School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Fine Art with Foundation

Realise your artistic potential. Guided by practising artists, you’ll find the freedom to try different techniques and technologies. By analysing artistic influences and inspirations, you’ll deepen your understanding of what makes great art and gain the skills to create it. You’ll develop the expertise to feed your emotions and ideas into your work. And with excellent international links offering opportunities to travel, you’ll have everything you need to make your art the best it can be.

This course provides opportunities for students from non-standard entry points to develop the skills and knowledge needed to successfully complete an undergraduate degree. Upon successful completion of your first year, you’ll join the undergraduate BA (Hons) Fine Art course.

Graduate Show 2019 | 8 - 15 June 2019

Showcasing the impressive creativity, innovation and talent of our students across a wide spectrum of disciplines, from architecture and design, to media and photography.

Exhibition of work from final year Art, Design and Architecture students

In Conversation (2017) detail – Bradley North

It’s not too late to apply for September 2019

If you haven’t applied to the University of Plymouth for September 2019 entry, prior to the UCAS deadline, there may still be vacancies on your chosen course.

It’s not too late to apply

Careers with this subject


Graduates in fine art find employment in a diverse range of careers, from teaching to professional practice, working in museums to art therapy. We’ll help you find your niche and train for it with flexible internships.

Key features

Your foundation year will:

  • Welcome you to an engaging, experiential learning environment with a focus on active exploration, experimentation and discovery across a wide range of material, methods and media.
  • Help develop your practical, technical and creative skills through studio and workshop based projects.
  • Provide training in key learning skills for further undergraduate study and build an awareness of practise, context and theory.
  • Introduce you to the accessible community of experienced academics, practitioners and technical staff that will support you on your studies.
  • Give you access to a wide range of enviable specialist workshops, laboratories and facilities across the campus and become part of our vibrant student community through the various opportunities available within the School of Art, Design and Architecture.
  • Enable you to explore and develop your personal interests and strengths as a creative practitioner.

This course is an integrated part of the BA (Hons) Fine Art degree at the University of Plymouth. Successful completion of your foundation year (Year 0) will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right but provides progression onto Year 1 of the fine art degree.

When you join the BA (Hons) Fine Art with Foundation, you will:

  • Hone your existing talents and discover new ones with your own, dedicated studio space – as well as specialist shared spaces and facilities for textiles, metal and woodworking, plasterwork and ceramics workshops and life drawing classes.
  • Connect and collaborate with others from around the world, thanks to our excellent links with overseas art and design institutions and international exchange opportunities in your second year.
  • Explore the best way to express yourself – try drawing, video and sound, painting, printmaking, photography, performance and sculpture – to find the medium that’s right for you.
  • Discover the possibilities of technology with fully equipped print and photo facilities, computers, audio-visual equipment, sound studio resources and expert technicians to support and guide you in your exploration.
  • Enhance your understanding of art and the cultural context of your work with visiting lecturers and field trips to museums and galleries throughout the UK and Europe.
  • Seize opportunities to enter local, national and international competitions and awards. Our students have been recognised in the Jerwood Drawing prize, travelled to Amsterdam for the Hans Brinker Trophy and won a contest to design the trophy for the prestigious Abercrombie Award.
  • Get gallery-ready and showcase your final project in a real exhibition space alongside students from our 12 art and design degrees. The Art and Design Degree Show is your chance to introduce friends, family, prospective employers and the general public to your work.

Course details

  • Year 0
  • Core modules
    • ADA001 Materials, Methods and Media

      This module will introduce students to various techniques, materials and mediums through practise-based experiments, play and problem solving. You will be introduced to different creative processes and methods of working that will help you to develop your ideas and engage in critical and reflective practice.

    • ADA002 Image, Type and Narrative

      Students will experiment with media, photography and typography to explore the relationship between image and word. This module enables students to gain knowledge within subject areas and explore the importance of developing an independent voice. Projects will become increasingly student driven as they develop their ability to propose ideas and solutions through self-directed inquiry, discovery and production.

    • ADA003 Risk and Resolution

      Students will consolidate their skills, knowledge and understanding in initiating, researching, developing and presenting a final project and exhibition. This module will also enable students to continue to research and develop their strengths as an independent art and design practitioner and prepare them for their next stage of study.

    • ADA004 Critical Themes in Art & Design

      This module introduces students to transformative phases within the historical and contemporary context of art, design, photography and media. Students will learn to ask critical questions and find answers through information gathering, reading and research. Through articulating responses, students will be introduced to academic conventions in preparation for progression to further Higher Education.

