extended course is perfect if you want a degree in fine art but you don't meet the standard entry requirements.
 
First we prepare you for your degree during the Foundation year, bringing you up to speed with academic skills and a firm grounding in the subject. Then you can go on to do the full undergraduate degree.

Our fine art students work across a range of disciplines, including drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, film, photography and performance. What exactly distinguishes fine artists? Well, they usually work independently, without a client. Their work may stand out for its beauty or meaningfulness thanks to innovative practice or a high level of craft or conceptual skills. Experimentation and risk-taking are an essential part of their individualism, too.

The emergence of such singular talents has long marked out UEL's Fine Art course as exceptional. We've been well known for nurturing groundbreaking artists since the Chapman brothers started making their dramatic impression back in the 1980s. It's the diversity of our students and staff, with their wide, vastly differing backgrounds and experiences, which helps make this a uniquely rich and fascinating course.

What makes this course different

Two people in an art studio

World-renowned artists

We’ll give you the chance to have personal tuition from world-renowned artists such as Turner Prize winner Grenville Davey, sculptor Richard Wilson and award-winning film maker John Smith.

Three people working together

95%

Of our Fine Art students went on to work or further study after finishing their course in 2017.

Woman in a workshop

Purpose-built facilities

You’ll work in your own personal, purpose-built studio space and in well-equipped workshops that cater for fine art, from 16mm film to print making to bronze casting.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

As first years, you will be introduced to elective workshops involving specific and multidisciplinary skills that will allow you to grow in many areas. Alongside these electives, will be modules that help you contextualise your ideas and practice as creatives. You will have the opportunity to showcase your work externally at the end of term.  

During your second year, you will become more independent practitioners in your studio and become involved in team work learning. Practical and contextual modules will enable you to enhance your creative skills. A discursive environment gives you the space to build up your confidence with fellow students and external guests.   

The third year is where you focus your ideas and practice as independent creatives. Preparation for your next step beyond university is supported by practical and contextual study modules. There will be opportunities to test your ideas in external spaces and engage with external projects.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
  • Core Modules
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    Design Investigation 1

    The module aims to introduce you to the skills, processes and practices involved in a spatial design project. It engages you in a range of processes by means of which you can understand, think about and engage with the academic and practical design discipline of architectural design.

    The module enables you to develop an understanding of space and materials. It familiarises you with methods for fabricating models, prototypes, 2D and 3D drawings, sketches, diagrams, collage, photographs and mixed media representations, and to practice their use in generating and communicating ideas.

    The module supports experiment, trial and error through short projects and exercises that build confidence and competence. It introduces you to the role of representation in design and links with art practice as well as an understanding of the materials, processes and techniques that apply specifically to spatial design.

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    Design Integration 1

    This module provides an understanding of the climate and environment as an integral part of the design process. It seeks to help students develop an understanding of the role that environmental design plays in facilitating occupants’ satisfaction and comfort in the indoor environment.

    The module aims to create an awareness of the issues influencing the environmental and technical considerations of building design.

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    Experimentation and Application 1A

    The module introduces the student to a range of processes and practices, skills and knowledge, through a series of workshops and projects. The module equips the student to discover a range of techniques working within context of their discipline and support their developing practice.

     

    The module focusses on process, developing skills and practical knowledge encouraging students to discover a range of creative ways of working within the context of their discipline as well as extended practice supporting their developing practice. The module is backed up through regular group tutorials.

  • Core Modules
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    Professional Life 2 (Mental Wealth)

    The module provides a forum for the student to develop a creative, inventive and productive design process in relation to a design project or projects. In particular to raise student awareness and understanding of the occupants and users and their physical, social and psychological needs through the design of both objects and environments at appropriate scales, as well as exploring key characteristics of design projects.

    There is a particular focus on investigations of site and context that may involve the gathering of empirical data, making analytical studies and conducting observations of people, place, context and materials that are appropriate to the project.

