Fine Art

You are viewing this course for September start 2024

Fine Art at Aberystwyth University will allow you to develop new or broaden and deepen your skills in painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, book illustration, experimental film, installation and site-specific performance.

Our Fine Art programme offers you training that connects traditional skills with contemporary practice and theory. On completion of this degree, you will emerge with real world capabilities, enabling you to pursue careers as artists, curators and educators. 

Course Overview

Why study Fine Art at Aberystwyth University?

  • Studying at the School of Art, you will have access to an internationally renowned collection of art and artefacts. Our collection consists of some 20,000 prints, photographs, drawings, paintings and ceramics. We actively draw on those original works of art to build a practical knowledge of art history.
  • The School of Art is a government-accredited art museum that runs its own galleries. There are only two such schools in the UK. This means a hands-on study of art in a museum environment, which gives you the opportunity to engage creatively with art history by curating works from our collection as part of your degree scheme. For examples of a student-curated exhibition, visit our Museum and Galleries blog.
  • As a student here, you will be joining one of the highest-ranking art departments in the UK for student satisfaction and employability success.
  • Our staff are actively engaged in research, and their findings inform teaching in the School of Art. Our team of experts include well-known art historians, practicing curators and exhibiting artists.
  • During your time in the School of Art, you will have the opportunity to work with and study our internationally renowned collection of prints, photographs, paintings and ceramics.
  • All students in our school have access to our teaching facilities which include a MAC suite, studios and learning spaces.
  • The highlight for our art students is curating an exhibition in our galleries as part of your degree scheme.
  • The National Library of Wales is right on our doorstep. One of only five copyright libraries in the United Kingdom, the National Library in Aberystwyth holds over six million books, maps, prints and manuscripts, and has an outstanding collection of paintings and works on paper.
  • This course is available to students who have completed a foundation course in Art.
Our Staff

Our teaching staff are practicing professionals. As exhibiting artists, publishing researchers and curators, they provide an informed and stimulating learning environment. This ensures that the skills you learn at the School of Art are practice orientated, relevant and applicable.

For further information, visit our individual staff profiles.

Modules September start - 2024

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.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Career opportunities

Research shows that the vast majority of our graduates build careers in their chosen field. Our graduates establish themselves as professional artists, professional art historians, curators and administrators.

Employers include:

  • Arts Council
  • BBC
  • Design Council
  • The Observer newspaper
  • Royal Academy of Arts
  • Royal Collections Trust
  • Saatchi Gallery
  • Tate Gallery
  • Victoria and Albert Museum.

Our graduates are:

  • Professional artists
  • University educators
  • Secondary school teachers
  • Art gallery managers
  • Museum or exhibition curators
  • Journalists
  • Art directors in publishing
  • Conservators of easel painting, ceramics and works on paper.

Each year a significant number of our graduates enrol on Master of Arts degree schemes at Aberystwyth University and elsewhere to enhance their career opportunities further. 

Transferable Skills 

The study of Art is not only intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding, it also has many practical benefits. It promotes creative problem-solving, develops interpersonal skills and improves your ability to succeed in a changing world. These transferable skills are highly sought after in today’s job market, which is why they are actively promoted by us during your studies at the School of Art. They include the ability to:

  • research facts and interpret information
  • effectively communicate ideas, both orally and in writing
  • connect theory to practice and develop interdisciplinary thinking
  • work independently or as part of a creative team
  • stay focused, motivated and goal-oriented.

 Work Experience 

There are many opportunities to gain professional experience during your studies. For specific information, visit our Careers Service.

You can further enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and our Year in Employment Scheme. Both are managed by our Careers Service.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

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

In your first year, through the disciplined acquisition of fundamental technical skills, you will explore:

  • Drawing and Painting
  • Book illustration
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Interdisciplinary thinking and practice
  • Life Room studies
  • Art History
  • Academic writing skills
  • Introduction to the critical understanding of Fine Art.

In your second year you will:

  • Specialise in your chosen discipline(s)
  • Deepen your exploration of ideas and demonstrate technical proficiency
  • Develop a programme of tutor-led self-directed practice and research that evidences an experimental approach and gives expression to your personal voice as an artist
  • Grow a self-critical approach to creative working and professional methods
  • Position your art practice within contemporary contexts and historical traditions.

In your third year you will be expected to:

  • Produce a body or work that demonstrates conceptual and technical coherence
  • Articulate the broad critical and contextual dimensions of your discipline
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of historical, contemporary and emerging practices relevant to your field of study
  • Commit to subject for a sustained period
  • Generate ideas independently or collaboratively in response to set assignments or self-initiated practice
  • Develop a personal, individual and imaginative response to your chosen topic
  • Consolidate skill-, subject- and conceptual-bases acquired over three years to produce a body of qualitative work for public exhibition
  • Develop a professional profile or identity as an artist.

How will I be taught?

This degree is delivered through workshops, tutorials, demonstrations, practicals, lectures, crits and field trips.


Assessment is by course work, including portfolios, exhibitions, essays, reflective diaries, book reviews, research projects and presentations.

Personal Tutor  

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will be your main contact throughout the duration of your studies. Your personal tutor can help you to settle in when you first arrive and will be available to help you with academic or personal matters.

Student Testimonials

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 are 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

Everyone comments on how much I have improved over the last few years and I can see it in myself as well. I've learnt so much over my uni time - in particular how to deal with constructive criticism and use it to actually help me! Throughout my GCSE and A-Level years I never really received much criticism, my teachers were always so impressed with my work that I never really pushed myself to the next level. Their teaching left me used to being complimented, it was a massive shock at first coming to university and going from the top in my class at school to just one amongst so many talented students. And although it was initially frustrating being faced with constructive criticism, I appreciate it so much now, if I wasn’t told the truth and pushed to be the best that I can be then I would never have improved at all. Thank you so much! I hope I will continue improving and achieving things! Maria Tilt 

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 104

A Levels BBB-BCC to include B in Art or related subject, plus satisfactory portfolio

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-DMM, plus satisfactory portfolio

International Baccalaureate:
30-28, plus satisfactory portfolio

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall, plus satisfactory portfolio

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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