Develop your individual practice with an emphasis on experimentation in dialogue with contemporary practice and theory when studying your Fine Art degree at ARU. Choose to study abroad for one semester, visit major art galleries and organise art exhibitions. Build upon your existing skills in drawing, painting and sculpture and explore new processes and media to create a substantial portfolio of work.
Studying fine art allows you to experiment with your creativity, and discover which media best suit your individual projects and communicate your ideas. Moreover, it helps you develop a critical eye; the ability to stand back from your work and reflect upon it objectively - a crucial skill not just in art but any line of work. Studying the theory of fine art will also give you a solid grounding for other careers in the creative and cultural sector, such as curation, arts administration, museum and galleries, art history, or arts publishing and journalism, as well as teaching and education.
You will be supported to experiment across a range of different media and techniques as you develop confidence and direction, and build a substantial portfolio of work. We encourage creative risk-taking and, as well as regular tutorials with academic staff and workshops with our expert technicians, you will have to the chance to explore many new practices and artistic platforms, including photography, performance/live art, film/video, digital media, installation and site-specific approaches, as well as a wide range of printmaking techniques. You will also be introduced to key debates that have framed the development of contemporary art, gaining research and analytical skills to help you push the boundaries of your own practice.
Our staff are practising artists who regularly exhibit their work nationally and internationally, so you can be sure of getting the best advice on how to succeed, as well as a strong and supportive studio culture to work in.
All our students are invited to attend the lecture series run by our Fine Art Research Unit, exposing you to contemporary debates in fine art practice. They also regularly visit exhibitions in Cambridge, including Heong Gallery, Kettle’s Yard and Wysing Arts, major collections in London, and can join international trips to centres of contemporary art including Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam and the Venice Bienniale. With many opportunities to collaborate and exhibit your workon campus and off-site throughout the course, you will develop professional skills in curating, group work, project / event management, and marketing / promotion that will help you in many future careers. Recent exhibitions by our students have been held at Cambridge ArtSpace, the Institute of Astronomy, the Botanic Gardens and the Museum of Technology. All of our BA Fine Art students are considered for our annual Supanee Gazeley Prize, a £3,000 award for the best degree show exhibition.
Our Fine Art studios will provide you with a dedicated space to hone your skills and you can also get full training from our team of technical officers in any of our facilities. These include a specialist printmaking studio; sculpture workshops (including a laser cutter and 3D printing); photography dark rooms; a life drawing studio; computer suites for video production and digital imaging. You’ll also have access to three Mac suites with Adobe Creative Suite software and 27-inch monitors, and specialist equipment for 3D construction and photographic media from our technical officers/Media Production team.
Our students and graduates have a history of winning prizes and gaining industry recognition. Ramona Zoladek won the 2019 Elephant and Griffin prize, having previously won the Supanee Gazeley prize for her major project. Also in 2019, graduate Ian Wolter was commissioned by Save the Children to create a bust of their founder, while in 2017 he was awarded the RomArt Sculpture and Installation Prize for his work 'The Ectoplasm of Self-Delusion'. In 2016, graduate Michalina Paveley won the Art Gemini Sculpture Prize for her artwork ‘Torus II’, also after winning the Supanee Gazeley Prize.
Course Leader: Benet Spencer
Our BA (Hons) Fine Art course opens the door to many different creative and professional opportunities, from working in fine art practice, community arts projects, prop and set making, art therapy, and museum and gallery administration and education, to applied creative roles in advertising, art direction, marketing, digital content production, as well as lecturing and teaching.
In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to find a work placement on our 'Working in the Creative Industries' optional module. This will help you develop the kind of transferable skills and experience you need to stand out as an employee, or succeed in self-employment, in the real working world. It will also help you make contacts in the sector, who already know your potential when you graduate.
For a full breakdown of module options and credits, please view the module structure (pdf).
Modules are subject to change and availability.
You’ll show your progress in a number of ways. On critical and 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.
At Cambridge School of Art, we combine the traditions of our past with the possibilities afforded by the latest technologies.
Using our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond, we nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking to empower the makers and creators of the future.
Our academics excel at both practice and theory, making a real impact in their chosen fields, whether they are curating exhibitions, designing book covers or photographing communities in Africa. They are also regularly published in catalogues, books, journals and conference papers, their research classed as being of ‘international standing’, with some elements ‘world-leading’, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.
As well as exhibiting your own work, you’ll have opportunities to visit exhibitions, galleries and museums both in Cambridge (such as Kettle's Yard, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and Wysing Arts Centre) and in London (including the Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Saatchi Gallery).
We also organise regular trips to the Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park, London; independent galleries in central and East London; and international trips to Berlin, Madrid and Amsterdam, which take place every two years.
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).
You can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.
You must pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit or sponsorship letter. 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.
It is essential that you send us a digital portfolio for review.
For full information on how to prepare and submit your portfolio please visit our cambridge school of art portfolios page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 postgraduate 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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