    By setting one design project, the module aims to engage with the practices, protocols and conventions that apply to the design and delivery of projects within the design and construction industry. The module fosters the development of a personal position and working methods as part of the attributes required by a professional architect.

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    Design Investigation 2

    The module provides a forum for the student to develop a creative, inventive and productive design process in relation to a design project or projects. In particular to raise student awareness and understanding of the occupants and users and their physical, social and psychological needs through the design of both objects and environments at appropriate scales, as well as exploring key characteristics of design projects.

    There is a particular focus on investigations of site and context that may involve the gathering of empirical data, making analytical studies and conducting observations of people, place, context and materials that are appropriate to the project.

    By setting one design project, the module aims to engage with the practices, protocols and conventions that apply to the design and delivery of projects within the design and construction industry. The module fosters the development of a personal position and working methods as part of the attributes required by a professional architect.

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    Design Integration 2

    This module focuses on the application of knowledge of environmental principles into the student's design projects, using relevant methods of environmental strategies as part of the design process.

    The module aims to encourage integration of environmental design from the outset of a project, giving students the ability to reflect on appropriate environmental design strategies and explore these in a creative and rigorous manner.

  • Optional Modules
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    Optional placement

    This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge. 

    The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth: Professional Life 3 (Rising East)

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply the full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will advance the areas identified at level 5 for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, students will reflect on the success of the strategies that they employed to further develop their reflective skills, self-awareness, ‘life style’ and ‘self care’ approaches and where necessary improve their approaches.

    Students will have opportunity to work on the live internal/external project, Rising East, in the role of Editor. In this position they will learn and begin to apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences developed elsewhere in their studies (and from external activities) as required in the workplace, namely cognitive flexibility, emotional resilience, motivation, ethical decision-making, managing your audience, coordinating with others, negotiation, creativity, active listening, attention, problem solving, research, synthesis and analysis.

    Students will enact these capabilities by undertaking the role of section editor for Rising East. In this capacity they will take full responsibility for the content of a designated section of this news brand. With academic staff to monitor, support and direct their activities in line with legal, professional and ethical considerations, the student cohort will take the reins of Rising East across various publication platforms.

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    Integrated Technology

    This module establishes a student’s ability to integrate the key areas of their technical design knowledge within the context of the final design project Design Investigation 3 Design Resolution 3 and Design Integration 3.

    The module provides an overview of the necessary design skills required to meet building users’ requirements within the constraints imposed by cost factors and building regulations.

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    Design Investigation 3

    The module consolidates skills and knowledge gained at Levels 4 and 5. Together with Design Resolution 3 and Design Integration 3 which requires highly detailed reflection on the integration of cultural, professional, technical and environmental issues within the design project, this set of 3 modules is intended to prepare students for independent practice, entry into the professional workplace, or for higher studies.

    Whilst improving a student’s practical skills and refining their ability to use them productively, the focus of this module is on developing a depth of knowledge and understanding about research and project development, appropriate to graduate level. It also aims to help students to offer evidence of self-management in respect of planning, monitoring, recording and evaluation within the portfolio work that is produced.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

You will attend weekly seminars, individual tutorials, specialist workshops, Detour Ahead, Cultural  Manoeuvres  and  guest lectures. 

These series of interactive events have involved artists, such as:

  • Richard Wentworth and his Concertina project   
  • Eileen Perrier
  • Gretchen Andrew
  • Ruth Beale 
  • Eileen Simpson 
  • Ben White 

These sessions are part of the unique Visual Arts Cluster teaching that takes place at the University of East London. It allows students to engage with  other  creatives and understand different practices. It allows students to support each other while learning alongside teaching support  from  staff.   

You will have  a  studio space  and  we have a range of fantastic workshops, project spaces  where you can  experiment  also advance your thinking. It is a discursive environment structured to allow you to build your  confidence and to take risks. Studio spaces are  open late  every day of the week including weekends to allow as much use as possible.  

