Course specification and structure
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UDFINART - BA Fine Art

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Subject Area Art
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS 7 YEARS
Part-time 6 YEARS 7 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The course is taught through four parallel year-long modules at each level of study. The modules are related across each year and also across different levels. This enables an integrated approach to the subject and supports students to become well-rounded and grounded professional practitioners.

Students who would benefit from a period of preparation before progressing onto degree studies, can be accepted onto the four-year Extended Degree course beginning with Year 0 in Art and Design as a starting point.

Teaching and Learning Strategies:

The BA (Hons) Fine Art course aims to provide an intellectual and creative framework within which the activities of Fine Art practice may be understood and developed. It is to this end that the teaching methods used have been selected to encourage both analytical and practical skills. Teaching and learning combine a balance of structured teaching with independent study.

Level 4 introduces students to University level study, practice-based research and working methods and provides an overall induction for the course. A series of introductory workshops and set projects provide grounding in the subject, enabling students to develop an independent approach to project work with increasing levels of self-directed study and negotiated project work subsequently undertaken throughout levels 5 and 6.

Level 5 consolidates practical, theoretical and professional skills. It fosters an independent perspective through the integration of critical skills and practice. Attention is paid to professional practice and future employability. In consultation with their tutor, students will present a draft project proposal and initial dissertation proposal for feedback and approval before commencing Level 6.

Level 6 is focused on the student’s own area of interest. Work across the four L6 modules enables students to synthesise and consolidate their practice. By this stage, students are expected to demonstrate their ability to originate, develop, manage and realise a major project that demonstrates a creative awareness of the contexts in which their practice operates. A high standard of practical and conceptual competency is required to pass at Level 6.

Projects of various kinds are the main vehicle of learning and teaching. Project approaches are introduced at level 4 progressing through each stage of study, using the Negotiated Project Proposal and self-evaluation guidelines. These support the development of self-evaluative skills and the implementation of independent research and study. Initially, projects and exercises will be framed and proposed by the teaching team. As the course progresses the conception and management of project work is transferred to the student. In level 6, students will work independently with tutorial input and feedback. Project teaching and learning is supported through taught sessions, workshop demonstrations, briefs, lectures, tutorials, displays of work, critiques and presentations, portfolio preparations, essays, library research, seminars, visits and web based learning. Project working is reviewed on a regular and ongoing basis. Each student receives regular feedback on the progress of their project work, prior to the final assessment at the end of each level.

Peer review, critiques and self-evaluation encourage students to analyse and critically evaluate their own work and the work of others. Communication and presentation skills are emphasised.

Seminars, studio groups and lectures are usually structured around a set topic or key texts. Discussions can be staff or student led and can involve the presentation of papers, theories or practice. Lectures are a platform for debate and introduce a wide range of approaches and ideas about Fine Art practice and its wider cultural context.

Self-directed Study is a key aspect of the course. Students are encouraged to engage with personal development planning (PDP) to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their work at each level.

Workshops and workshop demonstrations are an important feature of the course. Students will attend inductions to health and safety requirements of the various workshops, before undertaking the relevant workshop practice/ modules or attending open access classes.

Employability is an important theme throughout the course and embedded in all modules providing an opportunity for students to link their studies to career and personal/professional development. Students are encouraged to test out and demonstrate key professional skills of decision-making, self-evaluation, self-promotion as well as the ability to engage the viewer.

In addition, students are encouraged to make maximum use of the resources available to them in terms of the IT provision both within the department and the library. Blended Learning /weblearn includes the provision of course and module information on the web. Online lecture notes, feedback, and blogs are used in addition to traditional teaching methods.

Course aims

The course aims to provide a taught undergraduate programme that will equip students with the knowledge, skills and competencies needed for a career in professional practice in the visual arts or related cultural industries. Through the core of BA Fine Art programme, students are afforded a solid academic grounding, both practical and theoretical, sufficient to permit them, as they progress, with increasing independence and autonomy, to conceive, plan and implement independent project work at Degree level and to set their studies in context.
Development of practical skills necessary for the production of artefacts is key to the aims of the course. Traditional and emergent modes of artistic practice, including production, distribution and display are encouraged and challenged through rigorous critical debate of historical, theoretical and aesthetic approaches.
The course promotes the development of communication skills (visual, written, and oral) essential to professional practice, through debate into complex cultural practice (informed by multiculturalism, globalization, and the new technologies) and consequently public engagement in cultural and social practices. More generally, the course encourages students to become mature, autonomous learners and self-reflective practitioners, equipped with the appropriate level of technical, conceptual, critical and research skills required to engage in professional practice or to undertake further study at postgraduate level.

