BA (Hons) Fine Art

Explore your creativity and experiment with drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, photography, installation, performance, digital and video art. Our Fine Art degree offers experienced staff who are also practising artists, dedicated studio space and well-equipped workshops, and opportunities to work alongside arts organisations and gain experience in the creative sector.

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Course details

Our BA (Hons) Fine Arts course will encourage you to develop your individual artistic identity and explore new creative possibilities. We offer a supportive environment where you can develop your creative skills and knowledge, learn to evaluate and draw inspiration from historical, philosophical and cultural influences, and establish the foundation of your professional practice as a working artist.

Our dedicated team will work to help you develop technical skills in the traditional fine arts media of painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. You’ll also have opportunities to learn about and practise a broad range of new media and we encourage critical thinking so you learn to evaluate and understand your own work and that of others.

Career and transferable skills are also essential to your future success so we aim to ensure you gain relevant experience towards running a small business enterprise, creative studio management and a wider knowledge of the arts sector. You’ll be exhibiting your work in a public setting from level 4, and organising your own shows by level 5. Exhibiting your work in our Creative Showcase at the end of your final year will allow you to show off your projects to the public and impress industry.

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Course highlights:

  • Our Art courses are placed in the top ten in the UK for student-to-staff ratio by the Guardian University League Tables 2020, so you have access to individual tutor support and small group teaching.
  • Previous students have won regional and national competitions and awards, and prestigious commissions and artists’ residencies as a result of the industry connections offered by the programme.
  • We use our direct connections with public art commissioners to give you access to a number of exclusive commissions each year. These ‘live briefs’ provide you with invaluable experience in this important creative field.
  • Exhibition is vital, and you will be expected to play an active role in the department’s exhibition committee and have the opportunity to present your work to the public, including during Bolton School of the Arts’ Creative Showcase during your final year.

Key features:

  • Theory is combined with practice, and traditional techniques with modern technologies. As well as taught practical workshops in a wide range of media and materials, you will receive tuition in using industry-standard digital software.
  • Our large, well-lit open studios have adjacent 2D facilities that include printmaking and drawing workshops and 3D facilities that include ceramic, casting, wood and metal and glass workshops.
  • Staff are practising artists working in group and private studios. With extensive experience of exhibiting nationally and internationally, they have strong connections to arts organisations and commissioning agencies.
  • Prominent guest speakers from a range of fine art disciplines are invited each year to talk about their practice, and the department has strong links with arts groups, including the Bolton-based neo:artists studios and galleries, which were set up by graduates of the course.
  • We offer opportunities for you to participate in foreign study trips, as well as visit current exhibitions and events at galleries, public art installations, sculpture parks and arts centres around the UK.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Your Level 3 subjects must include an art and design-related subject; for instance, A-level Art or BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including an art and design-related subject.

You may be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.

Special consideration will be given to applicants with alternative qualifications who have a strong portfolio.

If English isn't your first language you'll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). Find out more

Career opportunities

Fine arts graduates are highly regarded for their abilities to visualise, think creatively and ‘outside the box’, and for their acquisition of specialist skills in both 2D and 3D areas. As a graduate, you’ll possess strong observational and analytical skills, and be able to critically evaluate your work and the work of others.

You’ll also have experience of showcasing your work at events and exhibitions, working to briefs, meeting deadlines and organising your time effectively. These skills are required across a range of sectors and demonstrate your ability to generate new ideas.

What can I do with this qualification?

Graduates with a fine art degree are increasingly embracing an interdisciplinary approach, finding new ways to blend different media and mediums. Fine art graduates can fill a wide range of roles in public and community art, illustration, photography, curatorial positions in galleries and museums, art therapy, exhibition design and teaching.

Graduates from the University of Bolton have gone on to set up their own studio spaces and obtained positions within local arts groups such as Hospital Arts, Bolton at Home’s Percent for Art and Artists in Schools. Another group of graduates has established ‘Neo:Artists’ and have set up their own Bolton-based art gallery.

Alternative career options

  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Arts administration and management
  • Interior and spatial design
  • Exhibition work
  • Multimedia programming
  • Publishing
  • Web design
  • Arts consultancy
  • Commercial art

Professional recognition

The programme is a member of NAFAE (National Association for Fine Art Education).

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Scholarship
  • 3D Physical Processes
  • Fundamentals and Theories of Studio Practice
  • Digital Creativity
  • Applied Creativity
  • 2D Art – Principles and Processes
  • Employability and Enterprise
  • Fine Art - Themes, Theories and Practice
  • Advanced 2D - Principles and Processes
  • Advanced 3D Physical Processes
  • Fine Art - Promotion and Exhibition
  • Advanced Photo Media
  • Advanced Practice and Theories in Context
  • Public Art in Contemporary Practice
  • Professional Practice and Self-Promotion
  • Major Project
  • Research in Context

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a blended approach to teaching and learning (face-to-face and online). Studio, computer suite and lecture room activities are a main feature of the programme. Lectures, seminars, demonstrations and workshops link specialisms across the traditional boundaries of painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and so on and provide space to combine traditional techniques with modern technologies.

You’ll also engage in self-directed study, with support from a range of staff including technicians and library/learning resources staff. The Learning Agreement is also an important aspect of your self-directed study activity. Learning Agreements are negotiated with your module tutor, and outline a plan of your progress for a set period of time.

You’ll receive individual help and advice on your personal work in one-to-one tutorials. Peer reviews, where you present your work to a small group of your fellow students for their comment, also provides useful feedback.

Regular presentations from visiting lecturers (prominent artists/designers/gallery administrators/film makers and so on) offer opportunities for you to hear directly from successful practitioners, and ask detailed questions about their careers and work.

All Fine Art modules will be made available online through the University’s e-learning portal Moodle, enabling you to keep up-to-date, even if you cannot make it in to class. This important resource will contain digital versions of all projects, book lists, and links to relevant websites, video materials, and other sources of learning.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Practical exams (0%)
Level Two Coursework (100%), Written exams (0%)
Level Three Coursework (100%), Practical exams (0%), Written exams (0%)
Level Coursework (100%), Practical exams (25%), Written exams (0%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (54%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (45%)
Level Two Guided independent study (53%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (47%)
Level Three Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    4.5 years

Contact us

Martina Mullaney
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903378

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903