BA (Hons) in Fine Art Top-Up (1 year, Full-time)

    Full time
    1 Year
    University of Kent at Canterbury
This vibrant programme, which is awarded and quality assured by the University of Kent, will facilitate your involvement in contemporary visual art whilst building on your previous academic skills and knowledge. It will encourage open and exploratory thinking and equip you with the experience and skills needed to evolve into a professional artist.

Designed and taught by practicing contemporary artists, the programme embraces the rich history of the subject, and the vibrancy of current debates, to allow you to develop a unique creative identity relevant to contemporary practice. You will study a combination of practical, theoretical and professional modules that will encompass many transferable skills to improve your employability, and ultimately prepare you for professional practice and engagement in the cultural sector.

The programme has developed many links with galleries, artists and curators in the South-East, to give you a real advantage when embarking on a career in the arts.


Teaching is geared towards identifying and developing your individual art practice. One-to-one studio tutorials are central to this experience and you will have access to tutorial contact of 15-30 minutes each week on average. Each term of the programme also features demonstrations of skills, workshop sessions, practical seminars and talks by visiting professional artists. You will be assessed throughout the year via submitted coursework to fulfil each module’s requirements. The dissertation is realised through tutorial contact along with suggested and self-directed reading; it is assessed by written submission. Practical coursework will be assessed by a combination of portfolio, written proposals, verbal presentations and the final exhibition.

The programme typically involves an average of 12 hours contact time with teaching staff per week for the full-time mode and six hours per week for the part-time mode, both over two days per week. In addition, you will be expected to undertake approximately two hours of self-directed study for every hour of contact time; therefore, 24 hours of self-directed study per week for the full-time mode and 12 hours per week for the part-time mode. The College’s studios, learning resource centre (LRC) and technicians are available throughout the week for self-directed study and you will be encouraged to make as much use of these resources as possible.

Practical skills:

The programme will facilitate your specialism and interests, which could include some or all of the following:

• Painting, using: oil, acrylic and gouache
• Sculpture, including: lost wax, glass, plaster, clay and other installation techniques
• Drawing: exploring a variety of media and approaches
• Printmaking, including: etching, linocut, mono print and screen printing
• Photography: an induction into digital photography and its applications of skills for fine art practice and the documenting of work
• Digital imaging: understanding Adobe Photoshop as a creative, as well as a functional, application

Professional and vocational experience:

The experience gained here will give you an essential advantage for professional practice and employment.

• Exhibiting work in a professional gallery context
• Maintaining a professional practice, including logistics, administration and studio management
• Curatorial and organisational skills
• Funding proposals
• Developing suitable professional presentation skills

Transferable skills:

The curriculum draws attention to the transferrable skills within the modules and will enable you to develop these fully.

• Engage in problem solving
• Reflection on learning to improve performance and self-management
• Use of information technology in a variety of contexts
• Develop entrepreneurial skills in promoting professional practice
• Understand how practical skills can be applied vocationally

Communication skills:

You will develop confidence in talking and discussing art and art work in a variety of contexts.

• Verbal presentation: deliver information to a variety of audiences in different contexts
• Academic writing skills: referencing; using research; structuring a question; and analytical skills
• Essay writing skills: correct use of grammar and punctuation; assembling independent research; and structuring and organising material
• Discussion skills: talk about art and art work in a variety of contexts such as tutorials, seminars and asking relevant questions

Some graduates of this programme have embarked on postgraduate study, whilst others have progressed to relevant employment, with some specifically going on to become practicing artists, lecturers, teachers, gallery assistants, arts administrators, art technicians and curators.

The College is able to supply a basic level of materials such as paper, inks, brushes and acrylic paint. However, you will find it useful to own a selection of traditional art materials.

You will be provided with a suggestive reading list of suitable contemporary art and theory publications at the start of the programme.

A materials fee is payable for each year of the programme. This will contribute to the cost of:

• Funding a programme of visiting contemporary artist lectures;
• maintaining and updating the department’s resources and equipment; and
• basic materials and equipment, including paper, charcoal, paint and pencils.

This fee is currently set at £30 per year for students enrolled on the full-time mode and £15 for students enrolled on the part-time mode.

You will be encouraged to make regular visits to galleries and contemporary art spaces during the course of the programme. These visits will facilitate your burgeoning knowledge concerning the developments of contemporary fine art in the south east of England. You are advised to budget for the cost of travel and admission (where applicable).

Following receipt of your application, we will invite you to an interview and ask you to bring a portfolio of your work. The interview and your portfolio will help us to assess your suitability for the programme. We will also consider your application form, including your personal statement and reference, and the entry requirements when making a decision.

Applications (full-time only) should be made through UCAS.

The programme is developed to closely match the realities of contemporary professional fine art practice. You will benefit from the following:

Experienced teaching staff

The teaching staff consists of practicing artists with national and international exhibiting reputations. They also have wide experience of teaching fine art on other programmes at prestigious universities.

Learning environment

You will be allocated a personal work space within a dedicated fine art studio. The College offers excellent facilities on campus for sculpture, printmaking, photography and digital media. You will also be able to make use of the facilities at the University of Kent’s campus in Chatham, which includes one of the largest university libraries in England and an extensive sculpture workshop.

Teaching and learning

The programme has an excellent ratio of staff to students which will ensure that you receive significant weekly contact with teaching staff in the form of tutorials, seminars, lectures and workshops.

Flexibility of teaching

The delivery of the programme is flexible to allow you to build your studies around employment and personal responsibilities. All teaching material is available online through virtual learning resources.

The programme is aimed at students who have achieved a Level 5 Foundation Degree or HND qualification in fine art (or a related subject) and who wish to enhance their creative and intellectual skills through practical investigation and experimentation aligned with relevant contextual research. Although it offers a natural progression route from the Foundation Degree in Fine Art Practice at West Kent College, we also welcome and encourage applications from students who have achieved a Foundation Degree or HND in fine art or a related subject at another college or university.

You will study the following four modules:

• Visual Research and Working Methodologies (30 credits)
• Dissertation (30 credits)
• Fine Art Professional Practice (15 credits)
• Fine Art Identity, Synthesis and Exhibition (45 credits)

Fine Art Student Work

Fine Art Facilities


This programme will enable you to convert your Level 5 Foundation Degree or HND qualification into a Level 6 BA (Hons) degree with either a year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. The qualification is awarded and quality assured by the University of Kent.

Although it offers a natural progression route from the Foundation Degree in Fine Art Practice at West Kent College, we also welcome and encourage applications from students who have achieved a Foundation Degree or HND in Fine Art or a related subject at another College or University. For external applicants we would expect completion of 240 credits in a degree programme in Fine Art or a related discipline with achievement equivalent to a Merit profile in a Foundation Degree or HND.

Institution Code: K24
Course Code: W101
Campus Code: W

Jacqueline Chase

The course is really flexible and the teaching staff are of such a ...

Jacqueline Chase, BA (Hons) Top-Up in Fine Art (2yr Part-time)
success stories

Jacqueline Chase

The course is really flexible and the teaching staff are of such a ...

Jacqueline Chase, BA (Hons) Top-Up in Fine Art (2yr Part-time)
success stories

Jane Cordery

It was about following a passion and about learning and improving my art ... Jane Cordery, BA (Hons) Fine Art
success stories

Andrew Gallacher

There is also valuable peer-to-peer learning. Our year group has students with a ... Andrew Gallacher, BA (Hons) Fine Art
success stories