Course learning outcomes

Level 4 Learning Outcomes:
On completing the level, the student should be able to:

1. Show autonomy and critical self-awareness when in studio and workshop environments and engaged in the development and production of artefacts;

2. Show basic skills of visual literacy necessary for observation, recording, analysis, development, visualisation, evaluation and communication;

3. Acquire and demonstrate basic skills of critical thinking, visualisation and analysis, and skills of presentation and communication, informed by appropriate knowledge and use of materials, techniques and cultural contexts;

4. Work collaboratively and independently, as needed, in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity informed by an appropriate level of practical knowledge;

5. Indicate appropriate use of technologies and related techniques of art practice in developing ideas and making connections between intention, process, outcome;

6. Evidence the ability to study independently under structured guidance, setting goals and managing workloads in order to meet deadlines and develop understanding within a frame of tutorial guidance, anticipating and accommodating change, while working with ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity.

Level 5 Learning Outcomes:
On completing the level, the student should be able to:

1. Illustrate increasing knowledge and understanding of contemporary art practice, and apply, consolidate and extend their learning, both within and beyond their chosen field of contemporary fine art practice;

2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the issues which arise from the artist's relationship with audiences, galleries, markets, participants, co-workers and co-creators;

3. Show informed awareness of developments in current and emerging media and technologies, and in particular interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary practise in fine art;

4. Evidence increasing practical skills, using materials, media, techniques, methods, technologies and equipment associated appropriately with their chosen fine art discipline;

5. Demonstrate the effective use of materials, technologies and techniques associated with their chosen fine art studio/workshop discipline, and will be familiar with good working practices;

6. Acquire and demonstrate a more concentrated and systematic knowledge of the processes through which artefacts are made and understand the role of artefacts as carriers of meaning and value;

Level 6 Learning Outcomes:
On completing the level, the student should be able to:

1. Acquire and demonstrate the capacity to research, develop a sound working methodology in relation to project development and a mature comprehension of the subject field and their area of specialist practice within it;

2. Acquire and demonstrate technical competence and practised conceptual understanding, in the form of an honours (level 6) major project, realised in the medium (or media) of their choice;

3. Acquire and demonstrate cogent oral/visual and written presentations setting their project work and specialist practice in context, and developing an evaluative critique using different approaches to practice;

4. Develop and complete a substantial, independently produced final practical project, supported by academic understanding of the discipline and field;

5. Research and develop a relevant topic and case study, draft and realise an academic dissertation, demonstrating appropriate use of primary and secondary sources, and showing competence in applied use of relevant theory and methods;

6. Exhibit skills of synthesis and applied research in reframing Fine Art practice for professional display, showing knowledge of appropriate curatorial and promotional strategies.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

1. Acquire and demonstrate the capacity to research and develop a sound working methodology in relation to project development and in the context of a mature comprehension of the subject field and their area of specialist practice within it:

CP4010, CP5010, CP6010, FA6001, FA6002, FA6003


2. Acquire and demonstrate technical competence and practised conceptual understanding, in the form of a major degree–honours (level 6) project, realized in the medium (or media) of their choice – Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture & Installation:

FA4001, FA4002, FA4003, FA5001, FA5002, FA5003, FA6001, FA6002, FA6003


3. Acquire and demonstrate cogent oral/visual and written presentations setting their project work and specialist practice in context, and developing an evaluative critique using different approaches to practice:

FA4001, FA4002, FA4003, FA5001, FA5002, FA5003, FA6001, FA6002, FA6003


4. Develop and complete a substantial, independently produced final practical project, supported by scholarly understanding of the discipline and field:

FA6001, FA6002, FA6003, FA6004


5. Research and develop a relevant topic and case study, draft and realize an academic dissertation in accordance with the conventions of scholarly argument and analysis, demonstrating appropriate use of primary and secondary sources, and showing competence in applied use of relevant theory and methods:

CP6010, FA6001, FA6002, FA6003, FA6004


6. Exhibit skills of synthesis and applied research in reframing ‘summative’ outcomes for professional display, showing knowledge of appropriate curatorial and promotional strategies:

CP6010, FA6001, FA6002, FA6003

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Graduate attributes for each level of the course, as derived from the QAA Subject Benchmark for Art & Design are integrated throughout the course and are expressed through the course and module outcomes.