Alongside making art we run a range of contextual studies and professional practice modules that work in parallel  to the practice-driven modules. Students often exhibit their work in the UEL's 'Way out East' Gallery space, the  Container Space  Gallery  including  external venues across London.  

We have recently added new  digital  workshops to  help students  work across analogue and digital processes, opening up  new opportunities to make work.  UEL  Fine  Art is now at the forefront in combining new technologies with traditional  artistic  methods. Working closely with academic and technical staff from various areas it is an  exciting time to be in these workshops. 

Guided independent study

We are investing in key areas beyond your studies including our career services, library and well-being, to be available both face-to-face on campus and online with many of these available 24/7. We have new, modern library facilities on both campuses offering inspirational environments for study and research. Libraries contain resources in print and digital formats, a range of study spaces and dedicated librarian who can assist with your learning.

Academic support

Students are supported with any academic or subject related queries by an Academic Advisor, module leaders, former and current UEL students. 

If you need a bit of extra help with certain skills such as academic writing, maths or IT, our Skillzone and English for Academic Purposes we offer workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments to help our students achieve their potential. You can receive advice and guidance on all aspects of the IT systems provided by the university from our IT Service Desks located on all three campuses.

Our Student Support hubs in Docklands and Stratford feature centralised helpdesks to cater for your every need. UEL provides also support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties (SPDs).

Workload

Each year you will spend around 300 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.
The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
  • Year 2: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
  • Year 3: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.

Class sizes

The size of classes can vary depending on the nature of the course, module and activity. This can range from large groups in a lecture theatre setting, to smaller groups taking part in seminars and collaborative work. 

You will receive your personalised timetable at the beginning of the academic year dependent on your course.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

At the end of the first term in your first year you'll deliver a presentation of your work to a panel of two staff members. No mark is given at this stage you'll receive oral and written feedback.

You'll repeat this at end of the second term in your first year, but this time you'll be awarded a mark.

In your second year you'll participate in the second-year show and discuss your work with two tutors. A mark is then awarded.

In your third year you'll present the best of your work in the degree show and a panel of all the academic team members agree your mark.

The marks at each level are moderated by a team of external examiners.

Feedback is provided within 15 working days in line with UEL's assessment and feedback policy.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Amanda Francis

Amanda Francis is a senior lecturer and module leader. She co-leads the first-year Fine Art programme with Lecturer Si Sapsford.

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Pauline de Souza

Pauline de Souza is involved in developing the Cultural Manoeuvres Programme for the Art and Design alongside her other teaching responsibilities.

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Si Sapsford

Si is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art. She delivers across all three years with a focus on first year seminars and projects.

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Dr Sharone Lifschitz

Dr Lifschitz is an award-winning artist and filmmaker. Her work in moving image, urban intervention and text plays at the ephemeralities of experience.

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Michael Pinsky

Dr Michael Pinsky MA(RCA), BA(Hons), AdDip (ArtEd), Dip A&D. Dr Pinsky is an artist with a significant international career.

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Lee Maelzer

Artist Lee Maelzer, studied at Central St Martins (BA Hons) and Royal College of Art (MA Fine Art, painting), has taught since 1992.

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Russell Hedges

Lecturer at the School of Arts and Creative Industries.

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What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UEL. It was a life-changing experience. The course furnished me with so many positive experiences and is a huge benefit to me as an artist. If I could give current UEL students one piece of advice it would be: keep working at what feels right for you.

Ann Haycock

Fine Art, BA (Hons)

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

As graduates you will leave as a confident and well-connected creative. Many of our students win places on postgraduate courses run by RCA and the Royal Academy. Other students set up their own studios or businesses in the creative industries. Students have found work as curators, teachers and in arts administration.  

You will benefit from our close links with the vibrant East London creative scene and all major art venues in the city. 

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.