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • ART407 Fine Art Practice 1 - Skills

      This module introduces students to the diverse nature of fine art practice and the role of the studio within it. Critical contexts are also introduced.

    • ART408 Fine Art Practice 2 - Themes

      A diagnostic module introducing methods and approaches to contemporary Fine Art including 2D, time-based and spatial practices. The studio-based projects include seminars and workshops to relate examples of contemporary fine art practice to explorations of relevant concepts, material processes and techniques.

    • ART409 Fine Art Practice 3 - Contexts

      An introductory module to contemporary fine art site-based practices delivered through a collaborative project and a field trip. Students will be introduced to relevant contemporary approaches and examples through preparatory seminars, and encouraged to use source material from a field trip to generate collaborative work

    • ART410 Fine Art Practice 4 - Concepts

      Students are required to respond individually or collaboratively to a given theme through the appropriate exploration of aspects of contemporary fine art practice. Supported by seminars and technical workshops, practice will be informed by a developing awareness of ideas and approaches established in recent work within the field

    • ART411 Conversations in Art 1 - Critical Review of Contemporary Practice

      This module provides an introduction to key ideas, methods, and approaches in fine art to inform students¿ practice. This is achieved through conversations and lectures on Fine Art, visits to exhibitions, tutorials, use of online materials, and other research processes. Students will produce a piece of critical writing and a digital slideshow.

    • ART412 Conversations in Art 2 - Reflections on Contemporary Practice

      This module provides a further introduction to key ideas, methods, and approaches in art practices and related areas to inform students¿ practice. This is achieved through conversations, lectures, tutorials, use of online materials and the students¿ own research leading to a piece of critical writing with a presentation to the group.

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • ART503 Conversations in Art 3

      This programme of seminars, presentations, tutorials and independent study will examine key theories and ideas which relate to contemporary fine art practice. Selected works and texts will be used to explore areas of inquiry as well as strategies for researching, writing and engaging in practical research within a group and individual framework.

    • ART504 Conversations in Art 4

      This programme of seminars, presentations, tutorials and independent study continues to explore key theories and ideas which relate to contemporary art. Selected works and texts will be used to explore areas of inquiry as well as strategies for researching, writing and engaging in practical research within a group and individual framework.

    • ART506 Fine Art Practice 3

      This module provides an introduction to negotiated art practice and professional practice. The professional practice elements of the module are introduced through preparation for professional placements. Students write a placement proposal and are introduced to methods and approaches for working with professional organisations.

    • ART507 Fine Art Practice 4

      This module provides an opportunity for students to further develop negotiated art practice and professional practice. The professional practice elements of the module are developed through a careers event and participation in placements. Students consolidate their professional skills and approaches to working with external agencies. They write a reflective essay, refine their professional portfolio and present their practice in a public context.

  • Final Year
  • Core modules
    • ART601 Fine Art Practice 5

      The students will refine a negotiated conceptual framework for individual and/or collaborative creative procedures, with reference to contemporary practices, approaches and theories. To enable the development of student learning towards a focused and searching inquiry through practice, with associated research and contextualisation.

    • ART602 Fine Art Practice 6

      Searching and increasingly independent enquiry into source material and appropriate practices, linked to theoretical research, is developed into a body of work for final presentation.

    • ART603 Critical Project

      Students will undertake an illustrated critical project on an appropriate subject through tutorials and independent study. The project may be an extended essay, critical commentary on practice, or a praxis project, which integrates the essay form with a practice based project. With tutorial support, students will choose the mode of research and presentation most relevant to them.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

Don’t have 32–48 UCAS tariff points? We will consider ‘non-standard’ applications on a case-by-case basis.

A levels: For Level 3 entry the Tariff points entry level will normally be 32–48 points from A level or equivalent. Non-standard applicants will normally be interviewed.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended

Irish Leaving Certificate: Irish Highers, H5 in five subjects equivalent to 32–48 points.

International Baccalaureate: 24 overall

Proficiency in English: Students for whom English is an additional language will need to demonstrate ability in spoken and written English equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.0 and/or successfully complete the university’s special test before entering the foundation year.

We are looking for applicants with good potential including with non-standard qualifications and background, so will consider every application on a case by case basis. Alternatively, if you have any questions or concerns about meeting the entry requirements listed above we would encourage you to contact the Admissions Team on 01752 585858 or email ug-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk, where a member of the team can offer you further advice.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU To be confirmed £9,250
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.