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods related to the course outcomes, as set out above. Assessment includes a combination of diagnostic, formative and summative methods. Students are expected to participate reflectively in assessment. Self-evaluation is an aspect of a number of modules. Students will use the criteria given to reflect upon their development on the module. This, together with the assessment teams written assessment report, forms the basis for discussion at assessment feedback sessions.

Formative Assessment is built into all modules and is designed to provide students with feedback on progress and inform development. Students are expected to maintain appropriate records of their work as it develops within each module throughout all levels and to take part in regular tutorial, critique and seminar discussions regarding their own and others’ coursework. These sessions have a diagnostic function aimed at enabling students to meet the intended learning outcomes of each module.

Summative assessment provides a measure of achievement made in respect of performance in relation to learning outcomes. On completion of each level, progressing students will be required to submit a portfolio of their work on each module together with all supporting material. Assessment criteria reflect the learning outcomes for each level.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

ALL modules are core and compulsory, required to complete the course.

Course specific regulations

LEVEL 6 & DESIGNATION

The names of the degree awards shall be determined by the discipline-specific work completed in the level 6 modules. As default where the student elects not to follow one of the designated specialist routes, on completion of studies, the title BA Honours Fine Art will be awarded.

PART-TIME MODE OF STUDY

Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, in part-time mode, the duration of study for a 360-credit degree will be 6 years. The pattern of study in this instance shall be as follows:

Year 1 – FA4001, FA4002

Year 2 – CP4010, FA4003

Year 3 – FA5001, FA5002

Year 4 – CP5010, FA5003

Year 5 – CP6013, FA6001

Year 6 – FA6002, FA6003

Career opportunities

Many organisations value a Fine Art BA graduate’s creativity very highly, and you’ll be joining The Cass’s proud list of students, which includes famous artists such as Tracey Emin, Sam Taylor-Wood, John Cecil Stephenson and Professor Gerard Hemsworth.

There are a wide range of job opportunities as artists, curators, art critics and art journalists, as previous graduates will testify. Others have gone on to become artists' assistants, art technicians, gallery administrators, art event organisers, marketers, auctioneers, print technicians, photographers, video producers and studio managers.

Alternative career paths include arts officers for local government, art teachers, art tutors and lecturers. Some graduates have even pursued rewarding roles as art therapists, working in hospitals, day care, rehabilitation, prisons and the probation service.

There’s also the chance that your work may one day be displayed alongside our past students. Organisations that host work by our graduates include the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Venice Biennale, ICA, Henry Moore Foundation, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, Art Basel, Frieze, Parkett, Artforum, The English Arts Council and the Pompidou Centre.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three relevant A level subjects such as the arts, humanities and social sciences (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification in relevant art and design subjects) plus a portfolio review
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Art and Design Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes W100 (Fine Art): 100%
Route code FINART

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP4013 Critical & Contextual Studies 1 (Art) Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
FA4001 Studio Practice 1 Ways of Seeing Core 30        
FA4002 Studio Practice 2 Core 30        
FA4003 Studio Practice 3 Core 30        

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP5013 Critical & Contextual Studies 2 (Art) Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR TUE AM
FA5006 Methods and Enquiry 1 Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR MON AM
FA5007 Professional Practice 1: Fine Art Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR MON PM
FA5P01 Project Work 2 Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
          CITY AUT+SPR THU PM

Stage 3 Level 06 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
FA6001 Project Development Core 30        
FA6002 Final Project Core 30        
FA6003 Exhibition and Display Core 30        

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CP6013 Critical & Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (... Core 30 CITY AUT+SPR WED AM
FA6001 Project Development Core 30        
FA6002 Final Project Core 30        
FA6003 Exhibition and Display Core 30