Develop your skills as an artist through studio work and one-to-one tuition at Cambridge School of Art. Learn about art theory and techniques, and develop an advanced understanding of contemporary fine art practice.
This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as an artist. Through seminars and written work, you’ll develop an understanding of art theory and technique. You’ll also specialise in a particular area: you might focus on modern media such as photography, digital imaging or video art; or more traditional media like painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking.
Supported by our expert staff, who are all practising artists, you’ll develop your own visual language and exhibit your work at each stage of the course, from Year 1 up to the final degree show. There’s the chance to create installations for the Cambridge Botanical Gardens and to organise solo exhibitions around the city.
As well as your practice, you’ll develop your understanding of debates about the nature of art: how it can be evaluated, what it might represent, and the meanings it might convey. From this you will form an appreciation and enjoyment of fine art that will last a lifetime.
Course Leader: Benet Spencer
This course will prepare you for life as a practising artist. Many of our graduates regularly exhibit in Cambridge and London.
It will also help you develop the skills and knowledge needed for many different careers in the creative industries, such as gallery management / technician work, curation, prop and set making or art direction in film and television, specialist print workshops, and arts marketing or promotion.
Our Fine Art Research Unit (FARU) runs fortnightly lectures which will give you a chance to hear artists talk about their work, and to engage in debates about contemporary art. Recent speakers have included: Katrina Blannin, Alicia Paz, Juan Bolivar, Rebecca Fortnum, Danny Rolph, Claude Temin-Vergez, Hayley Newman, Günter Herbst, David Kefford, Alana Jelinek, Cally Spooner, Bernice Donszelmann, Ella McCartney, Matt Darbyshire, Lilah Fowler, and Phillip Allen.
You’ll show your progress in a number of ways. On contextual modules you’ll produce essays or shorter written assignments, while on studio modules you’ll either submit portfolios of artwork, or install exhibitions.
In years 2 and 3 assessment by exhibition will form a significant part of your fine art study, and the degree show will form part of your final Major Project assessment. You’ll receive feedback throughout the year, including mid-year reviews on all the core modules, when you will present ongoing artwork to tutors. You’ll also submit essays or artwork at formal assessment points at the end of semester or end of year.
You won’t have to take any exams on our BA (Hons) Fine Art course.
Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.
Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.
We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.
Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.
We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.
From the end of Year 1, you’ll have a number of opportunities to exhibit your work. In Year 2, our optional modules will allow you to install artwork around Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus and at the Cambridge Botanical Gardens. At this stage, you’ll work with other students to curate a mid-year exhibition on the Ruskin Gallery balcony.
You might also develop opportunities for further off-site exhibitions through the Cambridge-based organisation Changing Spaces, which is part-funded by the Arts Council. These exhibitions take place at a variety of venues around central Cambridge. In your final year, you’ll take part in a campus-wide Interim exhibition in February, followed by the Degree Show in June.
In previous years our students have held solo exhibitions at Clare College and group exhibitions at the Institute of Astronomy, the Cambridge Leper chapel and Clare Hall. Some have also loaned artwork to Marshall Aerospace as part of Arts and Business in the East of England.
We’ll give you the opportunity to experiment with many different art forms. You’ll have access to our specialist printmaking studio with its wide variety of processes, sculpture workshops including a laser cutter and 3D printing, photography dark rooms, a life drawing studio, and computer suites for video production and digital imaging.
Our Fine Art studios give you a dedicated space where you can hone your skills. You’ll also be able to access three brand new Mac suites with Adobe Creative Suite software, plus high-quality 27-inch monitors, or borrow specialist equipment for 3D construction or photographic media from sculpture technicians or our Media Services team.
In September 2016, BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate Michalina Paveley won the Art Gemini Sculpture Prize for her artwork ‘Torus II’, a large copper wire sculpture in a semi-organic, circular form. This was selected from 941 applicants across 34 countries, with the finalists exhibition at the Asia House Gallery, London. This followed her winning the Supanee Gazeley prize for the best Fine Art exhibition in the 2016 CSA Degree Show.
In November 2015, graduate Ian Wolter won the prestigious international 10th Arte Lacuna prize for video and performance, held in the Arsenale, Venice. In 2014, graduate Ramona Zoladek won the Woon Art Prize, a £20,000 national art prize for Fine Art graduates, which included a one-year residency at the studios of the Baltic Arts Centre in Newcastle.
This course will give you many opportunities to visit exhibitions, galleries and museums in Cambridge (including Kettle's Yard, the Fitzwilliam Museum, or the Wysing Arts Centre), as well as Tate Modern, Tate Britain or the Saatchi Gallery in London. We’ve also organised regular trips to the Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park, London; visits to independent galleries in central and East London; and international trips to Berlin, Madrid and Amsterdam, which take place every two years.
In Year 2, you’ll also have the chance to spend a single semester on an Erasmus exchange at the BA Fine Art course at Academy St Joost, Breda, Holland.
For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages
Estimated cost of materials over three years £250.
Optional field trips (costs may vary).
Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.
If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.
You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.Paying your fees
Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.
We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
From September 2018, EU students starting an undergraduate degree with us can access an £800 bursary.
Meanwhile, our £400 Books Plus scheme helps with the costs of study. There's no need to apply for this: if you're eligible you can simply collect a Books Plus card when you start your course.
You will be required to attend an interview of around 20 minutes, at which you will also discuss your portfolio (see below). For more information please visit our interviews page.
You will be required to evidence your work by submitting a portfolio or, if you are resident outside of the UK, an e-portfolio. For more information and guidance please download the relevant portfolio pack below and visit our portfolios page.
Important additional notes
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email email@example.com for further information.
We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.
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