Fine Art

BA (Hons) Single

Fine Art is a practice-based course exploring the creative potential of a wide range of media.

Located in Kingsway Buildings, you will develop an individual approach to making, that is supported by critical studies in Art Theory and Art History. You are challenged to develop innovative work from an essentially taught curriculum at Level 4 (Year 1), to a supervised and individually driven learning programme at Level 6 (Year 3).

Why study Fine Art at Chester?

Fine Art programmes offered by the University of Chester provide opportunities to engage with:

  • A contemporary approach to traditional media
  • An exploration of textiles in a fine art context
  • Digital Media in the form of still and moving images
  • Inter-disciplinary practice that cuts across the boundaries of traditional media
  • Contextual research in contemporary artistic practice
  • Visual research that promotes exploration and speculation
  • Art criticism and the development of analytical and interpretive thinking


The Department of Art and Design has an experienced staff team who have a wide range of expertise and research interests. All staff are actively practicing, exhibiting and publishing their work on a national or international stage.

Students studying Fine Art have the opportunity to develop their practice across a wide range of disciplines. Whether you choose to specialise in a single area such as traditional casting techniques in sculpture, or find your own unique combination such as textiles with video to make an interactive installation, the choice is yours.

The Fine Art programme at Chester recognises the importance of the student experience beyond the confines of the studio. Students will have the opportunity to visit some of the world's most exciting cultural centres through organised study tours.

Preparation for life after university is recognised as an important part of the curriculum. Both the Experiential Learning module in Year 2, and the Professional Practice module in Year 3, provide opportunities for you to develop valuable employment related skills.

The Fine Art programme at Chester provides a contemporary fine art experience that is centred on the needs of each individual.

The modules given below are the latest example of the curriculum available on this degree programme.  Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to change from time to time as part of the University’s commitment to curriculum enhancement.

Programme Structure:

Level 4 (Year 1)

Compulsory Modules:

Studio Practice 1 (40 credits)

  • Introduction to the basic media areas of painting, sculpture, textiles, printmaking and time-based digital media.

Visual Research 1 (20 credits)

  • Introduction to a variety of practical and conceptual strategies that can be used for the exploration and development of visually based ideas.

Contextual Research 1 (20 credits)

  • Exploration of the historical and contemporary artistic contexts that relate to a student's own personal practice.

Art History and Theory (20 credits)

  • Introduction to the skills and knowledge required to make an informed analysis of both contemporary and historical images, artefacts and texts.

Interdisciplinary Practice 1 (20 credits)

  • Exploration of those aspects of Fine Art practice that go beyond the boundaries of traditional studio practice.

Level 5 (Year 2)

Compulsory Modules:

Studio Practice and Theory 2 (60 credits)

  • An initial period of practical visual research is followed by a period of project realisation culminating in a final body of practical work and a critical studies essay.

Contextual Research 2 (20 credits)

  • Further exploration and articulation of the historical and contemporary artistic contexts that relate to a student's own personal practice.
  • Interdisciplinary Practice 2 (20 credits)
  • Further explorations of non-traditional Fine Art practice with an emphasis on an experimental approach to ways of working that may be seen as unfamiliar and challenging.

During the second year, students elect to study either the Work Based Learning module or Fine Art and Photography Experiential Learning module. Work Based Learning is a more general option providing work experience within a wider social and/or commercial context. Fine Art and Photography Experiential Learning provides the opportunity to work in a creative environment related to an area of Fine Art practice.

Level 6 (Year 3)

Compulsory Modules:

Studio Practice 3 (60 credits)

  • Following on from Year 2, each student further develops their own individual approach culminating in a professionally presented exhibition.

Contextual Research 3 (20 credits)

  • A highly individual exploration that confirms and constantly updates the context for the student's studio practice.

Fine Art and Photography Professional Practice (20 credits)

  • An opportunity to develop a professional approach to marketing and self-promotion within a group context, providing essential skills for life after University.

Optional Modules (choose one of the following 20 credit modules)

Critical Theory (Research Option)

  • In negotiation with staff, students will undertake in-depth, individual research in a chosen area of concern culminating in an extended academic essay.

Critical Theory (Taught Option)

  • Students make a presentation and write an essay in response to a series of lectures and seminars concerned with the relationship between contemporary fine art theory and practice.

You may be assessed by the following methods:

  • An examination of practical work presented in a portfolio (which may be in a digital audio or video format) or as a studio exhibition/installation.
  • An assessment of a written assignment.
  • Assessment of a studio journal that documents the contextual framework that emerges out of any given set of practical work.
  • Assessment of a studio journal that documents the visual research that supports a given set of practical work.
  • A verbal presentation.
  • A dialogue assessment involving a discussion between a member of staff and an individual student where some degree of self-assessment allows for a negotiated mark.

These forms of assessment contribute in various proportions to the overall mark of any given module. This type of assessment is usually referred to as summative assessment.

Formative assessment occurs as part of an ongoing review of your work, but no marks are awarded as part of this process. Through reflection, discussion, comparison and feedback within individual and group sessions, you will be encouraged to develop your work in an informed and critical manner. An important factor in this type of feedback is the development of your own ability to self-assess and reflect critically upon your work.

The course will prepare you for a wide range of jobs including:

Jobs directly related to your degree:

 Jobs where your degree would be useful:


You will be equipped with transferable skills which are valued by employers such as:

  • developing individual ideas;
  • collaborating with others;
  • observational skills;
  • analytical skills;
  • open to new influences and concepts;
  • working to briefs;
  • meeting deadlines;
  • organisational skills.

If you are studying this course on a combined basis you should look at options with both subjects.

For further information please visit:

UCAS points A minimum of 280 UCAS points from GCE A Levels, or equivalent. Typical offer BCC/BBC.
GCE A Level:

The Department requires one of the following subjects:

Art and Design, Fine Art


BTEC Extended Diploma(Art & Design): DMM

BTEC Diploma (Art & Design): D*D*

Irish/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects, including Art
International Baccalaureate: 26 points, including 5 in HL Visual Arts
Access: Access to HE Diploma (Art and Design)  to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit

OCR National Extended Diploma (Art & Design): Merit 2

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma (Art & Design): DMM

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma (Art & Design): D*D*

Extra Information:

Please note that we accept a maximum of 20 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.

(Note: Applicants will be required to attend a portfolio interview before an offer of a place can be made)


Contact us

For details about your course or your application please get in touch.

Caroline Backhouse

Studying Fine Art has enabled me to learn practical skills and techniques.”

Psychology and Fine Art graduateCaroline Backhouse