BA

Fine Art / English Literature

Key Facts

Code WQ13
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course, and B in Art or appropriate plus satisfactory portfolio

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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In choosing to study a degree in Fine Art and English Literature (WQ13) at Aberystwyth University you will be part of one of the best art departments in the UK. The School of Art focuses on integrating traditional skills with contemporary theory and practice to produce first-class fine art students. We place drawing at the heart of the student experience in light of the recent revival of interest in traditional drawing skills; our School of Art is at the vanguard of contemporary art education. You will also follow the core syllabus for English Literature meaning you will complete you degree with a great combination of skills and competences.

Top 5 in the UK for Fine Art subject area (NSS 2016)
Top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of English (NSS 2016)

School of Art: 100% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

100% of undergraduates from the School of Art who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Department of English and Creative Writing: 96% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of English and Creative Writing who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views

Overview

Why study Fine Art with English Literature at Aberystwyth?

  • Benefit from the disciplined acquisition of technical expertise, the formation of creative intelligence, and an historical, critical, theoretical and contemporary aware of Fine Art practice.
  • English Literature at Aberystwyth is within the top 15 of all departments in the UK for student satisfaction (NSS 2016).
  • The School of Art at Aberystwyth University has been awarded Accredited Museum Status by Arts Council England. This demonstrates that our collection care and management are at the highest standard. 
  • Explore connections between creative and critical thinking and develop a deep understanding of the relationship between professional practice and imaginative thought.
  • Learn from experienced staff who are internationally renowned artists, authors, curators and art historians.
  • Participate in our study visits within the UK or abroad (destinations have included Madrid, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, New York, Vienna, Barcelona, Venice, Moscow, St Petersburg, Florence, Budapest and Lisbon).
  • In your final year you will have the opportunity to take part in a writing retreat at a country house in mid Wales - an amazing opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff, developing your final year projects and dissertations, in a splendid rural setting.
Our Staff

Through their active involvement with the practice, history and curation of art, staff members of the School of Art seek to provide a rich learning environment for the student. Their experience as exhibiting artists, publishing art historians and practising curators actively informs the teaching.

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Modules

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Employability

What career prospects are there for me?

Many of our graduates are successful writers in the fields of:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Screen-writing
  • Radio
  • Theatre

Some of our graduates have discovered other successful career options:

  • Publishing
  • Editing
  • Journalism
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Teaching

As well as establishing careers as practicing artists, some our graduates have become employees within:

  • Design Council
  • Arts Council
  • Tate Gallery
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Royal Academy of Arts
  • Carlton Television
  • The Observer
  • Saachi Gallery
  • Damien Hirst
  • BBC
  • Viz magazine
  • Royal Collections Trust

What career enhancing opportunities are there for me as a student?

Aberystwyth Arts Centre will be woven integrally into your learning opportunities, permitting staff and students to come together with the shared aim of engaging, working and learning in a thriving and dynamic creative culture. Here you may showcase your work, engage and network with others, and develop lifelong skills valuable to employers in the creative industries and beyond.

Our degree will enable you to develop:

  •  the ability to express ideas and communicate information effectively in a broad range of contexts;
  • outstanding skills in creating, forming and manipulating the written word;
  • evidence of your ability to be an effective problem solver;
  • excellent creative thinking, informed by critical rigour;
  •  a proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • excellent time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines;
  • self-motivation and self-reliance and have the ability to develop appropriate and effective strategies;
  • valuable research skills that are trans-disciplinary and adaptable to any research context.

What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying? 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer. 

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

This degree will allow you to explore literature of all genres and from all periods within the context of the broadest possible interpretation of literature in English. You will become skilled in the interpretation and analysis of literary texts and you will engage with current critical debates.

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In your first year you may discover:

  • New techniques for analysing literary texts;
  • Some key figures from literary history (from Shakespeare to the Brontës);
  • Lesser known texts, and writers who are new-to-you;
  • Life room studies; 
  • Book illustration and painting; 
  • Art History; 
  • An introduction to the critical understanding of Fine Art;
  • A variety of “ways of reading” and some theoretical approaches to textual analysis;
  • Poetry, prose, drama, American Literature, adaptations, Classical literature, contemporary writing, medieval texts and much more.

In your second year you may explore:

  • The theoretical approaches to, and the practice of, literary criticism;
  • A range of selected core texts from the medieval period through to the twenty-first century;
  • Your ideas and demonstrate technical proficiency;
  • A number of specialist topics chosen by you (these might focus on a specific genre (such as crime fiction), historical period (such as the Victorian era),  or theme (such as “place”);
  • Your art practice within contemporary context and historical traditions. 

In the third year you may master:

  • Literary theory and the application of theoretical perspectives to literary analysis;
  • Extended writing and independent research in your final year dissertation project (on a topic chosen and defined by you);
  • And produce a body or work that demonstrates conceptual and technical coherence; 
  • Your own specialisms drawn from a diverse range of option modules taught by researchers in those fields. Our option modules include topics such as Elizabethan drama, the ghost story, the early English novel, queer fiction, children’s literature, Romanticism, and much more; 
  • And consolidate skill, subject, and conceptual bases acquired over three years to produce a body of qualitative work for public exhibition. 
  • In your final year you will have the opportunity to take part in a writing retreat at a country house in mid Wales - an amazing opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff, developing your final year projects and dissertations, in a splendid rural setting.

How will I be taught?

Our degree is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials. We also encourage self-directed learning designed to stimulate your academic interest in English Literature and nurture your personal and intellectual development.

You will be assessed through essays, exams and oral presentation. You will also be required to complete additional, non-assessed, assignments and to work with others on particular tasks.

Further information

As you study, you will develop a range of skills which will benefit you in further study or any graduate workplace. You will learn to: employ multiple critical techniques when approaching texts; develop a reflective practice in reading and writing; articulate a detailed critical analysis of your subject; and respond to any task with creativity, flair and style.

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or pastoral issues. Your personal tutor will also be responsible for delivering tutorials that will help you in the development of key skills. You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

The lecturers are really passionate and knowledgeable about art and their own disciplines. I feel like I am always growing and improving as an artist, as my tutors take time to give me good constructive feedback. Amelia Jenkinson

I love the variety you get from Fine Art - there are no fixed rules for the work you can produce and you able to fully express your ideas in whatever way you wish. The tutors are helpful and encouraging and there is always someone on hand to guide you, whether that be staff or other students. Jamie Carpenter-White

The first thing I noticed when studying Fine Art at Aberystwyth University was the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I really treasure the fact my course is run in such an architecturally beautiful building, surrounded by the particularly stunning seascape. I felt so at ease being in Aberystwyth and would recommend it to anyone wanting to do an Art degree. Laura Beryl Eileen Bosley

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course, and B in Art or appropriate plus satisfactory portfolio

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM with specified subject plus satisfactory portfolio

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
30 points overall with 6 points in English Literature at Higher Level and with Art or appropriate at Higher Level plus satisfactory portfolio

European Baccalaureate:
65% overall with 70% in specified subject and with Art or appropriate plus satisfactory portfolio

Applicants are considered on their individual merits and offers can vary. For further information, please contact ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

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